I love apps.
The ways people have used smart phones and technology to create so many helpful things continues to amaze me. There really is an app for everything, and believe it or not, I’ve found that there are many quality, helpful mental health apps for those struggling with mental illness or those just wanting to de-stress. The following is a roundup of apps that I personally use and love. I am not being paid for these recommendations, just sharing what I think is awesome!
Also, all of these mental health apps are free! Yay!
SAM is an app for those with anxiety. It provides a variety of self-help exercises to calm down and challenge your anxious thinking. I like that you can pick your favorite exercises to put in your personal anxiety “toolkit” to access when you need it. There is a “social cloud” community section as well, which I have yet to use, but I found all other parts of the app very useful in my own recovery from social anxiety.
This is another app I used frequently when I was still struggling a lot with anxiety. The app is what it sounds like: a way to track your moods and see how they change over time. It’s very simple to use. You choose what word or words describe your current mood, and pick a scale from 1-5 on how well you’re feeling, as well as a note, if you want. It’s helpful for tracking your mental health, bringing along to therapy, or getting an idea of whether a treatment you’re trying is helping.
Stop, Breathe, and Think is a wonderful tool to check in with yourself and pick a guided meditation that’s right for you in that moment. There are meditations for many different moods and at different lengths of time, or you can use the self-meditation timer. It’s a great starting point for anyone intimidated by meditation, as it’s guided, simple, and peaceful. My favorite meditations are “Relax, Ground, and Clear,” “Mindful Breathing,” and “Change.”
I discovered Wysa a couple weeks ago and am so impressed with how helpful it’s been to me already. Wysa is an AI-based cartoon penguin chat bot who draws from popular therapeutic techniques like CBT to coach you through your emotions. It’s like having a little virtual penguin therapist in your pocket. Sound weird? You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how well Wysa communicates and gives practical help for whatever you’re dealing with. It’s also private; no conversations you have with Wysa are shared with anyone else. Definitely not a replacement for real therapy, but what an incredible tool to have!
My Oasis is a super-calming virtual sanctuary to escape to when you need a little break from everything. You could call it a game, but the main focus of the app is the calming environment. Your oasis flourishes with growing trees and plants, new animals, and more as you play. There are no frustrating or stressful events. You simply create your oasis and relax. A little deer gives you occasional encouraging messages. Quiet music plays. Rain falls. Stress? Never heard of it.
For those of us who take medication for our mental illnesses, Mango Health is a must-have. Mango Health gives medication reminders, informs you of possible drug interactions, and helps you keep track of how medication you have left. Plus, there’s potential for earning rewards like gift cards as you consistently take your medication on time! So far, I have only won a couple of free Redbox rentals, but it’s possible to win gift cards to places such as Target and Whole Foods. As always, remember to double-check medication information on the app with your doctor.
Know of any other great mental health apps? Give your recommendations in the comments, and share this post to let others know of these fantastic resources!