December: The Least Miserable Month Of The Year

Published December 5, 2014
Updated January 17, 2018
Published December 5, 2014
Updated January 17, 2018

The Internet has wormed its way into every aspect of our lives. It influences the people we date, the jobs we apply to, and, now, we can even use Google to track the prevalence of mental illnesses like depression.

According to Google search interest compiled into an infographic titled “Misery Index,” December is the happiest (or the least miserable) month of the year. Christmas Day is the happiest day, followed by New Years Day, and then the 4th of July. March is the unhappiest month of the year, followed closely by April and then October. April 23rd is the most miserable day of the year.

When the data is broken down further into days of the week, we can see the unsurprising trend of weekends being generally less miserable than weekdays. Searches for “pain” and “anxiety” peak on Mondays, “stress” and “depression” on Tuesdays, and “fatigue” on Wednesday.

Washington Post Reporter Christopher Ingraham created the infographics above by compiling Google search data for the words “depression,” “anxiety,” “pain,” “stress,” and “fatigue.” The more people search for these terms, the more people are experiencing misery, or so states the logic of the infographic.

The problem with this line of thinking is that highly publicized occurrences can spark an increased number of searches for the terms Ingraham tracked. For example, there was a uncharacteristic summer spike in Google searches for the word “depression” around the time of Robin William’s depression-related death this year.

There is one other obvious limitation to this strategy of tracking misery; namely, not everybody uses Google. Many people do–huge numbers of people, actually–but not everybody. As a result, the data isn’t comprehensive, and only represents the concerns and interests of relatively privileged people who have access to a computer and an internet connection. Either way, make sure you enjoy this December, because the coming months aren’t looking so good.

Julia Day
Julia Day is a New York based writer and illustrator. She attended Colby College where she studied 17th Century Poetry, Environmental Science, and Philosophy.