Of all the cooked-up, PR-driven, manufactured-for-marketing holidays—you know, like No Socks Day and National Tin Can Day—the worst may just be Blue Monday, a date concocted out of thin air by marketers and then sold to a gullible public as the scientifically proven "most depressing Monday of the year."
Based on a complex and utterly baseless mathematical formula that looks at weather, time since Christmas, time since failing New Year's resolutions, and debt, Blue Monday sometimes (but not always) falls on the third Monday of January—but the whole thing turns out to be the creation of a travel-slash-marketing company, which used a former part-time tutor at Cardiff University as its front man, in an attempt to make the choice of the day seem pseudo-scientific.
In fact, the promoters of Blue Monday claim that the date can be determined using a formula that looks like this:
Problem is, it's all bullshit. In the words of Snopes: "No studies or evidence have proved any one calendar date is more gloomy than any others, and the formula linked with the calculation of such a date has no real scientific basis."
And now, as if the whole Blue Monday thing weren't bad enough on its own, two UK pizza chains have jumped on its hype-loaded bandwagon and declared that they have developed mood-enhancing pizzas that will drag you out of your winter doldrums—especially on Blue Monday.
Feeling manipulated yet? Angry at the man and riling yourself up not to take it anymore?
If so, maybe you should watch this mood-enhancing video, filled with laughing babies floating in clouds and screensaver-worthy beach scenes with animated dolphins cavorting through waves.
Pizza Hut UK says it created the video—which you're supposed to watch while eating the mood-enhancing pizza—with the help of researchers at Harvard University. The researchers determined what images made people feel happiest (Rainbows! Puppies! Kittens galore!) and visual artist James Burgess combined them in a video.
Feeling better yet?
No? Are you sure you ate the pizza?
Served at Pizza Hut UK outlets, the mood-enhancing pizza is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, tuna, red onion, olives, and corn. According to nutrition expert Rebecca Hirst, with whom Pizza Hut UK worked to develop the pizza, this combination of ingredients will increase the four main chemicals in the body that have an effect on happiness: serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins.
But if you're not into tuna and corn on your pizza, you can head over to Pizza Express, another UK pizza chain that has developed a happiness-inducing pizza—this one topped with baked salmon, egg, and spinach. Call us crazy, but we think Pizza Express's Free Dough Ball Day sounded like a better recipe for happiness than a pizza topped with a nutritionist's idea of a good time, but that's just us.
Perhaps you're not like us and the idea of eating a happy pizza on Blue Monday ends up raising your endorphins instead of inflaming your deep-seated hatred of authority, capitalism, and the industrial food complex.
If so, congrats! Take yourself to the UK and have a wonderful Blue Monday... whenever it may fall.