"If you are feeling a little down then you can take solace in the thought that things are unlikely to get any worse.
Today, say experts, is the unhappiest day in the entire year.
Unpaid Christmas bills, nasty weather, and failed New Year's resolutions combine to make January 22 the gloomiest in the calendar.
But if anyone can cope with 'blue Monday' it is the British, who researchers have found to be mainly optimists.
More than 85 per cent of us expect the future to be happier than it is now, according to researchers.
Dr Cliff Arnall, a Cardiff University psychologist, devised the formula that shows today is the most depressing.
His equation takes into account six factors: weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year's resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take action.
Taken together they pinpoint today as 'Blue Monday'.
Dr Arnall said that by understanding the main factors for depression we can prevent becoming unhappy next year.
He said: 'Use the day as a springboard for a higher quality life. For example, keeping Christmas spending to a strict budget next year will make you less depressed in the last week of January.
'Also, decide on changing behaviour, such as giving up smoking, eating better, exercising more and getting that new job.'
It might also be a good idea to take extra care on the roads.
Research by Privilege Insurance reveals that nearly half of the UK's drivers suffer from seasonal symptoms such as depression and lethargy in January, which impact on their driving ability.
All is not doom and gloom, however, as a survey of 85 per cent of people in Britain expect to be happier in the future than they are now, a psychological study for Standard Life Bank found.
Scots were the most optimistic, followed by people in the South West, while people from London and the West Midlands had the least positive outlook on life, researchers discovered.
Taking up a new hobby is the most favoured tactic by Britons to become happier in 2007, amid a general trend for people wanting to make work less of a focus in 2007.
People responding to the survey said they hoped to make themselves happier by clearing their debts, paying off their mortgage and achieving financial security.
Those who listed things they were looking forward to were plans to reduce their working hours or retire to improve their quality of life.
The research - entitled the Freestyle Happiness Index - also found that the nation's optimism is being boosted by a falling interest in material possessions.
For the 15 per cent of pessimists and those who feel very depressed, the Samaritans urged people not to bottle it up but to get in touch.
Press spokesperson Kate Redway said: 'Sadly, one in five people in the UK experience depression and this time of year can be particularly difficult, with people in debt after Christmas and finding it hard to settle back into a work routine during dark days.'"
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