On a day-to-day basis, one of these relaxation and mindfulness apps can help identify and even reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. A lot of these apps are using mindfulness or meditation techniques.
Mindfulness describes the process of putting all attentional focus on experiences in the current moment without judging them. It is a specific kind of awareness of one’s existence in the present moment, “as non-reactively, non-judgementally and as openheartedly as possible”, like one of the key figures of mindfulness research, Jon Kabat-Zinn, puts it. Mindfulness can be reached through different practices; but above all, meditation.
Meditation is a practice that trains attention and achieving an emotionally clear, calm and stable state. It may be used with the aim of reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. There is some evidence pointing towards psychological, neurological and physical benefits of daily meditation practices.
If you are interested in these practices, why not try them out? There are some apps that are offering an easy start into your meditation practice. Here is an overview, of which all are available in English, some also in German.
This app offers more than 15,000 free guided meditation courses by different teachers with breathing exercises and other mindfulness techniques. Themed meditations aim at different issues, anything from stress over troubled sleep to heartbreak.
A more traditional approach to meditation, created by psychologist Dr. Elisha Goldstein.
Topics include stress, sleep, anxiety, depression, dealing with difficult situations, but also more positive: meditations to increase motivation, curiosity, creativity or simply to mindfully celebrate milestones in life.
This app aims at promoting happiness, rest and calmness; topics also include stress, anxiety, lack of focus. A special feature is the “emergency” mode. It has a strong focus on scientific efficacy.
This is a meditation app for skeptical people with a strong focus on how your meditation practise can be incorporated into daily life.
This app was specifically designed for meditation and sleep. It aims at calming anxiety, managing stress, deep sleep, focus and concentration, relationships, breaking habits, happiness, gratitude, body scan, loving kindness, forgiveness, non-judgement, mindfulness at work/college, walking meditation. Also has adult bedtime stories and relaxing music.
Other apps are more focused on strategies of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Because CBT usually follows a fairly standardized protocol, it is possible to learn some of the techniques at home, with the help of an app. It is, however, important to note that none of these apps provide diagnosis, medical or professional care!
Reach out to a professional mental healthcare provider if you feel like you can’t cope alone!
This app is designed to track and provide help with symptoms of anxiety and depression. It offers a journaling tool, daily check-ins and offers to summarize your recent mood in regular mental health reports and statistics. After an assessment phase, this app can also suggest exercises, tailored to your needs. It provides in-depth education about your symptoms. All of this information is supported by psychotherapists.
Pacifica uses elements of CBT and mindfulness meditation. It offers help with depression, stress and anxiety by means of tutorials on coping, taking control and building confidence. Meditation techniques are also offered on this app. This app also puts a special focus on habit tracking and recommends behavior changes towards a lifestyle that is overall more beneficial for mental health (sleep, exercise, caffeine…). Similar to Moodpath, this app offers journaling and statistics functions where all relevant data is summarized into a report. This report can help facilitate the discussion with a real-life mental health expert as well.
An AI-based personal assistant. It uses techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to identify and break thought patterns, enhance emotional well-being and internal balance. It also helps with identifying thought-action contingencies - why do I do what I do when I feel this way, and is this actually helping me to feel better? What else could I do?
CBT-based assessment of depressive symptoms, including thought diaries and the evaluation of distressing scenarios incl. their re-evaluation. You can create safety plans for suicidal moments (again, in this case, please do not rely exclusively on this app).
Analogous to Moodtools CBT-based assessment of anxiety symptoms.