Below is a list of apps to improve mental health and wellbeing, many of which have been tried and reviewed by the Wellness Team. Under each app name, you'll find it's uses and benefits followed by a description. 

Calm word calm on blue background

For: Relaxation, Sleep, Meditation, Depression, Anxiety, Stress
Paid
Available on iPhone and Android

Calm is an incredibly versatile and useful app. When I opened Calm, I was immediately struck by how beautiful the interface is. The background of the app is a beautiful nature landscape with the sound of calming water playing in the background. One feature of Calm is the “Daily Calm” which is a ~10 minute guided audio. Each day is on a different subject such as depression, holding space, awakening, and much more. Different programming on the app is targeted at many age groups, from children to the elderly. There are a lot of guided audios dealing with meditation, anxiety, or depression, as well as an abundance of calming sounds, music, and bedtime stories. I have found the content to be very relaxing and helpful.

-- Bobby

Headspace orange circle

For: Meditation, Breathing, Relaxation, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Sleep, Happiness
Free or Premium $9.99 per year for students
Available on iPhone and Android

Headspace focuses on providing its users with a wide array of guided meditations for daily use. Whether you want to target sleep, happiness, anxiety, or personal growth, Headspace has hundreds of guided meditations for you to pick and choose from. Some of Headspace’s Features Include:

  • Sleep-focused meditations including sleep sounds, podcasts, and breathing exercises to help you drift off
  • Guided workouts and yoga
  • Short SOS Meditations designed to help you calm down and refocus during moments of anxiety and panic
  • Guided meditations that cover topics from managing anxiety to fostering acceptance

With high quality meditations for almost any situation, an endearing and intuitively designed interface, and thoughtfully implemented customizability, Headspace is the mindfulness app that is most worth its paid subscription. The sheer range of options—from meditations specifically tailored to aid creative writing to gentle at-home workouts to sleep-friendly playlists—may initially be intimidating, but I chose to ease myself in with a Basics course that is 10 lessons long. Each lesson can be as short as 3 minutes or as long as 10 minutes, and users are even given the option of which voice they’d like to hear throughout the meditation. As someone who had never regularly meditated, I appreciated the course’s flexibility and gentle reminders to keep up with my practice (another aspect that users can customize). The clean, colorful design and adorable animations make even scrolling through the app an enjoyable experience. However, it is also difficult to fully enjoy Headspace without a paid subscription.

--Sabrina

 

Gratitude heart on a plant

For: Gratitude, Journaling, Improving Mood, Affirmation
Free
Available on iPhone and Android

The Gratitude journal is a great way to focus your mind toward positive thinking. Spending just a little time writing on the days you can about the things you're grateful for will promote mental wellbeing and is a great way to end the day on a bright note. This app is simple but cheerful. It lets you log entries to your gratitude journal and revisit past posts, provides prompts for when you need some guidance, and has tidbits like the “Daily Zen” quote and the ability to give yourself affirmations.

--Brandt

I found Gratitude to be a low commitment and intuitive way of recording things that I’m grateful for each day. The app is easy to use and the additional features (i.e. adding a photo to your daily journal, writing daily affirmations, etc.) were great options that didn’t bloat or confuse the overall experience. The (optional) daily reminder was also non-intrusive and incredibly helpful. In a sentence, Gratitude is a simple app that does exactly what a gratitude journal should do—no more, no less, and no premium price tag.

--Sabrina

iBreathe curvy line on blue background

For: Anxiety, Relaxation, Stress Reduction
Free.
Available on iPhone

iBreathe is a very simple, straightforward guided breathing app. The app is incredibly easy to use: just hit “breathe” and you’ll be guided through a breathing cycle, prompted to breathe in, hold, breathe out. You can choose to customize various aspects of the experience, like fine-tuning intervals, changing prompt types, or selecting from common breathing practices. You can also set reminders to remember to practice breathing throughout the day.

--Brandt

Breethe image of a capital B

For: Sleep, Stress, Mindfulness, Anxiety, Relationships
Free version with good content, or premium version for $89.99 annually
Available on iPhone and Android

This breathing app is not only designed to help you de-stress via breathing activities, it also incorporates meditation series, inspirational talks, sleep exercises, and classes in mindfulness, using audio coupled with natural, soothing visuals. There are additional activities to improve sleep, relationships, overall health, etc. You can build playlists, and track your favorite exercises and the total time that you have dedicated to meditation. There is an option to download content, if you would like to access content while offline.

I thoroughly enjoyed using this app, and found benefit even in the free version. I enjoyed the specificity of this app to target difficult times of day, and help name emotions. I have especially enjoyed listening to the bedtime stories/activities that help me fall asleep more quickly. You can set alarms to remind you when you would like to meditate, which is helpful. A couple of downsides: the premium app is expensive, and once you’ve used the activities, they can become repetitive.

--Sophia

Insight Timer bronze bowl

For: Mindfulness, Anxiety, Stress, Sleep, Addiction
Free
Available on iPhone and Android

Insight Timer helped me as a newcomer to get started in practicing mindfulness by listening to different types of podcasts. The app offered me 8 different topics to pick from (Learning to Meditate, Coping with Anxiety, Improve your Sleep, etc.) that I later was able to modify based on how I was feeling. The podcasts ranged from 5-20 minutes which helped me find something quick, on-the-spot, or longer if I had time to sit for a while. I also liked that I was able to set up a notification to use every day and it had music. A big pro of this app is that it allows you to access so much free stuff with an unlimited time span!

Insight Timer offers a highly customizable meditation timer in addition to 40,000+ guided meditations for anxiety, stress, sleep, self-esteem, addiction, and more. Guided meditations and courses can be filtered by experience level, time, voice, music, and spiritual/religious theme and favorites can be saved to your library. You can check your progress, journal, and interact with people around the world by joining themed meditation groups. Multiple languages are available and meditation can be personalized to your religious background – Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and many more!

--Emily

Oak stylistic image of leaves

For: Meditation, Breathing, Sleep
Free
Available on iPhone

Oak is an incredibly well-designed and intuitive app. It’s honestly just beautiful. And it’s free!! It has customizable guided exercises for meditation, breathing, and sleeping—the guided meditation exercises take 5-30 minutes to complete, while the breathing exercises, such as Deep Calm, Box, and Awake breathing, take 1-5 minutes. You can set daily reminders to prompt quick breathing and meditation sessions, which was nice because it gave me some structured, productive breaks in my day. I really enjoyed the way Oak tracks the number of meditation and breathing sessions and records them as streaks. Also, I’m able to see how many Oak members have practiced their meditation exercises today and are currently using them. It’s something small, but I think it still promotes a sense of community :)

--Lynn

MindShift: peaceful face emoji

For: Anxiety, Journaling, Educational
Free
Available on iPhone and Android

MindShift is a useful app for helping to manage and learn about anxiety. The app has a few different features. One is a daily check-in section, where the user rates how they are doing and their level of anxiety, while noting through journaling “what’s going on” and adding any anxiety symptoms they may be experiencing. There is a lot of depth to the app, as the user can select different types of anxiety and different tools for managing it. This includes many informative articles, guided audios, goal setting, thought journals and more.

MindShift is about as good as it gets for a free mental health app. The app is easy to use, yet contains a lot of free informational content and tools to manage your anxiety. The interface is very user-friendly and visually appealing with a pleasant color scheme. The app is great for anyone who wants to learn about anxiety, track their symptoms, and focus on journaling and goal setting. Most of the app is about reading and journaling, though there are some guided audios in the “chill zone” section of the app. I would recommend this app to anyone who wants to track their anxiety and learn different tools to help manage it.

--Bobby


Stop Panic and Anxiety

Stop Panic and Anxiety is a free Android app that offers self-help methods to control panic and anxiety. The info in this app assumes that you are suffering from panic attacks due to Panic Disorder. It may not be applicable to other forms of anxiety. It focuses on the fear of having a panic attack and the fear of the sensations when having a panic.


Depression

Depression CBT Self-Help Guide

This Android app contains a depression severity test, audios, articles, a cognitive diary, and a motivational points system that help you learn how to do this.

Cognitive Diary CBT

The self-help methods used in this Android app are based on the tools of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and challenge irrational thinking.

MoodTools

MoodTools is a free, convenient, and easy-to-use smartphone app that provides six evidence-based tools to aid against clinical depression and negative moods on a large scale. MoodTools is perfect either as a self-help tool or as a supplement to treatment. It contains the following tools: depression information, depressions test, videos, thought diary, activities and a safety plan.


Mental Health Tools

T2 Mood Tracker

T2 Mood Tracker is an iPhone and Android app that allows you to monitor and track emotional health. The app records a range of emotions for anxiety, depression, head injury, stress, posttraumatic stress and general well-being. You can create items to track your progress and results are displayed in an easy-to-understand graph.

DBT Self-Help

This iPhone and Android app is designed to help you cope with overwhelming emotions and impulsive behaviors. It will also assist with relationships and help you cultivate mindfulness.

 


PTSD

PTSD Coach

PTSD Coach was developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for PTSD. This iPhone and Android app is intended to be used as an adjunct to psychological treatment, but can also serve as a stand-alone education tool.


Self-Esteem

Self-esteem Blackboard

This Android app was developed by a clinical psychologist using the methods of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help improve self-esteem. This app may be for you if low self-esteem is affecting your relationships or preventing you from being successful at school. If you're unhappy with yourself, or having problems with anxiety or depression, this app may be for you.


Suicide Prevention

A Friend Asks

This iPhone and Android app offers tips for getting help for a friend (or yourself).  Helpful information includes what to do RIGHT NOW as well as what NOT to do. 

LifeBuoy

This iPhone app is designed specifically to assist suicide survivors after a recent attempt.  It offers a daily mood diary, suggestions for decreasing social isolation, and other ways to monitor increased warning signs of suicidality. 

ReliefLink

This award-winning suicide prevention iPhone app assists users with tracking daily mood/thoughts, creating a safety plan, locating the nearest hospitals, and obtaining quick-access to coping methods.

SucideApp

This iPhone app is designed to support those dealing with suicidal thoughts and help prevent suicide. You can customize your own warning signs that a crisis may be developing, coping strategies for dealing with suicidal urges, places for distraction, friends and family members you can reach out to, professionals you can call, methods of making your environment safe, and your own important reasons for living.

Virtual Hope Box

This iPhone and Android app helps with coping relaxation, distraction from overwhelming emotion, and positive thinking. You can personalize the content on the app to meet your specific needs.


Sexual Assault Resources

Circle of 6

This iPhone and Android app allows you a way to connect with your most trustred friends to stay close and attempt to prevent violence before it happens. It lets you choose six trustred friends to add to your circle. If you get into an uncomfortable situation, use Circle of 6 to automatically send your circle a pre-programmed SMS alert message with your exact location.


Recovery

Quit Drinking

This Android app is designed to help people cope with the emotional and physical cravings for alcohol.

iQuit

This iPhone app makes a smoker wanting to quit wait longer between each smoke until they are gradually able to quit. Charts and gives results of time between each smoke.

Porn and Sex Addiction Support

This iPhone app provides support through chat, news and video podcasts.

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