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5 Free Apps to Help You on Your Mental Health Recovery Journey

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Being on the journey to find mental wellness tools can be challenging. It seems there are a billion apps and self-help books out there. All mental wellness tools are really different and also really the same, which makes it super hard to choose. I’m not good with decisions as it is, so I’ve been on a constant search for fun, free and easy-to-use apps to help in my mental health recovery.

There are some free apps I have liked and some free apps I have loved. There are also the ones that are only free for a bit before you have to pay for the rest of the features — those, I don’t like at all. So, here are five free apps I found to be super helpful in my road to recovery.

1. Pacifica

Pacifica is an app that tracks your mood. You can set reminders for a mood check and you can do multiple mood check-ins throughout the day, as well as a couple of free meditations and tools where you can journal.

There are several things I love about this app: there are many journal tools, like one where you can pinpoint words that may be negative; there is a daily meditation practice, sometimes from the paid section; there is a space where you can post to the community and interact with others on the app; and, there is a hope tool where you can post quotes or screenshots you can look back on when you’re feeling down. They even have a podcast.

Pacifica is free, with additional tools on the app for a monthly fee. I just use the free option and it’s been great so far.

2. Youper

This is described as an “emotional health assistant” and I couldn’t agree more. You can chat with the “assistant” (which is really some cool artificial intelligence) about what is going on and get help in real time, as well as a tool that helps to track and improve your mood.

The real gem with this app is how, in tracking your mood, you can pick specific items as to how you are feeling — anxious, depressed, stressed and more — and it will generate some options to help. Over time, the daily conversations with the “assistant” provide clarity about your state of mind and help discover factors affecting it.

3. Coloring Book For Me

This online coloring book is pretty cool, containing preset color pallets (or you can create your own custom palette). You can color by marker, pencil, or paint bucket (my favorite), and in different categories such as animals, art, marine, patterns, anime and space. It will keep you busy in choosing between coloring a hipster bear or a cool mountain.

The “Coloring Book For Me” app will have you distracted and focused on one thing, and once you’re done with the coloring you can share it and marvel at it in the future.

4. WhatsUp?

This is a super interesting low-key app, that many people might not know about. It has a bunch of tools to help you cope with challenges like depression, anxiety, anger and stress, including 12 common negative thinking patterns and ways to overcome them, 10 metaphors to help cope with negative feelings, a catastrophe scale and a diary entry part where you can scale your feelings.

Two awesome features that have helped me the most are the positive quotes and the grounding game. There are over 70 positive quotes that can make you feel a little bit better when feeling down. The grounding game is by far, one of the coolest tools I’ve found, that will keep my attention instead of whatever thoughts I am ruminating over. The grounding game has over 100 questions that will make you think — nothing too hard — and help keep you in the present.

5. The Mighty

Duh, The Mighty would be on this list. The Mighty has given the voiceless a platform to tell their stories and connect with others. Community is an important aspect of mental health recovery that really does help on the journey to wellness. It is a great place where you can post a question or a thought, get a response and think, “yes, this person gets me” or “that’s great advice, let me try that.” I could go on and on about how The Mighty is a free app that helps us on our mental wellness journeys, but I won’t. However, I will say that The Mighty is pretty cool.

There a bunch of apps out there to help with your mental wellness. These are a few examples to help start others on the same journey I am on. Smartphone apps are just one tool that can be a great source of clarity, understanding, connectedness and fun.

The journey to mental wellness is not constant — it’s fluid. So, when there comes a time you’re struggling, I hope one of the apps above can lend a hand. I am grateful to have found these apps and I wanted to share them in the hopes someone else will find them valuable too.

Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans on Unsplash

Originally published: March 5, 2019
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