Whether you have an anxiety disorder, or simply feel worried sometimes, there are apps that can help with anxiety, and get you through your day. Depending on your level of anxiety, you might find it handy to monitor your feelings on your way to work, check in with yourself and de-stress midday, or find a way to fall asleep more easily.
By downloading a few apps and keeping them handy on your phone, you can have quick access to help and support whenever you need it. Keep in mind though, that experts say these apps should never be the only way you manage your anxiety.
"While some of these apps can absolutely be helpful in a support role to manage stress and periodic anxiety, they should not be seen as a substitute for the treatment of an anxiety disorder," clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow, host of The Web radio show, tells Bustle. "The problem is that anxiety is both a normal human experience that can be distressing, and a series of clinical psychiatric problems that need to be treated by a professional." So if your anxiety is impacting your life in a way that's beyond the scope of an app, don't be afraid to reach out to a therapist or a loved one for some extra help.
That said, apps can be a great tool in conjunction with other forms of treatment. "One of the benefits of digital technology is that it can help us to engage in anxiety-reducing behaviors on a more frequent basis," says Klapow. "These apps help us monitor anxiety levels more frequently, remind us of strategies to reduce anxiety, and can provide specific tools and techniques for specific situations — all at our fingertips." Here are a few great ones.
This app uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy to help you better manage anxiety. Whether it's by putting your troubles into perspective using the "Catastrophe Scale" or distracting you with a few fun games when you're feeling upset, What's Up? can help you move past an anxious moment and get on with your day. You can download it for iOS here or download it for Android here.
When you're feeling stressed, it can help to check in with yourself. And that's exactly what Stress Check does. According to iTunes, "Stress Check is a tool developed by psychologists with expertise in stress management and workplace performance. The Stress Check assessment will provide you with an overall stress score that describes your current level of stress. After receiving your overall score, you can deepen your insight by examining the specific areas your stress is affecting you." Pretty nifty, right? You can download it for iOS here or download it for Android here.
According to iTunes, "Pacifica gives you psychologist-designed tools to address [stress, anxiety, and depression] based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness meditation, relaxation, and mood/health tracking." If you're trying to integrate mindfulness into your day more, this app can help. You can download it for iOS here or download it for Android here.
Since anxiety can often make it difficult to sleep, the more sleep-inducing apps you have in your arsenal, the better. Relax Melodies is a great one, since it allows you to "select sounds and melodies that you like, combine them, and adjust the volume of each sound to create a mix," according to iTunes. The result is the perfect concoction of sounds/noises that'll help you forget your worries and fall asleep. You can download it for IOS here or download it for Android here.
Another great app to use at bedtime when you're feeling a bit anxious is Noisli. According to iTunes, it allows you to mix different sounds in order to create your perfect sound ambience, which can be super helpful when your mind is running away with you at night Download it for iOS here or download it for Android here.
Studies show meditation and mindfulness can truly work miracles for people with anxiety, so why not throw ten minutes of it into your daily routine? With Headspace, you get ten days of free guided meditations, and an introduction to mindfulness if you're new to it. After that, the app costs $6.24 to $12.95 a month to continue. But it might just be worth it. Download it for iOS here or download it for Android here.
Studies have shown that coloring (in an adult coloring book, or just freeform on a scrap of paper) can help improve your mental health by helping you to relax, de-stress, and remain mindful.
So, if you can't bring a coloring book with you while you're out and about, simply open up Recolor, which "offers an opportunity to channel the anxiety into satisfying, creative accomplishment and is the perfect way step back from the stress of everyday life." Download it for iOs here or download it for Android here.
By now, we all know the benefits of deep breathing when it comes to managing anxiety. But since it can be difficult to remember how to do it properly, an app can definitely help. Breath2Relax is "a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing," according to iTunes. Download it for iOS here or download it for Android here.
HelloMind is a meditation and hypnosis app that can help you work through specific fears and worries, so it's perfect if you're feeling held back by a phobia. According to iTunes, all you do is "choose a treatment, then relax and listen to the sessions with your headphones." Download it for iOS here or download it for Android here.
Worry Watch ($2.99) allows you to log, track, and reflect on your worries. And in doing so, you can learn to better understand and manage them. Download it for iOs here.
12The Worry Box
Has anyone ever told you to put your worries in a box? This app helps you do just that. According to Google, you can use the app's "cognitive diary to help you determine how to cope with the worry. If it's controllable, you can list the steps you can take to manage the worry. If it's not controllable, select from the list of coping statements to help you think about it differently." Download it for Android here.
Sometimes switching perspectives is difficult when anxiety is wearing you down, but this app makes it a little bit easier. MindShift can help you change how you think about anxiety, and face your worries head-on, so you can get back to doing what you love to do. Download for iOS here or download for Android here.
According to iTunes, "Moods is the fastest and easiest way to record your current mood, which can be critical to maintaining good mental health." Since anxiety can cause you to glaze over and feel detached from your thoughts, this app can help you track changes in your mood, which can be used as a tool to help with your current therapy process. Download it for iOS here.
15Anxiety Free: iCan Hypnosis
Another fun meditation app is Stop, Breathe, Think which, according to iTunes, "is proven to decrease anxiety and stress." It allows you to check in with how you're feeing, and offers guided yoga, meditation, and acupressure videos — all of which can come in super handy when you're feeling anxious. Download for iOS here or download for Android here.
Pick and choose from the apps above to better handle your anxiety, remain mindful, and distract yourself when you're feeling down. When paired with other things — like therapy or talking with a loved one — they can really help manage your worry throughout the day.