According to the National Institiute of Mental Health the most common conditions that affect the mental health of American citizens are anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Of the 51.5 million U.S. citizens who suffered a mental health condition in 2019, only 13.1 million cases were serious.
Mental health apps for your smartphone can help nurture and support your state of mind, much like exercise, sleep, and a good diet can help maintain your physical wellbeing. The design of these includes meditation and mindfulness strategies, prompts to speak to a friend or therapist, and even journaling and taking a nap. Benefits of mental health apps include accessibility, convenience, engagement, anonymity, and great potential as additional tools to enhance traditional therapy.
Smartphone Apps To Monitor Mental Health
Mental apps do not diagnose conditions but help support your efforts, even when they include therapy sessions. Remember that most offer a free initial download but only allow access to all their features when you pay a subscription.
These are the 11 best smartphone apps to monitor your mental health and wellbeing right now:
Two clinical psychologists developed Moodkit based on the philosophy and techniques used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Its 200+ activities are designed to improve your mood and control negative thinking.
A journal feature allows you to track all negative feelings and mood changes, making it easier to manage your stress levels.
Since Apple awarded Calm “App of the Year” in 2017, it remains a popular app that helps you reduce anxiety, improve your sleep, and encourage mindfulness. The app is available for all smartphone devices and desktops.
Calm meditation focuses on sleep, relaxation, and mindfulness, including masterclasses with recorded audio programs from experts. Breathing programs and sounds from nature are incorporated into the various sessions, depending on your needs. These sessions range from just a few minutes to over an hour. Calm is an ideal app for beginners and experienced users.
Headspace provides mindfulness and meditation exercises aimed at helping you build relationships, reduce stress, and improve your sleep. It is available for all smartphone devices, and you can choose programs or meditation at work, focus, body positivity, and stress reduction.
Talkspace is a counseling and therapy app also available for your desktop. Therapists on the app specialize in several types of counseling, including psychiatry, teen therapy, and couples therapy. You complete an initial assessment once you sign up and get to choose the therapist you prefer before attending the treatment, in-office or virtual. Talkspace is affordable, and you can switch therapists if you prefer.
Three therapy subscriptions depend on where you live, the types of sessions required, and session times. Remember: Talkspace also uses in-network therapists affiliated with all the major insurers.
Moodnotes has a thought journal and mood diary to help you track your feelings and improve your thinking habits. The app uses CBT and positive psychology techniques but is only available for iPhone devices. Even on their free subscription, you can access the identifying causes for mood changes, automatic face scanning, read self-awareness articles, and upload photo and video memories that you can save.
If you choose the premium subscription, you can make multiple daily entries, monitor your mood statistics, and gain insights.
iBreathe offers the simplest way to reduce stress and anxiety with breathing exercises. The app’s one feature is effortless since it has no other things to distract you. Simply set it to remind you when to do your breathing exercises. You can also use the app at any additional time. An ideal app if you only want to do breathing exercises.
7. MindShift CBT
If you suffer from constant worrying, social anxiety, perfectionism, panic, and other phobias, the MindShift CBT app can provide relief. Here you will find short meditation sessions, thought journals, and other activities to face your fears and develop healthy mental habits. One drawback is the limited daily entries.
8. Quit That!
If your anxiety is your inability to tackle some bad habits, the Quit That! may prove helpful. The app helps you track smoking, alcohol and caffeine consumption, or drug use. Professionals are best to help you fight severe addictions, but the app allows you to follow as many habits as you want. Additionally, you can monitor how well you are doing after quitting a habit.
9. Better Stop Suicide
With the Better Stop Suicide app, you get a range of psychological techniques and exercises from mental health professionals to take your mind off suicidal thoughts. The app encourages you to calm down and slow your mind with rational thoughts. If your suicidal thoughts are critical, call 911 or a suicidal hotline; otherwise, follow the gratitude and mood exercises to remove your negative thoughts.
Sanvello uses four different paths to help your mental health and wellbeing. These are self-care, peer support, coaching, and therapy.
With self-care, you track your moods with coping tools, guided journeys, and progress assessments. Peer support gives you access to peer community boards, guides, and coping tools.
You can connect with a Sanvello coach trained in CBT techniques through in-app messages or anonymously joining real-time classes. If you prefer therapy, the app allows you to find a licensed therapist near you who works together with your Sanvello coach for a customized approach.
Happify’s games and activities are designed to help you develop healthy mental habits on any smartphone device. The app uses CBT, mindfulness, and positive psychology and provides a happiness score and other metrics to assist you.
Mental health apps are becoming more popular and mainstream as people become more open to the idea of using technology to improve their wellbeing. The design of these apps includes meditation and mindfulness strategies, prompts to speak to a friend or therapist, and even journaling and taking a nap. Benefits of mental health apps include accessibility, convenience, engagement, anonymity, and great potential as additional tools to enhance traditional therapy. If you’re looking for an easy way to start nurturing your mind, try out one of these mental health apps today.
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