We are presented with difficult situations throughout our entire lives, and sometimes we need a little extra help. While seeing a therapist is a great way to help you deal with life's hardest moments it's not exactly cheap, making it really difficult to improve your mental health or deal with mental illness. Luckily, many developers have created apps to help people deal with various mental health issues so people can easily access tools to help them heal. After browsing the App Store, I've come up with a list of mental health apps that aren't only helpful, but completely free!
1. Wake Up Rosie (iPhone Only).
Although it's an alarm app, Wake Up Rosie is a great way to start your morning. This app allows you to set a refreshingly pleasant tune to wake up to. The alarm doesn't only wake you up, it will also display a positive, motivational quote or image. You can also set the app to surprise you with a little pick-me-up during the day when you know you might be feeling the midday blues.
Happify is an app that allows you to set your own goals based on what aspects of your mental health you want to focus on. This app has a plethora of tracks that you can choose, so you can do what you think is best for your and your mental health journey.
Headspace is an app the focuses on meditation. For many, meditation is a great way to ease depression and anxiety. If you don't know how to get started in mediation, Headspace has a wide variety of guided meditations that are different lengths of time, so there is something for everyone!
4. Recovery Record.
Recovery Record is an app specifically for those struggling with an eating disorder. While the app does have you log every meal, it doesn’t track any nutritional value at all. Instead, the app focuses on how your meal made you feel and if you experienced any signs of an eating disorder. After completing your log, the app takes you to a page with words of encouragement, a coping skill suggestion, along with an inspiring quote or a photo of an adorable animal.
5. What's Up?
What’s Up is an app designed to help you no matter where you are. The app contains information on various mental issues, and techniques you can use at that very moment to calm anxiety, intrusive thoughts, or depression. There is also a section where you're able to journal, making it a great app for people constantly on the go.
MindShift is a great mental health app because it offers trips and coping strategy for almost anything you can think of. Instead of tackling general anxiety, you can confront anxiety you get surrounding tests or from being in social situations. The app is meant to give your suggestions on how to change your way of thinking to improve your mood and mental health.
Pacifica is a self-help app for anxiety that focuses on long-term use. It uses the basic ideas of cognitive behavioral therapy to help people manage stress over time. On the app, you set mental health goals, track your mood, physical fitness, and sleep. When you track your mental health through Pacifica long term to see what changes you can make to reduce anxiety and improve your overall mental health.
8. Relax Melodies.
Relax Melodies is essentially a digital soundboard featuring peaceful and relaxing sounds. If you find that you need to take a moment in between projects and relax, or you are having trouble relaxing before you fall asleep, turning on this app can be incredibly helpful. It has six pages of sounds ranging from rainfall to cats purring. The app also contains isochronic tones and binaural beats, which are specific tones that sync with your brainwaves and have been found to help people reach a specific goal whether it be deep sleep, relaxation, or concentration.
Adult coloring books have seem to exploded in popularity recently, because many seem to find that is helps them relax. Colorfly has numerous coloring pages that you can color on the fly. Simply choose a color and tap the spaces you want to appear that color. It’s so easy and you don’t get the hand cramps that come with traditional coloring books.
10. Optimism (iPhone Only).
Optimism is a series of mood trackers that can help you identify particular stressors, triggers, or activities that could be causing your mood to change. Within the app you rate your mood, log caffeine intake, log how much sleep you get, if you took your medication, and learn general symptoms of various mental health issues.The theory behind this app is to track your mood through this app over time to be able to see how different activities can positively or negatively affect your mood.
11. PTSD Coach.
This app was originally intended for army veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but it could potentially help anyone struggling with this difficult mental illness. Through the app you are given the opportunity set up information for friends or loved ones that can be contacted in times of stress, create an album pictures you find comforting, as well as make a list of songs that help you feel relaxed or optimistic. The app also helps you assess your symptoms, and use tools that offer a way to cope depending on the symptom of PTSD you’re currently experiencing.
12. Reach Out.
Reach out is an app that was created with veterans in mind, specifically those who are experiencing thoughts of suicide. The app offers a way to set up contacts you would want to reach in an emergency, motivational videos to help you feel like you aren’t alone, activity suggestions to keep you engaged with people you care about and who care about you in return. This app could potentially save your life.
13. Crisis Text Line.
While Crisis Text Line is not an app, it is a crucial tool that is available right at your fingertips. If you ever feel like you need immediate support, you can just text START to 741741 and talk to somebody for free. No matter what you are dealing with, you don’t have to deal with it alone.
Regardless of what you may be struggling with, you do not have to suffer silently or alone. These apps are just a download away between you and the happiness you deserve.