You may have noticed a small phenomena pop up in most newspapers, national and local, around this time of year: namely that day x in January is the most depress day of the year. Today, January 21st 2008, happened to be that day.
Journalists around the country must be praising Dr. Cliff Arnall, the man who devised the formula, for helping them to fill another meaningless column inch.
So, on this day, I feel it’s only fair to dig out my old colleague Andrew Mickel’s column from two years ago from the student newspaper at Cardiff University where Dr. Arnall practices his trade. Except he’s not actually a member of the psychology department. In fact, it seems he’s not even a doctor. Ben Goldacre, I’d imagine, would nod his head in approval at Mickel’s writing.
Three years on from when the formula first made it into the news, it is somewhat depressing that it’s regurgitated by journalists who really should know better.