There’s an App For That!
You may have already seen many of the Apps, there are literally hundreds that you might find really useful. From an App to track your mood, activity level or diet, to ones that can assist you in Mindfulness or other relaxation and coping strategies, there really is an App for just about everything!
So how do you choose? First, the disclaimer, an App or any other self-help tool should never replace a trained professional. Just as you should not start a diet or exercise plan without first consulting a physician, if you are experiencing intense emotional difficulties you should discuss with a therapist or your doctor before attempting self-help strategies. If you are already seeing a therapist, talk with them about what you are looking for and maybe together you can find something that can be useful to you both inside and outside of therapy.
Next, making your way through the numerous types of Apps can be daunting. Always be careful, what you are downloading and how much permission you are giving it to your personal files. There are some Apps out there that are literally personal diaries, you certainly do not want you name, address, phone number attached to your deepest innermost thoughts floating out there in cyberland. Be careful! If it seems like too much information, it probably is. Always better to be safe than sorry, find another app if one seems to invasive.
Picking an App that has had hundreds, and maybe thousands of other users that have satisfactorily downloaded and utilized the App is a great way to choose. Not only are these apps typically safer and more reliable but many of the kinks will have been worked out by other users. These apps are usually way more user friendly. Nothing like, the recommendation of a few hundred people!
Trial and error may be your next option. Sometimes, you just do not know until you try it! So, especially if it is free and safe, give it a whirl. If it helps, great, if not uninstall and try another. They certainly will not be all a great fit, so see what works for you.
To get you started, here are a few Apps that have been used by clients a Northstar Therapist. This is just a list, and not an endorsement so please utilize your discretion and talk with your therapist to see if they might be useful (links are added for your ease):
CALM, HEADSPACE, STOP BREATH RELAX, – Are Mindfulness and Meditation APPs designed to assist you in relaxing, breathing, sleeping and relaxing. Free to download, but you can access additional tools with a monthly fee (but this isn’t necessary).
SMILING MIND– is a mindfulness APP for kids and adults you might want to try out for you and your little ones!
BREATHE THINK DO with SESAME STREET– speaking of the kiddoes, you may want to check out this app. Brought to you by Sesame Street! It is a great app at teaching kiddoes about breathing and how it can help them to calm and think more clearly. Very child friendly, as you would expect from Big Bird !
PACIFICA is an APP that has a small monthly charge, but has many happy users. It is aimed at those with Anxiety and Depression and has numerous tools, with daily mood tracker, mindfulness and other tools. This all in one APP may be quite useful to keep you plugged in to your mood and to assist you in utilizing strategies you and your therapist have been working on.
THINK UP– There is a free version and one for only $2.99 every 2 months, with rave reviews in helping you become more positive, affirmed and motivated. It is highly customizable and could be extremely beneficial to those hoping to increase their positivity and daily motivation.
DAYLIO is dubbed a “micro-diary” and allows you to log your daily mood and activities without having to type a single line. It even gives you a daily pop up reminder so you don’t “forget”. This can be highly useful for you and your therapist to track those daily moods and what is helpful and what is not. Free to use, but as always they are hoping you access additional resources for a fee.
SAM app is a free app designed by the University of West England and is aimed at helping users deal with and reduce anxiety. It helps the user identify triggers, log moods and has a “tool box” full of activities that can assist in in reducing anxiety.
Map My Run, My Fitness Pal and a whole slew of other Apps are great to help you with diet and exercise. And there is little else you can do positively for your mind and mental health than to sleep right, eat right and exercise!
As you can see your options are many! Check one out, talk with your therapist, you may discover something new that helps and there may just be . . .
An APP for That!