Eco-anxiety resources

Eco-anxiety are the emotions that we experience in response to ecological crises. Naturally, these emotions are mostly negative – such as anger, guilt, sadness, worry, feeling of helplessness or confusion. They can however also turn into something more positive – this could be the desire to do something, climate activism, a sense of community or a feeling of joy after a new scientific breakthrough to help tackle climate change is made.

Researchers in the area of sustainability across many different disciplines can especially struggle with eco-anxiety and climate change anxiety in various ways and forms. A recent survey we conducted among the Grantham Scholars has shown that this is indeed the case.

Therefore we have put together some resources here that can help anyone experiencing eco-anxiety cope with these feelings – whether it is by doing some further reading, employing some techniques on how to battle the anxiety, or simply just knowing that you’re not alone in this.

In November 2023 we also organised a workshop on eco-anxiety led by The Rest of Activism which the attendees reported to be very helpful.

We will be continuously adding more resources to this page – and please always feel free to submit your own ideas to add here by emailing Jana at j.green@sheffield.ac.uk.

Online resources

Climate Psychology Alliance
CPA provide support to individuals and groups struggling with eco-distress and offer safe spaces to share emotions surrounding the climate crisis. This includes ‘Climate Cafés’ – a simple, hospitable, empathetic space where fears & uncertainties about our climate & ecological crisis can be safely expressed. They are held online three times per month on the pay-what-you-can basis.

The Rest of Activism
Website with a number of resources, blogs and courses designed for burnout prevention and recovery for climate activists.

Climate Psychology OpenLearn course
This free online course by the Open University introduces the emerging field of Climate Psychology to gain a deeper understanding of the climate and ecological crisis, its impact on our wellbeing and how to build psychological resilience.

Climate Cares Centre
Climate Cares at Imperial College London is a team of researchers, designers, policy experts and educators working to understand and support mental health in the current climate and ecological crises.

Connecting Climate Minds
Connecting Climate Minds is working to foster connections between people all over the world to come together to understand and respond to the deep interconnections between climate change and mental health.

The Resilience Project
A youth-led organisation focusing on eco-anxiety support for young changemakers. The project was created to enable other young people concerned about climate to find their peace, their power and their people.

Earthrise
Media company focusing on stories that harness both urgency and optimism – in a delicate balance – resisting the pull of climate doom. You can follow them on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.

Generation Dread
Blog and newsletter providing tools for how to cope with our dangerous climate reality and cultivate resilience in these times.

EcoReactEU 
EcoReactEU aims to ensure the skills development of youth workers and the entire European educational community, to promote the integration of eco-anxiety in their practices with young people and thus offer a first educational response to it. 

Articles, papers and interviews

Eco-anxiety: What it is and why it matters
Analysing a broad range of studies through the use of methods from philosophy, emotion theory, and interdisciplinary environmental studies, the authors show how looking to work on anxiety in general can help researchers build better models of eco-anxiety in particular.

Eco-Anxiety and Pastoral Care
This article studies the challenge of eco-anxiety for pastoral care, drawing from both interdisciplinary research and ecological theology. The aim is to help both practitioners and researchers to encounter eco-anxiety more constructively.

‘Eco-anxiety’: fear of environmental doom weighs on young people
Article at The Guardian explaining what eco-anxiety means and presenting some data of recent surveys on this topic among young people.

Charlie Hertzog Young on the dangers of activism – and staying sane on a dying planet
Article at The Guardian about the life of the ‘British Greta Thunberg’ and the toll that the climate crisis can take on a person’s mental health. Here you can also read an interview with Charlie by Britt Wray. 

How to take breaks from the climate crisis without living in denial
Dr Panu Pihkala’s visual model for how a person moves mentally and emotionally from climate denial (whether soft or outright) into true acceptance of our alarming and difficult reality.

The Case for Reckless Climate Optimism
An essay by Chinelo Onwualu about the pessimism trap and how the author is battling it.

Podcasts

Climate Change and Happiness
For people around the globe who are thinking deeply about the personal side of climate change, particularly their emotional responses and their feelings.

Books (both fiction and non-fiction)

Not the End of the World
By Hannah Ritchie

‘Spinning Out: Climate Change, Mental Health and Fighting for a Better Future’
By Charlie Hertzog Young

The Overstory
By Richard Powers

‘Islands of Abandonment’
By Cal Flyn

‘Bewilderment’ 
By Richard Powers

‘METEOTOPIA: Futures of Climate (In)Justice’

‘Record of a Spaceborn Few’
By Becky Chambers

Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Anxiety
By Britt Wray

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For suggestions on resources to add here, please contact Jana at j.green@sheffield.ac.uk.