According to the World Health Organization, “Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.” Taking care of your mental health is essential, but sometimes it can be difficult. In no particular order, these are my top 4 apps that have helped me take care of my mental health.
Finch: Self Care Pet
Finch: Self Care Pet is a completely free app that helps create a personalized mindfulness routine, which builds motivation and can decrease feelings of anxiousness. This app reminds and encourages you to complete daily tasks and practice mindfulness by sending you notifications throughout the day. The way the app works is every user is given a “self-care pet” called a Finch. For your pet to grow, you need to complete tasks. The app offers some suggested daily tasks, such as journaling prompts and washing your face. You can also add your own daily tasks or goals to reflect your personal wants and needs. For every goal you complete, you are given a certain amount of energy points. These energy points are used to help your pet grow and reach new milestones. At the end of each milestone, your finch reveals something new about itself, such as its favorite food, song, show, or game.
One thing users find very effective with this app is it tracks your mood when you log in and keeps track of how often you use a specific name or place and the feelings around it while journaling. At the end of the week, you receive a report that sums up your moods and experiences for the past 7 days. It’s really helpful to see if the reason for your good or bad mood is caused by a specific person or experience. This app encourages you to sit down and reflect while also motivating you to get out of bed and complete daily tasks.
Humans Anonymous is another completely free app available for anyone to join on the app store. This app encourages its users to speak out loud about their problems while simultaneously remaining anonymous. When using this app, you have the choice of joining a specific group based on something you are currently struggling with or you can join a general group if you need to speak but don’t think you have anyone to listen. Specific groups only have meetings once a day, but the general community meetings run several times throughout the day. You can also choose if you want to share in the meeting or just listen in.
This app is extremely beneficial because verbalizing your problems can help you to overcome them. At the same time, hearing stories of people who are in a similar situation can help you feel more connected and understood. You might even see the situation from a new perspective. Unfortunately, there are no trigger warnings provided so you must join at your own risk.
Headspace: Mindful Meditation
Headspace: Mindful Meditation allows its users to choose topics they want to focus on, such as stress or falling asleep, and then guides them through a meditation practice directly related to the topic they chose. This app also offers a section called “meditation essentials” which teaches beginners the basics of mindfulness and meditation.
The different mindfulness practices offered by this app can help you relax and cope with whatever the day may bring. Mindfulness practices have also been proven to decrease levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Each practice shows unique animations, which makes this app more appealing to use and the app keeps track of your meditation progress.
Youtube is a well-known video-sharing app and is entirely free. Although this app’s primary purpose is not to support mental help, certain content creators use Youtube as a platform to share their own experiences, methods of coping, as well as meditation and yoga practices.
The downside to using Youtube for better mental health is Youtube allows anyone to post and rarely fact-checks, so when watching these content creators you have to be sure that the person you’re watching is a licensed professional before taking any advice. Other than that, Youtube is a great resource for hearing others’ experiences, which can help you feel more comfortable talking about your own experiences. Additionally, having an infinite amount of videos to choose from gives you a better chance of finding a meditation or yoga practice that works for you. My favorite channel is @Yogawithadriene. The creator of the channel, Adriene Mishler, is a certified yoga instructor and her channel mainly focuses on teaching mindfulness yoga. This channel is very diverse as it offers yoga for any level as well as yoga to deal with specific experiences that range from yoga to decrease bloating to yoga to improve self-love.
Overall taking care of your mental health can be tough at times but hopefully by utilizing resources like these apps, it can become easier.