We've all heard of the "January Blues" but what about Blue Monday?

Between the gloomy weather and our tight purse strings, January is bad enough but when you combine it with a Monday, you get something else entirely.

"Blue Monday" is the name given to the third Monday in January and has been coined as the most depressing day of the year. 

It's been around since 2005 when the UK travel company- Sky Travel -revealed the date in a press release having calculated the date through an "equation".

The Northern Echo: A woman looking out on to the water. Credit: CanvaA woman looking out on to the water. Credit: Canva

When is Blue Monday?

Blue Monday falls on the third or fourth Monday in January every year. 

This year, Blue Monday is on January 17 2022.

Is Blue Monday real?

Blue Monday might have originated from an equation but there is certainly no science behind it. 

Scientists have looked at the reasoning of the date - analysing its factors including everything from the distance from Christmas and the level of debt to failed New Year's resolutions and the wintery weather.

Others have linked Blue Monday to Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a kind of depression that comes and goes depending on the season.

These factors - even when combined - are "non-sensical measurements", says Dean Burnett in The Guardian.

Researchers have brushed off the theory that there can be one singular most depressing day for us all. 

The Northern Echo: A man looking out over the water. Credit: CanvaA man looking out over the water. Credit: Canva

Speaking to Harper's Bazaar, Mind's head of information, Stephen Buckley, said: "There is no credible evidence behind the concept of a most depressing day of the year.

"We all have mental health and we can all feel down from time to time.

"But suggesting there is a single day when depression somehow ‘strikes’ more than usual feeds misinformation and trivialises what for many people is a very serious issue they deal with every day of their lives."

Free Mental Health Helplines

So, Blue Monday might not be a real thing but poor mental health definitely is. 

1 in 4 of us experience depression at one point in our lives, according to Mind.

If you or someone you love needs some support now and beyond Blue Monday, reach out to someone that can help on these free helplines:

Samaritans. - 116 123 

SANEline -  0300 304 7000 

National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK - 0800 689 5652 

Campaign Against Living Miserably - 0800 58 58 58