Do me a favour real quick. Have a browse through your apps…
I bet you have a handful of social media ones? Netflix, your banking app, train tickets and probably some takeaway apps too? I’m absolutely not judging – I definitely have all of those.
There’s no denying apps are incredibly useful in our modern-day lives! So why not take that usefulness, accessibility and effectiveness and put it into action for supporting a good mental health.
The past few months have been ridiculously trialling for most of us; with lockdown, furlough and pre-existing stressors all playing a part. According to Mind, approximately 1 in 4 of us in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year…
And considering 2020 has been a WHOPPER of a year! That feels like a stat we ought to support with some truly helpful apps.
Of course, wellbeing and mental health are issues which have seen a huge rise in awareness over the past few years. It has been a FANTASTIC shift! Off the back of this, more and more apps for mental health crop up in the app stores each week. Overwhelming, right? It can be hard to sift through them all and find the ones actually worthy of downloading!
I’ve recently discovered an official, NHS-approved list of mental health apps! It totally cuts through all the pages of results for ‘wellbeing and health apps’. No more searching.
According to the official NHS website, these apps are all assessed; They take into consideration each app’s appropriateness, usability and potential clinical effectiveness! They also screen the app’s developers on data protection and national regulations so your mind can be fully at ease.
Here are 5 of the apps which caught my eye…
Download for Apple | Currently unavailable for Android
A great alternative to traditional journaling, Cove encourages you to capture your mood and express how you feel through creating a unique piece of music. Declared ‘one of the best mental health apps’ by The Guardian, Cove allows you to make musical creations by piecing together your choice of chords, melody and instruments.
If you’re not a fan of putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper, become the master of your own piece of music to reflect your emotions instead. With a minimal, aesthetically-pleasing interface, Cove is intuitive and the appearance adapts to your creations. Super soothing!
Backed by an official clinical trial, eQuoo is an app based on real, current research. Proven to build resilience and boost your personal development, you’ll certainly go on an adventure within this app! As you can expect, eQuoo is designed by psychologists and is about having fun whilst improving your own emotional quotient.
Something I really love about this app is how you’re solidifying new emotional skills which will benefit you in the game’s timeline, but which extend beyond your in-app adventure too… Real life skills being built here! Perhaps a great one for the teen/young adult in your life.
SilverCloud is an online, eight-week course to help you manage stress, depression and anxiety. You take this one at your own pace, and it’s accessible via an NHS referral.
Don’t be put off by the fact this one is therapy following a referral as the topics you work through will be purposely selected especially for YOU and what YOU’RE going through right now. It’s personalised, thanks to the therapist you’ll have worked with prior. SilverCloud uses CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and is a great way to alter how you think and feel about things, stressors included!
With dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) at its core, the Calm Harm app provides tasks which encourage uses to distract themselves from unhelpful urges to harm. It’s password protected, so you can rest assured this one is totally private.
Calm Harm will give you ways to get your feelings ‘out’ and express them in ways other than giving in to urges to harm. I’ve heard it’s really great for children and young people – You’ll learn to ‘surf the wave’ with this app and get through the storm.
Thrive is a mental health app which uses games to track your mood. The app enables you to teach yourself methods to take control of your stress and anxiety. You’ll learn lots with the Thrive app, including relaxation methods, meditation and deep-breathing. Less negative thoughts and more thriving!
There’s also a Mood Meter where you’re able to track feelings and the situation you were in – The app reflects back to a previous moment you noted to show how your reactions have improved, ultimately forming a better you.
I just need to remind you that these apps should be seen as aids to treatment, and do not replace it. So, without a doubt, contact your GP, visit the NHS website or reach out to your safe people. Text ‘SHOUT’ to ‘85258’ and a trained volunteer will chat with you via text, 24/7. Find out more about Shout here.
You’ll know by now that I’m a huge fan of Headspace – Surprisingly, it wasn’t on the NHS’ official list but it’s well worth checking out. Have you tried any of these apps? Do you have any gooduns already downloaded? Do let me know!