Counting calories? There’s an app for that. Checking your bank? There’s an app for that too! From e-mail to GPS, to brain games and 24/7 news, our iPhones and Androids are often loaded with applications that fit all of our needs, making them awesome pocket-sized life management tools. So while we emphasize our phone’s ability to do almost everything for us, we must not neglect its ability to enhance our emotional and mental health!
Although smart phone apps are not stand-alone treatments for depression, anxiety and mood disorders, they can be great additions to ongoing therapy and medication management. Here are some terrific and practical apps that can nurture our emotional and mental health in between “snapchatting” our friends and tracking our meals.
- eCBT Calm: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a major component of depression treatment and other mental health issues. Based off the effective skills of CBT, eCBT is an Apple app that helps women analyze their anxiety, challenge destructive thoughts and encourage positive actions.
- Optimism: Part of maintaining good mental health after inpatient treatment is learning to recognize when our mood is changing and the triggers. Optimism is especially helpful for women with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and depression, as they can chart their mood and note day-to-day events to see if there are any warning signs or notable patterns. It is also a useful addition to therapy, as women can relay valuable information to their therapist or healthcare provider.
- Relax Melodies: Quality sleep is vital to a woman’s emotional and mental health but is often compromised when we become overwhelmed by stress, mania, anxiety and depression. With nearly a perfect rating on iTunes, the Relax Melodies app is one of the best ways to stimulate deep sleep and relaxation, and is available on both Android and iPhone.
- BellyBio: BellyBio is an interactive app available for the iPhone that helps manage stress and anxiety through reinforcing breathing exercises. By placing the phone on your belly the app syncs calming rhythms to your breathing, allowing you to be mindful of your breathing and allowing you to relax.
- LifeCharge: LifeCharge is a journal-esque app that is only supported on Apple products but has a 5 ½ out of 6 star rating. Each day you enter the positives and negatives of your day, helping you be mindful of what brings you happiness and what things are causing you to feel depressed or anxious.