What are the best apps for depression?

Martha Neary, PsyberGuide

There are thousands of apps out there for depression - here are five of the best rated apps on PsyberGuide.org.

Mood Mission

This app gives you different activities or “missions” based on how you are feeling. Examples of activities are “Learn how to cook a new recipe on YouTube”, “Count your breaths”, and “Write a letter to someone who has made your life better and tell them why”. The app gives some information on why different activities may help you, backed by research. My favorite thing about this app is it’s design; it has a great interface and beautiful colors, and is really easy to use.

Catch It

This is a mood journal app. You enter some information about a particular period of low mood, and then the app prompts you to look at the situation in which you felt low or depressed in a different way - i.e., how would you advise a friend to think about it? And what would be a more helpful way to approach the situation? The idea is that you “Catch It, Check It, Change It”. These steps are the bread-and-butter of cognitive-behavioral therapy and effective for a variety of mental health problems. My favorite thing about this app is that it forces you to rethink your situation, and it stores each of your entries, so you can go back to the app and look at your patterns of mood and thinking over time.

Pacifica

Pacifica has a lot of different features. You can track how you’re feeling, and work on building different skills in the areas of thoughts, meditation, health, and community. You can set yourself goals, like “Feel Happier”, “Practice Meditation”, “Build Confidence”, and daily challenges. The app also has a Community section, where you can chat with other users about topics on relaxation, gratitude, and relationships. The Learning section of the app teaches you techniques to deal with anxiety and depression through audio tracks. The app is based on effective treatment strategies for mental health problems like cognitive-behavioral therapy. The best thing about this app is that there are so many options of activities to do - a little something for everyone to get started. It also looks great which makes me want to use it more!

Virtual Hope Box

Virtual Hope Box has lots of short activities which are great for using on the go, and is a great app if you need a quick fix or distraction. There are breathing exercises and meditation tracks, which are all under 5 minutes. There are also fun distraction puzzles, a selection of inspiring quotes, coping cards and an activity planner. What I really liked about this app is that you can make it very personal to you - you can add photos that hold personal significance to you, for example photos of a friends or family, places you love, or memorable event. The app cycles through these photos on on the homepage.

What's Up

What's Up provides support for a range of mental health challenges, including depression. There are lots of suggestions for different ways to cope with depression, including strategies to reframe thinking patterns and manage worries, positive steps you can start to make yourself feel better, forums, uplifting quotes, breathing exercises and distraction games. There is also a diary feature which helps you track moods and habits over time, and I like how my mood entries are shown in an easy to read way, telling me how many good/average/bad days I had over the past month. I also like What’s Up because there are so many different activities to try out - I think it will take me a long time to get bored of this app!

Interested in learning more? Check out additional information on mental health apps at PsyberGuide.

Best apps for depression: https://goo.gl/mYgEBD

Can apps help: https://goo.gl/D761uR

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