Apps and platforms pertaining to mental health have become very popular over the past few years. Technology has created new opportunities for health & wellness and the ability to improve your mental fitness from your phone is a game-changer for athletes who might be averse to more traditional forms. Let's dive into what they are and why they can help athletes.
What are mental health apps?
Mental health apps are digital tools that can be accessed via your smartphone or mobile device that focus on improving different aspects of mental health and well-being. Such tools may focus on a range of areas related to wellness including relaxation, stress management, and sleep. They may also offer self-help tools, therapeutic activities, and access to treatment delivered by licensed mental health professionals.
Why are they beneficial for athletes?
Mental health apps have a range of potential benefits that make them more appealing to athletes given their status. Some key benefits include:
- Accessibility: Because mental health apps are convenient and accessible, they can be a great resource for athletes who might not feel like they have many other options.
- Anonymity: Most mental health apps have measures that allow people to find information and access treatment in a way that is private and secure. Given athletes' status - this can make them feel more comfortable.
- Convenience: You can access these tools anywhere and at any time, making them a great option for athletes with busy schedules.
- Engagement: Apps can be an engaging and even fun way to learn about mental health and improve well-being. You're often able to set your own daily reminders, so regular notifications help you stay engaged.
Here are 20 mental health apps any athlete can use:
Talkspace is a platform that provides people access to therapy through their phones. Each user is matched with a therapist based on information provided in onboarding and you can choose from all kinds of plans that include video therapy, audio-only calls, texting, or combinations of the three.
Sowlmate is an LGBTQ+-centered app designed to help users tap into self-care and mindfulness through guided meditations and classes.
Sanvello provides users with cognitive behavioral therapy tools. They teach mindfulness skills and provide mood and health tracking tools that can be used to improve mental and physical health.
Headspace is probably the most popular app on this list and its mission is to simply help people be more mindful. Their app features guided meditations no matter your mood or what you’re hoping to achieve.
Rootd is essentially a big red button to hit during panic attacks. When you use the app, you’ll be directed to answer a few questions that will help guide you through the moment.
Calm is another very popular mindfulness app that focuses app with a mission to make the world happier and healthier. It focuses on meditation products, including guided meditations and sleep stories similar to Headspace.
Simple Habit is a 5-minute meditation app designed to help busy people stress less, achieve more, and live better. What makes it different from other apps is its short concise content presented by various world experts on meditation.
Moodpath is an app that lets people track their moods and generates reports based on what’s reported. It personalizes recommendations and exercises for each individual user based on the date provided.
eMoods is an app created for mood tracking. It’s designed specifically for those living with bipolar disorder. Users will be able to track their mood changes over time and get a monthly summary that will identify triggers and help to map out mood fluctuations.
What’s Up is a free app that channels Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy methods to help users cope with whatever they’re going through, whether that’s depression, anxiety, stress, or something else. The app features a negative and positive habit tracker to help you build positive habits and kick the ones you want to.
Ten Percent Happier
Ten Percent Happier is an app design for people like me who struggle to wrap their heads around meditation. If you’re interested but skeptical, give the app a shot.
notOK is an app that was created by a teenager and her brother. The app’s main feature is a red button that users can press when they’re in a crisis to let friends, family, or whoever’s in your support network know you need help. A message along with the GPS location of the user will be sent out to the selected contacts so they can take action.
MoodMission is an app designed to help you feel better. It’s built specifically for those moments when you’re in low moods or struggling with anxiety. MoodMission asks you questions about your feelings and then gives you a list of missions you can choose from to help you feel better.
SuperBetter is not your average mental health app. It turns working on your mental health into a game in a way, teaching you different skills and self-care techniques to be a happier, healthier, more grounded version of yourself. Plus, each mission is superhero-themed, and what’s not to love about that?
Reflectly is an app designed to encourage journaling through psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Happify is an app designed to address the things that stress you out and up your happiness. When you use it, you’ll have access to quizzes, games, and other activities that will help you find your happy place. You can choose different tracks that help tailor your experience. You can opt to focus on things like overcoming negative thoughts and gaining confidence.
Shine is a female-focused, self-care app that aims to help users "rest, heal and grow through difficulty." Its focus is self-improvement, and it delivers motivational messages through text and audio. And, Shine also offers an inclusive community so you can connect with other members at any time.
Moodfit is a free mental health app whose tools and insight are meant to “shape up” your mood. Similar to the way you might decide to get into physical shape, this app is meant to help you get into mental shape. Whether you’re looking to better understand your feelings, or you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or high levels of stress, Moodfit is designed to help you feel better.
Pause is based on the ancient principles of Tai Chi and mindfulness practice, PAUSE brings the act of focused attention to your mobile device. Using a patent-pending technique and a unique approach to modern technology, you can easily start the journey to relaxation – anywhere and anytime.
Oak is an app that offers quick and simple breathing exercises as well as longer guided and DIY meditations. While other apps focus on selling a wide array of themed meditations, Oak takes a more minimalist approach to deliver tranquility.