"Blue Monday" Is The Media Myth That Just Won't Die

    No, today is not the "most depressing day of the year."

    So, today is the most "depressing day of the year", according to several media outlets. The weather's bad, you're back at work and it's four weeks until payday.

    Still, MailOnline has it covered.

    The Shropshire Star asked readers to complete this poll to celebrate this annual journalistic tradition (it's tantalisingly neck and neck)

    The idea of a "most depressing day" came from a public relations exercise and brands are still keen to keep the idea alive.

    Dr Cliff Arnall, a researcher and lifestyle coach, developed a formula to calculate the most depressing day of the year in 2005, as part of a campaign for Sky Travel. He has also come up with sciency-sounding formulae for Wall's, the ice cream company, judging the happiest day of the year to be 19 June.

    Over the years, insurance companies, hotel chains and even the Samaritans have used this myth as a way of getting into newspapers and on radio.

    In a new twist, this year an online divorce company argues this is actually "Divorce Monday", the most popular day for divorce proceedings to start.

    Meanwhile, a British energy drink company has, it says, "examined two million tweets" to conclude that today is in fact the "most depressing day of the year", while a dating site designed to arrange extra-marital flings has given it a go.

    There are infinite directions in which to take the Blue Monday meme for future generations.

    If all this bothers you, you could go on one of Cliff Arnall's life coaching sessions, held in a "peaceful converted barn", for just £50.