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10 Affordable (or Free) Mental Health Apps


You floss, exercise, eat healthy and see the doctor for regular checkups all to make sure your body is healthy. But what about your mental health? When it comes to practicing self-care, many of us forget one of the most important things: our emotional well-being.  

While talk therapy with a licensed therapist is the gold standard for dealing with mental challenges, using an app can be really beneficial for finding your zen daily. While they aren’t meant to replace professional help, apps can support your well-being in a variety of ways, through guided meditation, breathing exercises and journaling, for example. 

Fortunately, many apps are available that provide mental health therapy at little or no cost. So if you battle anxiety or depression, have trouble sleeping or just need a minute to chill, add one of these mental health apps to your self-care toolkit and give your emotional well-being the attention it deserves.   


Shine

Shine
Image: TheShineApp.com

What you get: Ever feel like you are the only one going through something? Then the Shine app is for you. Shine is designed to help you deal with day-to-day highs and lows. The Shine team, which is 80% BIPOC, is on a mission to make mental health therapy more representative and more inclusive of all backgrounds and experiences. Free in-app features include meditations, a daily article and a gratitude log.

Promising review: “This is so worth it! So inclusive and specific! The amount of support and help is amazing. Great community. I can’t afford therapy and this has helped me more than any therapist. I loved it so much I bought my twin sister and bestie a membership.”

Cost: As a free app user, you’ll have access to a few meditations each week. Upgrade to Shine Premium for $64.99 a year to unlock thousands of meditations in the Shine library and get daily personalized meditations sent to your inbox,  as well as self-care courses, personalized support, virtual community workshops and more. 


Headspace 

Headspace
Image: Headspace.com

What you get: Headspace is the mental health app billed as your mind’s best friend. Headspace uses science-backed tools to help you learn to relax, manage stress, focus your energy and create life-changing habits that improve your mental health. You can choose from a wide variety of guided mindfulness activities, including special meditations designed to help you focus on work, movement breaks that promote stress reduction and sleep experiences meant to help you catch some quality Zzzs. 

Promising review: “I often joke that Headspace is the one thing I would want to take with me to a desert island. I have learned to manage stress and anxiety in a way that I never thought was possible. I once laughed at the idea of mindfulness and meditation. Now it’s an integral part of my life, and I think everyone could benefit from it.”

Cost: Headspace offers two renewing subscription options: $12.99 per month or $69.99 per year (less than $5.99 a month). You can try it for two weeks free before committing.


CBT Thought Diary 

CBT Thought Diary
Image: CBTThoughtDiary.com

What you get: CBT Thought Diary is a journal app with a purpose: to improve your mood. It uses effective tools from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you evaluate, understand and change your thoughts and feelings. Think of it as a space to reflect on your thoughts, record your mood and practice gratitude. Using this app helps you work through your feelings and change your thinking patterns so you can better handle whatever life throws your way. 

Promising review: “This application is vital for my day to day mental health. It’s easier to use than a paper journal and gets to the heart of my usual mental struggles. It’s definitely helped me to be more content with my life.”

Cost: The core features of this app are free to use. Pro mode is an optional subscription for $69.99 a year that offers more journals, assessments, guides, insights and extra notifications. 


MindShift CBT

Mindshift CBT
Image: AnxietyCanada

What you get: Always anxious? MindShift CBT uses scientifically proven strategies based on CBT to help you break free from the worry-stress-panic cycle. The user-friendly design allows you to learn and practice CBT strategies, which include writing thought journals, building fear ladders and doing comfort zone challenges. You can also set goals and get reminders, track your progress and participate in the MIndShift CBT Community Forum to share and learn from others who are in a similar boat. Whether you suffer from social anxiety or common phobias, think of it as your free and portable go-to tool for anxiety management.

Promising review: “I’ve used this app the week of finals or when my anxiety was through the roof. I love that there are so many different features for different types of anxiety. I also like that there is a section where you can learn everything there is to know about anxiety and what causes it. This app is perfect for days when you’re so stressed you don’t know whether you should scream, cry or both. I recommend this app to everyone.”

Cost: MindShift CBT is completely free so give it a try today. What do you have to lose, besides your anxiety, of course? 


Moodfit

Moodfit
Image: GetMoodfit.com

What you get: Let’s face it, we can all work on improving and maintaining the fitness of our mental health, and Moodfit can help. The Moodfit app provides a comprehensive set of tools for good mental health and helps you understand what causes your moods to fluctuate. Moodfit offers CBT techniques to handle negative thinking and provides breathing exercises and meditation to reduce stress and restore a sense of calm. A daily mental health workout keeps you accountable. 

Promising review: “This app is the best free mental health tool I’ve ever come across. The fact that it’s free, and you have access to almost every feature without holding back the most important things that will truly help a person, truly shows that those who made this care about others genuinely.” 

Cost: Moodfit offers a free version and a paid premium version. The paid version is $40 per year, but many reviewers seemed satisfied with the free version that includes all the baseline features including the journals and a selection of breathing and meditation exercises. Subscribe to Moodfit Premium and you get the basics plus unlimited daily goals, weekly and monthly summary reports, CBT Thought Records, all breathing exercises, all mindfulness meditations, all articles and tips and more.


Bearable 

Bearable
Image: Bearable.app

What you get: With Bearable, you can keep track of your mood, symptoms, energy levels, daily activities and other health factors such as sleep, medication, exercise and nutrition. One really cool thing about this app (besides the unbearably cute logo) is that you can automatically sync your steps, heart rate, blood pressure, weight and more.​ The idea is that by sharing and recording all kinds of info, you will be able to spot patterns and take better control of your emotional and physical health. 

Promising review: “I’ve tried every mood tracker on the market to help manage and keep track of my depression. Beyond just mood tracking, Bearable has the ability to track tons of variables without a cluttered design and awesome customizability so it can be suited to my specific needs. This is the app I’ve been looking for for years!” 

Cost: Bearable basic gets you comprehensive tracking. Premium is $4.49 per month or $27.99 annually. With premium, you get comprehensive tracking, plus more than 10 additional features including advanced mood and symptoms insights, advanced sleep and energy insights and custom health measurements. You can try it for seven days free and cancel at any time.


iBreathe – Relax & Breathe 

iBreathe
Image: JadeLizardSoftware.com

What you get: iBreathe is a simple yet powerful app that helps guide you through deep breathing exercises. Unlike other apps, this one is specifically focused on breathing and has an easy-to-use interface without a bunch of extra stuff that might just stress you out. You get customizable breathing exercises, reminders to breathe throughout the day and integration with Apple Health. Many reviewers raved about the customizable breathing intervals and guided sound notifications that tell you when to inhale and exhale. You’ll also find a lot of information about why breathing is so important for your overall well-being.

Promising Review: “I can’t say enough good things about this app. I use it for meditation. I use it for insomnia … I’ve gone out to my car at lunch at work and used this app when I’m super stressed. It helps me get my mind right. This is my most important app on my phone. Love it.”

Cost: You get everything on this app for free with ads, or you can pay a one-time fee of $1.99 to remove the ads and enjoy simple, straightforward stress-relief whenever you need it.


Simply Being

Simply Being
Image: MeditationOasis.com

What you get: If meditation is your jam, or you just want to see what it’s all about, give the Simply Being app a try. Whether you have five minutes or 20 minutes, you’re an expert meditator or a newbie, you’ll be cool as a cucumber after a session with Simply Being’s voice-guided, music or nature-based meditations. This app has a loyal band of followers that rave about how you are able to choose the length of your meditation session and customize it to your liking.
Promising review: “I am a therapist and am always looking for new ways to use meditation with clients. I like that there are separate controls for voice and music. The varying lengths of the meditations allows anyone to start out slowly and build up to a place where they can comfortably practice meditation for longer periods of time.” 

Cost: Five- to 30-minute meditation sessions with music or nature and voice guided prompts are free on this app. The premium feature unlocks everything else, including the full meditation library and courses on learning to meditate and relieving anxiety. Choose between the monthly plan at $7.99 a month or annual at $49 a year. 


Worry Watch: Anxiety & Mood

Worry Watch: Anxiety & Mood
Image: WorryWatch.com

What you get: Give worries the boot and manage mood swings with Worry Watch. This app uses anxiety journaling, coping techniques, mood check-ins and positive reinforcements to alleviate anxiety, help you clear your mind and deal with stress. We especially love the guided imagery feature, which helps get you into a deeply relaxed state by visualizing a happy place. There is also sensory grounding to help you be more present in the moment.

Promising review: “This is a fantastic app that helps me get my anxieties out and find some relief. With this app, I’m able to write down my worry, set a reminder, and walk away from worrying about it. After I write it down, I feel so much better and 80% of the time I can drop whatever it is I’m worrying about, knowing the reminder will alert me to record the outcome.”
Cost: This app offers almost all of its features for free, but for a $1.99 monthly subscription or $11.99 annual subscription, you can unlock premium features, including unlimited journal entries, ability to view patterns and trends, set daily and weekly reminders, secure data using a passcode and backup data to iCloud.


buddhify: meditation on the go 

buddhify: meditation on the go
Image: buddyhify.com

What you get: Need more calm, clarity and kindness in your life? Try buddhify, which has easy-to-follow guided meditations to help you live happier and healthier. With mindfulness exercises you can do when you are traveling, at work, waking up, walking, eating and even when you’re online, this app helps you relax when you’re on the go. There are more than 200 meditations available. Sessions range from three to 40 minutes, and there are options for beginners, pros and even for kids. Buddhify also offers a range of teachers so you can choose the voice and style you like best. 

Promising review: “This app is incredible. I’ve been trying to get into meditation for a while now and I’ve found other apps or videos I’ve tried have been repetitive or not very good. The meditations on here are so easy to follow and the app is very user friendly. I’m always skeptical about spending money on apps but this one is so worth it.”

Cost: Buddhify costs $4.99 to download and gives you access to everything mentioned above. There is also an option to become a member, which gives you access to three additional features called Together, Formal and the karaoke-style Transmission. Membership is a one-time purchase of $29.99. 

The post 10 Affordable (or Free) Mental Health Apps appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.



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