01/16/2012 09:13 EST | Updated 01/16/2012 09:36 EST

Saddest Day Of The Year, Statistically Speaking


Don't bother trying to turn that frown upside down. You're supposed to be sad today.

While Mondays have already earned a reputation for inspiring something less than bliss, this particular day takes the doldrums to a new low, according to British psychologist Cliff Arnall.

Arnall suggests the third Monday of every January is a day of reckoning -- when all accounts come home to roost. There's the credit card bill from all that holiday spending and the slew of New Year's resolutions that you may now realize are quite broken. Wrap it up all up in haze of dreary weather and you've got one dark days of the soul.

Of course, Arnall's theory has its critics. And Arnall himself is now distancing himself from the bleak formula he came up with back in 2005. In fact, he admitted to getting paid for those proclamations, by a tourism company, appropriately enough.

But beneath all those elaborate and possibly buggy computations, there's a pretty simple formula:


Dubbed Blue Monday (naturally), it's been a trending topic on Twitter all day. Misery really does love company.

Unbeatable, however, it is not. Experts suggest pushing a little harder at the gym today, eat well -- and lay off the bottle.

And there's always that little stroke of sunshine known as lightbox therapy, a essentially a box that gives off bright light mimicking the outdoors on a nice day. Research suggests the light changes the chemicals in the brain linked to mood.

One such model may also be responsible for Huffington Post Canada senior editor Brodie Fenlon's perennially positive disposition.

By Arnall's reasoning, the saddest day of 2011 was Monday January 17. The good news is, we survived it. And for every ebb, there is a flow. That flow of goodwill and cheer, according to Arnall, is slated for June 18 -- long after the holiday spending binge has been put to rest, and our personal lapses forgotten.

And, of course, there's always the sun.