The Coronavirus has not only resulted in one of the biggest physical health crises of modern times, it’s also caused an unprecedented increase in the number of people facing mental health issues.
A 2020 poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that almost half of the US population believes the pandemic has negatively affected mental health. This is also a massive problem in the U.K., where doctors are witnessing growing numbers of serious mental health cases.
You might not find this surprising, given that adjusting to life in the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for everyone. And you’ve likely felt the mental health effects of this new reality in one way or another. But if you have access to a smartphone, laptop, or computer, there are many apps available to help improve your mental wellbeing during these difficult times. Here are a few to try.
If you’re experiencing stress and anxiety daily, you should check out Calm. It’s a popular meditation and sleep app that provides guided meditations covering different things you want to accomplish. For instance, there are bedtime stories to help you fall asleep quicker, breathing programs so that you feel more relaxed, masterclasses led by experts in their fields, soothing music and sounds, and many other features. And when using these regularly, you can see how you’re progressing through daily streaks and meditation data. Calm is free to download on Android and iOS, (opens in new tab) but there are also in-app purchases.
Happify aims to transform the lives of people battling negative thoughts, stress, low self-esteem, and other challenges. It provides a range of fun activities and games developed by experts in areas such as positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. When you continue to take part in these activities and games, your happiness score will grow to indicate that things are getting better. Happify is available on both Android and iOS (opens in new tab).
When life throws immense challenges at you and you’re unsure how to overcome them, one of the best things to do is speak to a therapist. With Talkspace (opens in new tab), you can find and talk to an expert therapist online. To get started, you just need to fill out a quick online questionnaire, choose a recommended therapist, select a subscription that matches your budget, and finally send your new therapist a message.
You can speak to therapists via text, video, or phone call right round the clock. What’s more, Talkspace protects your chats with “banking grade” encryption and allows you to set a password to access the app securely. If you ever want to try a new therapist, you can do so without having to pay an extra penny. Talkspace offers Android and iOS (opens in new tab) apps.
4. Color Therapy
For many people, a great way to destress and feel relaxed is by being creative. If you fit into this category, you should download the Color Therapy app. It offers more than 5,000 coloring pages across themes such as florals, animals, objects, places, fashion, seasons, patterns, and many more.
When coloring, you’ll find plenty of tools, palettes, effects, and lines to use. The app even lets you play peaceful music and sounds while you get creative. Once you’ve finished coloring, you can share your creation with other art fans and build a following via the app. If you want unlimited coloring pages, unlimited tools, unlimited music, and no adverts, you’ll need to sign up for a premium subscription. You can download it from the App Store. (opens in new tab)
Appy is on a mission to improve both your physical and mental wellbeing, providing a personal trainer, wellbeing coach, health guru, and dietician within a single app. Using Appy, you can access more than 1,000 exercise videos and fitness plans, thousands of nutritious recipes and meal plans, videos and articles from motivational experts, and weekly planners. As you embark on your physical and mental health journey, you can connect with other users and follow wellbeing experts. It’s available to download on iOS (opens in new tab) and Android.
6. Relax Melodies
Struggling to get a decent night’s sleep? Then one app to consider is Relax Melodies. It offers hundreds of calming sounds, music, brainwaves, meditations, breathing exercises, and bedtime stories, all of which aim to tackle stress, anxiety, and restless nights. You can also mix these different features to create your own bedtime routine and save your best mixes in a “favorites” section. The app is free to download on both Android and iOS (opens in new tab).
During lockdown, everyone is facing different challenges. If you want to seek or offer support, a great app to try is Unmasked. It’s an online community where you can connect with people who are experiencing similar difficulties. The app will ask how you’re feeling on any given day, providing a list of emotions such as “angry” or crying”.
By choosing one of these emotions, other people can see how you feel and get in touch to offer support. The app offers instant messaging and a powerful search function that lets you make connections based on factors like age, location and feelings. When chatting to people via Unmasked, you can either stay anonymous or show your identity. It works both online and offline, too.