By Anne Peters, LMFT
Hello! We are graced with the opportunity to have technology right at our fingertips. This comes in handy when we can use our favorite electronic gadget to support our own mental health. I took it upon myself to download a dozen mental health supportive apps to review for all of you, and here are my Top 5!
1. Happify – This app is all about science-based games and activities to increase your overall positive feelings. This app uses strategies from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Positive Psychology, and Mindfulness, which just so happen to be three of my favorite interventions to tie in during therapy sessions, as well. This app was very interactive and I enjoyed the daily activities they offered to me that were catered to my goal set at the beginning. Definitely recommend!
2. Daylio – The best word to describe this app? Simple! It’s a mood tracker, so all you have to do is enter in the emotion you’re feeling and what kind of things you’ve been up to. As time goes on, Daylio shows you patterns to your behaviors and feelings so you can really be self aware. A monthly mood chart is created and it’s super insightful. I noticed Sunday nights tend to bring a little more anxiety and irritability as I prep for the start of a work week. Now, I recognize I need to take extra care of myself on those evenings. It’s great to be able to notice those patterns.
3. Headspace – Headspace is all about mindfulness and meditation. There’s science behind the positive impact of meditation on anxiety, and the benefits are amazing. This app offers great guided mindfulness techniques to target whatever you are going through – whether it’s stress, self-esteem issues, or sleep problems. There is an extended version that comes at a cost, but also a basic option free of charge.
4. Woebot – I’ll admit, I was skeptical of this one but definitely found myself extremely engaged. Once you’re registered, you are met by a self-proclaimed “Self-Care Expert” robot (or, Woebot). This app is also based in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (just like Happify) and uses mood tracking and strategies to help you combat any anxious or difficult feelings. Research studies show people feel more positive feelings in just two weeks of using this app. It’s certainly worth a try! This is one I plan to continue on with.
5. Sanvello – This app boasts 3 million current users, so something must be going right with this one. They have a great quote on their website – “Find relief when you need it. Feel happier over time.” That’s something that sounds pretty appealing, right? This app offers guided meditations that they call guided journeys, mood tracking, tips, and Q&A’s. It’s a sophisticated app and it’s easy to tell why they are successful.
Always remember it is OK to need some additional support, whether it’s through an app, a screen, or in person. LSI is here to serve you during this difficult time. Visit LSIowa.org/therapy to get started.