5 Mental Health Apps to Help You Through the Day 

Written by Anne Carty

Photo by Briggy Jones, Graphic by Erin J.

Photo by Briggy Jones, Graphic by Erin J.

The sad truth is that there are many people who suffer from mental illness and not everyone can afford to pay for therapy or mental health services. So, we have to get creative. I have a few helpful apps to help you deal with your mental illness in a free and interactive way using free apps. Therapy or counselling can be very expensive. While I was struggling really bad with my depression and anxiety, I simply could not afford to visit my therapist. I began to search for free ways to help me manage my overwhelming thoughts and emotions and this is how I came across these apps. I was really happy when I found many different apps and it is even better that they are free! 




Thrive

Photo by Anne Carty, from Thrive

Photo by Anne Carty, from Thrive

Thrive is an evidence-based app to prevent and manage stress, and anxiety and related conditions. It was developed in the UK by specialists with many years of clinical experience. The app uses easy- to- learn clinically proven techniques to help you live a happier, more relaxed, stress-free life.

App features: 

Photo by Anne Carty, from Thrive

Photo by Anne Carty, from Thrive

Calm breathing:  Deep slow breathing is a really important technique that is added to various relaxation exercises. Three minutes, three times a day have been shown to have long-term calming advantages. 

Breathing techniques are a great tool to have in your arsenal for dealing with mental health problems. When you take slow deep breaths, it calms your mind, which in turn calms your body. 

Meditation: There are many meditation sessions that you can take part in such as aroma, awareness and the self, mindful body scan, compassion, mindful earth, mindful seeing, mindful walk, soundscape and a short meditation. 

Benefits of meditation:

  • Reduces stress/anxiety 

  • Increases focus  

  • More clarity 

  • Redirects bad habits 

  • Ignites your creativity 

  • Connects with self 

Deep muscle relaxation: Tensing and relaxing your muscles helps to relax your body which in turn relaxes your mind.

Self-suggestion: Self-suggestion allows you to link a word or phrases with the experience of feeling calm. You can then use the word in a stressful situation to bring you back to that relaxed state. 



App Activities

Wise words: When we are feeling down or worried we tend to focus on the negative things that have happened and ignore the positive ones. This is a fun word game that you can play as a distraction if you are in a bad mood or anxious. It also helps you to look at the positive and trains your brain to do so in tough situations. 

Message in a bottle: Send a message of encouragement to others and help them achieve their goals. You can also receive messages which are really sweet and cool! 




Pacifica 

Stress, anxiety and depression can get in the way of you living your life. Pacifica gives psychologist-designed tools to address them based on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), mindfulness, meditation, relaxation and mood/health tracking. 



App Features

Discover: This section is full of daily content for you with posts such as Spotify playlists and quotes to help you get through the day. There are also meditation prompts. 

I always make myself go through this in the morning to see what inspiration I can get. If I need a good pick-me- up throughout the day, I check out the playlists and read the quotes to help me get out of the slump. 

Today: When you go into this section you are prompted to check in and then it suggests certain activities to take part in depending on how you are feeling. For example, if you are feeling good, it might suggest an activity like add an uplifting picture or quote to your hope board. When you are feeling really bad, it will suggest things like a certain meditation or going for a walk. 

Community: This is one aspect that I love about this app. You can join different communities and have discussions with other people who are also struggling and using Pacifica to cope with mental health problems. 

Guided paths: This section gives you access guided meditations to help you relax and calm down. You’ll learn techniques to deal with anxiety and depression and discover which works best for you. 




What’s up? - A Mental Health App 

What’s up? is a free app using the best CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy), methods to help you cope with depression, anxiety, anger, stress and more! 



App Features 

Help right now: Everything you need to keep calm. This feature has so many categories: 

  • Stop!: This helps you to stop and calm down when everything seems crazy. 

  • Get Grounded: A fun and simple game to keep you grounded. This game gives you a different topic and you have to name five different things. For example: name five different animals that are insects. 

  • Breathing control: This teaches you some simple breathing techniques to help you get through your tough days. 

  • Catastrophe scale: Give a number to the problems you are going through and put it all into perspective. 

  • Forums: This is another type of community section. Join in with discussions about anything or everything. 

  • Uplifting quotes and affirmations: Read some feel good quotes and repeat some affirmations to yourself when you feel down. 

  • Here & Now and Stay In Today: These are two categories that help you stay in the present moment. 

Coping strategies: This feature has a few categories which are all about teaching you how to cope with your thoughts and feelings. 

Information: Just like it says on the label, this feature gives information on topics such as anger, anxiety, depression, self-esteem and stress. 

Personal: This is where you can keep track of what’s going on with the “my diary” feature, positive habits, negative habits and notes. 




Self-help for Anxiety Management 

SAM ( Self-help for Anxiety Management) is an app that offers a range of self-help methods for people who are serious about learning to manage their anxiety. 



Apps Features: 

Help for anxiety NOW: This includes things such as calm breathing. 

Anxiety toolkit: This is where you can access everything quickly once you add it to the toolkit. For a while, I had no idea on how to add the tools to the toolkit, but I learned that hitting the information button on the bottom right corner tells you exactly how to do it. 

Self-help: This category has many parts to it like information about anxiety, thinking and anxiety, relaxation physical, relaxation mental, health and mental health, and finally, taking small steps. 

It’s so important to use all of these to help yourself deal with anxiety. A great thing about this app is that it is very easy to use and very informational at the same time. 

Personal Note: I don’t like this app very much compared to the previous three apps I have mentioned mainly due to the design. It’s not as appealing as the previous apps. Because of this, I have been using the other three apps way more often than this one. 




Happify: For Stress And Worry 

Happify’s science-based activities and games can help reduce stress, overcome negative thoughts and build greater resilience by providing effective tools and programs to improve emotional well-being. 

Before you jump right in, you first need to complete a quick assessment. Then the app can create something that works for you. The next thing you need to do is sign up. 

When I first signed up, it gave me a chance to take part in an assessment as a volunteer. I’m not certain on when the chance ends but make sure you sign up because at the end you will receive a $20 Amazon gift card for taking part. That’s a nice little bonus!

In this app, you can take part in many games and activities to help you. The first one that you take part in is “Conquer your negative thinking”. Each day you have activities to complete to access the next part of the course. 

The first two activities you have access to is: 

  • Uplift: This is a little game where you have to pick out all the positive words. 

  • Today's victories: I really enjoyed this activity because I had to reflect on what I am grateful for in my life and why. 

All of these apps for mental health have so many benefits. I really enjoyed using all of them, but I have to say that Happify is my all-time favorite for mental health. These apps may or may not work for you, but there are so many other apps or other options out there for you to try.  Have a look and give it a go! You never know unless you try. Since I have started using these apps, I have felt much more relaxed. Even though I still have bad days, I know that my phone is never far away and I can simply open an app to help me get through the day. It’s very handy and very inexpensive. Try it! 




With Love, 

Anne xxx 

Anne Carty, selfie

anne carty

Anne is from Ireland who is now made a huge move across the world to New Zealand. She is also an assistant at Quiet Nonsense and runs her own blog www.foreverthewanderer.ie with topics including travel, mental health and so much more. Anne dreams of/ is working towards becoming a professional blogger. She wants to teach people how to live happier and healthier lifestyle through the above topics on her own blog and on The Quiet Nonsense. Anne has also been creating content on YouTube so if you are more of a YouTube watcher make sure you check her out!

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