Image via Soft Focus
If winter had it’s way with you and you’re emerging from what feels like a dark hole, don’t feel bad! And don’t force it. Transitions are tough and the switch from winter to spring can actually feel awkward for many of us. Gently coax yourself back into sunshine-mode with an app that helps boost your sense of overall happiness and wellbeing, authentically. Yes, there are apps for that too! Here are 7 of the best therapy and mental health apps that can help boost your vibe for spring:
If you’re not into the idea of sitting face-to-face with a psychotherapist and sharing from the heart, but so want to build a relationship with a trained pro who has your best mental health interests at heart, try the Talkspace app (plans start at $49 / week). This is online therapy, whenever you need it, via text. You get matched with a licensed therapist, choose your desired frequency of contact, and then have at your disposal a fully trained sounding board. And, if you’re wondering, studies have shown that internet-based intervention for depression is just as helpful as regular face-to-face therapy.
Headspace (free, then $130/year) is super well-loved for a reason. It makes starting a meditation practice easy, with bite-sized 10-20 minute guided meditations that are totally no-nonsense. So, no bird-sounds or magical carpet rides here, just founder Andy’s voice and his straight-forward instruction. There’s a free version and a subscription version of Headspace, and the free version has everything you need to get you off on the right foot, IMO.
If you’ve ever been intrigued by the idea of having a life coach, the RealifeChange app (free) lets you dip a toe into the experience. Basically it offers a mood/energy/experience tracker that lets you record your day-to-day milestones and lets you see your ‘progress’ in chart-form. If you’re focused on a personal goal, even if that’s just feeling more in control of your moods, this can help you feel like you’re taking charge, every day.
So, a lot of us were horrified when this feature was added after updating to iOS 12, (Settings > Screen Time) because it counts the minutes you spend on your phone and gives you a weekly overview, but it’s actually helped me so much. Don’t be scared to look. Do it! Try it! It will be motivating to see how much your averages decrease/increase day over day. It has been for me, at least. If you know your screen time affects your mood, monitor this app.
For the those who love working to white noise, or for meditators who might be weaning off guided meditations, I recommend Rain Rain (free) for background noise. This app is the perfect level of stimulation, and it actually sounds soothing and natural, not cheesy. An ideal soundtrack for chill workflow (and no ads).
Tone It Up
If you’re wanting to get your bod moving again but not necessarily go to a gym or splurge on a yoga membership, get the Tone It Up app ($6.99 / month). You can work out anywhere (i.e. in your apartment) with any one of the hundreds of classes offered through the app. They’re 20-40 minutes long and super targeted (total body, energizing yoga flow, booty…) so you don’t need to scour around YouTube for the perfect workout vid. Tone It Up has garnered a pretty big, engaged community, so if you want some camaraderie with your home workouts, this app can give you that too.
This app has been called “the most sophisticated positive vibes app available now.” You get your happiness score and then work to improve it by doing activities that train you to be happier (so, stop negative thoughts, build self-belief, etc). The Happify (free) activities are all based on science from neuroscientists and psychologists and revolve around things like savouring, aspiring and thanking.
(Story by Contributing Editor, Kait Fowlie)