Alison Goulding: Brown Wednesday

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WELL done if you’re reading this. If you are, it seems to suggest you are alive and kicking despite the latest Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year.

Which was a mere three days ago.

Giving you just enough time to recover and drag yourself off the kitchen floor in order to open the Echo at this page and find my cheery, flatteringly tilted mugshot staring back at you.

An even bigger well done if you’ve managed not to draw a moustache and some horns on my image with a biro.

If you managed to refrain you’re a bigger person than I am.

Blue Mondays are a recent phenomena – dreamed up in 2005 by a travel company trying to nudge people into feeling grotty enough to book a holiday (always be suspicious of ‘findings’ that somehow benefit the company who commissioned them e.g. milk will make you live forever, says a survey by A Generic Milk Company).

The idea is catnip for us journalists, so articles pop up like mushrooms here, online and in the nationals listing the reasons why we are all so sad at this particular calendar date.

Hands up, I’ve written one myself.

The formula for calculating Blue Monday amounts to the usual suspects.

Lo! It is Blue Monday because we have no money, we’re post-Christmas obese, we’re thinking about divorcing our partners and the weather is rubbish.

On the other side stand the answers, like a gang of bespectacled geeks.

Top of the list is exercise (yawn), usually followed by seeking help for financial difficulties and buying an umbrella (shocking).

Personally, I think our aim is too low with Blue Monday.

It’s too predictable, too easy. Because, let’s be honest, we all feel like a toilet on Monday mornings – all year round, not just in January.

There’s nothing to like about this particular day of the week. It’s the death of the weekend, the start of the hangover.

And being fat and detesting your other half is usually a sign that life is proceeding in its normal fashion, rather than cause for concern.

But a day of the week linked to a colour isn’t a total waste of space, it’s definitely got a certain sort of appeal.

What better yardstick to judge your life by? If the day dawns and you feel fine, you’re ahead of the game. If you feel like frogspawn you can just lie back content in the knowledge that you’re absolutely correct and compliant in your misery.

Plus, a designated day of awfulness frees you up for the rest of the year and gets it all out of the way in one fell swoop.

All I’m asking is that we show a little more creativity with the name, you know, really embrace the situation.

Anyone for Brown Wednesday? No?