Many Americans Are Resolving to Boost Their Mental Health in 2024

By   |  December 26, 2023

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter  |  Copyright © 2023 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

 TUESDAY, Dec. 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Three-quarters of Americans plan to start the New Year with a resolution to be more healthy, including 28% who want to focus on improving their mental health, a new survey has found.

These folks plan to exercise more (67%), meditate (49%), keep a diary (26%), or see a therapist (35%) or psychiatrist (21%), according to the results of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Healthy Minds monthly poll.

“Many see the new year as a time for a new chance, or to try something different, which is great,” said APA President Dr. Petros Levounis.

“At the same time, in mental health -- just like physical health -- maintenance and care matter,” Levounis added in an APA news release. “Preserve your healthy routines, maintain your relationships with loved ones and take good care of yourself, as well as the people around you.”

Age played a part in how likely someone was to focus on improving their mental health.

More than two in five (44%) young adults ages 18-34 plan to take on a New Year’s resolution related to mental health, compared to just 7% of seniors, the poll found.

Other popular resolutions that could contribute to better mental health include focusing more on spirituality (40%), cutting back on social media (31%) or using a mental health app (21%), poll results show.

About 6% chose “forest bathing” -- immersing oneself in natural green spaces -- as their mental health resolution.

Other popular resolutions highlighted by poll participants include:

  • Physical fitness (39%)

  • Finances (34%)

  • Diet (26%)

  • Social/relationships (22%)

  • Traveling (21%)

  • Hobbies/skill-based (18%)

  • Organization/decluttering (15%)

  • Professional/career (13%)

  • Giving/volunteering (12%)

“Taking care of your mental health doesn’t need to be tied to a holiday—any of us can take any of these steps any time,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Dr. Saul Levin. “That said, the change in year is a terrific excuse to try something new to care for your mental health.”

This year’s poll was conducted in early December among more than 2,000 adults.

More information

The National Alliance on Mental Health has more suggestions for mental health resolutions.

SOURCE: American Psychiatric Association, news release, Dec. 19, 2023