Have you ever been out in public and start to have anxiety or even a panic attack? Or you’re having one of ‘those days’ where you’re just feeling down? Luckily, today we live in a society where technology is continually advancing and improving. With that being said, there are pretty much apps for everything and anything you can think of. Putting all social media platforms aside (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), I’m going to be talking about different apps that you can use or try out that may help with mental health.
Disclaimer: this is only my personal opinion. Some of these apps may or may not work for you. My recommendation is that if it doesn’t work for you, explore and try out others until you find one that does!
Also, these apps are not meant to take place over a health care professional. Please seek medical attention if needed.
#1: Moods: Tracking For Better Mental Health
This app is exactly what it’s title says; it tracks your mood and monitor any changes. It asks you questions about how you’re feeling that particular time or day. For example, it asks: How do you feel? With these possible answers: good, okay, or bad. You can click on different words and emojis that relate to how you’re feeling, and there you have it – your mood for the day or moment has been logged. However, I do like that the app also has a section that says “notes.” This allows the person to add in any extras as to how their day went and if their mood has changed. Or even if there was something particular that happened that they may want to document. It reminds me of a portable journal – writing how you feel and allowing the person to freely express what they want. I’ve always loved the power of journaling.
I would say this app is for those who maybe are starting to feel their mood change/fluctuate and want to keep any eye on it. Or for those who already have been diagnosed with a mental illness and want to monitor their mood changes/fluctuations.
This app is primarily used for anxiety. It’s designed to help people learn techniques to help them relax, develop more helpful ways of thinking, and ways to actively take charge of their anxiety. It focuses on everyday anxiety as well as; test anxiety, perfectionism, social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry, panic, and/or conflict.
So I would say give this app a try if you experience anxiety.
#3: Sleep Better
This app focuses on one’s sleeping pattern and quality of sleep. It comes with different alarm sounds, teaching tools on what activities during the day can affect one’s sleep quality, and how dreams can play apart of our quality of sleep. The app allows you to add-in (or click) anything that happened within one’s day to affect their quality of sleep – particularly: exercise, caffeine, stress, not sleeping in their own bed, etc.
I would recommend those who’ve been having or have difficulty with their sleep to try out this app to monitor thier sleeping habits. As well, they can track any discrepancies throughout their day that may be affecting their quality (and quanitity) of sleep.
#4: Code Blue
I came across this app while researching for this post. Although the title suggests that it would be used for CPR, it’s actually aimed for teens to help them when they are being bullied or who suffer from depression. By the tapping of a button, an immediate alert is sent to pre-selected support members who then can provide the person with the help that they require.
Being an adovate for those who have been bullied and those who have a mental illness, this app made me smile when I first was reading up on it. I know it can be challenging for people to speak up about being bullied or having a mental illness, especially teens. With social media and the stigmatization surrounding it, it’s no wonder people often are afraid to. This is app is good because it provides those who may be too scared to speak up with the support they may require from a third party.
#5 PTSD Coach
PTSD Coach is “intended for use by veterans, military personnel, and civilians experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.” This app allows the person to track their symptoms over a period of time and also provides tools to help manage their symptoms.
This is a mood charting app for those who suffer from depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, and/or PTSD. This app provides tools and strategies for managing symptoms of these (and other mental health conditions). It provides information on possible ‘triggers’ of a decline in one’s mental health. It also helps in recognizing early warning signs of a decline in mental health.
This app was developed by mental health nurses to offer alternatives to deliberate self harm. However, it should be noted that this app comes with a fee of $3.49.
Meditation has always been vital to me when I first started my recovery – it was a way for me to take just a few minutes to myself to calm and bring myself back to the present. This app helps you maintain a daily meditation practice. It times your sittings, tracks your mediation practice in graphical form, and provides a journaling space for notes during each sitting.
This app provides information on stress management and exercises to help alleviate stress, as well as providing information on how stress affects the body. The main exercise this app focuses on is called diaphragmatic breathing – to help reduce the “fight-or-flight” response experienced during stress.
#10: Calm – Meditate, Sleep, Relax, Breathe.
This app is the first app I discovered when I started meditation. This app provides many differnet tools; 7 guided meditation sessions (ranging from 2-30 minutes), 7 days of calm (basics of mindfulness meditation), 10 immersive nature scenes (background sounds and scene to help relax), and more.
When I use this app, I typically use the guided meditation. And, depending on my mood, I meditate for about 5-10 minutes. This app can also be found online at: www.calm.com.
Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.