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What is ‘April theory’? Viral videos say spring is the real start of the new year

The sun is shining, and you are too.
Woman in flowers
Mint Images / Getty Images

Is April the real start of the new year? According to TikTok, maybe. The term is trending on TikTok as people make a connection between the spring month and a feeling of new beginnings.

“Basically, (it’s) the idea that by April, things start getting good again,” TikToker @maggieilicheva said of the "April theory."

“The general premise is that March is the time of chapters closing, seasons ending. April is the time for springing anew,” @haleyhoffmansmith said.

The theory suggests that when winter’s effects begin to lift, our spirits do, too. Psychologists back up TikTokers’ hunch.

‘There is a remarkable difference in how people arrive at therapy sessions come April, compared to the start of the calendar year, especially with patients I see in person in the late afternoon and early evening," psychologist Kristin Long tells "What happens in our environment reflects what we’re feeling inside.  There is new growth; there is new life; it is lighter, and we have a sense of more ‘time’ which, for most people, brings a welcomed sense of relief."

Psychologist Avigail Lev says the mood boost has to do with increased sun exposure, since the sun “plays a significant role in enhancing our mood.” 

“Sunlight directly influences the production of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that are crucial for feeling happy and balanced,” she says.

Sunlight plays a role in the synthesis of Vitamin D in the skin, which is also "vital for brain health and mood regulation,” and controls the production of melatonin, “the hormone that regulates sleep, promoting better sleep patterns and mood stabilization,” she says.

“The lack of sunlight in winter can cause a dip in these crucial neurotransmitters, making us feel more depressed," Lev continues, adding this applies to people experience seasonal depression and those who don't alike.

There’s a spiritual explanation to "April theory," too. 

Unlike the Gregorian calendar, the start of the astrological new year actually falls in the spring. The first day of Aries season is also day one of the astrological new year. During the span of Aries season, we’re encouraged to leave the past behind and embrace a new beginning. Aries infuses us with enthusiasm and energy, encouraging us to step out of our comfort zones and explore new possibilities.

This year, Aries season began on March 19. What followed, though, was a series of challenges, taking the form of the lunar and solar eclipses, as well as Mercury retrograde from April 1 to 25. Then, on April 20, Jupiter and Uranus will be conjunct in Taurus. A few days later, on April 23, the full moon in Scorpio will rise, adding an extra dose of drama to the month.

A simple translation? The excitement of spring was tempered by eclipse hangovers (more on those here). But there are changes around the corner, astrologically speaking.

The conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus on April 20 will create a feeling of liberation. By the time Taurus season approaches on April 19, we will feel prepared to embrace change fully. During the full moon April 23, we can solidify a trajectory toward personal growth. We’ll feel empowered to be ourselves.

So, if you’re asking if the cosmos support the new Tiktok sensation, the answer is yes.

April is bringing a feeling of hope, psychologically and astrologically speaking. The darkness has lifted, and the sun is shining — and you are too.