Online Sanity Savers: 6 Mental Health Apps
For those who need a little help, right about now.
Feeling stressed or out of sorts? If so, hop online to take a look at these six apps. As always, talk to your doctor or mental health specialist for professional assistance when you need it.
They have thousands of licensed therapists and mental health counselors available to text and talk online. After an initial consultation, you will receive recommended therapist matches. Once you choose your therapist, this person will work with you throughout the process (though you always have the option of switching). This is a subscription-based service, and there are no contracts. For unlimited messaging — including video and audio messaging five days per week — it will cost $260 per month. For unlimited messaging plus one live 30-minute session per month, it will be $316. If you want four live sessions per month, it will be $396.
This free app uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help with depression, stress and anxiety. It tracks your positive and negative habits, and provides information on how to break the ones that aren’t helping with your mental health. Use the Help Right Now button, and the app will walk you through a short series of actions designed to calm you down and bring you back to reality. Or, use it when you’re not in crisis mode to help with your overall mood over time.
Designed for those feeling depressed, this free app uses cognitive therapy to improve your mood by identifying negative thinking patterns. It helps you determine coping strategies and learn the warning signs (anything that may trigger your depression). This is user-friendly and straightforward, with many tips to help with depression. It aims to guide you into logical reasoning to keep you from spiraling through your own thoughts.
Cofounded by Andy Puddicombe, a Buddhist monk turned meditation teacher, this app was designed to keep you in the present space and to help you live mindfully. Headspace has been downloaded more than 20 million times. It offers themed meditations and sessions on everything from anxiety to sleep to help you understand how to calm your body and your mind. The app is free for the first week, and then it’s $13 per month.
After taking a questionnaire to determine your symptoms, you will start tracking your moods to figure out what affects these moods. For example, you’ll see how sleep, exercise and meds influence your moods — and you can track anything you believe may be a culprit. So if you think that eating carbs is making you depressed, you can track your carbs via the app. It will also demonstrate how to rethink your negative thoughts, practice gratitude and meditate.
Stressed? This app will track your moods, goals and progress. It offers coping tools to relax and to manage stressful situations. Sanvello also has an online community, so you can anonymously chat with others and share advice. While there’s a free version, you won’t receive all the self-care content — including meditations and guided journeys — unless you buy the premium version for $9 per month.