Like 'Black Friday', Blue Monday seems like another one of those days where brands are waiting around corners ready to surprise you with ways to part from your cash. Pizza Hut has grabbed a slice of the action by announcing its happiest pizza, which will supposedly help customers combat the effects of the day where we all experience the ultimate post-festive dip in mood.

How did Blue Monday come about?

A few years ago, life coach and psychologist Cliff Arnall coined the phrase to refer to the third Monday in January. Arnall claims that social Depression reaches its peak in society, owing to a combination of debt, weather, and low motivational levels.

It wasn't long before companies began seizing on the term for promotional reasons. Sky Holidays used it to push travel deals, using a PR firm that handed money over to psychologists willing to back their claims that Blue Monday absolutely needs addressing.

While Arnall did develop a mathematical formula that supposedly demonstrates Blue Monday's effects, mathematicians have since debunked it as ridiculous, and scientists have stated that the legitimacy of the day's effects are difficult to quantify.

The difference between Blue Monday and depression

It stands to reason that many of us feel a little rubbish around this time of January. Many companies pay their employees in advance of Christmas, which means a five-to-six-week stretch from one payday to the next, at a time of year when we're all expected to spend a lot anyway.

Then there's the comedown from the festive season itself, plus the weather is awful, and we're all probably realising that our New Year's resolutions will amount to the square root of sod all.

While this could all make many people feel a little glum, this isn't the same as depression. Thanks to the phrase itself and the way it's been utilised by PR firms acting on behalf of companies such as Sky and Pizza Hut, this suggests we suddenly become depressed on one day of the year.

Feeling glum certainly isn't pleasant, but as the World Health Organization states, depression amounts to a continuous loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt, and low self-worth.

If you do fit the WHO's classification of depression, Blue Monday probably has very little to do with it, and two weeks in the Algarve or a slice of Pizza Hut's finest won't end it.

On the other hand, if you're feeling down in the dumps because your bank account grows increasingly sorrowful as the month goes on and you drank a little too much brandy over the festive period, your problems are far easier to resolve. Pizza might even help.