In the 21st century, information is at the infinite disposal for anyone who owns a smartphone (which, if you’re wondering, is almost half of the world’s population). But, who knew that smartphones could help you boost your mood, or stay on track in your addiction recovery? No app can replace mental health professionals, that’s for sure. However, some apps exist that have some serious potential to aid your brain – and stellar reviews. Besides the obvious benefits of traditional therapies, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, people can use apps as supplemental tools to aid their recovery from mood disorders, PTSD, depression, anxiety, addictions, and other mental illnesses.
Ever wish you could talk to someone who is completely unbiased, that you can trust indefinitely, and is available at practically any time? Enter: Talkspace. Talkspace utilizes traditional CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Still, instead, they’re able to do this for you anywhere in the world and at much more flexible times than by scheduling traditional, in-person therapy appointments. TalkSpace can be especially beneficial if you are frequently traveling, don’t have adequate transportation to reach a therapist or coach of any kind. Or, if you need a quicker, more convenient way to sort out feelings and other cognitive functions with a trusted individual, Talk Space could improve your life. In Talk Space, you can chat with your therapist via messaging, or through video calls. According to their website, TalkSpace therapists generally respond 1-2 times per day.
The Calm app rose in popularity within the last few years -and for good reason. With so many features, it’s bound to be the little breath of fresh air in your pocket when you need it most. It offers either monthly or yearly subscriptions, all of which involve a myriad of different meditations. Guided meditations and mindfulness have been proven time and time again to assist in relieving anxiety. Why not commit to daily meditation, especially since some of Calm’s are incredibly convenient, such as their few-minute meditations. Do you struggle with sleep? Calm has guided reflections for that too. Calm can also boost your confidence. Through soothing voices and a vast array of knowledge, Calm has the potential to help someone struggling with anxiety or depression – or feels a little stuck in their head!
Moodnotes is an app that is especially helpful for people with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder consists of a full spectrum of mood swings ranging from mania to depression and inevitably results in a somewhat unstable life. Most people experience the highs and lows of life at some point – we’re all human. But if you’re continually feeling in the gutter one month, and in the clouds the next, you may want to spend some time tracking your moods. Tracking moods can help those with Bipolar distinguish when their depression or manic episodes begin, and what environmental factors might have contributed to them. Sometimes people are too busy to write in a journal every night, but taking down notes about their moods and feelings on their phone can be a much more convenient alternative solution.
4. PTSD Coach
Originally developed for veterans of war, PTSD Coach is a mental health app that is useful for anyone who has been through a traumatic event. Its features include checklists for diagnosing PTSD, as well as other resources and tools to assist those who are experiencing the negative effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a painful illness to overcome, but with the help of professionals and small tools that can work wonders, like PTSD coach, those who have suffered from traumatic events frequently find solace.
5. I Am Sober
Sobriety is no easy feat. Getting clean is often the hardest thing that any alcoholic or addict may do. When someone decides not to drink or use drugs anymore, they’re committing to a life of full presence and continuous growth. This journey isn’t always smooth, and it isn’t easy to stay the course. For this reason, it’s important to remember how far you’ve come when you begin to take your sobriety or clean time for granted. I Am Sober is an app that allows you to count your sober time to remind yourself of your starting point and the point that you’re at now. Whether you have 24 hours or 24 years, I Am Sober can be the reminder you need on the best and worst days. Besides just counting your time sober, I Am Sober also helps people create new habits and remain accountable to their personal goals. What could be better?
6. Heart Rate Monitor
Ever notice how your heart rate drastically increases when you’re stressed or angry? Well, it turns out that you can infer a whole lot about your mood from your heart rate. Your brain, believe it or not, contains neurons. Despite the fact that cortisol increases heart rate, the cells in our bodies communicate in ways we don’t even fully understand yet. How amazing is this? Everything in our bodies is connected. By controlling your breathing and your heart rate, or only becoming aware of it, through an app like Heart Rate Monitor, you may be able to take back the reins on your stress levels. Of course, there is practically a smartphone app for anything nowadays (and thousands for those interested in the self-help realm). These are just some. However, we believe we’ve provided an excellent start for your tech-savvy recovery journey from addiction or mental illness.