One day, I decided to sit down and download 50 free Mental Health Apps. I poured over my phone for hours and hours in order to deliver this neat article to you on which Apps are actually worth your time. You're welcome. Here is a quick run down:
Want to feel more grateful? Try journalling with Stigma.
Want to chat to someone msn messenger style? Try 7 Cups.
Want to start meditating but hate meditation? Try Headspace, 1 Giant Mind or Smiling Mind (depending on your personal preference).
Want a taste of everything? Try Pacifica.
Want a simple app to track your overall happiness? Try Black Dog Snapshot.
Want a colouring app? Try Colorfy.
Want some cognitive training to allegedly improve your brain function? Try Elevate, Lumosity and Peak.
For Mental Health: 7 cups Rating 4.5/5 7 Cups offers users the chance to have online written anonymous chats with a 'trained active listener'. Choose a 'path' that is most relevant to you (paths range from anxiety to college life, loneliness and even eating disorders or bullying), and you get a ton of resources to help you. Whether you want to use this app for chatting to someone or just for the resources available, I highly recommend it. I logged on to the app at 1.00am and was chatting to a lovely girl in India by 1.10am. Highlight: Anonymous support plus friendly bots who talk to you while you wait for your active listener.
Happify Rating: 4/5 Happify creates a measure on how happy and satisfied you are with your life and then gives you specific skill-based games in order to increase your satisfaction in particular areas. I enjoyed the process in Happify of writing down daily things I was grateful for and seeing what others in the Happify community had to say. Happify also provides daily mini articles which are silly and uplifting (although can lead to procrastination so buyer's beware). Highlight: Gratitude Diary Lowlight: A bit hard to navigate as there is a lot going on.
Smiling Mind Rating: 4/5 Smiling Mind is an app which gives you a program full of mindfulness sessions to listen to. I quite enjoyed sitting on public transport and listening to a session in the morning. Highly recommended if you find that you aren't really living in the present moment and time is flying by too quickly. Highlight: This app provides a great intro to the practice of mindfulness and can bring a sense of consistency and routine to mitigate the chaos of everyday life.
1 Giant mind Rating: 4.5/5 1 Giant Mind is a guided meditation app which starts you off with 12 sessions before unlocking a '30 day challenge' to help incorporate meditation into your everyday routine. Highlight: Easy and accessible. Meditation for those who don't meditate. Great backup sounds too. Lowlight: You need to set aside around 15 minutes for each meditation - other apps provide shorter meditations.
Headspace Rating: 5/5 If a simple guided meditation app is what you are after - then look no further. Headspace gives a series of guided meditations on a range of different areas. Whether you want a foundational introduction to meditation or something more tailored to specific areas such as sport, relationships, performance or health, Headspace has it all. Highlight: There are specific series of meditations or singles Another Highlight: Andy's voice is SO nice
Stigma Rating: 5/5 I'm a sucker for writing so it came as no surprise that I enjoyed this app's incorporation of journalling as a means of catharsis. Stigma gets you to write down a twitter-sized rant/journal entry and choose a feeling, to then send off into the Stigma community (or you can keep them private - no names are used when they are posted within the app). As you read over different people's posts for the day, you have the option of sending a heart to those who have written it. I can't say how touched I felt knowing that some cyber stranger had given me a bit of love over me burning my toast that morning. Highlight: A refined journalling app for mental health. Simple and effective!
Pacifica Rating: 4.5/5 Pacifica is great as it combines a lot of the elements from the Apps mentioned above. There is a 'Relax Now' component which is particularly great as you can breathe along with sounds of the ocean. Similar to what is mentioned above, Pacifica can help you log your thoughts, mood, goals, hopes and health over an extended period of time. Highlight: Design and accessibility. Many features. Lowlight: The guided visualisations are lead by an annoying American voice.
Moodmission Rating: 3.5/5 Moodmission was developed by Monash. It asks you a series of questions before providing you with a list of simple tasks to help improve your mood. All research behind the app is accessible to you so you can learn how the tasks may help. Highlight: Scientific basis Lowlight: The app told me to clean my bathroom once.
Black Dog Snapshot Rating: 2.5/5 Black Dog Snapshot is a self-assessment tool to help you keep track of how you are feeling over a period of time. It asks you the same set of questions to measure your overall happiness, support, work satisfaction, alcohol intake and anxiety. By doing this, the app allows you to track your happiness over a long period of time.
Highlight: This app can refer you to a number of resources if you aren't in a good place. Lowlight: I don't rate that the app is based on the same questions. This could be good for someone who wants a simple app though! For Mental Acuity: Although I can't speak to the scientific credibility of computerised cognitive training, I can say that these apps are great fun. You can use these apps daily to track your improvements over a period of time which is very satisfying. Although I felt incredibly disheartened to see my abilities compared to others in my demographic, I'm hoping this may be a marketing guise in order to spark everybody's competitive edge. Here I was thinking that law school was competitive enough.
* Tip: Due to the fact I was using the free version of these apps, I was only permitted to use around 5 games a day. I ended up using all these apps in conjunction with each other and it was/still is fab. Elevate Rating: 5/5
This app was definitely my fave as you can experience the premium version for 1 month for free. Disclaimer: Make sure you change your settings as soon as you get the trial though, as otherwise it will automatically take money from your account once the trial has ended.
Highlight: Games were more enjoyable than other apps. They had lots of visuals and I got easily hooked. Lowlight: Once you get the taste of premium, it's hard to go back.
Runner-ups: Lumosity Peak