As Christmas approaches, I can’t help but wonder how daunting Christmas will be for many this year, who don’t get to spend it with family and loved ones, thanks to COVID-19.
The mental health crisis seems to have deepened with the arrival of COVID and the resulting loss of loved ones, lockdowns, loss of jobs, business and income, and looming uncertainties. It is forecasted to get worse especially with London and parts of UK being placed under tier 4 – which means no visits, no hangouts, STAY HOME!
So, I have found 20 mental health support apps – some free, some paid, to help my readers manage and cope during these difficult times.
The Free Apps
Breathe2Relax is a free but simple, intuitive, and attractive mobile 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. This app can be personalized to a pace that the user finds relaxing; includes a video demo, reading materials, and charts to map personal progress. Helpful for self-starters or those working with a therapist to include breathing techniques in their overall treatment.
is a free app that can help you to lift your mood when you are feeling sad or depressed. It has a Thought Diary that enables you to improve your mood by analysing your thoughts and identifying negative / distorted thinking patterns based on principles from Cognitive Therapy.
You can take the PHQ-9 depression questionnaire and track your symptom severity over time. It also allows you to develop a suicide safety plan to keep you safe and utilise emergency resources during a suicidal crisis.
MindShift CBT uses scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety. It has tools that can help you tackle: Worry, Panic, Perfectionism, Social Anxiety, Phobias etc. It has various features that include: QUICK RELIEF-When you need anxiety help fast, use these quick and easy tools to help you take a breath, ground yourself, shift your thinking, and take steps to cope. TOUGHT JOURNAL- Transform your worries into balanced and helpful thoughts by identifying and challenging thinking that keeps you trapped in anxiety. COPING CARDS- Ease your anxiety in the moment by re-adjusting your thinking with helpful coping statements.
4. PE Coach
PE Coach Prolonged Exposure (PE) is an evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD that helps you decrease distress about your trauma. PE has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for PTSD.
PE Coach is a mobile application (mobile app) for patients to use with their therapists during PE therapy for PTSD. PE Coach is a treatment companion that helps you and your therapist work through the PE treatment manual.
5. PTSD Coach Online
PTSD Coach Online is for anyone who needs help with upsetting feelings. Trauma survivors, their families, or anyone coping with stress can benefit. It will provide you with various tools that will help you manage stress.
Sanvello is an app designed to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. It provides you with all of the support you need to help improve your mental health—on your terms. Sanvello provides you with coping tools that enables you to manage symptoms and track your progress.
It also has a community to provide peer support. You can access expert advice through Sanvello Coaching.
This app is designed to be used in conjunction with therapy, not as a substitute for professional treatment.
7. Self-Help Anxiety Management (SAM)
SAM app is a free application to help you understand and manage anxiety. SAM will help you to understand what causes your anxiety, monitor your anxious thoughts and behaviour over time and manage your anxiety through self-help exercises and private reflection.
The “Social cloud” feature will enable you to share your experiences with the SAM community while protecting your identity.
8. CBT Thought Record Diary
The centerpiece of cognitive-behavioral therapy is changing your emotions by identifying negative and distorted thinking patterns.
You can use CBT Thought Record Diary t#1 FREE Mood Journal and Thought Record for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
It has various features that enable you to check in with your moods and track them over time; Identify common negative thinking patterns in your thoughts; Challenge and reframe your thoughts to increase your happiness and well-being.
Whatsup provides daily tools that promote positive mental health and wellbeing for everyone in your organization. It is secure, confidential and non-judgmental and it allows your wellbeing department to instantly support those that need help most.
The app allows you to, rate your mood as it changes throughout the day and see any patterns with history tracker, add thoughts, feelings, or context to your own diary and mood ratings, get answers and advice to any questions you have in complete confidence.
Anxiety Coach Anxiety coach is a program for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Mayo Clinic Anxiety Coach uses a series of videos and guided questions to help kids, teens, and families make a personalized plan to work on anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
The Paid Apps
Moodkit MoodKit is a cognitive behavior therapy toolkit and the one-of-a-kind journal to capture your mood and help improve your thinking habits.
It was designed to help you apply effective strategies of professional psychology to your everyday life.
With four integrated tools, MoodKit helps you to engage in mood-enhancing activities, identify and change unhealthy thinking, rate and chart mood across time, and create journal entries using custom templates designed to promote well-being. The price for the app is $4.99.
12. Anxiety Reliever
Anxiety Reliever This app was designed to help you relax and overcome anxiety and stress. Anxiety Reliever is free to download but with a $5.99 per month fee to upgrade.
13. Worry Watch
Worry Watch was designed to help you put your worry and stress into perspective. It has special features like the: Anxiety Journal- which enables you to capture your anxious thoughts with great level of detail, Anxiety Tracker- which enables you to challenge your negative thoughts, triggers & patterns etc.
The price is $3.99.
Happify is an app designed to provide simple & effective solutions for your mental health & well-being. Happify brings you effective tools and programs to help you take control of your feelings and thoughts.
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.
You can either pay the full yearly price of $139.99 upfront (it amounts to $11.99/month) or select their monthly payment plan of $14.99/month.
Calm was designed to help you with sleep and meditation.
It provides you with guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, stretching exercises, and relaxing music that will help you deal with stress, anxiety etc.
You can get a 7-Day Free Trial then US$69.99 billed annually or Calm for Life for US$399.99 billed once, get it forever.
Headspace is targeted towards improving the health and happiness of the world by providing access to meditation. Headspace is a global leader in mindfulness and meditation through its app and online content offerings. It is free for the first 10 sessions only, after ($12.99/Month or $9.99/Year for students)
The skills taught include mindfulness and cognitive diffusion, breathing exercises, meditation practice, tips for increased relaxation, concentration; may be applied to anxiety and depressive disorders, PTSD, and OCD, especially in conjunction with a health provider.
17. Panic Relief
Panic Relief s a cognitive therapy app designed to help people who suffer from fear, anxiety and panic attacks by providing support wherever you are.
Panic Relief provides exercises that will gradually enable you to manage and move through panic attacks.
There is a free version and you only pay $0.99 for upgraded version.
18. Talkspace Online Therapy
Talkspace makes therapy available and affordable for all. Talkspace Online Therapy offers a comprehensive online mental health treatment options to meet all your needs. Talkspace allows you to send a therapist text messages, audio messages, as well as picture and video messages in a private, text-based chat room. (Various plans available ranging from $65 to $99/week).
They also offer services for individuals and couples, so if your partner wanted to learn how to support you through your depression, they can download the app too. (Various plans available ranging from $65 to $99/week).
nOCD was designed with the help of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) specialists and patients to incorporate two treatments: mindfulness and Exposure Response Prevention Treatment.
Therapy is clinically proven to significantly reduce impairment and distress from OCD symptoms. Their licensed ERP-trained therapists can help you get better and provide 24/7 support to make sure you stay better. They can help you design a treatment plan for you based on your OCD themes.
It offers people live virtual therapy sessions with a licensed mental health provider which are paid for per session and you can book a free call.
Platform users have free access to self-help tools and peer communities. It offers people live virtual therapy sessions with a licensed mental health provider which are paid for per session.
MoodMission MoodMission is an evidence-based app designed to help you deal with stress, low moods and anxiety. It gives you a tailored list of 5 simple, quick, effective, evidence-based Missions to improve your mood. Price ($7.99)
Anyone can use MoodMission, whether you just want a lift in your day or need a bit more help recovering from anxiety or depression. Price ($7.99)