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Apps for Improving Mood and Mental Health

Boost Your Mood: Top Apps for Mental Health & Well-being

Living in today's world, technology can be both a blessing and a curse. More specifically, when discussing mental health, there are a lot of different opinions on using technology, social media, and apps to provide support. Although nothing can replace the face-to-face support you may gain from a therapist, psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist, there are many apps on the market that can provide tools and tricks to support you in your mental health journey.

woman outside being calm

What are the pros and cons of using mental health apps? The first benefit to using apps like the ones listed below is that most apps are affordable. An in-office therapy session can be very costly, especially if you're going multiple times per month; the price does add up. Most therapy apps cost much less than traditional therapy sessions, and some arefree! With that being said, these apps do not replace conventional therapy with a qualified professional. Another benefit to these apps is convenience; they can be used anytime and anywhere.

Are you stressed about a project at work and need a meditation break? Pull out the Headspace app! Need support with time management? Download Routine Flow. You can also use some of these apps to track mood, sleep, and behavior patterns (this can be helpful outside of therapy and then bring to your next session).

You might be asking what the downside to using these apps may be; although there are not many, there are a few. First, some of these apps may give you tools to try without having a trained professional to help you figure out how to fit this into your life and routine. This can lead to frustration in not feeling like these tools are effective for you personally.

Therapists can help you find personalized systems to manage mood, anxiety, etc., in a way that works for you. The second downside to these apps is that because mental health apps are relatively new to the scene, they lack comprehensive studies showing that they're an effective form of mental health care. Therapy, on the other hand, has extensive research demonstrating that it is effective. Below are some highly rated mental health apps for anxiety, addiction, depression, and ADHD. Remember, these apps are not a replacement for professional help!

woman meditating outside

Calm: Calm is a mindfulness app that provides guided meditations, breathing techniques, and calming exercises. These practices may encourage relaxation, alleviate tension, and

relieve stress. In turn, you might have the ability to fall asleep quickly and sleep deeply. Calm offers a wide selection of story recordings in various categories, including travel, nature, and nonfiction. Some stories feature celebrity narrators. The app has an extensive music library with soothing, ambient, and natural sounds.

Headspace: Headspace is a meditation app designed to help you live more mindfully. The app offers a wide range of meditations for beginners and experienced users that range from 3 to 20 minutes. Meditation has many benefits, including stress relief, anxiety control, self-awareness, attention span improvement, and even age-related memory loss reduction.

RoutineFlow: RoutineFlow offers the solution to manage your day with ease, turning every morning into a triumph and helping to keep procrastination at bay. Dive into the magic

of structured routines, one step at a time. Create custom routines, time your tasks and create rewards for yourself, and get notifications throughout the day.

Mindshift CBT: The MindShift CBT app was created to provide anxiety relief using CBT tools to adjust thinking and behaviors. The app claims to help tackle worry, panic, perfectionism, social anxiety, and phobias. Features include short meditations, thought journals, coping cards, and activities to face fears, change beliefs, and develop healthy habits.

Better Stop Suicide: The Better Stop Suicide app is designed with psychological techniques to help people who are having suicidal thoughts by encouraging their minds to slow, calm down, and think rationally. However, if you're ever in an emergency situation and feel out of control, the best thing you can do is call a suicide hotline or 911.

Quit That: Quit That! helps people tackle habits and addiction. The app enables you to track habits to quit smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs, or even consuming caffeine. If you're dealing with more serious addictions, you should seek out medical or professional help. Treatment options a specialist might explore include residential treatment, therapy, medication, or support groups.

Mental health apps are not for use in emergencies. If you're in a mental health crisis, please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988, 911, or local emergency services.

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Kate Valente MS, LPC

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