Dr. Cliff Arnall, a psychologist, first described so-called “Blue Monday” — supposedly the most “depressing day of the year” — in 2005 to help a travel company sell getaways. Arnall put some science behind his calculation, science that has been largely debunked as pseudo-science. But Arnall’s idea caught on just the same because, well, because people are a little down around the middle of January, not least on Mondays. The holidays are over, it’s cold in much of the Northern Hemisphere, and the year — perhaps especially this one — looks like it’ll be long and volatile.
Believe in Blue Monday or not, it’s antidote is the same as that for other depression triggers — change things up, take a trip, etc. But Arnall doesn’t just work to alleviate the blues once a year. Recently he’s been talking up the benefits of workplace masturbation — a stress-reliever available to any employed person most days of the week. Arnall expounded on the benefits of a workplace masturbation policy for the UK’s Metro: “I would expect a masturbation policy to result in more focus, less aggression, higher productivity, and more smiling. Certainly taking a masturbation break for boredom or an escape would increase work focus.” More working blue, really, than Blue Monday.