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Can an app really help improve mental health? According to the experts, they can. 

With more people than ever reporting symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, it is no wonder that apps aimed at improving emotional wellness are popping up. These apps can help build better habits, stop negative thinking, and help manage anxiety. From meditation to mood tracking, these apps have a range of capabilities, but they all deliver on helping the user become more in tune with themselves. 

Because we believe that you can never have enough tools for managing your mental health, we have highlighted some of the most popular mental health apps below. 

Headspace

Headspace is a meditation app that can help you learn how to go about your day-to-day mindfully. There are hundreds of friendly voice-guided meditation sessions and mindful exercises. The app aims to help with anxiety and stress and find healthy ways of living, using meditation to help you regulate your emotions. Headspace is especially welcoming for those who have never meditated before and is very versatile, with meditation options for every mood, schedule, and time of day. 

Calm

This app is geared towards stress reduction, mindfulness, and better sleep. Calm offers an exclusive ambient music library and a unique collection of sleep stories for adults that are narrated by some of your favorite celebrities. In addition to its sleep features, Calm has meditation tools and guided meditation sessions. 

Happify

Happify uses principles behind positive psychology to help boost overall happiness, productivity, and sense of well-being. This fun app boasts science-backed activities like brain training games to help you reach your goals in terms of mental health, habit building, and positive thinking. Your journey starts by discovering your “happiness score” based on an initial assessment. Then, you will choose a “happiness track” to hone in on a specific habit you want to break or build. To achieve your desired outcome, the app has you take mini-classes, complete challenges, and guided meditations, and fill out regular quizzes to chart your progress. 

Moodfit

This app is a gym for your mind as it is meant to help you get into mental shape. Whether you are looking for a better understanding of your feelings, or you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or high levels of stress, Moodfit is there to help you feel better. The app allows you to track your moods and over time you will have a better understanding of what types of things affect your feelings. Moodfit offers insights into what affects your mood and provides strategies to help you feel better. 

Shine

Shine is a female-focused, self-care app that helps users to rest, heal, and grow through difficulty. Topics that the app addresses are stress, anxiety, burnout, mindfulness, and work frustrations. Shine provides meditations, a gratitude journal, and a daily mood tracker. It also offers an inclusive community so that you can connect with other members at any time. 

What’s Up

This app boasts itself as more than just a diary and habit tracker. It draws from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) to help teach its users dozens of coping mechanisms. These include grounding exercises, breathing techniques, how to recognize distorted thought patterns, and much more. What’s Up also has a built-in forum where you can connect with other users. 

Sanvello

Sanvello provides clinically validated techniques for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. It provides cognitive behavior therapy tools to help teach mindfulness skills. When you download the app, you will be asked to track your mood daily. The app provides questions to help label your emotions and identify patterns in your mood. You will also receive progress assessments that help you track where you are and set goals for the future. 

Smartphone apps are a great way to help track mental health and wellness. Many of those listed above are free or offer free trials. Where not every app is right for everyone, these options allow you to try multiple programs to see what might be the best fit. Keep in mind, that these app suggestions are not a replacement for professional care and should be used to supplement time spent with a professional licensed therapist. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with a mental health issue, please reach out to Alleviant Health Centers today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Kimberly Sandberg Aloha Integrative Health
Kim Sandberg is the owner and founder of Aloha Integrative Health and a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. She has two advanced degrees: a Masters of Science in Nursing as a Nurse Anesthetist and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. She has worked in a variety of settings, though the biggest impact on Kim and her work came from her 28 years of service in the Navy Reserve.

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