Dealing with negative news coverage

Stay informed but not afraid


You may be exhausted by everything that’s happening in the world. It’s important, therefore, to protect your mental health if you’re feeling consumed by bad news.

It’s ok to be overwhelmed

Don’t feel bad if you’re stressed out by the current news cycle. If you need to take a time-out, do so. Take a moment to let your mind rest.

You could:

Avoid doom-scrolling

Having information at your fingertips can make you feel in control and reduce your fear of the unknown. But the sheer volume of frightening news cycles may unnerve you.

Set up some boundaries if you find you are fixating on negative stories and this is damaging your mental health.

  • Learn to identify which articles are fact, which are opinion and which are fake news.
  • Restrict your news intake to one or two high-quality sources a day.
  • Remember that the bad news you hear may not affect you – make sure the sources you use are relevant to where you live.
  • Mute or delete news apps and notifications if you have a lot of these set up and they make you feel stressed.

Don’t wake up to bad news

It’s not a great idea to read bad news first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

Your body has more cortisol, or stress hormones, in the morning. This is why you might feel more stressed or anxious when you first wake up. Reading bad news stories then will make you feel worse.

Scrolling through news stories before bed won’t help you fall asleep. You need time to wind down and relax if you want a good night’s sleep.

Take action to reduce your anxiety

Share how you’re feeling. Writing your feelings down or saying them out load can take a load off your shoulders.

Endorphins reduce pain, relieve stress and improve your wellbeing. Gentle exercise, relaxation and being with family or friends can boost these hormones.

Don’t hesitate to ask a professional

Always remember that there’s no need to suffer alone. Speaking with your GP is a good place to start.

  • Call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 and speak to a counsellor immediately if you’re feeling distressed.
  • Inspire’s Advocacy for All services can support you with mental health-related issues and information.
  • Find support.

More resources

  • FactCheckNI checks certain claims you may hear in the media to see if they are true.
  • Full Fact is another useful fact-checking website.
  • From time to time, muting the news notifications on your phone can create the space you need to clear your mind. This article explains how to do that.