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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019
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Does today feel like the happiest day of the year to you?

A mathematical formula claims today should be the happiest day of 2011. That couldn’t be right, could it?

The happiest day of the year(!).
The happiest day of the year(!).
Image: Clive Gee/PA Wire

A WELSH PSYCHOLOGIST claims to have concocted a formula that proves today, June 17, is the “happiest” day of the year.

Cliff Arnall, a former lecturer at Cardiff University, came up with the formula in 2005 – and claims that his formula takes into account the length of a day, its temperature, the likely proximity of a holiday, and even a person’s childhood memories.

There’s also (though the formula doesn’t include it) an inherent ‘Friday feeling’ factor, which Arnall says can help a person feel even more perky.

In 2005, Arnall told the BBC that even rainy weather – like that being experienced in Ireland today - doesn’t necessarily impact on the formula’s output.

“The issue about the weather specific to this formula is the temperature, which is still reasonably high,” he said. ”This will pass – you do get summer storms and skin is waterproof.

Arnall’s formula:

O + (N x S) + Cpm
T + He

O = ‘being outdoors and outdoor activity’
N = nature
S = social interaction
Cpm = childhood summers and positive memories
T = temperature
He = ‘holidays and looking forward to time off’

Having plugged in variables relating to every day of 2011, Arnall says today has conclusively been shown to be the most upbeat day of the year.

There’s one major question mark over his formula, though: it was concocted on commission from the ice-cream company Walls, the British sister of Ireland’s HB.

“Whether it’s a sunny day, a childhood memory, or something as effortless as eating a delicious ice cream,” read Arnall’s originally cringeworthy press release. “I wanted my formula to prove the key to happiness can really be that simple.”

Indeed, Arnall is also the man behind the ‘Blue Monday’ formula which dictates the most ‘depressing’ day of the year, which this year fell on January 17.

That formula – which was comprehensively lampooned by the Guardian’s Ben Goldacre – took variables like the time since payday, Christmas debt, weight gain and climate factors to discern when a person was most in need of some time off and a trip to the sun.

That formula was contained a press release issued by… the Sky Travel channel.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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