19 Mental Health apps designed to suit your mental health problems
Do you experience stress, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, ptsd or depression? Do you need help right now? We know that referral waiting times for NHS Mental Health Services, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), are often months long. This is not particularly helpful when you or someone you know is in crisis! However, hang on in there — helpful Mental Health apps are available for you to to download immediately.
Do you want to stop smoking or drinking, or do you just want to improve your mood? Do you need help in managing your anger? Take a look at the following free apps and you decide which one suits your current issue(s).
- ACT Coach was created by VA’s National Center for PTSD (for Veterans). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) aims to help you live with unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and impulses without avoiding them or being controlled by them. In ACT, you are encouraged to commit to actions so that you can live your life by your values, even in the face of these unpleasant experiences.
- AIMS for Anger Management (US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). AIMS is designed for Veterans and military Service members but can be used by anyone coping with anger problems. The AIMS app is based on the Anger and Irritability Management Skills online self-help course. The app provides you with education about anger, opportunities for finding support, the ability to create an anger management plan, anger tracking, and tools to help manage angry reactions.
“Anybody can become angry — that’s easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way that isn’t within everybody’s power and isn’t easy.“Aristotle
- Anxiety UK has released a FREE Smartphone Application called Stress Tips, which provides people with ‘top tips’ from fellow anxiety sufferers on how to manage anxiety and stress. Stress Tips includes more than 40 tips from people on how they manage stress and anxiety and will be developed further in the future to include relaxation techniques and the ability to upload tips. I particularly like this one as it comes from people who experience anxiety.
- AETAS developed by mental health specialists, provide quick, easy and effective ways to relax, attain focus, and gain a sense of well-being. Aetas’ unique 4-part design provides info about cutting edge research on time perspectives, a self-discovery quiz, 3 two-minute guided visualisations to help relax, sooth and focus, and 3 fun interactive exercises.
- Breathe2Relax (by National Center for Telehealth & Technology) is a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing.
- Calm Harm is an app designed to help people resist or manage the urge to self-harm. It’s private and password protected. The urge to self-harm is like a wave. It feels the most powerful when you start wanting to do it. Learn to ride the wave with the free Calm Harm app using these activities:
- Comfort, Distract, Express Yourself, Release, Random and Breathe.
- When you ride the wave, the urge to self-harm will fade.
- Daylio – Keep a free private diary and capture your day without writing down a single line! Collecting recorded moods and activities in the statistics and calendar. This format will help you to understand your habits better, keep track of your activities and create patterns to become more productive.
- DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach – Learn and practice DBT skills using video lessons and fun animations which helps you to remember skills longer. Features over 100 videos and 200+ animations. This app works as a daily mood and thought diary based on the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) approach. It has a coaching module that gives tips on sticky emotional situations, like how to ask for what you need or how to successfully resolve conflict. DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach is the only DBT app designed by a licensed clinical psychologist.
- Depression CBT Self-Help Guide The natural management of depression involves understanding depression and the factors that contribute to the symptoms. Learning to manage stress in your life and engage in self-care behaviours can improve your symptoms and your mood. This app contains a depression severity test, audios, articles, a cognitive diary, and a motivational points system that help you learn how to do this.
- Happify is the single destination for effective, evidence-based solutions for better mental health. It has array of engaging games, activity suggestions, and gratitude prompts makes Happify a useful shortcut to a good mood. Designed with input from 18 health and happiness experts, Happify’s positive mood-training program is psychologist-approved.
- OCD relief exercises Suffering from obsessive thinking? Looking to relieve your OCD symptoms? Wish to feel better, have more confidence and enjoy improved well being? Want to expand your mind and make it more adaptive?
- PTSD Coach is for anyone who needs help with upsetting feelings. Trauma survivors, their families, or anyone coping with stress can benefit. PTSD Coach (developed by the US Department for Veteran Affairs), provides reliable information regarding PTSD, its symptoms and its management.
- Quit It is a tiny motivating program, supporting and encouraging smokers to quit smoking and helping ex-smokers to stay quit. It keeps track of the cigarettes you did not smoke and how much money you are saving. Furthermore it shows the benefits of quitting as text and calculates a nice ranking for you.
- SAM is a friendly app that offers a range of self-help methods for people who are serious about learning to manage their anxiety.
- Sanvello for Stress & Anxiety helps you understand you: your thoughts, moods, and behaviors all shape how you feel. Sanvello gives you clinically validated techniques to help you manage your moods and thoughts, so you can understand what works for you to feel better.
- Stop, Breathe, Think! This calming meditation app experience is uniquely designed to help you stay mindful, de-stress, sleep better, and build the emotional strength and confidence to handle life’s ups and downs. Mindfulness & meditation is the practice, Stop, Breathe & Think is the process.
- Stop Drinking is designed to help listeners relax and overcome the emotional and physical cravings for Alcohol. This relaxing, positive, motivational App will give you the tools to change your thinking and access the incredible power of your unconscious mind. You can learn to easily break unwanted habits and regain control of your clarity of thought, well-being, money, health and much more. Far more powerful than simple mantras or positive thinking, this App uses the power of relaxation, hypnotherapy, positive suggestions and visualisation to allow you to achieve what you want to achieve.
- Stress and Anxiety Companion This is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) app designed to help users manage anxious feelings and identify their triggers. The app has three main features; ‘Tools’, ‘Thoughts’, and ‘Cards’. The ‘Tools’ section has a number of activities aimed to reduce stress and anxiety levels; there are two relaxation audio tracks, one 15-minute Mindfulness exercise and one 10-minute Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise, a visually aided breathing exercise, and brain games to help interrupt anxious or negative thinking.
- Worry Tree – is a simple way to take control of your worries. It has been designed to help you record and manage your worries on the go through a CBT-based simple, secure app. WorryTree has been assessed by the NHS as meeting their criteria for entry onto the NHS Digital Apps Library. WorryTree helps you to build the habit of asking yourself, what are you worrying about right now? We’ll help you to decide whether your worry is something that can be resolved or something you have no control over. Then you can create an action plan for taking control of your worry or find ways to distract yourself from your anxious thoughts. Furthermore, you’ll explore ways to distract yourself from your worry so that you can move on with your day.
- Worry Watch is a unique app that helps to reflect on those momentary priceless self-realizations. By writing down our ‘what if’ anxious thoughts and tracking it to ‘what did’ happen reality, we may get a deeper understanding of our anxiety patterns and triggers. Such an understanding may help challenge our negative thinking habits and affirm optimism instead.
Over to you now
Have you or anyone you know tried any of the above or any other apps? I’d be really interested to hear your views. I’m happy to answer any questions and I look forward to your comments.
You might also want to read this Useful Mental Health Contacts list here. In the meantime, if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health problem or crisis, please contact your G.P. or please call 999 for an immediate response.