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Blue Monday 2024 – Mental Health life insurance guide

January isn’t usually an exciting month for most people, especially after all the excitement of Christmas and New Year’s. One specific day in January has been nicknamed ‘Blue Monday’, as it is widely believed to be the most depressing day of the year.

Blue Monday is usually the third Monday of January which falls on 15th January this year. While there may not be much scientific evidence to support the existence of Blue Monday, many people do report their mood being lower in January due to factors like poor weather, darker evenings, and lack of money after the Christmas period.

While Blue Monday may sound very negative, the term was initially used as a way to inspire people to be daring and push back against any negative feelings they may be having. Blue Monday 2024 could be a good opportunity to reflect on how to best take care of ourselves and any steps we can take to improve our mental wellbeing.

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60-Second Summary – Blue Monday 2024

Blue Monday is widely thought of as the year’s most depressing day and this year it falls on the 15th of January. Blue Monday can be a good chance for us all to look at our mental health and what we can do to improve it in 2024.

  • The term ‘Blue Monday’ has been used in the UK since 2005, having been coined by a professor at Cardiff University. He believed that factors like poor weather and debt after Christmas contribute to an overall low mood for most people in January.
  • There are some simple steps that we can take to better look after our mental health year round, such as spending more time with friends and family, exercising and self reflection.
  • Mental health issues aren’t anything to be ashamed of and 1 in 6 people in the UK will experience a common mental health issue each week (according to Mind).
  • If you are worried that your mental health will stop you from getting life insurance, this isn’t usually true. You can speak to a life insurance expert for the answers to your mental health life insurance questions.

Blue Monday was a term initially used by a UK travel network (Sky Travel) back in 2005, to describe what they believed to be the year’s most depressing day.

They published this in a press release where they claimed to have calculated this date by taking weather conditions into account, so the date only applies to the World’s Northern Hemisphere. It also considers things like potential debt after Christmas, low motivation and possible broken New Year’s resolutions.

There are several simple ways that we can try and improve our low mood (in January and year round) including those suggested by the BBC in the video below.

Feeling overwhelmed? | Dr. Emeka Okorocha’s mental health tips – BBC

Why do Mondays make me sad?

A lot of people in the UK will report Monday to be their least favourite day of the week and there is often a lot of negative feeling associated with Mondays in general. This can be put down to things like many people working or going to school Monday – Friday, with this being the first day of their week.

Some of us may be familiar with the popular cartoon Garfield, where the main character Garfield the cat often exclaimed his hatred towards Mondays. There are many other examples across film and media which express similar negative sentiment towards the first day of the week.

According to an article in HuffPost, weekends are generally days of freedom and enjoyment, so it can be hard to adjust back to your working schedule when Monday hits. Other reasons to disklike Mondays include:

  • Tiredness after a busy weekend filled with activities
  • Increased sleep over the weekend followed by an early morning start on Monday
  • You may not enjoy your job and don’t want to go back to work
  • Your job or school life may be stressful and trigger feelings of anxiety
  • It’s culturally accepted to dislike Mondays which may affect your own feelings
  • You may have social anxiety and find transitioning into a new week very difficult
  • You might anticipate that the upcoming week will be busy for you

Source: HuffPost – Experts explain why Mondays are so psychologically hard

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Cardiff University tutor Cliff Arnall was the one to publish the press release through Sky Travel and he now insists he never meant to make this day sound overly negative. It was simply an observation about overall low mood and depression and was actually meant to be inspiring.

He was working alongside companies like Virgin Atlantic to ‘challenge some of the negative news associated with January’, though admittedly this meaning may have been lost over the years. Arnall did further research and noted that he thought he had also found the World’s happiest day, with this date varying but usually being somewhere in mid-June.

Many people view Blue Monday as a negative day, but we believe it is a good chance to reflect on our mental health and wellbeing to see where we can make improvements.

Your mental health refers to your emotional and psychological wellbeing and anything which may affect this. We all have mental health, but while many of us will have good mental health, other people may struggle with their mental health.

This doesn’t mean there is anything ‘wrong’ with us and isn’t something to be ashamed of. Some people will experience brief periods of poor mental health due to things like stress at work or grief from losing a family member or friend.

Other people may be diagnosed with mental health conditions such as depression, stress, or bipolar which affects them more long term. These conditions will vary massively in the symptoms experienced and severity of these symptoms can also be different for each person.

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Whether you have experienced poor mental health or not, it’s always good to practice self-care and make sure you feel as good as you can.

In the same way that we might exercise to look after our physical health, there are various ‘good practices’ that we can build into our lives to keep ourselves happy and well mentally.

What are 5 ways to improve mental health?

There are many recommendations online for ways to improve your mental health and wellbeing. One helpful article is from the NHS website which explains their top recommended steps to better mental wellbeing.

  1. Connect with other people: Regularly take some time to be with family and friends doing things that you enjoy, You could also volunteer or join a club to try and meet new people.
  2. Be more physically active: Exercise is known to trigger endorphins which can boost our mood and make us feel happier. You don’t need to live in the gym, but regular gentle exercise can be beneficial to our mental wellbeing and raise self-esteem.
  3. Pick up a new hobby or learn a new skill: New hobbies and skills can give us a sense of purpose – and also just be fun! This can also give you more to talk about and help in connecting with other people.
  4. Give back to others: Being kind and well mannered to others is believed to both give you positive feelings about yourself. These acts can be as small as truly listening to what others are telling you or saying thank you to a friend for supporting you.
  5. Practice mindfulness: Be more aware of how you feel in the moment to help you understand yourself better. Pay attention to what you are thinking and feeling and how you approach any challenges.

Source: NHS – 5 steps to mental wellbeing

If you have experienced issues with your mental health in the past or have a mental health condition, you may worry that you won’t be able to get policies like life insurance. Main concerns are often that your cover will be expensive or won’t be available at all.

This is not normally the case, and our team are experts in life insurance and mental health, so we know which providers will work best in each situation. Some insurers will have a better knowledge of mental health or be more understanding and it’s useful to compare quotes from a few providers to get the fairest price.

For free expert advice, you can speak to one of our mental health life insurance experts on 0800 009 6559 or by clicking here.

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Can I get life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Yes, you will be able to get life insurance with almost any pre-existing medical condition, as long as it is not terminal. If traditional life insurance is not available due to the severity of your symptoms, then there are other guaranteed and specialist life insurance options, such as:

  • Accidental death
  • Over 50s life insurance
  • Guaranteed life insurance

Some of the most common examples of life insurance with pre-existing conditions are:

  • Overweight or High BMI life insurance
  • Diabetes life insurance (e.g. Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes)
  • Cancer life insurance
  • Heart attack or heart disease life insurance
  • Mental health life insurance
  • Multiple Sclerosis life insurance
  • Autoimmune disorders life insurance
  • HIV life insurance

There are literally thousands of types and variations of pre-exisiting medical conditions and so your situation is likely to be different to someone else. Life insurance with pre-existing conditions will take a number of elements in to account:

  • Severity and type of symptoms
  • Dates of diagnosis, episodes or attacks, and treatments
  • Any ongoing treatment and medications

Your life insurance premiums will be based on your own individual circumstances and how much cover you need. You should be able to adjust the levels of cover to suit your budget and it’s just as important to make sure that you at least have some cover in place.

What does Martin Lewis say about life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

MoneySavingExpert.com suggests that life insurance will ‘cost a lot more’ with a pre-existing medical condition. This is not true and it really does depend on your own individual circumstances so don’t be put off by this as they are not experts in this area.

It is true that some circumstances where the pre-existing medical condition is serious or severe, premiums can be higher to reflect the additional mortality risks. Ultimately, your life insurance premiums are unfortunately based on how likely you are to claim or if you have a higher chance of death within the policy term.

Martin Lewis doesn’t provide any real substance to his comment about pre-existing conditions life insurance and that’s not good enough. You should speak to a medical life insurance specialist to get a fully underwritten quote before you make any final decisions about whether or not you can afford to protect your family.

How much is life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Most traditional life insurance providers will accept applications for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Often, you will have a number of potential options from several different insurance providers so you can usually save money as well by shopping around.

Historically you might have had less offers when you apply for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, but fortunately that is changing. Most of the more well-known high street life insurance brands are now offering more competitive rates and more flexible underwriting.

Top tips to save money on life insurance with pre-existing conditions:

  • Speak to pre-existing medical conditions specialist (these companies will understand the market better and should know which insurers will be cheapest for you)
  • Shop around and get different quotes (same as everything else, by shopping around you’ll get a better idea of what a good price is and what different companies offer)
  • Apply at the best time (timing can be important when applying for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, usually when symptoms are stable and not before or after treatment)

There are also other things to take into consideration, such as if you’re a smoker or if your weight is higher than normal. Can you do anything to improve your situation that might help to reduce your life insurance premiums.

Best life insurance for pre-existing conditions?

The best life insurance for pre-existing conditions will be different for each individual, based on their circumstances and the details of their health or medical history. There are certainly some insurance providers who are better for people with pre-existing medical conditions than others, such as:

  • The Exeter (better for people with more severe symptoms and serious health problems)
  • Legal & General (can sometimes be good for certain pre-existing medical conditions, especially mild to moderate symptoms)
  • Royal London (offers a number of specialist products and policies for certain pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and mental health)
  • Scottish Widows (sometimes good for moderate medical conditions and offers flexible underwriting for certain conditions)
  • The Guardian (also offers flexible underwriting towards some pre-existing medical conditions)
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