Making Your Phone Your Friend: Apps to Improve Your Mental Health
Guest Writer: Sandy Pace; Alberta
In my book, Your Mental Health and You, one of the things I talk about is how using your phone or tablet can be an effective tool, to improve your mental health. Here are the top four mobile applications that worked for me and many other people.
Youper: Youper is 100% free and it’s available for Android devices and also iPhone/iPad devices and it’s truly an excellent app. It helps you with many things and here a few things that truly make this app stand out from the rest
Journaling especially when you are diagnosed with a mental illness can be incredibly therapeutic. Journaling is a healthy way to process your thoughts and feelings and it helps you to get a more in-depth understanding of how they affect your life.
“It's simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. And if you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal is a great idea. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.” Rochester Medical Center
Youper was also created by psychiatrist Dr. Jose Hamilton. Dr. Hamilton also has over a decade of experience working in the mental health field.
One of the best features of this app is that it gives you the ability to set your intentions and goals for the things you work on. It also has an option for writing down the steps to accomplish those goals.
Youper also gives you the option to personalize your needs and has an option for monitoring things such as your anxiety.
Fabulous: This app has an option for paying or if you just want the free version (like me) you can do that as well. Fabulous is good for people who are interested in improving their self-care routine or people who need a little push for breaking unhealthy habits.
Self-care is a vital part for everyone, especially if you are diagnosed with a mental illness. This app was developed in the Duke's Behavioral Economics Lab.
It works by letting you pick the things you want to work on and gives you the option of the time of day you would like to work on those skills. Then it sends a notification to your phone.
As an example, if you want to work out at a certain time. Fabulous will set a notification for the time you want to exercise and you’ll get a daily reminder.
Moodpath: This is another great app that is available at no cost on either Android or iPhone/iPad. It’s similar to Youper but it has a few things that are very helpful. It was also developed with the help of psychiatrists and therapists. Who have years of experience working in the mental health field.
A few things that make this app stand out are features such as moonpath magazine. Which covers a variety of topics and is also incredibly helpful. The three main components that make this app such a great app are:
1. They have over 150 different psychological exercises and videos
2. You are asked daily questions which determine your mood and wellbeing
3. After two weeks you receive an assessment of your health based on the information you put in the app.
Lastly, if you don’t feel comfortable with these apps or you want something that you can use to work alongside your apps.
My suggestion is using your phone or tablet memo app in combination of the above apps. Your memo app can be used to keep track of triggers and coping strategies, reminders, inspirational quotes (if you like those things).
Your memo app can also be used as a way to have quick access to your support systems such as emergency phone numbers.
These can vary depending on the wants and needs of the person.
Another aspect that these apps provide is that they give your doctor or therapist insights to your progress, and they can use it as a tool to make your sessions better. This is because the more they know, the better they are able to diagnose and treat your symptoms.
About Sandy Pace:
Sandy Pace is a first time writer who currently resides in Calgary, Alberta. With a background in Psychology and Human Services, he has worked as an emergency dispatch operator in western Canada. His professional career in combination with being diagnosed with ADHD has contributed to his understanding of mental health issues on a professional and personal level.