Emotions and mental health

Talk to us

It is common to have many different emotions when you are told you have cancer. These can be difficult to cope with. Partners, family and friends may also have some of the same feelings.

Talking about cancer can be tough. If you are struggling with your emotions and how cancer has affected you, you can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.

You can also contact us by:

We can also help if you:

  • Would prefer to speak to us in another language
  • Are calling from outside the UK
  • Are deaf or hard of hearing.

Visit the Macmillan Support Line page for more information.

Connect with others in our Online Community

If you would like to chat online with people going through a similar experience, you can join our Online Community.

Health professionals, trained volunteers and Macmillan staff in the Online Community can give you advice and tips to help you.

You can also:

Services you may find helpful

Macmillan Telephone Buddies

Living with cancer can be an isolating experience at any time. Our free Telephone Buddy service gives you a weekly call from one of our trained Telephone Buddies.

Your volunteer buddy will be a listening ear, ready to talk about how you’re feeling and support your needs during this difficult time.

Email support from diagnosis

If you sign up to receive regular trusted emails from us when you are diagnosed with cancer, we can:

  • offer you personalised information and support when you need it
  • help you cope with the health, money and emotional impacts cancer can bring
  • help you understand your diagnosis so you can ask the right questions about your treatment
  • give you up-to-date information about coronavirus (COVID-19) and cancer.

Find out more and sign up.

SafeFit - well-being service

SafeFit is a free remote trial for anyone in the UK worried about or diagnosed with cancer. You will be put in contact with a cancer exercise specialist who will help you during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

They offer advice, support and resources to maintain and improve physical and emotional well-being.

This includes information about preparing for and going through cancer treatment.

SafeFit is designed to:

  • provide you with exercise advice that you can do safely at home based on your needs 
  • help you find different and new ways to keep active and eat healthily
  • improve your overall well-being.

Find out more.

Macmillan information and support centres

You may find it helpful to visit one of our support centres. Our team of experts are there to listen to you, give advice and answer any questions you may have about cancer.

Macmillan information and support centres are located across the UK. They are free to use and you do not need to book an appointment to visit.

Local support groups

Local support groups are based in communities all over the UK. If you are living with cancer, they offer a safe and supportive environment for you to talk about how you are feeling.

Each group is unique, but they all include people who have been affected by cancer. There are more than 900 groups across the country. You can find your nearest one by using the in your area search.

Apps for managing anxiety

My Possible Self

My Possible Self app features 10 interactive self-help modules which help people learn the skills they need to manage feelings of stress, anxiety and low mood.

My Possible Self is available from:

It is suitable for anyone aged 18 or over who is experiencing stress and anxiety.

The app is currently free during the coronavirus pandemic. When this offer ends it will continue to be free to access the basic service, and £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year to access the full service.

Stress and anxiety companion

The Stress and Anxiety Companion app is for people experiencing mild to moderate anxiety or stress. The app is not a cancer-specific service, but may benefit a person living with cancer.

The basic service is free, and a yearly subscription for the full-service costs £12.99.

The app is available to download from:


The Cove app helps people to improve their emotional and mental health by encouraging self-expression through expressive therapy. The app can be used at any time, but it is most helpful when someone is finding it difficult to express themselves through talking or writing.

It is not a cancer-specific service, but people living with cancer may benefit from using it.

This app is approved by the NHS and features in the NHS Apps Library.

The Cove app is a free service available from the App Store.

Be Mindful - online course

Be Mindful can be used by anyone aged 16 years or older who wants to improve their mental health and enjoy the benefits of practising mindfulness. It is suitable for all, including beginners or people who have tried mindfulness before.

There is a one-off £30 fee for lifetime access to Be Mindful. If you find the service is not right for you during your first week, you can claim a full refund.

You can sign up on the Be Mindful website.

Information and resources

How are you feeling? The emotional effects of cancer booklet

Download our booklet or order a physical copy.

More from our website

Related Stories & Media

Other ways to find emotional support

  • You can contact Mind or find resources to help on the Mind website.
  • You can contact Samaritans to talk about how you might be feeling.
  • You can also find information about private therapists, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), or counselling on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) website.
  • You can visit the Look Good Feel Better website for online workshops covering skincare and make-up, grooming, hair loss, haircare, wig advice and nail care. They help boost the physical and emotional well-being of people living with cancer.