If you’ve ever attended counseling, then you know that what you do in between sessions is just as important (if not more important) than the sessions themselves. In order to make progress with your mental health, it’s essential to put the lessons you’ve learned during counseling into practice in your daily life.
And since we’re all pretty attached to our smartphones these days, why not find a way to use smartphone apps to apply lessons learned in counseling? Below, find five apps that can help you continue to improve your mental health in between counseling sessions.
Headspace is an app focused on mindfulness for beginners. If your counselor has mentioned meditation or mindfulness to you, it’s a great idea to download this app as a way to help you successfully practice these skills. One of the best things about Headspace is that the simple interface takes a lot of the seriousness and intimidation out of the practice. Oftentimes, beginners get overwhelmed with the concepts of meditation and mindfulness, so it’s great to have an easy-to-use app that can walk you through everything.
This app offers four different categories with guided meditations: Meditate, Sleep, Move, and Focus. This way, you can easily select different lessons, courses, and guided meditations for the category of your choice. Plus, Headspace offers chances to connect with others, too. You can add people from your contacts as “buddies,” which allows you to see how many minutes they’ve meditated. You can also send them motivational messages and hold each other accountable!
Moodpath is a simple mood-tracking app that also allows you to journal about your feelings. It’s a great complement to the counseling process because it has a built-in function that can share reports with your counselor. If you’re in search of a licensed counselor or mental health advice, you can check out MyTherapist.
Moodpath is recommended for those who wish to manage stress, anxiety, and depression. It asks questions each day about your physical and mental wellbeing, and it provides helpful reports on your data every other week.
The activities and exercises in the Moodpath app are based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is commonly used in traditional therapy settings. It’s very user-friendly, and can be used by older children, teenagers, and adults alike. It also features a Discover tab filled with additional information about mental health topics, so that you can further educate yourself in between counseling sessions.
Calm is a mindfulness app with the goal of bringing its users inner peace. It features plenty of calming exercises, plus sleep stories narrated by celebrities as well as beneficial breathing techniques. It’s a good idea to download Calm if your counselor wants you to focus on getting better sleep, although the app has other functions as well. You’re sure to enjoy the relaxing sleep stories, which range from fairytales to ASMR and nonfiction. There are even some nap stories to check out!
In addition to its main features, Calm also has exercises meant for kids as young as three years old! Plus, Calm Body has eight 10-minute moving meditations that can help you stretch out your muscles and focus on your breathing. The app is regularly updated, provides plenty of stats and feedback for you, and has lovely nature sounds and visuals.
4. PTSD Coach
PTSD Coach is targeted at those living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has an educational section that teaches you about the disorder, as well as plenty of resources that can lead you to additional help. If you have PTSD and it’s something you’re working on in counseling, then the PTSD Coach app is a great addition to treatment.
Along with informational sections, PTSD Coach also provides tools that are specifically intended to help those who are working to manage the daily stress that comes with PTSD. For example, you can use tools for relaxation, positive self-talk, and anger management. You’re even able to customize the tools based on your own experience and preferences. Plus, you can add your own photos and music to the app for a personalized touch.
5. What’s Up?
What’s Up? The app is built on principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT). It’s intended to help those living with stress, anger, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.
If you’re in counseling to work on any of these issues, then What’s Up? is a great choice for you. The app’s top features include a comprehensive diary that allows you to rate your feelings, a positive and negative habit tracker, and a grounding game with fun questions to keep you calm in stressful times.
Plus, What’s Up? features forums where you can talk to others who are going through similar situations, a catastrophe scale that helps you put your problems into perspective, the ability to protect your personal information with a passcode, and customizable themes. What’s Up? provides plenty of different ways to work on the things you’ve learned in counseling while moving forward and progressing on your own in between sessions.
Smartphones are capable of just about anything nowadays; they can even help you to reinforce the lessons you’ve learned during therapy! Here’s a quick overview of how each of the apps discussed in this article can help you.
- Headspace teaches you mindfulness techniques and offers opportunities to connect with others
- Moodpath helps you to keep track of your physical and emotional wellbeing; it also compiles reports every two weeks that can be shared with your mental health professional
- Calm has mindfulness activities, sleep stories, moving meditations, and content for kids as well as adults
- PTSD Coach teaches you about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and provides handy tools that can be used daily to relieve stress associated with the disorder
- What’s Up? combines CBT and ACT with a diary, habit tracker, grounding game, catastrophe scale, and forums
Now that you know more about the ways that smartphone apps can help you apply the lessons learned in counseling sessions, head over to the App Store or Play Store and try out a few yourself!