5 Mental Health Apps You Need to Know About

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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, smartphones and other technological advances have "opened a new frontier in mental health support."

Most notable is the rise of mental health apps. A quick search through your phone's app store reveals thousands of apps designed to track your mood, help you meditate, and reach mental health professionals.

With so many options, how do you know which one is right for you? We took a closer look at some of the most popular mental health apps on the market and found five of the best to help you swipe and tap your way to a healthier, happier mind.

Pacifica - Download

Pacifica has been rated the #1 app for stress, anxiety, and depression. Utilizing the basic principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, Pacifica helps you question, challenge, and change unhealthy thinking patterns. Some of the features of the app include guided meditation and deep muscle relaxation programs, mood and health tracking, and a peer support community.

MoodTools - Download

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America gave MoodTools high ratings in its review of mental health apps. Specifically designed to support those with clinical depression, MoodTools focuses on using the PHQ-9 depression questionnaire to track symptom severity and a comprehensive thought diary to help you to label your emotions, rate your distress level, and journal through upsetting situations.

A unique feature of MoodTools is their suicide safety plan. You can identify triggers, list coping strategies, and utilize emergency services to get immediate help in a crisis.

Daylio - Download

Daylio is the ultimate app for recording your daily life and discovering patterns and habits you may need to change. With an engaging design layout, all you have to do is tap on the provided icons to keep track of your mood and the activities you do each day. You can record multiple moods and activities throughout the day and even create your own custom icons.

The app then takes all of the information you record and turns it into a vast variety of statistics you can review to identify problems and make changes. 

Calm - Download

Calm is an app that focuses solely on meditation and mindfulness. With multiple categories, you can choose from meditation series such as:

  • 7 Days of Calming Anxiety
  • Mindfulness at Work
  • Forgiveness

Other features include mediation music, engaging sleep stories, and masterclasses covering important well-being topics. Choose different soothing scenes to watch and keep track of when you take the time to meditate.

Fabulous - Download

Mental health is more than just fighting the darkness of a mental illness. It is also about adding light! Fabulous is designed to help you build healthy, positive habits using a scientific approach.

Created by the Duke University Behavior Economics Lab, Fabulous focuses on rebuilding your daily routines to sleep better, maintain a healthy lifestyle, increase your energy, and stay inspired. Guided meditations, workouts, and custom challenges you create are all part of the Fabulous plan.

Jennifer Silvershein