Managing debt-related stress and anxiety

For many Americans, debt is a boogeyman than haunts them year-round. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), money is a significant source of stress for about 64% of Americans, with debt being a leading contributor. More specifically, a recent GOBankingRates survey found that approximately 6% of Americans have more than $10,000 or more in credit card debt alone. While 6% may not sound like a lot, it translates to around 14 million people.  

woman holding her head and her credit card while looking through bills

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It should come as no surprise that according to Bankrate / AIMS Public Health, 48% of individuals with debt are more likely to experience symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety. That means, on any given day, millions of Americans are struggling with both financial and mental wellness. So, how can you manage your mental wellness in order to manage your financial wellness?


Below we’ll break down the two main components to dealing with debt-related stress: the emotional and the financial.


Managing your emotional stress 

Managing debt can already feel like an uphill battle on a good day, let alone if you are experiencing insomnia or anxiety as a result. Below are a few ways you can help yourself manage, and improve, your mental wellness when it comes to dealing with debt… 

  • Face the reality: The first step in managing debt-related stress is acknowledging your financial situation. Until you admit there’s a problem, you won’t be able to address it. Create a comprehensive list of all your debts, including balances, interest rates, and monthly payments. This clarity can help you develop a realistic plan. 
  • Open communication: One of the worst aspects of being in debt can be a feeling of isolation. Share your financial concerns with a close friend or family member. Talking about your worries can provide emotional relief and possibly lead to helpful insights or advice from people you trust. 
  • Prioritize self-care: Don’t forget to carve out some time for yourself every day. Practice self-care through activities like exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones. Weather providing, get outdoors. According to the Mental Health foundation, even going for a 10 minute walk can increase our mental alertness, energy, and positive mood.   
  • Pat yourself on the back: Be sure to celebrate your progress along the way, no matter how small the achievements may seem. It’s important you acknowledge your wins! 
Man paying his bills

Managing your financial stress

Coming up with a clear, realistic strategy to eliminate your debt will go a long way to lowering your stress and anxiety. For example, the average JG Wentworth customer gets out of debt within 24-48 months. Just having an idea of when you will be debt-free can do wonders for your mental health. Here are a few ways you can move forward with managing your financial wellness…

Budgeting: In order to create a realistic plan to eliminate your debt, establish a detailed budget that outlines your income and expenses. Identify areas where you can cut back and allocate more funds to debt repayment. Thankfully, there are numerous apps and online tools available to assist with your budgeting.

Seek professional help: There’s no reason why you need to go it alone. Financial counselors and debt resolution programs can provide expert guidance on managing debt. They can also negotiate with creditors on your behalf to establish manageable repayment plans tailored to your unique circumstances.

Debt consolidation: If you have multiple high-interest debts, consider consolidating them into a single, lower-interest loan. Debt consolidation can simplify payments and reduce interest costs. The less you have to keep track of, the more you will be able to focus and not feel so overwhelmed.

Emergency fund: Moving forward, build an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses such as medical bills or unemployment. Having a financial safety net can reduce anxiety about unforeseen payments that could otherwise trigger a new round of debt. 




Debt-related stress is a significant issue, impacting both financial and emotional well-being for millions of Americans. However, with the right strategies and support, it is possible to manage and eventually overcome this stress. Remember that you are not alone in your journey to financial stability, and seeking professional assistance when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness. By addressing debt-related stress head-on, you can pave the way for a brighter and more secure financial future.