Top 10 Mental Health Apps

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There are many apps, that it’s hard to know which ones are actually useful or not.

Many of the apps are designed by software developers instead of psychologists.

They range from beneficial, to harmless but useless, to bordering on fraudulent.

For example, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, has been used for a century and is likely just as effective in this new medium.

Knowledge from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy enrich two apps on this list.

Here are the top 10 Mental Health Apps:

1. BellyBio

This is a free app that teaches a deep breathing technique useful in fighting anxiety and stress.

A simple interface uses biofeedback to monitor your breathing.

This is a great tool when you need to slow down and breathe.

2. Operation Reach Out

This is a lifesaving app, this free intervention tool helps people who are having suicidal thoughts to reassess their thinking and get help.

This app is recommended by followers of @unsuicide, who report that this app has helped in suicidal crises.

Developed by the military, but useful to all.

3. eCBT Calm

Provides a set of tools to help you evaluate personal stress and anxiety, challenge distorted thoughts, and learn relaxation skills that have been scientifically validated in research on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Lots of background and useful information along with step-by-step guides.

4. Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson

Getting enough sleep is one of the foundations of mental health.

This straightforward app features a warm, gentle voice guiding listeners through a Progressive Muscle Relaxation session and into sleep.

5. WhatsMyM3

A three minute depression and anxiety screen.

Validated questionnaires assess symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD, and combine into a score that indicates whether or not your life is impacted significantly by a mood disorder, recommending a course of action.

The app keeps a history of test results, to help you track your progress.

6. DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach

Based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan, this app is a rich resource of self-help skills, reminders of the therapy principles, and coaching tools for coping.

Created by a therapist with years of experience in the practice, this app is not intended to replace a professional but helps people reinforce their treatment.

7. Optimism

Track your moods, keep a journal, and chart your recovery progress with this comprehensive tool for depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders.

One of the most popular mood tracking apps available, with plenty of features.

8. iSleepEasy

A calm female voice helps you quell anxieties and take the time to relax and sleep, in an array of guided meditations.

Separately controlled voice and music tracks, flexible lengths, and an alarm.

Includes a special wee hours rescue track, and tips for falling asleep.

9. Magic Window – Living Pictures

Not technically a mental health app, it makes no miraculous claims about curbing anxiety.

There is independent research indicating that taking breaks and getting exposure to nature, even in videos, can reduce stress.

This app offers an assortment of peaceful, ambient nature scenes from beautiful spots around the world.

10. Relax Melodies

A popular free relaxation sound and music app.

Mix and match nature sounds with new age music; it’s lovely to listen to birds in the rain while a piano softly plays.

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