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New Survey from BetterHelp Reveals Nearly Half of Americans are Worried About their Mental Health This Holiday Season
[November 22, 2022]

New Survey from BetterHelp Reveals Nearly Half of Americans are Worried About their Mental Health This Holiday Season

BetterHelp, the world's largest therapy service, released findings today from a new survey on holiday stress, in partnership with global research company Material. The survey of more than 1,000 adults revealed that 72% of Americans expect something to negatively impact their mental wellbeing this winter - with top reasons including the economy and managing family dynamics. Respondents said they plan to handle this increased stress by turning to outlets like online shopping, social media, and overindulging.

More specifically, nearly half of Americans (45%) are worried about their mental health during the holiday season. Their concerns are focused heavily on family gatherings, with more than 1 in 4 respondents (28%) predicting that family dynamics will negatively impact their mental wellbeing during the holidays, and about 1 in 3 (31%) expecting other holiday season stressors - like shopping, spending, and cooking - to have the same effect. Economic challenges are another key stressor, with about half of Americans (46%) predicting that their finances will negatively impact their mental wellbeing this winter.

So how are people coping with this stress?

  • 55% of Americans said they respond to holiday stress by indulging themselves, including: stress eating/overindulging (32%), online shopping (22%), and pampering themselves / self-care (22%)
  • 42% said they sleep more
  • About a third turn to more sedentary tasks like binge watching a tv show/movies (35%) or scrolling social media (28%)
  • Shockingly, only 1 in 3 respondents said they respond by talking to someone, whether that's a friend or family member (33%) or a therapist (9%)
  • Despite the higher levels of anxiety around the holidays, a number of people also predicted that they would be able to manage their stress by turning to healthy outlets such as exercise (32%)

A licensed therapist at BetterHelp, Haesue Jo,LMFT, offered these tips to help alleviate holiday stress:

  • Go easy on yourself: Give yourself permission to feel and express what you're going through - the holidays are an emotional time for a lot of people, and it's normal to have some tough moments. Beyond that, remember to make time for yourself and prioritize the things that will allow you to enjoy the holiday, whether that's sleep, exercise, or alone time. Tuning into your needs helps you be the best host, the best guest, the best gift-giver, the best whatever you need to be, for your friends and family, and for yourself.
  • Set boundaries with family: Unfortunately, the holidays are notorious for family conflict and challenging interpersonal dynamics. When you find yourself frustrated, don't be afraid to step outside, find something else to focus on for a few minutes, or set clear boundaries about what you do or do not want to discuss. You don't need to accept language and behavior toward you that is harmful.
  • Less is more: The holidays can be filled with lots of plans and traditions, and it's tempting to do everything perfectly - but sometimes that just leads to more stress. Prioritize the moments that are most meaningful to you, and allow yourself to skip the ones that no longer bring you joy.

To learn more about BetterHelp's mental health services, please visit

About the Survey:

  • This survey was fielded among 1,009 adults, ages 18+ in the United States. The survey was conducted online in November 2022 and has a margin of error of +/- 3%.
  • Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.
  • In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3 percent, from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all personas in the universe represented by the sample. The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.
  • Material is a leading global insights firm serving as a partner to more than 100 of the Fortune 500 and thousands of smaller companies and organizations. For more information about Material, please visit

About BetterHelp

BetterHelp is the world's largest therapy platform, with over 26,000 therapists, facilitating over 5,000,000 video sessions, voice calls, chats, and messages every month. We set out on a mission to make sure everyone has easy, affordable, safe, and discreet access to high-quality therapy. Since 2013, our licensed, accredited, and board-certified therapists have helped more than 3,000,000 people face life's challenges and improve their mental health.

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