Martin Lewis: ‘I have dark days mental health wise’

Martin Lewis

By Sam Gruet

Business reporter, BBC News

Martin Lewis has opened up about the “horrendous” pressure he feels giving advice on personal finance.

The financial journalist and “Money Saving Expert” told BBC Radio 4’s the Media Show he finds the stress “very difficult to manage”.

“If somebody applies for this [benefit] and it stops another benefit, I wouldn’t sleep at night,” he revealed.

Mr Lewis’s MoneySavingExpert website was sold for ¬£87m in 2012 and he hosts “The Martin Lewis Money Show” on ITV.

The personal finance expert, who received a CBE last year for services to broadcasting and consumer rights, said being seen as a trusted voice was “an incredible compliment”.

But speaking about that pressure and the toll it had taken on his mental health, Mr Lewis said he had “dark days”.

“One of the greatest difficulties is you think, ‘Have I got it right? Have I got it right?” he explained.

“People think I’m incredibly robust because of the way I talk and I come across. Actually, I’m quite a brittle person,” he said. “I’m tired.”

Speaking about managing the stress of his job, Mr Lewis said he takes regular breaks and does breathing exercises and “huge amounts of exercise”.

But despite this, the 51-year-old said he was not a good example of how to deal with stress, and mentioned “periods where I find it very, very difficult to deal with”.

The financial journalist, who also hosts the “The Martin Lewis Podcast” on BBC Radio 5 Live, opened up about the pressure he felt to speak publicly about the war in Gaza.

Mr Lewis, who is Jewish, said calls for him to do so were “bordering anti-Semitic”.

“I have never been asked about political situations in China, or Saudi Arabia, or South America,” he explained.

“I’m British. I’m a British Jew. My parents were born in Britain. All my grandparents were born in Britain. All my great grandparents were born in Britain.

“And yet people somehow felt they could demand that, as a British Jew, I should be talking on a conflict in the Middle East, when I never talk about international affairs.”

In the end Mr Lewis did speak publicly about the conflict, saying he felt obliged to do so “to stop people asking”.

Addressing his silence on the issue on X, formerly Twitter, in early October he said: “Frankly I’ve struggled to process it, and felt the combined guttural fear for relations in Israel, anxiety about possible anti-Semitic backlash here, and grief over the loss of life of beautiful children both Israeli and Palestinian were things I didn’t want to be public about.”

He said that Israel had the right to defend itself, but his heart went out to “innocent civilians in Gaza who will bear a brunt for the actions of Hamas”.

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