The pandemic hasn’t just impacted the world physically and financially, it’s hit home mentally too. Being in isolation for the best part of twelve months has either brought out or developed various mental health issues for people across the world, not to mention reintroducing ourselves into society. Who would have thought we’d ever had to recover from a lockdown?
We all love playing video games and messing around with the latest tech, but it doesn’t necessarily help us manage our mental health needs, which are still misunderstood in 2021. Whether you’re vocal about mental health issues or not, there are some great apps that can help manage mental health overall, with some targeting specific mental ailments such as anxiety and depression.
Before we get into some of these apps, we just wish to make it clear that these apps will not simply cure any and all mental health struggles. A healthy diet, exercise, and staying linked in with your GP or health specialist is highly recommended not just for managing mental health, but for your physical health and wellbeing too.
The Best Mental Health Apps
Here are some stand-out mental health management/help apps from Google Play and App Store. There really is something here for everyone, but most importantly we hope you find something that makes life just that little bit easier:
Good For: Meditation to help manage stress, anxiety, depression, and more.
Price: £9.99 a month
Some of the PC Guide team use Headspace to help set our minds up for the day, or to take a moment out if things are getting a bit too much. The secret to Headspace (and meditation) isn’t just using it when you need to, or when you’re at breaking point, but to take advantage of daily bite-size meditations. Getting into this routine will help build up mindfulness and awareness, which is a very powerful state of mind to be in. Find it on Google Play and the App Store.
Good For: Learning coping mechanisms.
This NHS-recommended helps manage stress and anxiety whilst giving you some clever tools to help manage those down days. It helps to track moods whilst educating users on best practice coping mechanisms, which must be worthwhile judging by its 3 million active users. Find it on Google Play and the App Store.
Good For: Guided meditations and more inc. celebrity content
Guided meditations are very popular these days across YouTube and streaming. It’s no wonder mental wellbeing apps are getting in on the action. Calm puts their own spin on this with guest celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Harry Styles to help you on your way with general calmness content and ‘sleep scapes’ and sleep stories. Find it on Google Play and the App Store.
Good For: Qualified professional therapy sessions
Price: £49 per session or £149 for the year.
Covid-19 has taught us the value of working from home and virtual services, cutting down costs, commutes and having a brilliant work/life balance. Babylon offers professional therapy sessions alongside prescription services, appointments with qualified GPs, and healthcare informational services. Registered behavioral therapists will carry out virtual video appointments, so you know you’ll be in the best hands. Find it on Google Play and the App Store.
Good For: Breathing and distracting exercises alongside worry management.
Anxiety is an absolute pain to manage at the best of times, and it’s even harder to focus on how to calm the symptoms down. Luckily, Chill Panda is a free app that specializes in breathing and distracting exercises to help manage those anxiety attacks and spikes. If you’re anything like some of the PC Guide team, worrying is a big thing to deal with when it comes to anxiety. Find it on Google Play and the App Store.
Cove: Music for mental health
Good For: Learning how to express feelings
The hardest thing to do for many of us is to explain how we’re feeling, especially in circles that don’t see mental health as a priority or a weakness. This is part of a wider problem of nailing down the fundamentals of mental health awareness so people know it’s OK to not be OK and get the help they need. Using music to invoke emotions, users can note down their feelings and get used to expressing and processing different emotions daily. Find it on the App Store.
Good For: Teen mental health management
Being a teenager is rough emotionally. Without various external modifiers, the chemical changes and growth in teenagers really knock emotional balances off. Add to the mix over a year of lockdowns and lack of stimulation and users will have a boiling pot of emotions to deal with. By using AI and qualified mental health professionals, users can essentially use a chatbot to express their emotions and work through them. There’s also a plethora of courses to deal with anxiety, self-esteem, bullying, and more. Find it on Google Play and the App Store.
Good For: Post and Prenatal mental health care
Price: £16.99 a month
The only thing that’s more emotionally confusing than being a teenager is being a pregnant or new mother. The chemical imbalances for expecting mums are unreal and hard to cope with for both parents, but mostly Mummy of course. Things such as stress and post-natal depression can have devastating effects on Mum and Baby, Biamother delivers pregnancy-focused meditations, podcasts, and anxiety help from experts to help you cope with pregnancy and being a new Mum. Find it on Google Play and App Store.
My Possible Self
Good for: Happiness and wellbeing tools
My possible self is an interactive tool that helps its users develop positivity and well-being-focused behaviors that, alongside CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), can help manage various mental health conditions. We’re not saying it’s not OK to have a down day, but CBT and learning the right toolset that helps you will make those days feel a lot easier to cope with. Find it on Google Play and App Store.
Other Mental Health Help
We really hope one of these apps helps you in your day-to-day, but again we must point out that all of the above apps are tools intended to help you. If you are struggling, please consult your GP for an appointment. Mental health issues can be a result of chemical imbalances that need medical attention, just like physical ailments. If you feel like you can’t wait for an appointment or you are a danger to yourself in any way, please find the below hotlines for help right away:
- Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: [email protected] for a reply within 24 hours
- Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19
- Under 19? you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.
- Find our local NHS urgent mental health helpline here
StayingSafe.net also offers help and guidance for anyone struggling or supporting someone struggling with suicidal thoughts to create a safety plan. Mind, a UK mental health charity, can also help in times of crisis. Click here for more information. In the event of an emergency, please call 999.
For our readers in USA
The apps in the above guide will also be available to you for the most part. Mental Health America is also a great support service, click here for more information. They also give the following information on their contact us page:
“If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 911, go to the nearest emergency room, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center or text MHA to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line.
You can also call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline. Trained crisis workers will listen to you and direct you to the resources you need.”