We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. We also turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or as a reward.

Unfortunately, emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems. It usually makes you feel worse. Afterwards, not only does the original emotional issue remain, but you also feel guilty for overeating.

Learning to recognise your emotional eating triggers is the first step to breaking free from food cravings and compulsive overeating, and changing the habits that have sabotaged your diets in the past.

If you’ve ever made room for dessert even though you’re already full or dove into a pint of ice cream when you’re feeling down, you’ve experienced emotional eating. Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better—eating to fill emotional needs, rather than to fill your stomach.

Using food from time to time as a pick me up, a reward, or to celebrate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when eating is your primary emotional coping mechanism—when your first impulse is to open the refrigerator whenever you’re upset, angry, lonely, stressed, exhausted, or bored—you get stuck in an unhealthy cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed.

Emotional hunger can’t be filled with food. Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. And you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you consumed. You beat yourself for messing up and not having more willpower. Compounding the problem, you stop learning healthier ways to deal with your emotions, you have a harder and harder time controlling your weight, and you feel increasingly powerless over both food and your feelings.

Close

We are currently experiencing issues with our phone lines. We apologise for the inconvenience, and we’re working to resolve this as quickly as possible. To contact us in the meantime, please use the email addresses below.

In light of the current situation, we are making changes to the way we deliver services at the moment. However, please note that all our Psychological Wellbeing services are still open and accepting referrals. One-to-one appointments that would normally be delivered face-to-face will now take place over the phone or through video call. There is no need to call us to confirm – your regular point of contact will call you at the time your appointment was scheduled.

As we are no longer able to hold groups inside, we are running online anxiety and depression groups on Zoom. Further information and bookings can be accessed at: https://www.selfhelpservices.org.uk/new-online-anxiety-and-depression-support-groups/

We have also created an online Peer Support group on Facebook, which can be accessed at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/selfhelppeersupport.

If you’re worried, think you may have symptoms of Coronavirus or want further information, see the latest advice from Public Health England.

Finally, if you’re struggling through self-isolation, please don’t feel alone. There are local community groups being created all over the country, which you can find here. Alternatively, you can call our community centres in your local area, which you can find here.


Contact us

Due to changes in our working practice, in response to the coronavirus, we encourage you to contact us via email and refer yourself online where possible.

Please note, from the week beginning Monday, 23 March, we are not picking up post at our offices. If you have sent post to us at any time this week, please contact the relevant service to ensure that we have received it:

Manchester – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: pws.manchester@selfhelpservices.org.uk or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: www.selfhelpservices.org.uk/Manchester

Stockport – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: stockportpws@selfhelpservices.org.uk or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: www.selfhelpservices.org.uk/Stockport

Cheshire – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: talking.therapies.ec@thebiglifegroup.com or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: https://www.mytalkingtherapies.com/

Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: thinkingahead@thebiglifegroup.com or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: https://www.thebiglifegroup.com/thinkingahead

Tameside and Glossop – Any queries about your referral or bookings please call us on 0161 343 5748 or visit out website to find out more: https://www.thebiglifegroup.com/mindsmatter/

eTherapy Salford and Trafford – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: etherapy.admin@selfhelpservices.org.uk or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: www.selfhelpservices.org.uk/etherapy