We’re seeing more and more apps designed to help you monitor and improve your mental health. They are increasingly based on therapeutic techniques and have gone through research and trials to ensure they are effective. It’s usually helpful to try a few and find one that fits into your life – so here are some mental health apps to get you started.
Sleepio is a digital CBT programme for tackling insomnia that has been through a successful real world trial. It can help with insomnia and, as a result, decrease depression and anxiety. It uses questionnaires to assess worries, sleep schedule and lifestyle before teaching relevant CBT techniques.
Or, if it’s waking up that’s more of a problem, the SleepCycle app tracks your sleep and (in the 30 minutes before you need to be up) identifies a lighter sleep phase and wakes you up gently. Waking up during light sleep feels more like waking up naturally and makes it easier.
We’ve written about Headspace before in the article ‘Using Tech to Help You Maintain the Mindful Habit‘. It’s an app that helps you get into the habit of taking some mindful time each day, while explaining the theory and the benefits.
You can get immediate feedback on your breathing rate, enabling you to literally stop and take a deep breath. It can also help to slow your breathing through monitoring activities and games.
Improve Your Mood
Moodnotes is another of the mental health apps mentioned here that is based on CBT principles. It helps you log your mood with a simple swipe or with more in-depth notes and thoughts. As you log, the app will try and identify patterns in your moods and ask you questions to get you thinking about your feelings. It will also suggest CBT techniques to help you manage more difficult moods and avoid that negative spiral it can sometimes be easy to slip into.
You can also download and share your notes and info to share with your doctor or therapist.
We all know that exercise is good for your mental health. But getting started and keeping going can both be hard work at times. The NHS Couch to 5k beginner’s running programme has podcasts you can download or an app to help support and motivate you, step-by-step, over 5 weeks.
Or if running isn’t for you, why not try the seven-minute workout challenge app. This app guides you through one seven-minute workout a day, with additional workouts available within the app. Seven minutes is an achievable aim for everyone – but if you’re struggling to find the time, have a look at our productivity and efficiency app review.
Of course, different things work for different people – and you may have to try a few techniques to find one that works for you. Which mental health apps or tools do you use to help you manage and improve your mental health?