Do you ever think, “I would love to make changes to my mental health, but it is difficult to develop new habits”? Would it be helpful for you to develop an increased sense of self-awareness, healthier daily habits, more mindfulness, or decrease your stress, anxiety, or depression symptoms? Do you have a cell phone? If you answered “yes” to some or all of these questions, this blog may be of help to you. Listed below you will find a few apps you can download onto your phone that can assist with developing mindfulness, learning how to meditate, implementing breathing and relaxation routines, and even tracking your thoughts, moods, and behaviors to increase awareness of patterns in your life that may be impacting your mental and emotional health.
Youper can be downloaded for FREE, with upgraded features of course, on iPhone or Android. It is an app that utilizes an AI that personalizes features for you. You can participate in meditations, have short conversations focused on your mental health needs, track your moods, as well as receive other helpful mental and emotional assistance.
Daylio is an app that you can utilize to track your mood and keep brief diary entries on a daily basis. When mood tracking, noticing patterns and the other factors impacting mood can be helpful in making changes. Daylio even offers a number of chart and statistic features that track the various activities you are involved in as well as your trends of moods. Daylio is available on iPhone and Android, and it is also FREE.
Available on iPhone and Android, Headspace is another app designed to improve emotional wellbeing. Headspace has guided meditations and encourages the development of mindfulness. Their goal is to teach you how to meditate and incorporate it into your life. Mindfulness and meditation can reduce stress and incorporating regular practices of both can improve mental health over time. Headspace is a FREE app.
Calm offers meditations, exercises, sleep, and music features. It is designed to reduce stress, improve focus, and assist in overall emotional health. It does come with an annual cost of $60 a year, although a free trial is available if you want to give it a try first. Calm is available for both iPhone and Android.
This app is only available on iPhone, but it is FREE and contains various mindfulness meditations. If you do not have an iPhone you can also visit www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations and access the meditations online. I am personally a fan of the guided meditations that the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center has to offer. Their body scan meditation for sleep and their 5 minute breathing exercise are among my favorites. Increasing mindfulness takes practice, and having guided meditations is a great way to get started.
Each of us are holistic beings with mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual aspects to our whole selves. When improving one area, we can often improve other areas, and it is important to remember that all of these pieces of ourselves are interconnected. As therapists, we often begin work with mental and emotional awareness, and having practices put in place such as meditation, self-awareness in our mood, thoughts, and behaviors, and daily healthy activities, can increase one’s overall wellbeing. We encourage you to try an app that might work best for you. Whether you are seeing a therapist or not, daily practices such as those offered in these apps may improve your overall health and be of assistance in your mental health journey.
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