While I wrote a blog post on unplugging from social media a little bit ago and the benefits that can come from disconnecting from your device, technology can also be a wonderful tool for mental health.
What if we had a way to harness the power of our screens when we were feeling anxious, depressed, and every range of emotion? Close to 19% of adults in the U.S. are affected by some kind of mental illness, so using apps as a supplement to in-person therapy is a welcome idea. While these apps don’t replace professional therapy, they can boost your mental health and overall well-being.
Swipe out of Candy Crush and Angry Birds and learn more about technology that’s a little more mindful in these apps below.
My love for this mindful meditation app is probably biased – check out my blog post on it here – but that’s because it really works.
Great for busy bees that don’t always have time to pause, Simple Habit is an app that gives you mindfulness on the go. Donned the “Netflix of meditation,” this helpful app offers guided audio meditations anywhere from fifteen to five minutes long so that you can squeeze some serenity into your daily routine.
Personally, I’ve been using this app for close to a year and I can safely say that it’s my lifeline. Whenever I’m feeling high anxiety – or in the middle of an anxiety attack – I have a “Dealing With Failure” meditation I listen to. I get those headphones, press play and go for a walk to let the words really soak in.
If you’re feeling really overwhelmed or need some help controlling your anxiety, waiting the days – or weeks – until you see your therapist can be difficult. With this important technology, anyone can get therapy without traveling to an office – and for significantly less money than traditional therapy.
While I personally need to have therapy in-person in order to benefit from it, this is a great – and cheaper – option. Allowing users to connect with licensed therapists anonymously in order to chat about what’s on their minds, the program has a bunch of different payment plan options, from unlimited message therapy for $25 per week, to 30 minutes of live video therapy for $29. Not being able to afford therapy is no longer an excuse – take the time to do what works for your lifestyle and mental health.
Created by a team of researchers, technologists and clinicians, Lantern transforms cognitive behavioral therapy techniques into simple exercises. When I looked into this app, I was so excited because my own therapist focuses on cognitive therapy for my sessions. It’s a wonderful technique and has been really working for my anxiety.
All about removing the stigma and barriers that prevent people from strengthening their emotional selves, this app delivers a holistic approach to making each day a better one.
An app that lets you rate and track mood over time, provides guided deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, health goals and it’s free? Sounds too good to be true. Think again.
Also based in cognitive therapy, Pacifica attempts to break the cycle of anxiety using tools that target each of its components. Day by day, you’ll learn to manage your feelings at your own pace. Users can record their own thoughts to help analyze and understand their thinking patterns, as well as discover and track possible triggers.
Treat your head right with Headspace, a “personal trainer” for the mind. With 10-minute meditation lessons catering to different areas of life ranging from health and performance to relationships, this mindful app is on a mission to get people everywhere to look after their mental health with the simple activity of meditation.
While it’s the more pricey of these apps requiring a subscription, it’s also the most popular. Used in over 190 countries since 2010, Headspace is on its way to improving the health and happiness of the world – one meditation at a time.
It’s time to look to technology for helpful tools on improving mental health. While they aren’t substitutes for professional treatment, it’s nice to know there are options to get help and relaxation at your fingertips.
What apps do you use to boost your mental health? Share what tech works for you in the comments!