Apps to Help with Depression and Anxiety

There are apps for just about anything you can think of. And, fortunately, some great ones have been created to help promote mental health. Using apps can help quiet anxious thoughts, help you fall asleep if you struggle with insomnia, and can even help you evaluate and change your negative thinking patterns. Here are two great ones to check out:

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Woebot is a chat robot who you can talk to through Facebook Messenger. It works just like sending a text message to a contact. Woebot will ask about your mood and your energy level and track them for you. If you are feeling anxious about something, Woebot will help you process and reframe negative or unrealistic thoughts and worries. It teaches you as you go along with small lessons based on what you tell it. This app was created using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and is extremely helpful for processing unhealthy/unhelpful thoughts. By evaluating and rewriting thoughts with Woebot’s help, you can start to change thoughts that are making you anxious or sad. Best of all, Woebot is infused with a silly sense of humor. Woebot will send you a video of an explosion if it thinks you’re blowing a worry out of proportion. If it thinks you’re engaging in mind reading, or, pretending you know what another person is thinking, it might send you a video of a woman with a crystal ball. I was pretty skeptical when I first read about this chatbot, but was very pleasantly surprised when I gave it a chance. Check it out here.

Relax & Rest
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If when you need to fall asleep you suddenly have a burning desire to know what Kim Kardashian plans to name her baby, or, something else completely random, and typically end up falling down the rabbit hole of Google, Relax & Rest may be for you. This is a guided meditation app. You can choose your background sound from options like calm ocean shore, light rain or evening lake birds. If none of those work for you, you can also choose calming music. The guided meditation can be set to five, 13 or 24 minutes. A woman, who I call “the boring lady,” will then guide you through a timed meditation session. You can set your alarms for the next day and then, put your phone across the room and do a timed meditation to help you fall asleep. By 24 minutes, you’ll probably be out. My favorite phrase from the guided part is “let go of the meaning of thoughts.” There’s something very freeing about just being still and not minding thoughts or paying any attention to them. Download it here.