With technology and social media forever being discussed as a damage to our mental health, how can we instead use it to our advantage? With a vast selection of apps to download, surely there’s some apps built to help our mental health?
Getting distracted and comparing yourself on the Instagram app isn’t going to help your anxiety, wasting time by playing Fortnite is going to have you worried that you didn’t complete the work task you were set, but using an app like Youper could in fact help reduce your stress levels.
In this article today I share 15 of my favourite mental health apps.
Apps For Mental Health
Let’s face it, if you’ve experienced mental health issues for a while now you know you can’t rely on the Doctor. Sure you Doctor may be helpful, but having to wait weeks (if not months) to see a therapist is dangerous for your mental health. At the same time, private therapy can be extremely expensive.
So what apps can you download on your phone to help you?
In no particular order, here’s 15 mental health apps I’ve tried and recommend.
I’ve been playing around with Huddle over the last few weeks and love the overall aim of the app.
When it comes to battling mental health issues, making sure we have support is important. In real life, we often find it hard to talk to someone. Huddle makes that easier, with a community of people all suffering sharing their stories.
For example, at the time of me writing this there’s a community of nearly 10,000 people in the ‘Depression’ group. Inside the group, people are sharing their person struggles with depression. From parents not being supportive to depression making someone feel sick, it’s refreshing to see people being so open about how they feel. On the other hand, within that group there’s people offering their support and their advice.
The blur feature is great too, if you want to stay anonymous Huddle allows you to blur your video.
Youper is the world’s first emotional health assistant. The app employs a mood tracker, a chat interface, and guided mindfulness and learns from each user with AI to deliver the most effective support available.
What I love about Youper is the breathing technology, just using it for a few minutes helps remind you to focus on breathing to calm down and destress. The mood tracker is great too, I’ve always journaled to keep on top of how I feel each day but the mood tracker can easily show you how far you’ve come throughout your recovery.
The app also helps screen for anxiety, depression and social anxiety symptoms. You have the ability to monitor whether you’re improving or worsening over time, allowing you to get a picture of how you’re doing with your recovery.
This app really is a great example of combining technology with emotional wellbeing. Youper uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to continuously learn from you, and it’s always being updated with the latest scientific research about the brain and mind.
Oh, it’s completely free too.
A popular one, Calm is a great app for meditation and mindfulness.
The free version of it will get you started, but there’s also some paid packages which unlock more meditation and mindfulness exercises. What I love about Calm personally is the reminder to practice meditation and mindfulness daily. It keeps a record of how many sessions you’ve done, and I’m always striving to try and protect my score by not missing a day.
You also get to choose how much time you want to meditate/practice mindfulness for, so you can start small and increase the time as you start to get better.
Honestly, taking 5 minutes out of your day and using this app to relax and stay Calm has huge benefits for me (and many others) that use it. It’s also great to use before bed if you struggle to sleep.
As I’ve mentioned before, being able to track your mood daily and check how your recovery is going is important. Moodpath makes that easy.
It allows you to track and see a visual representation of how things are going, for your own use and also to show a therapist.
Over 1.9 million people use Pacifica to manage their daily mental health with tools like mood and health tracking, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy.
The app also includes guided self help paths, with psychologist designed audio lessons and helpful activities that help you with stress, anxiety or depression.
This is the first app I’ve recommended that allows you to talk to a real therapist. This app allows you to get free anonymous emotional support and counselling from trained active listeners. Better yet, there’s real listeners available for you 24/7.
The app is more than just personal support though, it includes mindfulness exercises, a free wellness test, simple activities to help boost your mood and also community forums and chat rooms to connect with others.
Talkspace is another app that allows you to speak to a therapist without leaving home, connecting you to 1000’s of licensed therapists with medical training.
Get help through private text, audio and video chat therapy, anywhere and anytime.
Anyone can start with a free consultation who will match you with a therapist and then as a member (paid) you’ll get access to your private counsellor where you can discuss how you feel and get help.
This isn’t so much an app targeted towards mental health, but Podcasts really are a great way to escape but more importantly learn. As you’re traveling to work, doing chores in the house, walking to the shop or commuting pop in your headphones and listen to a Podcast.
What’s great about Overcast is you get easy access to all Podcasts and it also features a speed dial, a voice boost and a smart speed feature which shortens silences.
Looking for a Podcast to get started on? Give my Podcast a listen! (Listen to the Speak Your Strength podcast)
Download on iTunes
This app is great if you struggle with addictions. It allows you to track how you’re getting on with quitting the addiction alongside rewarding you with achievements and giving you a supportive community to help you on the journey.
We’re all addicted to something, so what can you cut back on or quit?
Download on iTunes
This app is another popular one, and very similar to Calm. Headspace is another app for meditation and mindfulness and again comes with built in mindfulness and meditation exercises for you to practice.
I personally love the body scan exercise, and also I know people who prefer the audio on Headspace in comparison to Calm.
I’ve tried both, and Calm edges it for me but give Headspace a go and see for yourself!
Way of Life
Looking back, one of the main things that helped me through my depression was establishing new habits and breaking bad ones. A habit is hard to establish and break, so I wish I had the Way of Life app back then.
This is a simple app that allows you to add in a few habits you want to do more of or do less of. For example, one could be Stop Smoking and another could be Meditate. Every day the app prompts you to update your journal, and you can highlight a square green if you’ve succeeded or red if you haven’t.
The app will also prompt you to remind you to do that habit. A few I’d recommend would be Journaling, Exercising, Meditation and Reading. Give it a go!
Grateful: A Gratitude Journal
Gratitude is something that can quickly change your overall perception of how you’re feeling. When we’re stressed, depressed, anxious and struggling we’re normally fixating on what we haven’t got and what we can’t control. But focusing on what we have can help improve our mood.
Every morning I write down 3 things I’m grateful for and why, and choosing to always be specific helps a lot. But this app takes it one step further, prompting you to reflect and write down what you’re grateful for alongside giving you the chance to look back through your journal. You can even print it too!
Download from iTunes
“Improving society’s mood” is the tagline for Stigma, and it does this by giving you a safe way to build your support network, journal what’s on your mind and keep track of your mood.
You can build your support network by finding and messaging ‘PenPals’ alongside joining support groups with people that match your interests. The mood tracker is great too, allowing you to note and see what affects your mood throughout the day (exercise, location, people, work tasks).
Stigma was rated the #1 mental health app and have some exciting visions for the future, with them on a mission to make technology help us better manage our mood and deal with mental health issues.
Download from iTunes
Rise Up + Recover
Rise Up + Recover is an app to help you if you’re struggling with food, dieting, exercise and body image. With this app you can log your meals, emotions and behaviours from the privacy of your mobile phone.
The custom reminders to help inspire you alongside the motivational and inspirational quotes and affirmations also make this app great to use for anyone.
Rise Up + Recover is the perfect addition to your professional treatment for an eating disorder including anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), obsessive eating disorder (OED), binge eating disorder (BED) and compulsive eating disorder (CED).
In dark times, sometimes we need someone to remind us that we still have meaning to live. And finding the places to look for and reach out too is often a task that seems too daunting in a place of dispair. But this app connects you with all of the essential resources and support numbers you need.
This app is UK focused, with a directory of numbers and services to help you if you’re feeling suicidal. The lifebox feature allows you to upload pictures of things that are meaningful to you, to remind you that life is worth living.
Free Mental Health Apps
As you’ll see the majority of the apps recommended are free, even the ones that aren’t are a small investment in comparison to private therapy or waiting 8 weeks to see someone.
Your mental health is important, so don’t be afraid to invest after you’ve tried to free version and found it to be effective.
The Best Mental Health App?
I want you to decide. Comment below the app that helps you the most.
Don’t feel like you need to use all of these, choose a few that you feel like you’d be able to relate too and give it a go.
As I always say, recovery is all about trying as much as you can and seeing what works for you. Maybe a mental health app can help you with that recovery?
Also — share this article on if you think it will help someone.