14 Amazing Apps For Anyone Living With Anxiety
Many for free! (Note: These apps are not substitutes for professional treatment.)
What it helps with: Anxiety
What it offers: Pacifica lets you rate and track mood over time, and provides guided deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, daily antianxiety experiments, and health goals. Users can record their own thoughts to help analyze and understand their thinking patterns, as well as discover and track possible triggers.
What it helps with: Stress, anxiety, memory loss, lack of focus, creative blocks, interpersonal relationships
What it offers: Headspace bills itself as a personal trainer for the mind and offers 10-minute meditation lessons catering to different areas of life: health, performance, and relationships. It's the priciest of the mental health apps because it requires a subscription, but it is also one of the more popular.
What it helps with: Anxiety, anger, mood instability
What it offers: This no-fuss app, developed by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, guides you through diaphragmatic breathing (or "belly breathing"), allows you to record your own stress level, and provides informative videos and graphics about the consequences of stress.
4. PTSD Coach
What it helps with: PTSD
What it offers: This app from the National Center for PSTD — designed specifically for veterans — educates users about PTSD and its treatment, offers a self-assessment tool, links users up to support groups, and provides stress management tools.
What it costs: Free (Android only)
What it helps with: Depression
What it offers: This one's another from the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, and draws on a therapeutic method called Pleasant Event Scheduling (PES). The app suggests activities based on location and interests, allows users to invite friends, saves favorite spots and activities for future use — and if you can't choose, you get to "pull the lever" and see what the app sends you.
What it helps with: Eating disorders
What it offers: Recovery Record — drawing from cognitive behavioral therapy and self-monitoring methods — is the highest-rated app for eating disorder recovery. It allows users to keep a food and feeling journal; create customizable meal plans, coping tactics, and goals; track progress through questionnaires, which is visualized on charts; link up to a treatment team and community that can offer real-time feedback and support; and schedule personalized reminders.
What it helps with: Anxiety, stress, addiction, physical pain and discomfort
What it offers: This app is a beginner's guide to acupressure — the ancient practice of applying pressure to key points on your body in order to ease symptoms — and offers illustrated guides and over 90 acupressure combinations to target specific problems.
What it helps with: Insomnia, stress
What it offers: Relax Melodies is the leading personalized sleep aid, offering a bank of over 50 sounds and tunes that each user is allowed to mix and customize to their preference, as well as access to the Relax Melodies blog for lifestyle tips on sleeping better.
10. I Can Be Free
What it helps with: Anxiety, phobias, insomnia, low self-esteem
What it offers: Famous hypnotist Jacob Strachotta offers over 50 audio hypnosis sessions, targeting different fears (everything from flying, to dying, to public speaking, to bugs or ghosts) and personal hurdles (like quitting smoking or gaining confidence).
14. Meeting Finder
What it helps with: Eating disorders, addiction, compulsion
What it offers: The name says it all — this app links users up to local 12-step meetings anywhere in the U.S. (e.g, Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous) and allows users to search with specific parameters (like women/men only) as well as save favorite spots. It also tracks the length of your recovery and provides daily meditations.