Self-care means different things to different people. As we get older, we realize that life doesn’t ever get any easier, we only get stronger. But there are times when everything can get to be a bit much to handle. Letting things build up until you break is no way to live, and if you’re lucky enough to realize that things aren’t right with you, it’s important to do something about it. Therapy comes in many forms – certified therapists, support groups, and online chats, are all resources available when you need help dealing with a trauma or getting past hard times.
With all the news surrounding recent hospitalizations of celebrities like Kid Cudi and Kanye West due to mental health issues, it’s crucial that we began to have these conversations in our communities. Not to mention, that this time of year can be extremely difficult for some who have lost loved ones around the holidays and need extra care to pull through.
Therapy can be extremely and hospitalization can be extremely costly. We are strong believers in preventative action. Small acts of self-care on a daily basis can minimize the chances of hospitalization. One of the most affordable ways to practice self-care and protect our mental health is through apps.
Here are 10 apps you can use in your daily life to help you through times of doubt and worry:
AETAS - Therapist Rosemary Sword along with her husband and clinical partner, Rick Sword, developed this app to try and replace one on one therapy when it wasn’t an option. It integrates Time Perspective Therapy, a method inspired by Phil Zimbardo’s Time Perspective Theory, to remove unhelpful or obsessive thoughts from our minds. The app focuses on educational, interactive and self-soothing components and helps users see how their perspectives on the past, present or future could be helping or holding them back. It’s currently available for iPhone for $4.99.
ACT Coach – This app helps users to combat negative thoughts and feelings of self-doubt with a series of mindful exercises, and guides them through healthy ways to deal with their feelings. The app also features a log to help you keep track of progress on your journey to a clearer mind. It’s available in the app store and is absolutely free.
DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach – This acts as an actual diary for your daily moods and thoughts to be recorded. And while you can just do this with pen and paper, it also gives you instructions on how to handle certain stressful situations in life without the drama or conflict associated with them. And for $4.99 in the app store, it’s definitely worth it when there are incentives for using it consistently.
Depression CBT Self-Help Guide – This free app for available for Android users monitors your patterns in your moods and offers information about clinical depression treatments. This could be a great resource for anyone who struggles with daily mood swings or is constantly fighting a case of the blues. Learn how to get rid of all your negative thinking with this mobile app.
How Are You – This app is important because it allows you to send all of your logged information to a friend or mental health professional with the touch of a button. With a focus on helping you get over your sadness and redirect your thoughts to positivity, it also allows you to see how people around the world are feelings and how often you experience certain emotions. Available for both iPhone and Android, prices range from $.99-$12.99.
Operation Reach Out – With goals of aiding in suicide prevention, this app is not only a mood tracker but basically gives users all the resources they (or others) need to help themselves if having thoughts of suicide. A group of Emory University researchers created the app for users to create a profile and get access to emergency contact information, current medications, safety plans, and reminders for appointments o and medications to take. This app uses GPS to locate mental health care services near you, should you ever need it. It’s free for iPhone and Android.
PTSD Coach - If you suffer from PTSD or any of the symptoms, this app could potentially change your life. It’s very specific in what it helps users deal with on any given day and provides guidance on how to deal with those issues from anxiety to insomnia. PTSD coach is meant to help shift your mood and entire mindset and its available 24 hours per day and is linked directly to support services. It’s completely free for both iPhone and Android users.
Stop Drinking – Let’s face it, a lot of people who are struggling with alcoholism, homelessness and mental health issues are sometimes facing all three and there’s a correlation. This app promotes sobriety and uses relaxation, positivity and visualization to create a calm space in your mind, where you’d be less likely to want to have a drink. But it doesn’t just work when you open it up, it gives you reminders throughout the day to calm down and just breathe. Stop Drinking is available for iPhone and Android and will run you about $2.99.
Talkspace - This apps is an option that might seem suitable for most busy millennials. For a low rate of $25/week, you can talk with a therapist from anywhere. Think of this as texting your problems to a close friend who just happens to be a professional therapist. The app isn’t just for people battling personal issues but for couples as well. The text messages are unlimited and both iPhone and Android users can enjoy this.
Worry Watch – Have you ever been faced with a problem and completely freaked out about it, only it find out later that it was uncalled for? We all have. Situations can sometimes get the best of us but with Worry Watch, they don’t have to. With this app you can track what sparks your anxiety, patterns in mood, and whether it was all for nothing to stop future panic attacks. The app is also password protected and available for just $1.99 for iPhone users.
What do you do to take care of your mental health?