You woke up this morning and thought, “Oh boy, Monday.” Mondays are the worst. Everyone understands this universal fact. We have cases of the Mondays, the Monday blues, and Monday is the most common day for suicide.
But science says that actually, you’re not really in a worse mood today than you will be tomorrow. A study released (not on a Monday, for the record) in the Journal of Positive Psychology reveals that while we think we’re more unhappy on Mondays, we’re not. In fact, Monday moods are no worse than any other day of the week except for Friday.
“Cultural myths may vastly over-emphasise actual day of the week mood patterns,” writes Professor Arthur Stone, author of the paper, concludes.
In fact the “most depressing day of the year” is on a Monday. Dubbed “Blue Monday,” it falls on the third Monday in January. Turns out, that’s not real either. As Ben Goldacre points out, the premise of “Blue Monday” was dreamed up by Sky Travel, a PR company, just in time for people to take a summer holiday. How convenient.
Another study, last year, found that it takes people in Britain until exactly 11:16 a.m. to smile on Mondays. That study was funded by Marmite, a food spread. Which explains why the smiling time fell exactly in the middle of the traditional morning tea break taken by British workers – and the most likely time they’d eat Marmite.
The Minnesota Post points out yet another wacky Monday “study”:
Another British survey found that people tend to complain more on Mondays. According to a spokesperson for the company that funded the “research,” the average person apparently whines (or whinges, as the Brits often say) for about 34 minutes on Monday morning compared to just 22 minutes on other weekdays. The spokesperson also told the press that the survey found health-related problems to be a leading factor behind all that Monday-morning complaining.
And who was the funder of that survey? A pharmaceutical company.
Essentially, the “science” behind these Monday blues is spotty at best, and your Monday depression is probably simply in your head. So buck up, you’ll be just as unhappy tomorrow as you are today.
More at Smithsonian.com: