One in 20 people described 2009 as their worst year ever and almost half said they were most worried about money or debt, a survey showed today.
The Samaritans urged people not to let their concerns spiral out of control after a further 18% of those polled said the previous 12 months had been bad for them.
The poll of more than 2,000 people also found problems in relationships with family and friends (35%), physical health concerns (32%), fears over job security (24%) and workplace stress (24%) made up the top five of the UK's biggest worries.
Just 18% said they thought it had been a good year.
Samaritans chief executive Catherine Johnstone says: "In the last year, we received five million calls and many of them were about the worries identified in this survey, with approximately one in every ten calls linked to financial stress.
"If people don't talk about their problems, they can build up over time and spiral into more serious emotional distress.
"Sharing your troubles can be a huge relief and is often the first step to finding a way of coping with the challenges that life throws at all of us."
The survey also found loneliness was one of the top worries for 21% of young people aged 18-24, compared with only 8% of people aged 55 and over.
Further reading/Key links
Sort your finances: Money Makeover
Get help: Debt problems