Make Your Screen Time Worthwhile: 7 Apps For Better Mental Health [With a 2021 Update]

With the new iPhone update making us more aware of our phone usage, we’re all doing our best to limit screen time. However, some screen time [with the right apps!] may be helpful in managing mental health symptoms. The rise of conversation on the topic of mental health has aided in a rise of creation of apps tailored to mental health. Here are 7 of our current favorites —

Headspace is a popular app that teaches users meditation tools + mindfulness practices in just a few minutes each day. The app features different categories//sessions to fit your mood + lifestyle, while also giving practical ways to incorporate mindfulness techniques into your everyday life — on + off the app. Headspace was partially developed by a 7-person, in house team of scientists who studied the research + benefits of meditation, so you can be assured that the resources provided by Headspace are backed by the facts! The app itself is free, but does require purchases for more content if you choose later.

Calm Harm is an app developed by doctors + based on a practice called Dialectical Behavior Therapy [DBT] that helps users to manage the urge to self harm. The app describes that “the urge to self-harm is like a wave,” so users ride a wave within the app by utilizing six categories of activities — comfort, distract, express yourself, release, random, + breathe. As users *ride the wave,* the urge to self-harm subsides.

Pacifica is more than another meditation app — it offers multiple tools to support those with anxiety, depression, or overall stress. This app is popular for its built-in mood tracker, goal tracker, + thought log, which allow you to monitor your progress over time. Another unique feature is that Pacifica has a support community within the app to share stories + advice to remind you that you’re never alone.

Eternal Sunshine is a ray of sunshine through your phone with its 60s//70s aesthetic, array of sunflowers, + shades of yellows — just opening the app is sure to lift your mood! The app features meditations, along with its unique features of daily mantras, morning mindfulness, a blog, + a podcast! Eternal Sunshine is filled with all the *positive vibes* + inspiration you need for a joyful day.

*The fabulous you awaits* through the use of this app! Fabulous allows you to track healthy habits + make time for what really matters. After downloading the app, you’ll answer a series of questions gauging how you feel + what you’d like to work towards — after that, Fabulous generates habits that you can implement in your daily life to achieve your goals! Fabulous takes you on a journey to a better you as you unlock more goals + habits along the way. The app runs on a monthly subscription basis, which may be worth your money if you’re looking for a more personalized plan!

#SelfCare gives the illusion of taking a digital mental health day. The entire premise of the app is to allow the user to create a safe space by staying in bed all day — all within an app on your phone that can be taken anywhere + used at anytime! The one + only goal of this app is pure relaxation — no winning, losing, or advancing. Users can utilize different functions, like deep breathing or playing short games, such as petting a cat + watering a plant. #SelfCare offers a momentary escape from the pressures of everyday life + social media.

It’s no secret that Insight Timer is one of our favorite meditation + mindfulness apps. ; ) The app is packed with thousands of free, guided meditations geared toward stress reduction, better sleep, + more! Learn how to meditate, track your milestones//progress, or use the normal timer to guide your own meditation. A cool feature of Insight Timer is that it tells you how many others around the world are meditating at the same time as you — another cool reminder that you are never alone!

These apps have helped countless others + they’re waiting for you in the app store! Have you tried any of these mental health apps or found any others that have been helpful in your journey? Share them with us in the comments below or on Instagram using #inCHAARG!

For this year’s Mental Health Month, we wanted to update our list of our favorite mental health apps! The recommendations above are still great resources but more have become available since this post was published. If you use any of these apps + want to share your experiences — tag us on insta @CHAARG!

Moodfit is a free mental health app that is meant to help you ‘shape up’ your mood! There is a questionnaire with resources that will help you understand your symptoms + offers customizable goals to help you meet your needs. There are daily reminders to help you stay on track + the ability to track your daily progress. Over time, you’ll be able to understand what types of actions in your life affect your feelings—like how you sleep, eat, and exercise. Plus the app offers strategies to help you feel better with gratitude and mindfulness, in just a few minutes per day. 

Shine is a female-focus [LOVE] self-care app that helps users “rest, heal + grow through difficulty.” It offers an inclusive community to connect with members [also LOVE] + delivered motivational messages throughout the app. The app includes meditations, a daily mood tracker + a gratitude journal ++ as well as other activities for self improvement. There are tools for crisis moments + specific topics focused on BIPOC mental health.

What’s Up [NOT the facebook messaging system of course!] is a fantastic app designed to help users cope with depression, anxiety, + stress. It includes aspects of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) + ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) through different features such as a comprehensive diary to keep your thoughts and feelings together, positive and negative habit trackers + breathing techniques. Plus, there are forums where you Talk with people that may be feeling just like you from all around the planet!


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