The brain is, in layman’s terms, the controller of the whole “you.” Once it fails or deteriorates, everything else will follow suit to fall apart. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and can make a contribution to his or her community. Mental health issues, illnesses, and disorders can sometimes pop out of nowhere, due to traumatic experiences, genetics, inheritance, and other causes. These are tackled, reduced, and taken care of through regular psychiatric and psychological therapy and/or medications, or any means necessary. But sometimes, “keeping your head above shallow and deep, dark waters” can be quite costly for most people suffering from mental health issues, no matter how mild or severe it may be. According to researches and statistics, a small percentage of people actively seek professional help caused by several reasons. May it be financial or personal problems, misconceptions and lack of general mental health education, romanticism and commercialism of mental health, and the overall stigma that still surrounds mental health.

Top 12 Apps to Improve Mental Health

These mental health applications are believed to reach people who would otherwise not receive any help by removing the multiple barriers for extensive treatments. Pexels But of course, note that these mental health applications do not fully substitute traditional medical therapies and evaluations. They are only mere tools, guides, and supplements that can be used by anyone with a mobile phone to aid their mental health or for anyone studying in the said field. It can also be helpful for those who aren’t able to access the support of mental health practitioners. It can also be used and researched by mental health advocates and practitioners. Overall, keep in mind that these applications do not serve as alternatives for any professional help. When things get really overwhelming, and when you’re ready, do not be afraid to ask for help. They are there to help you and guide you in any way they can. If you lack the time, resources, want additional help in addressing mental health needs, or plain looking for source materials to guide you in your mental health studies, this is an article made out of a list of mental health mobile applications. See if using one, or most, of them, can help you in any way.

1. Antistress

Developed by: JindoBlu This application features at least 50 different mini-games made out of unexpectedly satisfying objects and small activities to relieve you of your stress. Most of these are zen-like, each with enchanting and almost realistic graphics, accompanied by natural, real-life sounds. You can turn these sounds off during a mini-game, and there’s a section where there are mini-games that are unsound. You can waste your free time or break time here relieving your stress or just plain taking a break.

2. Calm

Developed by:, Inc. What is Calm? Its user interface is almost similar to that of Spotify. You can listen to music and stories/podcasts that will help you sleep, meditate, and/or relax where the experience works best while having earphones on. Calm promises to help users to sleep better, boost confidence, and reduce stress and anxiety, all with the help of guided meditations, soothing music, and bedtime stories. Upon initial entry, the application will ask you for your consent for their privacy policy. Should you accept these policies, you’ll be asked why you downloaded the application with multiple choices that you can choose from such as improving personal performance or reducing stress and anxiety. You can choose one, multiple, or all of these choices. These choices will help the application to personalize recommendations to help you with your goals. After that, you’ll be asked to continue signing up using your Facebook or e-mail account. If you already have an account, you can use your Facebook, Apple, or email account to sign in. The application also imports new meditation programs every month. There are free pieces of music, sounds, or podcasts, and there are locked and premium ones where you can pay a yearly subscription to access. You can try and access the premium ones for a week, and then you can decide whether you’ll like to subscribe on a yearly payment (which you can cancel anytime) to access even more content such as:

Sleep stories Nature sounds Sleep soundscapes Relaxing music New content added every week Full library of the application’s content

There’s also a function in the application where you can note how you are feeling or the things you are grateful for every day that will be keeping track of your (mental health) progress.

3. Calm Harm

Developed by: stem4 This application provides help for anyone to resist the urge to self-harm by providing tasks. You’ll see activity types inside the application once all is done, divided into six navigation buttons (with the mascots portraying them, if you chose one):

Comfort Distract Express Yourself Release Breathe Random

Some tasks and activities require real-life objects like dices and cooking materials. Some are pretty much built-in within the application. You can choose to do any activity within five minutes or 15 minutes. And since everyone is an individual, not all activities will suit you. Therefore, you have the freedom to choose which activity will suit you the best. Inside the menu panel, you’ll see more navigations for your application’s account like the “Get Help” option or “Suggest an Activity” option. The application will ask about your location on your initial entry. After that, you’ll have to set up a four-digit passcode that is easy for you to remember, and then it will ask you to choose a security question just in case you forgot your passcode. After that, the application will then ask you optional questions where you can answer or leave blank, where answers are used for research purposes given with complete anonymity. You’ll be then asked to choose a mascot and colors that you can change anytime within the application.

4. Happify

Developed by: Happify, Inc This application’s science-based activities and games can help reduce stress, overcome negative thoughts, and build greater resilience by providing effective tools and programs to improve well-being. On your initial entry inside the application, you’ll have to click on a “Get Started” button. The application follows the initial steps before accessing the main dashboard. Once you get inside the application, a “Recommended Track” dashboard will appear. These tracks are created by professionals and scientifically backed. These tracks could either be free or premium, as well. The application works, somehow, to improve your well-being skills and the ability to live a more fulfilling life. According to the application, there are six basic skills to separate happy people from everyone else. If you choose to stick with them, you’ll experience real improvements to your emotional well-being. After you have chosen a track, an artificially intelligent chatbot will ask you questions for more initial assessments. These answers will be used to personalize your track. After the assessment, a “track” dashboard will then appear where you can choose activities to do. These activities are, according to the application, designed to elevate your well-being skills. If you scroll down from your app’s home dashboard, you can read articles made by the application or take a character strength assessment. You can explore more of the application’s functions and navigations by clicking the menu icon on the upper top-left side of the application’s user interface.

5. Lumosity Mind

Developed by: Lumos Labs, Inc. The application intends to train your mind for calm, better, focused attention, and more. The application is also designed by experts, with guided meditations to make essential mindfulness skills easy to build. This application offers clear and simple training plans that can/may teach the right techniques and steps. The application requires you to have a personal account, as well. You can follow these steps to create one if you don’t have one yet: These training plans are basic, non-tiring activities that can help stay calm, reduce stress, or acquire focus, such as breathing or meditating. Most of these require sounds, and it will be best if you have headphones on for a better experience. You can also check your account’s profession in the application, or choose another training plan in the library.

6. MindShift

Developed by: Anxiety Canada Association MindShift uses scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety. You can access the application if you have an already made account. Nevertheless, you can create one if you don’t have one yet. Creating an account requires you to fill out the required information initially, such as email, password, a nickname, etc. The application is divided into three scrollable panels: These panels offer various and extensive functions for you to use within the application, each having activities within them. There are also five dashboard navigation and a selection that opens five more helpful navigations.

7. Moodfit

Developer: Roble Ridge Software LLC Moodfit is an application that you can use to track and improve your mood and gain actionable insights into what brings you up and down like sleep, exercise, medications, and more. Also, process your thoughts with the CBT thought record tool, reduce anxiety with the grounding tool, and learn gratitude and mindfulness meditation in just a few minutes a day. The application also denotes that it will be great for symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. You can use this application to observe, analyze, and keep track of the things that bring you up and down. Of course, the application requires an account for new users. The application helps you build up the fitness of your mood in several ways. You can choose a default goal or a customize goal to begin accessing the application.

8. MoodMission

Developer: MoodMission Pty Ltd According to the application, it uses evidence-based therapies and principles to help you learn new and better ways of coping with stress, low mood, depression, and anxiety. Tell the application of how you are feeling and it will give you a tailored list of five missions that can help you feel better and improve your well-being. It is important to feel a wide range of positive and negative emotions. However, negative feelings can sometimes persist for than is comfortable. That is why exercising self-care and doing missions in these situations can be healthy and useful. MoodMission will require new users to create an account. After signing up, you must complete brief surveys to fully access the application. You will also help the developers with important research. And don’t worry, all collected information is confidential and de-identified.

9. Sleepa

Developer: Sound Sleep - Relaxing Sounds and White Noise Sleepa is an easy-to-use mobile application for anyone requiring help reducing their inability to sleep. This application doesn’t require an account to sign up or sign in. Sleepa is a collection of natural, soothing, and relaxing sounds that can make anyone fall asleep. Such sounds are raindrops and water, nature and forest, music for relaxing and meditation, and more.

10. Slowly

Developer: Slowly Communications Ltd. Slowly is an application made to connect to the world. This application lets you meet pen friends on your smartphone, virtually connecting and digitally interacting with people. Match with someone that shares your passion, write a letter, and collect stamps from around the world. This application gives you the freedom to speak your mind to chosen strangers, one at a time. Mailing time depends on where you and your pen-friend live. You will also be having a customized nickname, and you can choose an avatar. Most matches are based on common interests and languages. You can also discover more than 100 stamps from around the world by talking to new friends or by virtual traveling. Since this is an almost social media type application, it will require new users to create an account. The nickname and avatars you can use are endless, and only the imagination can put a limit on it.

11. Tide

Developed by: Moreless, Inc. Integrating sleep, meditation, relaxation, and focus on a mobile application, Tide aims at both physical and mental care. Inspired by traveling, nature, and meditation, this application provides massive audios including natural soundscapes and mindfulness practices. Tide, like Sleepa, is also an easy-to-use application that doesn’t require a personal account for accessibility, but you may need a little bit of connection to the internet for the music libraries to play. The application may also require you to log in using a Google account, Facebook account, or email account to access more free, limited, premium, and member-exclusive soundscapes. These soundscapes can induce both relaxation and sleep to those willing to listen to them, and the application offers a wide variety of soundscapes worth exploring such as rain, leaves falling in Fall, light musical pieces, and many more.

12. What’s Up?

Developed by: Jackson Tempra What’s Up? is a fantastic mobile application utilizing some of the best CBT and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) methods to help you cope with depression, anxiety, anger, stress, and more. With beautiful modern design, simple headings, and easy-to-follow methods, you can get to what helps you the most in seconds. What’s Up? is an easy-to-use application that doesn’t require any personal account to access its content. This application also focuses on the users’ ability to read, comprehend, feel, and understand certain topics that may have been affecting their mental health. It’s also easy to access for anyone to ask for help, to read about healthy coping strategies, and to create a personal, virtual diary for you to keep track of your notes and habits. This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional. Unsplash © 2020 Darius Razzle Paciente


Darius Razzle Paciente (author) from Metro Manila, The Philippines on July 17, 2020: Thank you, @Rose! :) Rose McCoy on July 17, 2020: What a thorough article—I’m impressed! Thanks for the pointers. Good luck staying sane! :)

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