How to Stop "Doom Scrolling"

Since the pandemic started, have you ever caught yourself bingeing on bad news? As in, scrolling endlessly on Twitter or Facebook, reading article after article about covid cases rising and the economy falling. It’s called doom scrolling. Unfortunately, it’s become a real problem for many folks recently, since there’s no shortage of doomsday news. Doom scrolling is caused partly by our survival instinct: we’re programmed to pay attention to danger. Of course, you can’t (and shouldn’t) avoid the news entirely. But there’s an important distinction between staying informed and getting fixated. When you’re doom scrolling, all the screen time and negative emotion can stress you out, interfere with your sleep, and potentially exacerbate anxiety and depression. That’s why we recommend you set healthy boundaries around your news consumption. Consider these strategies:

  • Give yourself a set amount of time to read the news and check social media each day (e.g., 30 minutes).

  • Limit your consumption in the early morning and evening. You don’t want to start the day with a bad mood, or get worked up right before bedtime.

  • Set time limits on specific apps that encourage you to go down the rabbit hole.

  • Turn off notifications for social media and news apps. This way, you open the app when you want to, not when you’re prompted.

  • Follow more pages with content that makes you laugh and smile, like comedians, funny dog/cat videos, or your favorite shows. The more pages you follow, the more happy content will be peppered into your feed.