The good news: it looks like Mondays are not necessarily more depressing than some other days of the week. The bad news: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday produce many of the same moods and psychological effects as Monday for people in the usual week-long work environment. In a new study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, researchers found that moods were generally about the same for these four days of the week.
Not surprisingly, people’s moods improved noticeably on Fridays and many respondents felt less stressed on Saturdays and Sundays. Researchers concluded that the idea of a terrible Monday is not accurate and should be ditched after they polled 340,000 respondents about their moods throughout the week.
The study’s abstract points out that previous studies which found evidence for such phenomena as ‘Blue Monday’ (the last Monday in January, often considered the most depressing day of the year) have only been established based on small student samples:
Support has been found for ‘Blue Monday’, ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ and Weekdays versus Weekend effects, although in relatively small studies and often with student samples.
The study also found that weekday mood changes were less noticeable in retired respondents and that gender was not a factor in the way respondents discussed their moods for different days of the week. The results of the study hint at the possibility that workers are slightly unhappy for the vast majority of the work week. The head of the research team, Arthur Stone at Stony Brook University, claims that the contrast between the relaxed feeling of Sunday and the shift to weekday worry has led to unfair dislike of Monday.
That connection seems to suggest that Mondays are as bad as they seem, along with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Unfortunately, this type of study will not produce stable results. Last year, studies suggested that people were particularly unhappy and stern on Monday mornings. Earlier studies suggested people were down on Sundays.
So next time you feel like complaining about Monday, just think that Tuesday will quickly follow on its heels.
Photo Credit: Larsinio