Mental health is already a pandemic. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, every fifth adult in the US is struggling with a mental health issue! Now throw COVID-19 into the mix and we have a catastrophe at our hands.
In this time of extreme crisis, it has become even harder for everyone to hold on to their mental well-being. For example, Abby Moore has highlighted an alarming fact in her post that the idea of suicide has crossed the mind of every 1 in 4 young adults in the last 30 days! To make matters worse, the fear of getting infected is definitely holding people back from visiting medical facilities to seek medical help.
With all this on my mind, I set off on the quest to explore and find apps that can help you take care of your mental health.
Why Mental Health Apps?
We are surely living in an exciting time when it comes to Healthcare Technology. There are thousands of companies busy researching the pair of healthcare and technology. And their hard work has paid off. We can reap the fruits of their years of research – without breaking our banks. Plus, there’s no need to book an appointment, wait for an eternity, and then take the risk of visiting a hospital.
To pick the cream of the crop, I put my research and tech chops to good use. I dug out loads of potential options, shortlisted them base on my initial research and then started using them, one by one. And don’t worry, I used every shortlisted app long enough to reach a well-informed conclusion. My yardstick to evaluate the apps was simple: the apps needed to be effective, user-friendly and backed by solid medical research.
Top 5 Mental Health Apps
Time to reveal those 5 apps that topped my list. Ready? Here we go…
1. My Possible Self (mypossibleself.com)
The major objectives of this app are to help the users manage their anxiety, stress, and negative moods. This app has a welcoming, ‘fuzzy’ kind of interface that makes you feel welcome. Its main features include specialized self-help modules, a mood tracker along with a tool for getting detailed insights about your moods. Another thing I noticed was that all the features of this app stand on established mental health therapies like Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Problem-solving therapy, and Interpersonal therapy.
The Good Samaritan developers of My Possible Self have decided to offer this useful app for free during the COVID-19 pandemic!
2. Mood Fit (getmoodfit.com)
Mood Fit is an all-in-one kind of source to help you maintain your sanity in today’s insane world. It has something for everyone. Using this app, you can:
● track your moods and see the not-so-obvious patterns
● get customized positive reminders to stay out of the negative thinking loop
● keep a track of your lifestyle and its effect on your mental health
● get assistance for deep meditations
Mood Fit has the ability to quickly become your go-to digital place for preserving your sanity.
3. Happify (happify.com)
The name says it all. Happify helps you to be happy and stay happy. The developers have harnessed the power of science to help you improve your emotional health. The app offers various games and activities to re-program your brain for enhanced positivity and break the vicious cycle of negativity.
I really liked the ‘Happiness Score’ feature in this app. Watching it go up was an uplifting experience.
4. Headspace (headspace.com)
Headspace can easily become the one-stop-shop for all your meditation needs. The app does offer other features like sleep and mindfulness assistance but meditation is its main strength. I found their vast library of guided meditations to be very handy; each one covering a different need or life situation. The interface is also very pleasing to the eye and all the features are easy to locate in the app. Whether you want to start meditating or enhance your meditational experiences, Headspace is an option worth trying out.
5. Sleep Cycle: Sleep analysis & Smart Alarm Clock (sleepcycle.com)
More and more people are struggling with sleep today. Getting a good night’s sleep seems to have become a thing of the past. But today’s digital health technology makes it possible to help us achieve that.
Unlike most of its competitors, Sleep Cycle is not just a mix of relaxing soundtracks and alarms. It stands on hard science and sleep experts’ research. This app gives you detailed sleep insights after closely monitoring your sleeping patterns. The result: you get the deep, rejuvenating sleep that you need to maintain your best health.
Words of Caution
So this was a brief overview of the 5 health tech apps that I found to be effective in their respective areas. But before you head to the app store and hit the install button, I would suggest you go through the developer’s website and review their ideologies and app features in detail first. This due diligence will later pay off in terms of what could work best for you.
Since we are talking about health issues, I’d like to drop in a word of caution. The apps discussed in this post are by no means a complete alternative to professional medical help. These apps should best be considered as preventive care tools for your precious mental health.