In my therapy practice, I am often recommending phone apps to support the work I am doing with clients. Over time I’ve tried many different apps, so I wanted to put together a short list of my favorites. One of the reasons these made the list is that they are all free to use (some have options to upgrade), and it’s important to me to provide resources that are accessible. Keep in mind that none of these recommendations are intended to be a substitute for mental health treatment.
The Gratitude App is free and provides an easy way for people to develop a daily gratitude practice. I personally use and really enjoy the Gratitude app for several reasons. First, you can set reminders to prompt you to practice gratitude, you can include photos, there’s an affirmation feature, and the app also has uplifting quotes to support you in cultivating a positive perspective. Practicing gratitude can help you feel happier, making this a wonderful tool to boost your mental health.
There is no shortage of helpful meditation apps available, and Oak is one of them. The reason I’ve chosen to include Oak in my list is because Oak is free and very simple to use. It offers meditation options, breathing exercises, and support for sleeping. While other apps can seem to provide endless options, if you are looking for simplicity, Oak is the way to go.
Daylio is a mood tracking program that allows you to rate your mood, track what you’re up to, and enter notes. Over time, with enough use, you can start to see patterns and trends. You can set reminders to prompt you to enter your mood and you can set goals for yourself in the app. Daily mood tracking can help us to be more in tune with how we are feeling, and in our often too busy lives, connecting to ourselves in this way is so important.
WRAP stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan and is a preventative system to help you maintain wellness, as well identify a plan for when you are not doing well. This application can be a great tool to help you change behaviors, empower you to make more positive choices, and improve your quality of life. WRAP walks you through creating a wellness toolbox, daily plan, identifying stressors and early warning signs, and so on. If you have severe mental health issues or feel like you are in a crisis, using this app alone is not sufficient and you should seek support from a mental health professional.