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Top tips to fight the January blues | Blue Monday

exante's top tips for Blue Monday

Yes, it’s that time of year again, the dreaded January. Although January already feels as though it has already run its course, we’re only two-and-a-bit weeks into it, how crazy is that? More than that, we’re now rapidly hurtling towards the dreaded Blue Monday. 

For anyone who doesn’t know, Blue Monday has been nationally declared as the most depressing day of the calendar year. But just because it’s the third Monday before payday, it doesn’t mean everything needs to be miserable! In today’s blog we’re unpicking what makes this Monday so bad and how, like us, you can combat succumbing to the blues then and throughout the remainder January.  

Struggling to stay positive this January? Check out our tips for staying on track for 2022 in the blog below 

Beat the January Blues: How we’re helping you get through January 

Long Read

Beat the January Blues: How we’re helping you get through January 

2021-12-20 07:00:41By Amelia Dunn

What is Blue Monday?  

Blue Monday falls upon the third Monday of January every single year. This is always exceptionally difficult because most of us get an early payday for Christmas, technically making it feel more like the fifth Monday of the month! Blue Monday is said to be so tough because the weather is often very cold and grey, bank balances are looking rather empty and, generally, the mood is pretty low. 

 That being said, the ideology of the ‘blues’ in January doesn’t actually come from trusted scientific research.  The January Blues were initially created by Cliff Arnall who was hired as part of a PR stunt promoting winter holidays by Sky Travel back in 2004 (1). Cliff came up with a calculation to support the third Monday of every January as the most depressing day of the year, he worked this out due to several reasons, including:  

  • Weather 
  • Debt  
  • Time passed since Christmas 
  • Failing resolutions 
  • Motivation levels (1) 

 Why are we telling you this? We suppose it might be comforting to know that, as bad as Blue Monday seems, there isn’t any real correlation between the day and feeling blue. Yes, it may not be the nicest Monday you’ll have, but there are plenty of things you can do to turn it around…

So, here are exante’s top tips to fighting the January Blues

  1. Reduce stress – Stress can impact our health in many different ways. Not only can it impact our blood sugar levels, it can also impact our mood which could induce less healthful behaviours, such as stress eating, or smoking (2). Click here for more tips on how to avoid stress eating.
  2. Practice meditation – We’re not all designed to be sitting on a mat on the floor with our legs tangled in a knot. Meditation can be anything you find ultimately relaxing: from yoga, to baking – why not try baking with our exante shakes.
  3. Let’s be realistic – When many of us set New Year resolutions we tend to be ambitious, hoping for drastic change and believing we’ll stick to it. The truth is, these goals are less easy to stick to, meaning that we’re likely to feel let down and angry with ourselves when we haven’t achieved them. The best thing to do is to set yourself SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). SMART goals enable to us to be accountable for our own achievements, see our progress and stay motivated (3).
  4. Stay optimistic – Whether you’ve been reaching your goals, or whether you’ve found yourself slipping off your diet plan, it’s important know how to get back on track and how to stay positive. Focus on what you have achieved, rather than what you haven’t. Keeping a journal can help us recognise and rationalise our unhelpful thinking, allowing us the opportunity to find more positives to focus on.
  5. Stay connected – Lockdown can be a lonely time for us all, whether we live alone or not. Call friends and family members frequently. Often talking about how we’re feeling can help us reframe our mindset and help us work through our concerns (4). We’ve also got an exante Closed Group where thousands of exante customers support and motivate each other.

For further support:

CALM – (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is a charity supporting mental health via helpline and
Website: www.thecalmzone.net
Call: 0800 58 58 58

Mind – is a charity providing information and support on mental health problems.

Website: www.mind.org.uk
Call: 0300 123 3393

Samaritans – 24/7 confidential support for people feeling distress or despair.
Website: www.samaritans.org.uk
Call: 116 123



  1. Blue Monday: What’s it all about? | Holland & Barrett (hollandandbarrett.com) 
  2. Mental Health | ADA (diabetes.org)
  3. Weight Loss Goals: Setting SMART Goals | LloydsPharmacy.
  4. Covid-19: Five ways to stay positive through lockdown – BBC News.
  5. The pros and cons of weighing yourself every day | American Heart Association

Megan Edwards

Megan Edwards

Writer and expert

Megan is a Marketing student at the University of Liverpool. She enjoys travelling, skiing and long walks with her two golden retrievers, Henry and Chester. As a former lifeguard and swimming teacher, Megan loves being in and on the water and has recently started learning to sail and wakeboard. When on dry land, she keeps fit by working out at the gym and is a regular at salsa and yoga classes.