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Best apps for mental health

From mobile banking and shopping to dating and travel, think of any area of your daily life and there’s sure to be an app for it. But have you considered using an app to help with your mental health? Perhaps not, but you should!

There is an incredible array of apps now available to help with everything from your general mood to specific mental health concerns. We’ve picked out just a few that might provide the answer you’re looking for. So, let’s get started!

If you ever stress over what you’d do without your handy smartphone, then a great way to deal with this is to have the right mobile insurance in place.

Stressed at laptop

  1. Best mental health app for meditation: Insight Timer

Price: Free to download. £55.99 a year for Member Plus paid subscription.

There’s some serious competition in the meditation app world with both Headspace and Calm proving very popular among phone users. However, our current favourite is Insight Timer. It provides a great range of free guided meditations (45,000 if you are wondering!) which you can explore to your heart's content.

If you’re just starting out and need some extra guidance then the app has put together some beginner meditation kits, too. With a paid subscription you get some really handy extra functionality and access to 400 meditation courses. These help with topics ranging from building confidence to overcoming worry about climate change.

If you’re really keen to get into mindfulness and meditation then take a look at some of these other great mindfulness apps recommended by the Gadget Cover team.

  1. Best mental health app for wellbeing: Thrive

Price: Free

Recommended by the NHS, this UK-created, game-based app is designed to give you the tools to manage stress and anxiety. Or even just those days when you feel a bit ‘meh’! Simply download and begin monitoring your moods and learning the best clinically-proven, relaxation techniques to combat stress and sadness.

We also appreciate the ‘thought trainer’ tool to help challenge negative thoughts. Supporting thousands of organisations and 3.8 million users globally, this award-winning app is designed to suit a range of mental health needs.

  1. Best mental health app for a spot of calm in a busy world: Breethe

Price: Free to download. £12.49 a month, £87.99 a year or £149.99 for a lifetime.

This is a fantastic wellness tool, offering daily 10-minute guided meditations, sleep assistance, and calming soundscapes, tracks and playlists. It’ll let you choose help depending on the situation you find yourself in.

So, whether you’re starting your day, commuting to work, at work, taking a well-earned break or settling down to sleep it’s got something tailored to you. Described as the friendliest wellness app on earth, it’s geared to making life that bit easier for busy working people. After all, being human is hard, let Breethe help you out!

  1. Best mental health app for new mums and mums-to-be: Biamother

Price: Standard subscription is £16.99 a month or £144.99 a year. Premium subscription is £36.99 a month or £269.99 a year.

Whether you’re pregnant or have recently given birth, it's all-too-common to feel worried about your health. After all, you’ll want to be at your best to take care of your precious arrival.

The Biamother app, provides both new and expectant mothers with personalised meditations, one-to-one coaching, tasty recipes, great workouts, and straightforward health advice. The perfect holistic way to combat pregnancy-related anxiety and recover from the physical demands of labour and delivery.

  1. Best mental health app for counselling: BetterHelp

Price: Free to download. Cost of therapy through BetterHelp ranges from £40 - £70 per week.

It can sometimes be a struggle to find the right qualified counsellor or therapist. And if you’re struggling with your mental health then this can be even more so. Regarded as one of the world’s largest therapy platforms, the BetterHelp app has over 20,000 trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists and counsellors. With experts in everything from anxiety and depression to family and couples therapy there’s sure to be someone who can provide personal and professional help.

  1. Best mental health app for children: ThinkNinja by Healios

Price: Free, but only available through a referral from the NHS.

Designed for 10- to 18-year-olds, this NHS-approved app uses a wide range of tools and interesting content to help guide them to learn about mental health and emotional wellbeing. The app is fun and interactive and helps with useful tips for dealing with stressful situations. 

Person on mobile

  1. Best mental health app for panic attacks: Stop Panic & Anxiety Self Help

Price: Free

With the UK experiencing an explosion in anxiety over the past decade, panic attacks are on the rise. From feelings of anxiety to a full-blown panic attack these can be debilitating for sufferers. That’s where this app comes in so handy. It uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) techniques to help manage the symptoms of anxiety with relaxing audio recordings.

This works alongside expertly designed Panic Assistance sessions to help you through any panic attacks, wherever you find yourself. By focusing your attention on something other than your feelings of panic and helping you breathe deeply, it’ll help reduce your panic levels in no time. It also includes 50 tools for exposure methods, colour therapy and an anxiety diary.

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  1. Best mental health app for anxiety: Catch It

Price: Free

Anxiety and depression are on the increase, but making sense of our moods and knowing the signs to look out for in ourselves can be tricky. For example, perhaps you’re feeling more nervous than usual or more lethargic, this could be a sign of an underlying mental health condition.

By downloading an app like Catch It, you’ll find out how to spot the many different indicators. You’ll also find out how to manage your feelings by looking at problems in a different way. Turning negative thoughts into positive ones can go a long way to reducing feelings of anxiety.

  1. Best mental health app for everyone: Chill Panda

Price: Free

This app is suitable for both children and adults who want to manage stress and worries better. Whether you’re feeling worried about school or feeling overworked in the office, Chill Panda will help with a range of breathing exercises, distracting techniques and worry management.

Using your phone's camera, the app will monitor your heart rate and encourage you to take part in a variety of playful tasks tailored to your current state of mind. It really is very effective and very cool. As well as the App Store and Google Play, it’s also now available on the Nintendo Switch for £9.99.

  1. Best mental health app for when words simply won’t do: Cove

Price: Free

Telling friends, family or professionals how you’re feeling when you’re struggling with your mental health can be difficult. Why not try to express yourself through music rather than through words? The Cove apps lets you use music to capture your mood and express your feelings. Whether you’re feeling happy or sad, peaceful or frustrated, Cove could be a great tool to unlock help and understanding from others.

  1. Best mental health app for increasing emotional fitness: eQuoo

Price: Free to download

If you’re looking for a fun way to boost your emotional fitness then try the eQuoo app today. Using adventure games designed by a team of professional psychologists, the app promises you can play your way to better relationships and stronger coping strategies. You'll also learn techniques on how to communicate more effectively and maintain your mental wellbeing.

  1. Best mental health app using CBT: WorryTree

Price: Free

Many apps use CBT techniques, but WorryTree’s simple, easy to use and practical app is one of the best. The app focuses on helping you record, manage and take control of your worries and anxieties. Built by worriers, for worriers, it’s essentially an interactive online journal that encourages you to recognise and tackle your worries and fears using CBT. It’s a great way to help you take back control of your life!

  1. Best mental health app for self-help: Samaritans Self-Help

Price: Free

The Samaritans charity has been providing invaluable support for those suffering emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide for nearly 70 years. However, it’s not always easy for someone experiencing mental health difficulties to talk.

If you’re looking for help, but don’t feel like talking then this app could be for you. It features a mood tracker so you can record how you’re feeling and then gives you coping techniques and activities that might be able to help.

  1. Best mental health app approved by the NHS: My Possible Self

Price: Free

Created in partnership with leading mental health experts, this app contains clinically certified content from Priory Healthcare and is approved by the NHS. Download the app and discover a wide array of tools, tips, exercises and activities to promote your happiness and wellbeing.

  1. Best mental health app for students: Student Health

Price: Free

A recent study showed that 37% of UK students found that their mental health got worse after starting higher education. So, clearly there’s a need for support to help them at what can be a very challenging time of life. The Student Health App provides easy access to plain-speaking, reliable reassurance on a vast range of topics. The content is created and updated by NHS professionals for university students and is a great way to deal with student worries.

Getting help when you’re away from home can be hard. That’s why having the right mobile phone insurance to protect your treasured tech is a must-have for anyone heading off to college or university. 

  1. Best mental health app for those trying to quit: Quit That!

Price: Free

This is a great little habit tracker for those looking to quit anything from fizzy drinks to cigarettes. By tracking your progress and adding up how much money you’re saving the app provides ample motivation to keep going. The app also features a live counter showing your progress up to the minute and lets you schedule a day for quitting. So, what are you waiting for?

If you’re a smoker looking for an app specific to you, then take a look at some of these other great apps to help you stop smoking.

  1. Best mental health app for building a positive mindset: Feeling Good

Price: Free to download

This app offers four free audio tracks combining soothing music and gentle coaching to get you feeling more positive. For the main 12-track Positive Mental Training audio programme you’ll need to make an in-app purchase.

  1. Best mental health app for veterans: Samaritans Veterans

Price: Free

After a career in the armed forces, it’s all too common for veterans to experience mental health difficulties. This Samaritans app is specifically aimed at this group.

Man on mobile in street

  1. Best mental health app to manage self-harm: Calm Harm

Price: Free

This award-winning app has been shown to help users manage the urge to self-harm. It works by helping you find out the main reason for your self-harming, overcome the urge, and express your feelings in a different and safe way.

  1. Best mental health app for those recovering from eating disorders: Recovery Record

Price: Free

This smart app can help those recovering from eating disorders and those with general eating and weight concerns. It helps users keep a record of their meals and feelings, earn hidden rewards, and access thousands of meditation images and affirmation messages. It also lets you share your progress with your treatment team so they can help you understand your behavioural trends and triggers.

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