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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Create your own coping plan with healthy strategies that are easily accessible to use during times of stress, anxiety or distress. The plan has five categories: Calming down, Things I can do on my own, People I can spend time with, People I can talk with and Professionals who support me. This app is created based on strengths-focused approach and would be beneficial to people with mental illnesses as well as anyone having trouble coping in stressful circumstances.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With In Hand, you can focus where you’re at and bring back the balance. Using a traffic light system, In Hand acts as a digital friend to help you in times of stress or low mood. Taking you through different activities depending on how you’re feeling, In Hand aims to focus you on where you’re at and bring back the balance.