Let’s be honest: getting better can be really boring. Whether it’s remembering to take your meds, going to therapy or dealing with unstable moods, the whole business of getting, and staying, well can be tedious and unexpectedly paperwork-heavy.
But never fear! There are a whole host of apps to help you from the comfort of your own phone. Introductions to mindfulness, mood tracking technologies and even mental health inspired RPGs – we’ve rounded up the best apps for managing mental health.
SuperBetter is a mental health app with a difference. Rather than a simple mood tracker or diary, SuperBetter is an RPG (role-playing game), with quests, challenges, ‘bad guys’ and boosts. The app covers everything – from social, emotional, mental and physical challenges – and is a fun way to challenge yourself and instill good habits. As you level up, further coping strategies are unlocked and explained, making getting better MUCH less boring.
Headspace has had a bunch of good publicity, and it’s easy to see why. NICE have been recommending mindfulness since 2005 for patients with depression, and with a clear, easy to use interface and a selection of simple guided meditations, Headspace is a great introduction to the practice. But, while mindfulness has proven positive for many people with anxiety and depression, it’s not a cure-all and other apps may provide a more rounded guide to self care or illness management.
Pacifica is an app geared at reducing anxiety. The app provides daily, weekly and monthly mood trackers, guided meditation and breathing exercises, experiments designed to test and improve your levels of anxiety, and a thought journal to share your feelings. Based on cognitive behavioural therapy, Pacifica is a great alternative to Headspace if you’re after a map of your thoughts and moods to complement breathing exercises and meditations.
4. Drinkaware: Track and Calculate Units
Drinking too much can be a symptom of mental illness, or a problem in its own right. The Drinkaware unit tracking app allows you to take control of your drinking by monitoring unit consumption. There’s also the ability to log triggering locations to enable motivational push notifications whenever you’re nearby, as well as a range of goals to set. You even unlock achievements when you hit your goals, so it’s easy to stay motivated.