Apps For Managing Your Mental Health
There once was a time that the only way an individual could get help for their mental health problems was through some form of health professional such as a doctor, psychologist, and so on. Nowadays, mobile technology is rife and there is an app for everything – including mental health. There is a plethora of these apps to help provide some relief when we simply cannot seek help directly, or when we just need a boost on our journey to recovery. Of course, these apps aren’t a substitute for the “real thing”, but they definitely offer some comfort to those who may need it. Here are a few of my personal favourites – even better, they’re are all free to use!
(iOS, Mac, Windows, Web browser)
For an in-depth analysis of your mental health, Optimism is the way to go. Split into several sections, the app allows you to document “Core Data” such as mood, sleep quality and exercise, as well as any “Stay Well Strategies” to check whether the person has tried certain wellbeing methods. An example of this is recording levels of positive thinking and social support. The app also lets you record triggers and the different aspects of your current mood. It then takes all this information and creates a report to correlate your moods with certain other factors that you’ve entered. This is great as it can really help to pinpoint what affects you negatively and what strategies help your mental health.
Great for: Documenting and analysing your mental health patterns
(iOS, Android, Web browser)
A wonderful app that helps you to pinpoint exactly what problem you might be stuck with. Unstuck is not a mental health app exactly, but it can help to focus on areas of your life that you may have been neglecting. Unstuck guides you through a series of questions to help determine your situation, which is helpful in itself. For example, it asks you how you are feeling with a series of picture cards as prompts (for people who have trouble verbalising their feelings on their own, this is wonderful). The app analyses your feelings and gives you one of 11 types of “stuck”, with a couple of celebrity examples who also had these moments (just to make you feel like you’re not alone). It then gives some great tips and ideas to overcome your problem. Unstuck also sends out a weekly email which is packed with advice and tips on getting your life on track.
Great for: Giving you some sort of direction
Stress and Anxiety Companion
Companion is invaluable not only when it comes to challenging your negative thinking, but also as it gives you tools to help manage your negative moods more efficiently. This nifty app offers breathing and mindfulness exercises, as well as brain games– such as practising the 13.5 times table—in an effort to interrupt anxiety and stress, which can be a very handy tool when you are having a panic attack. It also employs some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as it gives you the option to add triggers and the negative thought associated with it, then attempting to help you associate a new, more positive thought with this trigger to unlearn the negative response. This app could be very daunting to use, but the highly approachable layout and the “Explain this” button on every page, which gives the user plenty of information about the exercises used in the app, makes the experience very user-friendly.
Great for: Rewiring your brain’s negative thoughts and managing anxiety
This is a last resort kind of app for when all else fails. It’s simple but reasonably effective and gives the user information about suicide (such as the myths surrounding it, getting help, etc.) and has plenty of links and contacts should the individual need them. Samaritans and Breathing Space phone numbers are present at the bottom of the app regardless of which page you navigate to, making contacting them easy. It’s also handy for those who have loved ones that may be suicidal as there are information pages on how to help/what signs to look out for.
Great for: Information on suicide and hotlines or if you need someone to talk to
There are so many great mental health management apps out on the market, so it’s best to try a handful and see which work for you the best!
If you’ve found a great app we’ve not mentioned, drop a comment below and we’ll check it out.