London: It is merely a myth that we are at our most miserable at the beginning of the week, researchers say.
The survey of more that 300,000 people found that people’s moods on Mondays are actually no worse than on any other week day barring Friday.
According to the researchers of the study, the popular fixation on the idea of “Blue Monday” should be given the status of a “cultural myth”.
“Despite our global beliefs about lousy Mondays, we conclude that this belief should be abandoned,” the Telegraph quoted lead researcher Prof Stone as saying.
“The perception of Blue Mondays is likely prevalent due to the extreme contrast in mood from Sunday to Monday, even though there is no real difference in mood with Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
“Cultural myths may vastly over emphasise actual day of the week mood patterns,” he said.
For the study, Professor Arthur Stone and his colleagues from Stony Brook University in New York state analysed data collected by Gallup from more than 340,000 American citizens in telephone interviews.
Half the respondents were male and half female and they represented all ages from 18 upwards with an average age of 53.
The respondents were asked whether or not they had felt enjoyment, happiness, worry, sadness, stress and anger during much of the previous day.
The responses were used to give individuals ratings for the strength of the positive and negative emotions they had experienced.
Not surprisingly, the results showed that people reported far more positive feelings and fewer negative feelings on Saturdays and Sundays compared with weekdays - an effect that diminished in older people and those who had retired.
People generally were happier at weekends regardless of their gender and whether or not they had a partner or were single.
While the researchers found evidence for a ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ effect, making people’s moods on the final week day significantly better than earlier in the week, there was no evidence of a “Blue Monday” phenomenon with analysis of people’s moods on Mondays showing them to be no worse than on the three days that follow.