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4 Apps To Sort Your Head Out

There’s no doubt modern life can be very stressful, but technology can help you cope. These four apps combine proven science and medicine with gamification and compelling design to improve our mental health.

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Silver linings

Via appadoodle.co.uk

This app was developed in partnership between the UK’s biggest mental health foundation NHS trust and Bristol-based start-up Appadoodle When they sign up, patients create an avatar and answer a series of personalised questions. Patients suffering from mental health conditions can use the app to track their medication, mood, well-being and to build their own personalized coping strategies. The algorithm tracks changes over time and provides feedback and advice, helping young people (it’s primarily aimed at 16 to 24-year olds) take control and recover more quickly. It uses a series of gamified rewards such as unlocking achievements, badges and accessories to reward patients for using it frequently and engage them with their treatment. The app is tailored to each individual, so they can set their own metrics for recovery and which issues, such as paranoia or not sleeping, are most important to their mental wellbeing.

Sympaticus

Via sympaticus.com

Sympaticus is a Mental fitness and therapy app that aims to help women overcome issues such as breakup, job loss, bereavement, burnout or depression. The 12-week personalized programs are developed and delivered by qualified psychologists and provide a more affordable and flexible alternative to traditional therapy. For a monthly subscription fee - which costs the equivalent of a single therapy session - you get full access to the interactive learning platform and access to a dedicated coach, as well as two sessions a month via Skype with your therapist. The company was started by a Lebanese entrepreneurs and is part of the UK Lebanon Tech Hub accelerator.

LUMEN

LUMEN is a self-guided Virtual Reality meditation experience that begins in a mystical clearing surrounded by a mountain and a Northern Lights display. It tracks eye movement and works so that the environment reacts to your gaze. It’s a collaboration between Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab and the Framestore’s award-winning VR Studio. The idea is to instill a sense of well-being in the user as their attention causes the world to bloom and grow around them.

Headspace

Via headspace.com

This app has over 5 million users, and provides guided meditation sessions which you can access across any device. It allows you to map your journey towards enlightenment and track your progress, collecting rewards as you go. There’s also a social aspect, where you can buddy up with your friend and motivate each other as you de-stress. You have to pay to subscribe, but there is a free trial. And since they claim that even a brief mindfulness meditation practice, for as little as 3 consecutive days, can alleviate psychological stress, it seems worth a go.

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