The use of mobile health is quickly growing with new apps being offered all the time. It can be challenging to decipher which app is useful, and appeal of one over another will likely vary by individual’s needs. Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, and other mental health clinicians are increasingly faced with questions about the efficacy and risks of mobile and online apps. In fact, The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has a section dedicated to this topic and we encourage you to read more about this rapidly relevant area: ADAA Mental Health App Review - ADAA
We do, however, have some apps that appeal universally, and have listed a handful of our favorites below.
Please note, these are not a substitute for in-person support or crisis needs.
UCLA Mindful - Practice mindfulness meditation anywhere, anytime with the guidance of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. Scientific research shows mindfulness can help manage stress-related physical conditions, reduce anxiety and depression, cultivate positive emotions, and help improve overall physical health and well-being.
|Headspace - The mindful meditation app. Relax with guided and mindfulness techniques that bring calm, wellness and balance to your life in just a few minutes a day. This app does a great job of describing basic concepts, presenting meditation in a user-friendly way and gives clear instructions.|
|Wellmind - Free NHS mental health and wellbeing app designed to help with stress, anxiety and depression. Includes advice and signposting to help with mental health and wellbeing.|
|Stop, Breathe & Think - Meditation and mindfulness to help you feel strong, connected and inspired through life’s ups and downs. A unique approach, allows daily check-in, yoga, guided mediations and personalized experiences.|
|Calm - For mindfulness and medication, to being clarity, joy and peace to your daily life. Helps to reduce anxiety, and achieve better sleep, offers guided mediation, sleep stories and breathing programs.|
|Slumber - Fall asleep, insomnia. Fall asleep easily with powerful sleep stress and mediation. New sleep inducing episodes added weekly.|
|In Hand - Using a traffic light system, acts as a digital friend to help with stress and low mood. Taking you through different exercises depending on how your feeling. Focuses on wellbeing and finding balance.|
|Distract - Reliable health information and support for people who self-harm or feel suicidal. Provides easy, quick and discreet access to general health information and advice about self-harm.|
|Insight Timer - Offers the largest free library of guided meditations on earth and the world’s most loved meditation Timer, for free.|
|10% Happier - An exclusive library of video lessons and guided meditations that help you improve your relationships, work, and health.|
|Breathe2Relax - Free, and easy to use app, designed by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology to teach breathing techniques to manage stress. The skills taught may be applied to those with anxiety disorders, stress, and PTSD|
|Happify - A self-guided app that aims to increase positive emotions through exercises and games supported by positive psychology and mindfulness research. Activities are backed up with a blurb about research or scientific rationale that the user is encouraged to read. It is free with paid upgrades.|
For More Information:
ADAA Reviewed Mental Health Apps - The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides an overview of apps they recommend with a detailed summary to support their recommendations.