In today’s world, you can use your phone for literally ANYTHING. From posting pictures with your friends faces swapped that your other friends can laugh at for only 24 hours to beating level 236 on your favorite game during your lunch break - the possibilities are endless! Why not use your phone to help you calm down when you’re feeling an anxiety attack coming on or when you need that extra boost to get you out of bed in the morning!?
There are TONS of mental health apps out there - trying them all might cause an anxiety attack rather than prevent one! So we’ve made it easy for you! While these apps are GREAT, keep in mind they aren’t meant to replace therapy! These apps are great tools to use between your weekly sessions, when you’re out of town or when you’re just feeling a little more anxious than usual!
Here are 5, therapist tried and approved, apps worth downloading!
All 5 are available for free in both the App Store and Google Play.
1. Stop, Breathe & Think
Stop, Breathe & Think has you ‘check-in’ for 10 seconds. After your check in, you’ll choose how you’re feeling mentally and physically, then you’ll pick up to 5 emotions - ranging from enthusiastic to resentful. After you pick the magic words, a list of guided meditations appropriate for your mood will appear. The guided meditations range from 2 minutes to about 15 minutes. This app is perfect when you’re feeling overwhelmed but time is of the essence. Close your office door or run to your car, pick out those emotions and allow the guided meditation to bring you back to a sense of calm. You can take as little or as long of time as you want! It also has different badges to keep you motivated to do the meditations regularly and share your progress with friends!
2. What’s Up?
‘What’s Up?’ is not to be confused with WhatsApp. What’s Up? Offers trackers to help you keep track of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as well as a journal section. The best part of the app is the ‘grounding’ section which is somewhat of a game of grounding techniques to help ground you and keep you calm in the moment! Other great features include uplifting quotes and a habit tracker to help you monitor your progress! This app is great to use in the midst of anxiety or panic attacks, when feeling overwhelmed, or when feeling hopeless!
3. Panic Relief Free
Panic Relief is great for coping with panic and anxiety. It provides you with four different relaxation methods focusing on either arm, chest, body or square. It then provides you with an animated cartoon of how to do these relaxation techniques/exercises! It also provides you with answers to questions like “What is a panic attack?”
Pacifica provides you with coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety specifically. With a mood tracker, personal journal and health goals, it keeps track of your progress and gives you insight about trends and habits. Another awesome part is the daily challenges - challenging you to do things to overcome your anxiety!
If you find yourself playing games on your phone more often than not, this is the app for you! Happify is full of games scientifically proven to improve your mood! Whether you’re feeling stressed out or bummed about the hard exam you just took, or feeling sad and depressed because of a recent breakup - this app will help elevate your mood! Simply choose a specific track, and get playing!
If you have any questions about using these apps, please talk with your therapist directly. If you do not have a therapist, but would like to seek counseling at Baltimore Washington Counseling Center, please complete our request for intake. Please note that using mental health apps should not replace professional mental health care.