With mental illness, there’s no telling when a day may turn difficult. Whether you’re at home chilling, out on public transport or even running errands. Sometimes we need to find something that can help us on the spot, which is why I cannot help but sing the praises of apps!
Apps are a great little invention, aren’t they? Homework apps, TV apps, social networking apps, there’s really something for everyone. So, it’s no surprise that some clever cloggs only went and started inventing apps which can help us when we’re dealing with anxiety, a meltdown or anything in between. Here are my must-have apps for smartphones or tablets.
It’s no wonder this app is endorsed by Emma Watson. If you think meditation is a bit hippy-dippy, this straightforward app has spoken-word exercises designed to be used for about 10 minutes a day, starting with a 10-session pack which comes free with the initial download.There’s options for if you’re dealing with a mini meltdown to get headspace in a hurry, an on-the-go option or just classic extra headspace.
I’ve seen this app grow over the years and the amount it offers for £7.99 a month is really worth every penny. Every day offers a ‘Daily Calm’ to work on things such as body image or self esteem. There’s also different courses on offer such as ‘7 Days of Calm’, ‘7 Days of Calming Anxiety, ‘7 Days of Sleep’, ‘7 Days of Happiness’, the list goes on. If that isn’t enough for you, there’s other features, too! There’s sleep stories which includes various stories to help you nod off into dreamland (stories by Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley are my favourites; their voices are velvety smooth!) and offer different genres such as fiction, nature, non-fiction, naps and even ASMR.
I also find the music feature to be ideal. If you’re needing to come down from a panic attack, feeling stressed or again needing sleep, there’s lots to choose from including various sounds of nature and soft music which is sure to slow your heart rate down. If you have any kids who may be feeling anxious, stressed or struggle with sleep, there’s a kids option, too! You can even send 5 passes to friends which gives them 30 days free of Calm, which is great to help people you care about find coping mechanisms.
If you’re wondering why I’ve suggested a music streaming service, it’s because music is amazing and helpful! I have so many playlists for different occasions, moods, situations and I love getting recommended new music. It also offers podcasts which I absolutely love; it’s like getting involved in a good old chat with friends but not having to do any of the talking! I use Spotify daily and it’s available on all smartphones for free, with the option of premium.
For my fellow autistics and aspies, this one is aimed at us! If you’re in need of relief surrounding a meltdown, this app offers different types of grounding such as mental grounding, physical grounding and soothing grounding. Grounding is basically a counselling tool from within the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) framework which is used to help an individual learn how to keep themselves safe in the ‘here and now’ and helps to ‘ground’ oneself in an attempt to prevent a fight or flight response from happening. It’s ideal for when you feel a meltdown could potentially happen, when you are overwhelmed with emotional stress so you can detach in order to gain control over your feelings and stay safe.
Happify is a free app which offers multiple interactive games and activities which not only boost your happiness but also track your progress with an overall happiness score. With different categories such as Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, Empathise and Recommend, you can see how your overall positivity increases after each activity and over time.
Named the world’s first intelligent journal, Reflectly is a journal utilising artificial intelligence to help you structure and reflect upon your daily thoughts and problems. You can rate your day, create “stories” and answer questions about your day. You can also listen to inspirational audio messages and get daily reminders. It’s thanks to AI technology that this app offers quotes, prompts and questions relevant to the individual user.
Similar to Reflectly is Three Good Things. All you need to do is write down three good things about each day; simple! This app can help increase your happiness and rewire your brain to focus on the positive in just 5 minutes a day. You keep a streak whenever you come back daily and I’ll admit, it’s helped me appreciate even the smallest and simplest of things such as a good meal, the weather or even hearing my favourite song on the radio.
I hope you find great use out of some of these apps and can rely on them during times of need!
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