TOP TIPS FOR CHOOSING A HEALTHY LIVING APP

  1. Make sure the app is enjoyable to use

    You will use an app more often if you find it enjoyable and engaging. It will also make it feel like less of a chore!

  2. Find an app that suits your needs

    There are many apps available so choose one that suits your needs. For instance, choose an app that’s suitable for your condition, age or accessibility needs.

  3. Choose an app supported by a trusted organisation

    Not all apps have the same quality of information. Choose an app that is made or supported by an organisation that you trust or designed by relevant experts.

  4. Use an app that supports what you already have

    Find an app you can incorporate with resources and devices you already have access to. For example, if you already have a DBT diary, fitness tracker device, or access to psychotherapy, pick an app that can be used in conjunction with these. You can always upgrade or change later on.

  5. Make sure the app allows you to create and modify your own goals

    Setting yourself a goal will help you to build healthy habits and stick to them, such as doing more mindfulness and physical activity next week.

  6. Choose an app that lets you track your behaviour

    Keeping a record of your behaviour will help you change it! For example, you can choose an app that displays the times your mood changes, on what days and at what intensity. There are many apps that let you track your behaviour.

  7. Choose an app that shows you how to do an activity

    If you don’t know how to perform an activity, watching it being done will help you to get started.

  8. Use an app that allows you to share your progress

    With your friends, therapist or others in your support network, whether this is through social media or other users of the app community. Having support from other people will help you achieve your goals.

  9. Find an app that has notifications

    Let the app remind you of when you had planned to go for a walk or eat a piece of fruit instead of that snack! This will help you build habits and stick to your plans.

  10. Choose an app that rewards you when you succeed

    Getting a reward for doing a specific activity will help reinforce it. This could be as simple as praise and encouragement or your name appearing on a leader board.

  11. Check the app is recently updated

    Some content can be rather dated, particularly when it comes to educational materials. So investigate how old the information is.

  12. Check the privacy policy of the app

    Some of the self-help apps include questionnaires that you are supposed to fill out. Some of them request to know about your demographic data and your location. It won’t hurt to get a sense of how this information is being used and if you’re comfortable with that.

Apps & Tools

Practical, skills based apps for managing emotional distress

DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach

This is the only DBT app designed by a licensed clinical psychologist. Use the app to help you be more effect with your current treatment or refresh your skills on your own.

Affiliation: Durham DBT

Target Group: Adult

Platform: iPhone

Cost: $6.99

Smiling Mind

This is a simple tool that helps put a smile on your mind anytime, anywhere and everyday. This app-based program was developed by a team of psychologists and provides six free mindfulness meditation programs to suit different age groups.

Affiliation: Various mental health institutions

Target Group: All ages

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

Breathe

The ReachOut Breathe app was created to help you reduce the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety by slowing down your breathing and your heart rate. ReachOut Breathe helps you to control your breath and measures your heart rate in real-time using the camera in your phone.

Affiliation: ReachOut Australia – Online Youth Mental Health Service

Target Group: All Ages (especially for young people)

Platform: iPhone

Cost: FREE

DBT Self-help & Diary Card

This app aims to help people who are struggling with emotional pain, destructive behaviors and relations or to people who feel they wish to increase their performance within the fields of emotion regulation, relationships and problem solving. It includes a diary card function which allows you to monitor and register your behaviours (you wish to change), emotions and skills you use or practice.

Affiliation: Cognitus

Target: Adults

Platform: Android

Cost: $5.99

SAM

SAM is a friendly app that offers a range of self-help methods for people who are serious about learning to manage their anxiety.

Affiliation: University of West England

Target Group: Young People & Adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

ACT Companion

This app makes practicing Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) skills with dozens of interactive exercises and tools on observing self, self-compassion and mindfulness. This app was developed by ACT clinicians.

Affiliation: ACT Mindfully

Target Group: Young People & Adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: $14.99

Calm Down Now

This is a relaxation app with a variety of exercises to reduce stress and anxiety.

Affiliation: Created by a social worker from the USA

Target Group: Adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: $2.99

What’s Up?

What’s Up? is a fantastic free app utilizing some of the best CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) methods to help you cope with Depression, Anxiety, Anger and more.

Affiliation: Developed by a UK-based CBT Therapist

Target Group: Young People & Adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

Headspace: Guided Meditation & Mindfulness

This mobile app makes practising simple mindfulness techniques easy and accessible.

Affiliation: Headspace (UK & US)

Target Group: Young People & Adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

Breathe2Relax

This portable stress management tool is a hands-on diaphragmatic breathing exercise help with decreasing your body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ stress response and help with mood stabilisation, anger control and anxiety management.

Affiliation: National Center for Telehealth & Technology

Target: Adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

Calm Harm

Designed to help people who self harm to distract, comfort, express and release. It focuses on identifying and managing your “emotional” mind with positive impact by developing DBT skills.

Affiliation: stem4

Target: Young People

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

Calm

This mindfulness and meditation app brings clarity, joy and peace to your daily life. You will find guided meditations, breathing programs and sleep stories to help you experience less anxiety and better sleep.

Affiliation: Calm

Target: Adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

Mindfulness Daily

This app helps you to develop skill sets in overcoming habits of negative thoughts and behaviours by pausing to build awareness around personal triggers. The exercises are based on mindfulness, compassion, CBT, ACT, somatics and acts of good.

Affiliation: Inward

Target: Adults

Platform: iPhone

Cost: $1.99

Stress & Anxiety Companion

This app will help you reframe negative and anxious thoughts, building your mental muscles so that you can cope much better with life’s ups and downs. It will help you identify triggers and their associated thoughts, replacing those thoughts with new ones – not just today, but every day.

Affiliation: Companion Approach

Target: Young adults & Adults

Platform: iPhone

Cost: FREE

General information and education

Daylio

This mobile app is a private diary for your daily moods and activities, as well as notes. You can discover hidden patterns and use this app to become more productive. You can create beautiful charts and stats to turn your life around.

Target Group: Young People & Adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

The Check-In App

Designed to help you start a conversation with a friend who may be struggling.

It also has a section showing you things to consider, such as what if my friend denies there is a problem or what if I say something silly.

Affiliation: Beyondblue

Target GroupAll ages

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

Black Dog Snapshot

Designed to help Australian adults keep track of their mental wellbeing.

By assessing your general happiness, mood, and anxiety, as well as work stress, sleep, social support and alcohol intake, this app provides general feedback and options for online and offline help-seeking services in Australia.

Affiliation: Black Dog Institute

Target Group: Adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

iMoodJournal

This app is an ultimate mood journal, personal diary and charting tool. It will help you discover connections to events in your life and get surprising insights into yourself. You can also track sleep, medication, symptoms, stress and anxiety, energy level, cycles, etc.

Affiliation: Inexika

Target GroupAll ages

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: $2.59

What’s my M3?

This is a validated, three-minute tool that screens for symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and anxiety, and can be used to monitor changes in symptoms severity over time. This screening tool can be used by both clinicians and clients.

Affiliation: M-3 Information, LLC

Target GroupAll ages

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

BeyondNow suicide safety plan

This app puts your safety plan in your pocket so you can access and edit it at any time. You can also email a copy to trusted friends, family or your health professional so they can support you when you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or heading towards a suicidal crisis.

Affiliation: Beyond Blue

Target Group: Young adults & adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

MY3

With MY3, you define your network and your plan to stay safe. With MY3 you can be prepared to help yourself and reach out to others when you are having thoughts of suicide. Just add your 3 primary contacts to the app so that they are with you at all times in case you need help.

Affiliation: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US)

Target Group: Young adults & adults

Platform: iPhone & Android

Cost: FREE

Find more apps & tools that suit you

ReachOut Tools and apps

Take a quiz to find the best professionally-reviewed mobile apps and tools to help you look after your health and wellbeing.

Go to PsyberGuide product list to see full information about apps and tools – description of the product, how to get it, expert ratings, research, and a lot more.