KLM beats January blues with vending machine dispensing gifts


New research from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has shone a light on what will be impacting our happiness levels this Blue Monday, as we enter a new decade. The research follows the results of the World Happiness Report*, which placed The Netherlands at number 5 on the global rankings of happiest countries, and the UK at 15.

KLM has also partnered with Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James to offer Dutch inspired tips for Brits this Blue Monday.

Blue Monday

Blue Monday will occur on the 20th January and is said to be the most depressing day of the year, based on calculations factoring in the weather, finances and New Year’s Resolutions***. The new research by KLM found that although these factors still have the highest impact on happiness levels in January (with around half, 48%, citing a lack of money as the reason they feel down at this time of year, and 40% attributing the weather to their blues), there were new factors that would be making Brits feel blue in 2020.

Within the traditional pressures of new years’ resolutions, 10% of Brits, compared to 3% of Dutch, considered Dry January a contributing factor to Blue Monday, and 3% of Brits believe that Veganuary, specifically will be a cause.

Psychologist Honey Langcaster James explained: “By Blue Monday, many people have given up on New Year Resolutions because they began to find the restrictions of challenges like ‘Veganuary’ or ‘Dry January’ restrictive and they fell off the wagon”.

It seems the political climate also has an impact on our happiness as 1 in 8 Brits (12%) say Brexit will be responsible for their January Blues. However despite this, almost a quarter (23%) said they would choose to travel in order to escape the January Blues, suggesting that Brexit won’t be deterring us from our holiday plans. In fact, latest trend reports saw European destinations hold fast amongst the UK’s top 10 most booked cities to visit, with Amsterdam, Dublin and Malaga proving the most popular.

The most common reasons why Brits feel down on Blue Monday can be seen below.

Rank Reasons why Brits feel down in January
1 (48%) Lack of money, after over spending
2 (40%) The weather
3 (39%) The dark nights
4 (37 %) Lack of daylight
5 (32%) The magic of Christmas is over
6 (31%) Going back to work
7 (24%) Overindulging over the Christmas period
8 (21%) Loneliness
9 (16%) The pressure of new year’s resolutions
10 (12 %) Lack of a social life


Why are the Dutch Happier?

When asked why The Netherlands ranked significantly higher within the World Happiness Report than The UK, the majority of Brits (27%) believed the reason was the beautiful scenery the Dutch enjoy. 18% of Dutch respondents agreed with this sentiment. Furthermore, Brits admire the Dutch mindset which gets them outside and enjoying their surroundings, as almost a fifth (18%) of Brits believe cycling outdoors more often is a major contribution to Dutch happiness.

Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James said: “In recent years there has been a growing interest in studying the psychological impact of our surroundings and it’s true that living in green spaces and taking time to appreciate beautiful scenery really can boost happiness and can even reduce symptoms of depression, so the Dutch are right to get outside and embrace their surroundings. We Brits could definitely learn a thing or two from their attitude to life.”

The most common reason the Brits identified for the Dutch being happier than Brits is the Netherland’s hospitality. The welcoming culture led a fifth (20%) to believe this is the reason why the Dutch are less blue. Langcaster-James said “It could also be that Brits view the Dutch as being warm, personable, friendly and hospitable people and perhaps they think that naturally leads to better social relations with others and less loneliness.”

Benedicte Duval, General Manager for Air France-KLM in the UK & Ireland, said: “It’s no surprise the research has shown people opt to travel to beat the January Blues. It’s clear too that we value warm weather and the chance for mindfulness away from everyday stresses when thinking about wellness. We were delighted to work with Psychologist, Honey Langcaster-James to offer additional wellness tips this Blue Monday.We wanted to bring some of the Dutch mindset to the UK, so we’re really excited to launch the KLMood Booster in order to share some Dutch inspired treats with those who may need a happiness boost. We’ll also be offering a chance for those who want to escape the January Blues to get away, by gifting complimentary flights to lucky winners.”

The KLMood Booster pop-up will feature a vending machine be launched on Blue Monday by TV’s Matt Edmondson, and will be dispensing personalised gifts that embody mindfulness to combat the blues. Gifts include caramel waffles, massages and complimentary return flights.

Those who would like to experience the joy of The Netherlands this January can visit the KLMood Booster pop-up at any of the locations listed below:

Monday 20th January – London Paddington Station, W2 1RH

Wednesday 22nd January – Manchester Piccadilly Station, M60 7RA

Friday 24th January – Glasgow Central Station, G1 3SQ