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How to cope with money worries

Feeling low or anxious is a normal response when you are struggling with debt or upcoming expenses.

You may be feeling, behaving or thinking in ways that are unfamiliar. But that does not mean you're suffering from depression or have an anxiety disorder.

Surviving financial stress

Face up to the situation

If it looks like you cannot pay your bills, get advice on how to manage what you owe.

When people feel anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to others. But talking can be the first step towards managing the situation. Facing up to these situations will generally make them easier.

Talking to one of your service providers about how to manage repayments on an overdue bill will be more helpful in the long run than avoiding it.

Find out more about dealing with debt —

Stay active

Keep seeing your friends. If you cannot clear your bills, try to keep making a contribution towards them each week. If you have more time because you're not at work, do some form of exercise. It can improve your mood if you're feeling low.

Get tips on getting active

Do not drink too much alcohol

For some people with money worries, alcohol can become a problem. You may drink more than usual as a way of dealing with your emotions or to fill time. But alcohol will not help you deal with your problems.

Get tips on how to cut down on alcohol

Do not lose your daily routine

Get up at your normal time and stick to your routine. If you lose your routine, it can also affect your eating. You may miss breakfast because you're still in bed or eat snacks instead of having proper meals.

Healthy eating guidelines

More help for money problems

Citizens Information

Citizens Information is a good place to get information about social welfare payments and how to deal with debt. You can also find out what you're entitled to if you lost your job. They will also tell you who to speak to if you're at risk of losing your home.

Finding a new job

If you are looking for a new job, you can get information and support.

Find out more about looking for a new job at:

Staying healthy on a budget

You can exercise at home or in a park for free.

Get ideas for exercising in your home

Coping with debt

Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) has information on how they can help with debt.

When to get medical help

Visit your GP if you're still feeling worried, anxious or low after a few weeks. If you think it will help, your GP can tell you about psychological therapy services in your area.

Get help immediately if you feel you cannot cope.


If life is becoming very difficult or if you feel it is not worth living, talk to your GP, call the Samaritans on Freephone 116 123, or text 50808 for the crisis text line.

Page last reviewed: 1 September 2022
Next review due: 1 September 2025