The State of Men’s Mental Health Now

RIB EYE AT $20 A POUND. Atmospheric rivers. Wildfires. Mass shootings. Covid surging (again). The politicization of everything. The sheer number of times you have to type in two-factor authentication codes. We’re dealing with a lot. Or maybe we’re not dealing. We decided to check in and see what you have to say. How are you doing, really? We just got the results of our Men’s Health in America survey—taken by a representative sample of 1,512 men throughout the country—to find out whether you’re struggling or secretly Zen. What’s stressing you out, how are you coping, and where do you need a little help? In a world where it’s finally okay to not be okay, you told us where you stand. There’s a lot of anxiety. A lot of depression. But there’s a lot that’s going well, too. See how you’re doing and get inspired to take your own mental health to a place where it can help you get what you want out of life.

so how are we doing

WE’RE ANXIOUS. YOU said you feel anxious a lot of the time, about a lot of things. And yes, there’s plenty to be anxious about, and yes, some anxiety is healthy. “But if you’re unable to distract yourself from your symptoms—like worrying, angst, or tension—and you’re unable to pivot or calm yourself down, that’s a sign that anxiety is a problem,” says psychiatrist Tracey Marks, M.D., author of Why Am I So Anxious?

59 percent of men say theyve been anxious for at least several days in the past two weeks
40 percent

are most anxious about MONEY
35 percent

about their PERSONAL LIFE
12 percent

about WORK
10 percent


Everyone can help their anxiety by understanding more about it. “Anxious thoughts are like shirts in your closet,” says therapist Kier Gaines. “You can observe them without wearing them.”

His tips for lowering these feelings:

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Do you greet it with guilt or embarrassment? Do you regret the way your brain works?

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Try less “I hate that I think this way” and more “I wonder what made me think like this?”

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It’s important that we separate who we are from what we feel. You are not an anxious person. You are a person who experiences anxiety. That’s not just semantics–words and thoughts heavily shape identity.

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WHILE THAT DOESN’T necessarily point to major depressive disorder, it’s still an important signal. Talk with a mental-health-care provider or someone you’re close to and invest in healthy-mind strategies such as meditating, eating and sleeping better, and moving more, says MH psychiatry advisor Gregory Scott Brown, M.D.

Keep in mind that depression is not always about being sad. These surprising symptoms can point to depression, too: Irritability, loss of appetite or overeating, loss of interest in hobbies, isolating yourself from others, and having a decreased interest in sex.

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whats going well

NINETY-FIVE PERCENT OF men surveyed say that mental health is just as important as—if not more important than—physical health. The older the guys, the more likely they are to make mental health a priority.

Congrats, You’re Taking Action

67 percent of you do something to take care of your mental health
83 percent say their mental health is either the same as or better than it was before the pandemic

In the middle of a loneliness epidemic, “alone time” as a top strategy is surprising, says Dr. Brown. “But I get it. Alone time allows men to reconnect with themselves and take time for self-care.”

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Also Congrats: You’re Down for Experimenting to Feel Good…

5 percent have taken ketamine or psychedelics

“The number is exciting but not surprising,” says MH psychiatry advisor Drew Ramsey, M.D. An estimated 3 million people have treatment-resistant depression, he says, “and they’re eager for something that’s going to work.” If you’re interested in a psychedelic, make sure you get properly screened beforehand and experience it somewhere with trained pros to help you through.

33 percent take vitamins or supplements

This is not necessarily so great. “It’s concerning to see the number of people who turn to a quick fix or supplement to take care of the most complex and nuanced organ in your body, which is your brain,” says Dr. Ramsey. Nutrients from supplements can help relieve depressive symptoms, but those from real food will get you further.

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what to do now 4 strategies

SO NOW THAT you know where you’re doing well and where you could be doing better, use these four strategies to level up your mental health:

When we asked why you aren’t taking care of your mental health:

37 percent

of you say you DON’T KNOW where to start
36 percent

23 percent

say TIME

Dr. Marks says that caring for your mind isn’t always about adding more to your life. Sometimes you need to subtract. Unburden your mind by reducing how much you’re multitasking. Just do what’s required for that moment and stop spinning about what you need to do next.

It’s time to bust the myth that you have to spend a lot of time or money to be mentally healthy. There’s science behind self-care strategies, Dr. Brown explains. “Focusing on your breath, eating well, exercising, and practicing smart sleep habits all improve your mental health without upsetting your budget,” he says.

nearly 50 percent

only about 27 percent

of guys ages 30 to 39 SAY THE SAME.
more than 85 percent


That’s great, but you’ve got to talk to them. “Men go through a ton of life changes and challenging experiences. Those feelings need somewhere to go, and it helps if they land in the hands of other men you trust and have similar lived experiences to,” says Gaines. You don’t have to choose someone chatty. Gaines points out that “many people don’t need a response, just an ear. You’ll be surprised at how many people talk through their feelings and land at the shores of an actionable solution.”

Seven to nine hours is recommended, but half of white and Asian men do not get enough sleep and over half of Black, Hispanic, and Latino men do not get enough sleep. Here’s how to change that.

When we asked what mental-health habit you wanted to start, getting adequate sleep was right at the top (along with exercising regularly). Smart, since only 43 percent of you get the recommended seven to nine hours of z’s. “You cannot be of a sound mental state and shortchange your sleep,” says MH sleep advisor W. Christopher Winter, M.D.

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“It takes effort and intention to plan for a bedtime,” says Dr. Marks. “It’s important to see sleep as a block of time we have to take, not just something we do when we’re done with everything else.” Decide on a time. Prioritize it. “I’ve even had patients set alarms or put timers on their lights to go off at bedtime so they don’t lose track of time,” Dr. Winter says.

29 percent of you take prescription meds for your mental health mostly for anxiety and or depression

It’s important to know that short-acting anxiety meds (benzodiazepines like Xanax and Ativan) can be helpful for extreme anxiety (e.g., many panic attacks in a day). But sometimes they make anxiety worse, and it can be difficult to get off them. Antidepressants are often a better first choice

27 percent of you use alcohol to manage mental health and
28 percent use marijuana

Among the problems with alcohol: Your body produces serotonin after a few drinks (antidepressant!) but also may produce less when you’re sober. And cannabis is tricky. Some research suggests strains with low concentrations of THC might improve anxiety. High THC (more than 10 percent) can worsen it for some people.

Methodology: Men’s Health conducted this survey of 1,512 men in the United States. The sample was census balanced for age, region, ethnicity, and income. The data-collection period spanned from June 21 to July 11, 2023. The margin of error for this survey is ±3% at a 95% confidence level. The survey was distributed to individuals using SurveyMonkey, Inc., San Mateo, California.

Headshot of Milan Polk

Milan Polk is an Editorial Assistant for Men’s Health who specializes in entertainment and lifestyle reporting, and has worked for New York Magazine’s Vulture and Chicago Tribune.

Headshot of Marty Munson

Marty Munson, currently the health director of Men’s Health, has been a health editor at properties including Marie Claire, Prevention, Shape and RealAge. She’s also certified as a swim and triathlon coach.

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