By: Amitha Sabbani
It has been a few weeks since the start of school, and you already find yourself stressed, anxious, and hopeless, and you feel there is nothing you can do about it. You have already tried several ways to improve your mental health and are afraid to schedule an appointment with a therapist despite knowing there is no shame in that. Still, even if you did try to make an appointment, all the spots would remain reserved until next month. You want to find a way to improve your mental health, but you prefer to stay isolated, lying in bed all day. Many people find themselves in this position, wanting to be socially isolated. What if there was a similar alternative to a therapist that allows you to stay at home?
In today’s society, technology is becoming more advanced with the launch of revolutionary products every so often. People are creating apps with the ability to make things that were once required to be done in person a reality for the online world. For instance, mental health apps can serve as great substitutes for therapists. Rather than having a face-to-face consultation with another person you barely know, which I must say is quite nerve-racking, mental health apps provide ways to deal with mental health online and at your own leisure.
What is the first word that comes to your mind when you think of mental health apps? To most, it would sound insignificant, acting merely as a waste of time. But I say otherwise. Although it is undeniable that many of these apps are not entirely “helpful” per se, there are still a few that stay significant to their purpose. The only thing you need to do is find one that befits your needs.
So, what makes a successful and effective mental health app? Well, for one thing, it needs to be easy to navigate, preferably free, and most importantly, effective in improving mental health. As easy as it sounds, it will require time before you feel genuinely happy and like your true self again.
Here are a few great options for apps that are sure to improve your mental health:
Headspace: This app offers a 2-week free trial. It takes the relaxation approach toward mental health, with an extended selection of podcasts, mindful exercises, breathing exercises, and meditation. It strives to improve four main factors that affect a person’s mental health: sleep, exercise, meditation, and music.
A study from 2018 concluded that those who used this app noted a decrease of 11% in stress with only ten days of use!
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (about 1 million ratings)
According to the company that created this app, nearly one hundred million people have used it! If you are struggling with mental health, this serves as a reminder that you are not, and never will be, alone.
Calm: This app focuses on improving sleep, alleviating stress, and refocusing the body through relaxation. With a mood tracker, calming music, and daily guided meditations, it increases mindfulness and improves mood.
Many testers from the reputable source Healthline reported several positive reviews about this app, stating that it was soothing and tremendously improved their sleep quality.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (about 1.7 million ratings)
Healthy Minds Program: With the help of generous donors, the Healthy Minds organization produced this app, aiming to create a kinder and more compassionate world. The app focuses on four main factors of the mind: connection, purpose, insight, and awareness. With meditations (active and seated) and podcasts that serve as lessons to teach how the brain works, this app will lead to a happier you. Although it is not very well-known, it is highly informational and backed up by scientific reasoning, guaranteeing an improvement to your mental health.
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (about 4.5 thousand ratings)
Many of these ratings noted that the app was well-researched, highly accessible, and original in comparison to other apps.
InsightTimer - Meditate & Sleep: This app focuses on tranquility and religious values. With a wide range of calming music, podcasts, meditations, and prayers for several religions, it brings peace to the human mind and reduces stress.
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (about 400 thousand ratings)
MindShift CBT - Anxiety Relief: This app focuses on mood and reflection. It includes daily check-ins where it takes your input to personalize your results. Vastly distinct from other apps, it has belief experiments, a thought journal, coping cards, and guided meditations. Although there are not many ratings for this app, it is well-developed and highly effective.
According to a user, this app was well-thought and well-made. They reported that it helped them deal with their problems of overthinking and constant worry by teaching them ways to cope. They highly recommend this app, especially for those who plan on using it regularly.
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (about 300 ratings)
Mental health apps have been disregarded by many in terms of effectiveness, but they can serve as a significant game-changer for some. Many of these mental health apps focus on relaxation, which results in a slow but gradually significant impact on the user’s mental health. Having tried some of these apps before myself, I highly suggest you try them out for a few days and reflect on their impact, too! There is an app for each person that befits their needs, and I assure you that you will find improvement through one of these mental health apps.
Healthy Minds Program:
MindShift CBT - Anxiety Relief: