“There’s an app for that!” If you want to catch more fish, there’s an app for that. If you want to book a flight, there’s an app for that. If you want help losing weight, there’s an app for that. But did you know that if you want to track your moods and help increase your mental health awareness, there are apps for that too? When used properly, mental health apps can aid in nurturing and caring for your mental health. Following is a list of seven popular mental health apps. Most offer a free (but limited) version; most of the advanced features require either a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription.
Moodkit is a great overall mental health app based on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) principles. There are 200 activities to help boost mood and change negative thinking patterns. The journal feature can be used to track mood, thoughts, and how stress is managed. Moodkit can be purchased for a $4.99 one-time fee (not subscription based).
Evidence has shown that mindful, regulated breathing exercises can be helpful in reducing the body’s response to stress and anxiety. iBreathe is an app for just that purpose. Simple and straightforward, it offers breathing exercises, and the user can set up reminders to help remember to breathe. This is a free app with no fees or subscriptions.
This app uses CBT techniques to reduce worry, panic, social anxiety and phobias.
Features include goal setting tools for accountability, daily check-in to track mood, and guided relaxation and mindfulness meditations. Mindshift CBT is a free app with no fees or subscriptions.
Happify utilizes games for boosting mood, increasing mindfulness, conquering negative thoughts and building self-confidence. Features include progress tracking, reports and unlimited access to games and meditations throughout the app. Happify has a free trial period, then is $14.99/month or $139.99/year.
If sleeplessness is an area of struggle for you, then Calm might be the app for you. Calm uses meditation, as well as story and music recordings, to regulate emotions, ease tension and encourage relaxation for deep sleep. Calm has a seven-day free trial, then is $14.99/month or $69.99/year.
HOW DO I PICK AN APP?
If you were to look at 10 different websites or blog posts, you might get 10 different combinations of “best mental health apps,” as any “best of” list tends to lean subjective. Keep in mind this isn’t a “one size fits all” experience. Each app has its pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, and different price points, so it may take a couple of tries to find the right fit for you. That’s where a free trial might be helpful.
With that said, there are certain situations in which a mental health app should definitely NOT be relied upon. If you are having difficulty managing an addiction or having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, then please seek immediate help from a professional. These apps are not meant to replace the guidance that can only come from mental health professionals.
However, when used in conjunction with therapy from a licensed mental health professional, they can be great tools and support to assist in the process of getting to where you want to be.