Apps are available for pretty much everything these days, including helping you look after your mental health. They are a great starting point for obtaining help and information, and they are also a lifeline for those struggling to afford therapy or who simply are not ready to speak to someone. Luckily, there are plenty of wellness apps that are reasonably price or available for free. Apps can cover a variety of topics like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar, OCD, and more. Apps do not take the place of medical professionals, but can help you work on your mindfulness, wellness, and mental health.
We’ve compiled a list of mental health and wellness apps that were recommended by writers, artists, and comics creators. The majority of those listed as free do have in-app purchases available.
Free Mental Health Apps:
Aura has three minute daily guided sessions that are geared towards how you feel. The app will send you daily reminders and keep track of your progress. Don’t forget to add your gratitude and what you are grateful for in daily reflections.
Calm was named iPhone App of the Year in 2017 and has remained popular. People under stress and anxiety using this app will find that the guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing exercises, and relaxing music beneficial.
CBT Thought Record Diary allows you to record negative emotions, analyze flaws in your thinking, and re-evaluate your thoughts. CBT is changing your emotions by identifying negative and distorted thinking patterns. It is beneficial in gradually changing your approach to anxiety-inducing situations and future thinking patterns.
Happify has a mood training program that is psychologist approved, and aids in achieving good mood and being happy. Through the many games, activities, and gratitude prompts, it helps your brain overcome negative thoughts.
Insight Timer has one of the largest free libraries of guided meditations with over 27,000 options. With a chart that records your milestones and meditations, this was one of the more highly recommended apps.
Mind Shift was designed with teenagers and young adults in mind. Instead of avoiding what is giving you anxiety, the app helps in changing how you think about stress. It encourages you to take charge.
Mood Tools aims to support people with clinical depression by helping along the path to recovery. There are helpful videos, a place to log thoughts, and more.
Moodfit can be used as a tracker and a journal. There are different tools for mindfulness, meditation, goal setting, mood tracking, nutrition, sleep, and more.
Moodpath includes features like assessing your mental health, tracking and reflecting with journals, and improving your moods with CBT and mindfulness.
Paced Breathing has exercises that help you improve your breathing with visuals, audio, and vibrated cues.
Pacifica is for stress, anxiety, and depression. With confidence building activities, audio lessons, sleep exercises, and more tools to aid you with your mental health.
PTSD Coach was created by the Veterans Associations National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. There is a section for self-assessment, support information, positive self-talk, anger management and other tools that you can tailor to your specific needs.
Rise Up and Recover is where you can log your meals and how you feel when you eat them, tracking your progress. There are also coping strategies for when you get the urge to skip a meal or binge.
Serenita includes a stress level monitor, accessed by placing your finger over the camera lens. It features personalized exercises designed to give you the most significant stress decline, real-time feedback, and results that are tracked.
Stop, Breathe & Think allows you to check-in with your emotions and then recommends guided meditations, yoga, and acupressure videos, tuned to how you feel. This is the app that I use the most, and it has helped me.
Simple Habit Meditate for just 5 minutes a day to reduce stress, improve focus, sleep better, relax faster, breathe more comfortable, and more. This app featured on a 2017 episode of Shark Tank.
What’s Up uses CBT and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help in coping with depression, anxiety, and stress. There is a “Get Grounded” page that has over 100 questions to help describe what you are feeling and a “Thinking Patterns” page teaches how to stop negative self-talk.
Paid Mental Health Apps:
Grapefruit is a mental health journal to keep track of feelings and how you felt in uncomfortable moments. You can customize the journal to suit your needs. ($3.99)
Headspace makes meditation simple. Learn the mindfulness and meditation skills that assist with anxiety, stress, sleep, and focus. There is even a reminder that you can set. ($12.99 a month)
IMoodJournal lets you record everything from moods, symptoms, sleep, medications, and whatever else you want. Through summary charts that tell you when your stress level rises and falls, you can find triggers. ($1.99)
Isleep Easy lets you create a sleep program using the playlist feature that can hold up to six meditations. There is the option of voice alone, voice with music, nature sounds, and tips for falling asleep. ($5.49)
MoodKit uses CBT with over 200 mood improvement activities that were created by two clinical psychologists. The journal part of the app is where you can reflect on the day and document any issues and negative thoughts. ($4.99)
Moodnotes is a collaboration with the psychologists that also did MoodKit, and uses CBT and positive psychology. Features include tracking your mood, developing healthier thinking habits, learning about triggers, increasing self-awareness, and reducing distress. ($6.99)
Panic Relief should be used when you feel the anxiety start to build up, heading in the panic/anxiety attack direction. Four cartoons with animations show you how to cope with the unpleasant sensations in your body while staying mentally calm and in control. ($1.50)
Spirit Junkie is by Gabrielle Bernstein and has daily affirmations to help motivate. ($2.79)
Twenty-Four Hours a Day is based on the book of the same name. It offers 366 meditations making it easier for people in recovery from addiction to focus on sobriety. ($5.99)
Weightless: A Relaxing Journey this is an interactive game to clear your mind of stress and negative thinking. Listen to calming music as you colour. ($3.99)
Worry Watch aims to help users identify their OCD trigger points for anxiety, note trends in their feelings, and change their thinking patterns for the future. ($1.99)
We’d love to keep expanding this list. What apps do you use, and how has it helped you on your mental health journey?