You know that feeling of anxiety that bubbles up when you realize you don’t have your phone? The self-doubt you feel after scrolling through Instagram? The waves of depression that set in when you start comparing yourself to your high school friends on Facebook?
Yeah, those feelings probably aren’t good.
But our collective dependence on our phones isn’t going away anytime soon. So it’s important to even things out, by using our phones in a way that actually betters ourselves.
Thankfully there are countless apps out there to help counteract the negativity we face on a daily basis. While these apps are ~not~ a replacement for therapy, medication, and other treatments you can get from a medical professional, they can help you make your mental health a priority. Here are a few of our favorites:
7 Cups of TeaFree, additional features available with subscription
IRL therapy has no substitute, but sometimes you need to talk to someone outside of office hours. Tell 7 Cups of Tea what you want to talk about and they’ll connect you with a trained counselor who’ll listen.
Who says mental health can’t be adorable? The Booster Buddy app guides you through a gamified series of quests that help you to create and maintain positive habits. While the app was designed with young people in mind, it works just as well for the young at heart.
HappifyFree, additional features available with subscription
We all want to feel happier and the Happify app was designed help you do just that. First, you take a quiz to see where you are and what’s important to you. Then the app will suggest a path, such as conquering negative thoughts, coping with stress or achieving mindfulness, for you to start down. To move along your path, you’ll complete exercises that will help you achieve your goals.
What’s Up helps you break out of a negative thought pattern by offering up a grounding game that helps you stay in the present instead of thinking the worst. They also offer a “Catastrophe Scale” that can help you gain a little perspective when things seem hopeless.
Initially designed for the military community, Breathe2Relax is now open to everyone. The app teaches, and helps you to practice, a belly breathing technique that can be useful in lowering anxiety in highly stressful situations.
No matter how often you hear that you’re not alone, it can be hard to really believe it. PatientsLikeMe works to make living with any kind of health issue less of an isolating experience by connecting users with other users dealing with their same issues. You can learn how others are managing their health and see what might work for you.
CalmFree, additional features available with subscription
With guided meditation sessions lasting anywhere from three to 25 minutes on topics from calming anxiety to building self-esteem to sleep-centric meditation for bedtime, Calm is a great way to get started with meditation.
HeadspaceFree, additional features available with subscription
Headspace provides guided meditation, video instruction, and mindfulness exercises that can help anyone of any meditation skill level lower their stress level and bring much-needed balance to their lives. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America even rated the app a 4 out of 5 in effectiveness.
Daylio helps you to record your moods and your activities to help you better understand your habits and why you feel the way you do. After tracking for a few weeks, you’ll notice patterns that will help you set a schedule for yourself where you feel great way more often.
Using iMood Journal‘s colorful scale and hashtag system, you can track anything from your mood to your sleep to your medication to your energy level and more. It also allows you to attach self-portraits so you can track how your mood affects your appearance.
Developed by two clinical psychologists, MoodKit combines four apps in one. “MoodKit Activities: helps you take steps to improve your mood, “Thought Checker” helps you to identify and manage negative thoughts relating to specific situations, “Mood Tracker” allows you to chart your daily mood, and the “Journal” allows you to save activities and observations from your life.
PacificaFree, additional features available with subscription
Pacifica aims to help those dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression by offering Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-based tools like mindfulness meditation, health tracking, self-guided paths, and breathing exercises. Beyond those tools, Pacifica also gives users access to a peer-supported community.