New Year, New Brain: 2021's Mental Health And Wellness Apps
It's hard to imagine a year where mental health has been more important than 2020. And while we're all hoping 2021 is better,
mental illness rudely doesn't pay attention to the calendar. For those of us who live with anxiety, depression, PTSD, or any of the dozens of other common mental conditions, they will unfortunately follow us into the new year. So now seems like the perfect time to take a look at what's available for smartphone apps that can improve mental health and wellness for you in 2021. It's important to stress these apps are not a replacement for treatment. But, as a supplement to ongoing treatment they can be pretty helpful.
MoodSpace (Android only)
Moodspace aims to be a one-stop shop for sufferers of anxiety and depression. While the app itself is geared towards matching you with a therapist in your area, it still has loads of built-in features to help you in the moment. Wrapped up in a very soothing art style, Moodspace can be a very gentle first step if you feel like you might have anxiety or depression.
Happify (Android, iOS, web)
Happify takes a different approach to mental wellness, by turning cognitive behavioural techniques into games that you can pick up and play as needed. It's a nifty idea that I suspect will especially appeal to people who are already gamers. Happify gives you a score to track your progress through the games (and, by extension, your mental well-being). For people who are goal-and-results oriented, this might just be the ticket.
Talkspace (Android, iOS, web)
Talkspace specializes not in wellness tricks or anxiety relief, but rather getting you connected with a licensed therapist for one-on-one talk (or video) therapy. Talkspace aims to make therapy a lot more convenient and to help demystify the negative stereotyping around therapy. For a lot of people, simply having access to a therapist can be a huge challenge, never mind working therapy into your daily life. Talkspace hopefully can make both access and and practicality much easier.
Headspace (Android, iOS, web)
Probably the best known mental wellness app, Headspace is a much more informal app, geared toward general mindfulness, stress relief, meditation and help with sleeping. It's a jam-packed app full of useful techniques and helpful articles on a wide variety of topics (everything from "election anxiety" to male and female body dysmorphia, to how to walk and meditate at the same time.) And even has a section for guided meditation sessions.
No matter where you are in your personal mental health journey, it's worth taking a look at what 2021 mental health and wellness apps apps are out there these days to help. And if 2020 taught us anything it's that we can all use more calmness in our lives.