The inventions of apps means we now have mental health tools right in our pockets. Keeping track of your mood, finding ways to cope and monitoring your mental processes are all activities that might sound like a slog, but the majesty of modern technology means they can be fun too
Here are 5 apps that can really help make a difference when it comes to your mental health:
Daylio - Daylio's principle is simple. At the end of each day the app asks you to input how your day was on a scale from "awful" to "rad." You can also input the activities your day was filled with, be it work, hanging out with friends, or sleeping in. Though the process sounds obvious, it's incredibly helpful for noticing patterns of behaviour that may be inadvertently impacting your mood. You may notice that any day you don't have a "good meal" you feel worse, or days where you spend time with friends your entire day is impacted for the better. Android and coming soon to IOS.
Headspace - This straight-forward app is like a "gym membership for your mind." While the app itself is free, after a 10 day trial you can choose to pay to subscribe. This unlocks a plethora of guided meditations and mindfulness sessions as well is S.O.S snippets for those moments when it feels like the walls are closing in on you and you need a quick guide for getting out of an anxiety swamp. Android, IOS and Amazon
MoodTools - Designed in collaboration with mental health professionals, MoodTools is a free app designed to help a user identify symptoms of manic or depressive episodes as well as a questionnaire to track the severity of your moods over time. It contains a thought diary, special activities based on Behavioural Action Therapy, a safety plan full of resources for a crisis, as well as a library of videos to improve mood from guided meditations to ultimate #inspo TED talks. Available for Android and IOS.
SAM - Short for self-help anxiety management, SAM was developed by psychologists at the University of West England, students and computer scientists to create an engaging and practical mental health resource. SAM's standout feature is it's 'Anxiety Toolkit' which users curate as their own collection of SAM resources that they find helpful for managing situations that are associated with anxiety. SAM also offers a closed social network of fellow users. IOS and Android.
What's Up? - What's Up? is as an excellent free app that combines aspects from both cognitive behavioural therapy and acceptance commitment therapy to create personalised coping strategies for depression, anxiety, anger and stress. The app's strong points are its positive and negative "habit tracker," plus a game to help you ground yourself when overwhelmed and forums that allow users from all over the globe to talk with people living in similar circumstances.
Bonus points go to What's Up? for having a data-syncing service across devices as well as personalised themes within the app and pass-code protection. Android and IOS.