May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The past year has been extremely difficult, and not just because of the pandemic. Many people are experiencing “burnout,” or a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by things like excessive and prolonged stress. This can also occur when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
Nearly one in five United States adults live with some type of mental illness. In response to mental health issues, treatment like medication and therapy can be expensive, especially if you do not have insurance. This is exactly why it is so exciting that there are plenty of mental health-related mobile apps available for download. Taking steps towards better mental health does not have to be overwhelming or expensive anymore.
Check out these six mobile apps that aim to help users with their mental health.
This mental health app is recommended for those who suffer from anxiety. It is targeted towards teens and young adults, but anyone can use it. MindShift stresses the importance of changing how you think about anxiety, instead of dwelling on your thoughts and emotions and becoming overwhelmed. Think of MindShift as the cheerleader in your pocket, encouraging you to take charge of your life, ride out intense emotions, and face challenging situations. (Free: iOS and Android)
If you are someone who wants to stop an addiction, this is the app for you. Quit That! is a free app that helps users beat their habits or addictions. Whether you’re looking to stop drinking alcohol, quit smoking, or stop using drugs, it’s a recovery tool to track and monitor your progress. Track as many habits as you want and find out how many minutes, hours, days, weeks, or years it’s been since you quit. Looking back at the progress you’ve made is a great way to remind yourself of how far you’ve come. (Free: iOS)
eMoods is a mood-tracking app designed specifically for people with bipolar disorder, but like all of the other apps on this list, anyone can use it. Mood tracking is a great way to understand your own body in a different way. Throughout the day, users can track symptoms, elevated moods and irritability, and give an indication of the severity of their symptoms. Users can then see their mood changes on a color-coded monthly calendar and even export a monthly summary report to identify specific triggers and better understand their fluctuating mood. (Free: iOS and Android)
If you are looking to add some more joy to your life, check out Happify. With its psychologist-approved mood-training program, the Happify app is your fast-track to a good mood. When you download the app you can try out various engaging games, activity suggestions, gratitude prompts and more to train your brain as if it were a muscle to overcome negative thoughts. This app works best if you keep up with it as part of your daily routine. (Free: iOS and Android)
Recovery Record is a great app for anyone recovering from an eating disorder and wanting to develop a more positive body image. Users can keep a record of the meals they eat and how they make them feel using the app and complete questionnaires that’ll help track progress over time. One user calls Recovery Record a “remarkable recovery tool” that “helps me stick to my meal plan, provides an outlet to vent about my food concerns and helps me stay intact with my body to work with it rather than against it.” (Free: iOS and Android)
notOK is a free app developed by a teenager (and her teen brother) for other teenagers. The app features a large, red button that can be activated to let close friends, family and their support network know help is needed. Users can add up to five trusted contacts as part of their support group so when they hit the digital panic button, a message along with their current GPS location is sent to their contacts. The message reads: “Hey, I’m not OK! Please call, text, or come find me.” (Free: iOS and Android)
There are so many potential benefits to using mental health apps besides them just being free! For example, they can be used as extra support, accurately track symptoms through data, and increase a patient’s awareness of their symptoms and why they are feeling the way they do. Therapy is an amazing tool, but not everyone has the time or money to go to therapy every day. Mental health apps are on the rise because of their convenience.
If you want to explore even more apps that are available, even some that are not free, click here.