March 31, 2014 12:01 AM EDT

Bad stuff does consistently happen on Mondays. Stock market returns are lower, suicides are higher and more people call sexually transmitted disease hotlines:

Source: “Just Another Manic Monday: Peaking Sexual Concerns After the Weekend” from Arch Sex Behav (2011) 40:1105–1106

Funny thing is, Mondays aren’t that bad in terms of our mood.

In his bestselling book Stumbling on Happiness, Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert points to research showing we overestimate how unhappy Mondays make us:

And traffic isn’t worse on Mondays. Tim Harford does the research and shows it’s generally much lighter than Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday:

So why do we still not like Mondays? Because we’re focused on how we predict we’ll feel, not how we actually feel in the moment:

Source: “(Tell me why) I don’t like Mondays: Does an overvaluation of future discretionary time underlie reported weekly mood cycles?” from “Cognition & Emotion”

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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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