Five apps you need for your mental health
Five simple apps to help boost mental health ahead of R U OK Day.
This Thursday, 12 September, is R U OK Day – Australia’s annual reminder to check in with friends and family who might be struggling with life. Each year, one in five Aussies will suffer a mental illness, and more than 3000 of us will die from suicide. These shocking statistics urge us all to stop and think about the mental health of those around us.
Of course, once a year isn’t nearly enough to connect with those who aren’t doing okay, but the day is an important prompt to spark action and show support for the people around us. Initiatives like R U OK Day help us all share responsibility for improving our nation’s mental wellbeing. They also remind us that simply reaching out can make a positive difference in someone’s life.
Aside from connecting with others, there are many useful tools that can help us better manage our own mental health. Here are five of our favourite apps to make your everyday okay.
Take a moment to stop, breathe and relax with these mental health apps.
Five of the best apps for mental health and wellbeing
The Resilience Project
This daily wellbeing app helps you identify your emotions, record moments of gratitude and be more present each day. It’s designed for all ages by Melbourne-based group The Resilience Project, which delivers positive programs to schools, businesses and sports clubs to build resilience and promote mental wellbeing. The group was co-founded by Melbourne schoolteacher Hugh van Cuylenburg following a year spent volunteering at an underprivileged school in India. During this time, he marvelled at the resilience of his young students and set out to uncover the secrets of their positivity. His team recently incorporated their tried-and-tested gratitude, mindfulness and empathy strategies into this app, developed with Australian Unity.
Developed by ReachOut Australia, the online mental health organisation for young people and their parents, this app helps you set aside specified time to worry so you can get on with the rest of your day. When worries permeate your thoughts, they impact on your mood and your living. WorryTime lets you add or delete problems to or from your worry list whenever you like, but helps stop your negative thinking on them until your designated time slot. Dealing with your worries once a day rather than 24/7 is a simple idea – yet surprisingly effective.
This app promotes ‘self-care’, the latest buzzword from the world of wellness. Gain access to short hypnotherapy programs, from five to 30 minutes, that help guide your subconscious into deep meditation. Designed to help uncover the root causes of negative thinking and self-sabotaging patterns of behaviour, HelloMind helps you to overcome these issues through positive, results-driven hypnosis. The app guides you to your own best treatment with some simple questions to help define your biggest issue of the moment and offers improved balance and clarity. Ommm.
There’s a swag of recent scientific research to demonstrate that gratitude is an effective tool for improving mental health, and this clever little app helps harness that positive power. The Grateful app (available for iOs and Android devices) is a simple gratitude journal that uses prompts to help you to literally count your blessings. The app asks easy questions to help spark memories, like, ‘What made you smile today?’ It also allows you to add photos to your diary entries, offering visual gratitude triggers. The whole Grateful package makes looking back on past entries a guaranteed mood booster.
Developed by Melbourne woman Jane Martino in 2012, this fabulous, not-for-profit app recently reached a staggering four million downloads. Smiling Mind mindfulness and meditation programs are now used in homes, schools and workplaces across the country. The free app includes dozens of short, ten-minute exercises tailored to individual goals such as stress reduction, better sleep, improved focus and much more. The meditations are also designed for specific audiences, from young children to expectant mums, and non-English-speaking listeners. With an intuitive layout and easy-to-navigate tech, this R U OK-friendly app just keeps getting better.