Dr. Schlee's top picks!
FREE apps that can help.
Smartphones have become so central in our daily lives. There are apps for just about any need you may have. Self help apps for mental health issues are increasingly available. Below are some examples of apps I suggest to clients to apply the skills covered in session in their daily lives. It's like having a portable coach helping you face challenging situations and take charge of your life.
Struggling with anxiety? There are things you can do to stop anxiety and fear from controlling your life. MindShift is an app designed to help you change how you think about anxiety. Rather than trying to avoid anxiety, you can make an important shift and face it. While MindShift was designed for young adults, the techniques and concepts it offers can be useful at any age.
Need a little more calm in your life? Calm can help you meditate, sleep, relax, focus and much more. This app offers meditation options that can improve your mood and your life. Includes:
- The 7 Days of Calm - learn the basics of mindfulness meditation in our free introductory program
- 7 guided meditation sessions from 2 to 30 minutes - for whenever you need a break from your day
- 10 beautiful, immersive nature scenes - choose the perfect background sounds and scene to help you relax
- 50 premium guided meditations for focus, creativity, energy, confidence, sleep and much more
Happify offers cutting-edge science and innovative technology to empower individuals to lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Happiness is a skill that can be strengthened. This app makes the benefits of scientific discovery readily available and usable by you
in an interactive way. In a world that's increasingly stressful and complex, Happify provides fun, individualized, and science-based pathways to greater happiness. Above all, it empowers you to take control of your emotional life and gives you the tools to do it.
The PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that often occur after trauma. The facts and self-help skills are all based on research. Together with professional medical treatment, PTSD Coach provides you with resources you can trust. If you don't have PTSD, there are techniques offered in the "Manage Symptoms" choices that you may still find helpful for insomnia, anger, hopelessness & sadness.
Mental health experts maintain that diaphragmatic breathing is a cornerstone of stress relief. Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool. It guides you through the process with clear videos that help you practice and master the technique. Plug in your headphones and inhale/exhale your way through a dental appointment or turbulent flight. (The app can be used in airplane mode.) Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body's 'fight-or-flight' (stress) response, and help with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management.
Need a way to reduce anxiety? Coloring can be beneficial for adults, due to its de-stressing power. The practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity. In simplest terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we shift our focus off of our worries. It also brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which most of us had a lot less stress. This leads us immediately and unconsciously to well-being.
Want more free self-help app suggestions? Here are some other sources & reviews:
Huffington Post (2013) - 10 Apps To Relax Your Body And Mind
AppPicker (2015) - The best self help apps for iPad