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The Top Ten Most Stressful Life Events Revealed

The top ten most stressful life events in the UK have been revealed, with new research finding sitting exams and watching the news to be more stressful for Brits today than starting a new job or having a child.

The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,006 adults in UK between 14.10.2022 – 17.10.2022.

Despite the loss of a family member or friend being named the most stressful life event overall, going through a challenging period financially was revealed to be the most stressful for all age groups under the age of 45, whilst exams and studying topped the list for those under 25.

The survey of 2,000 Brits, conducted by Benenden Health, also found that social media and dating are now considered more stressful than getting married, with advances in technology having a negative impact on the mental wellbeing of the nation.

Meanwhile, fewer than one in five respondents (16%) said that they believe life was more stressful for their parents’ generation, citing increased financial pressures, demands at work and climate change as key reasons for this shift.

According to the research, the top ten most stressful events in our lives today are:


1. The death of a family member or friend
2. Financial challenges
3. Issues at work
4. Change in a relationship
5. Divorce
6. Exams & studying
7. Buying a house
8. Reading/watching the news
9. Having a child
10. Starting a new job

With all of these stressful events taking a toll on the nation’s wellbeing, Benenden Health is calling on Brits to ‘check in’ on their own mental health as well as that of others, not just now but also when faced with any challenging life event.

The call comes as part of the mutual’s ‘Time for a check in’ campaign, launched last month in partnership with Channel 4.

Having spoken in the campaign on mental health, Davina McCall, said: “Like so many people, I have gone through various stages in my life where I have dealt with poor mental health and life is crazy! It is totally understandable for us to be stressed by the challenges we face in our lives.

Whilst we all manage our own mental health differently, the first step of any solution for me, is to acknowledge when I’m feeling stressed or down and try and open up about it. Most of life’s most stressful events are shared by others we love around us, so these difficult periods in our lives don’t need to be faced alone.”

Healthy Lungs
Relaxed woman meditating at workplace, practicing eastern spiritual practices for stress relief and mental health while sitting at desk in front of laptop. Short break in work for strength recovery

Cheryl Lythgoe, Matron at Benenden Health, added: “As life’s challenges change over time, we are seeing a shift in what affects our stress levels, so it is important to recognise and understand when we, and those around us, may be going through a challenging time.

“Stress impacts us all in different ways so identifying our triggers – as well as those of our loved ones – can help to acknowledge and address any mental health challenges when we are faced with stressful situations. Through greater understanding and by checking in more frequently, we can help reduce the impact of our own stress, but also support others at the times that they need it most.”

Benenden Health is on a mission to get everybody talking about and checking in with their health more. Through a Benenden Health membership, individuals can join 820,000+ others who are already checking in with their health through access to physical and mental health services, including 24/7 GP and Mental Health helpline, quick access to diagnosis and treatment and a whole lot more.

Time for a check in

Through their ‘Time for a check in’ campaign, Benenden Health and Channel 4 are on a mission to get everybody talking about and checking in with their health more, with the ultimate aim of improving the nation’s health.

With a Benenden Health membership, individuals can join 820,000+ other members who are already checking in with their health, with access to a GP 24/7, getting back on their feet with Physiotherapy, and taking the time to have that much needed conversation with a dedicated 24/7 Mental Health Helpline.

Benenden Health is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1905 with the purpose of people joining together to help pay for medical care. It is one of the UK’s longest serving and most respected mutual healthcare societies, offering an affordable alternative to health insurance to more than 820,000 members. Further data from the survey is available on request.

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