Updated: Feb 8
Anyone that knows me knows I love technology. These days we’re all pretty connected to our phones so why not put them to use helping us with our mental health? I’ve found a handful of apps that are useful to help manage a variety of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks. With no further ado and in no particular order I present to you my list of awesome apps.
1. Woebot: I love woebot! It’s a great way to help challenge negative, anxious and depressed thoughts. It’s also a really nice way to identify issues you’re struggling with to bring up with your therapist next session. Woebot is evidenced based and has a lot of good educational tools available. I played with woebot for a couple of months and I was really impressed with it. Best of all, woebot is free!
From the website https://www.woebot.io/ :
Think through situations with step-by-step guidance from Woebot using methods from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Learn about yourself with intelligent mood tracking
Get over 100+ evidence-based lessons, exercises, and stories from our clinical team
2. CalmKeeper: I haven’t played with this one nearly as much, but I still like it. It has a bunch guided tools to help you lower your anxiety and ride out panic attacks. These include a couple of tools which help ground and distract you from anxious thoughts. A breathing section to help you focus on and slow down your breathing. It’s a simple app but it has effective tools to help you lower your anxiety levels. At $4.99 CalmKeeper isn’t for everyone but it’s a useful tool.
Here’s the website: https://calmkeeperapp.com/
3. Headspace: Being a student of Zen Buddhism and someone who regularly attends meditation retreats (called sesshins), meditation and mindfulness are a big topic of conversation with clients. A consistent meditation practice can help put some distance between you and your negative emotions. It can also lower your anxiety levels as well as your blood pressure! Consistency is key however and sometimes we need a helping hand when it comes to meditation. That’s where Headspace comes in. Headspace provides tons of themed, guided meditations. This is another app that I’ve only played around with a few times. Honestly, guided meditations aren’t really my thing, but I’ve had lots of clients tell me that they’re super useful and that’s all that matters. I *think* this is one of those apps where you can use some of it for free or pay for an upgraded version, but it’s been a few years since I checked it out.
Here’s the website: https://www.headspace.com/
4. Enso: This is a simple little app. When I first started meditating I had all kinds of trouble with setting a timer. I used my phone for a bit, but the alarm was alarming to say the least. I tried an egg timer but it was jarring. Finally I stumbled across Enso. You pick how long you want to meditate and it gives you a beginning and ending bell with an option for a bell to mark your halfway point. Sweet, simple and effective. This is another app that’s free but you can spend a couple bucks to get different tones. It also lets you know how many days in a row you’ve used the app which is useful if keeping a streaks alive motivates you.
Here’s the link to the website: http://ensomeditationtimer.com/
Do you have an app that you find useful to help mange anxiety or depression or another mental health issue you’re struggling with? I’d love to hear about it!
Please remember, none of these apps are a substitution for professional help.
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