The news is chaotic. Here’s how to cope.

University of Michigan media psychologist Dr. Kristen Harrison talks about how to deal with the frightening news that we can’t control.

Photo by Leonhard Lenz via Wiki Commons.

The daily news cycle in 2022 can be scary. While we see terrifying images of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, new climate change reports suggest Earth will continue to become less habitable for humans and other forms of life unless we take drastic action now.

Beyond that, we’ve experienced increasing political violence in America and we’ve gone through two years of a deadly pandemic.

“One thing to do is remember that they are bidding for your attention…they profit from your attention.” – Dr. Kristen Harrison, University of Michigan media psychologist

With all of this in mind, how should we protect our mental health while still staying informed?

Listen: University of Michigan media psychologist Dr. Kristen Harrison gives tips about how to stay sane amid the scary news cycle.



Dr. Kristen Harrison is a University of Michigan professor and media psychologist. 

“The important thing to remember is we become good at what we practice,” says Harrison, noting that we shouldn’t be “practicing fear” by having the news on all the time.

“One thing to do is remember that they are bidding for your attention,” she said, adding that “they profit from your attention.”

Harrison adds one more piece of advice for people who are struggling to cope with the news cycle. She says “Are you watching the news before bed? Don’t watch the news before bed.”

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  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.