With COVID-19 and ongoing lockdown, things are getting tough mentally. If you generally stress a lot, symptoms such as irregular sleep, not being able to focus and loss of appetite can be common. As easy as it may sound, the key is to be aware of your condition, and have a positive attitude to deal with it. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds but you can always use your phone to keep your anxiety in check. Here are the Best Apps to Deal with Anxiety on iOS and Android.
Best Apps to Deal with Anxiety
1. Journey – Dairy Journal
Journalling is basically writing your day-to-day events or thoughts. It’s more of a personal diary. Now, if you want to start journaling you must consider an app that works on any device. The Journey App is available on all platforms, including Linux. It has a clean design, hence easy for even a beginner to jot down daily reflections.
Along with writing, you can add pictures, videos, audio, and voice recording as well. You can view your diary in several ways, such as timeline, calendar view, photo journal, and most importantly location-wise if you geotag your writings.
Writing Journals every day is a great way of managing stress and coping with anxiety.
The free version of the app will work well for most of you. Try the app for a few days and if you feel you need additions like Google Fit integrations, dark mode, create an entry via email, etc, you can become a member at $4/month.
- Add password to keep diary private
- Sync across devices
- Available as a web app and desktop application
- Coach Section for How to’s and resource articles
2. Daylio – Mood Tracker
Frequent mood swings are a result of anxiety and stress. Therefore, an app that assesses your mood and keeps track of it should be a priority. Daylio – Mood Tracker helps you do that with a 2-step mood entry. Simply pick your mood and activities you’ve performed on that day. For instance, you ate junk food and didn’t feel good or you meditated and you were considerably happy. With the calendar and stats info, you can track your mood over a period of time and create healthy habit patterns.
You can also set multiple reminders to develop a habit or track mood over time with mood charts and yearly statistics, etc. The premium version comes at $3/month which gives you unlimited reminders, removes ads, enables automatic back-ups, PDF export options, etc.
- Pin Lock for privacy
- Mood chart and yearly stats
- Set multiple reminders
- Export to PDF and CSV format
3. Dare – Break Free from Anxiety
Dare is designed specifically to deal with anxiety with its evidence-based training program. You start by choosing the condition you’re dealing with like anxiety, worry, panic attacks, etc. After you choose your area of concern, it shows you plenty of audio guides (psychoeducation) ranging from 2 to 20 minutes.
As we know panic attacks are quite common and need immediate attention. Hence, you’ll find an SOS button right on the home screen which provides instant conversation-based audio to relax and calm you down. In case you want to keep these guided audio tracks handy, you can also download them.
Another feature where you can take inspiration from is the Success Stories section. You can read accounts of others who’ve gracefully come out of anxiety with the app. The app also has a paid variant starting at $9.99/month free which provides you with more therapeutic audio guides, monthly challenges, etc.
- Evidence-based program to deal with anxiety
- SOS button for panic attacks
- Success story section
- 7-day trial period
4. Stop Breathe and Think
Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress and stress can be effectively dealt with mindfulness and mediation. Stop Breathe and Think is a package deal with a straightforward approach. It packs daily meditation, yoga, and also acupressure videos within the app. It gives you a mindful session tuned according to your mood by tailoring it according to your emotional state. You can also take things in your hand with self-guided meditation and breathing timer.
Besides basic meditation, it has a list of activities for kids, one-minute session, etc, out of which yoga and acupressure come at a monthly subscription of $10 which might be costly for some. This also gives you access to new monthly activities.
- Guided meditation sessions
- Meditation and breathing timer
- Monthly and daily progress tracker
- Graphical info on how to meditate
5. Talk Life
Talk Life is an app that gives you a chance to talk about your problems with others. It’s sort of like a social media platform where you can post your feelings and check out what others have posted. You have the option to comment, show support, and even message someone personally. You can post anonymously which is great if it’s hard for you to express freely.
The only issue I have with the app is, there is minimal to no moderation which sometimes lets lame posts pass through. The app also has ads that crop up while you’re scrolling through the timeline. However, you can get past it by subscribing for $6/month. This will remove ads, unlock gift cards, etc.
- Social media platform
- Share posts regarding anxiety, stress, depression
- Read articles in the Wellness Section
- Diary Section for private posts
6. Home Workout
According to a report in Harvard Health Blog, Exercising changes brain chemistry by increasing important anti-anxiety neurochemicals like serotonin and also build up resilience against stormy emotions.
So what do you use to exercise? Well, provided you’re stuck at home, you can make use of bodyweight if you don’t have the equipment. The home workout app has routines to target specific muscle groups. You don’t have to go overboard to deal with anxiety. To deal with this it also has beginner stretching and warm-up routines along with video guide and animation for each exercise. You can try this one for 15-20 minutes every day. I suggest setting a weekly goal and choose a stretching session from the discover section.
The app has a 7-day trial period after which it costs $9.99/month if you want to remove ads and get access to more workout plans. However, I think the app has quality content free of cost already, so you wouldn’t have to buy it.
- Warm-up and stretching exercises
- Tracking progress charts
- Workout reminders
- Animation and video guide
7. Youper – Emotional Health
It’s a very unique way to tackle emotional health. The app uses AI or an Emotional Health Assistant with a conversational style approach. It’s based on techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The AI starts chatting with you as soon as you open the app in a rather humorous manner. It prompts you from time to time and advises you according to your responses. It can track your mood, give you emotional insights, and test your personality.
You need to sign-up to use the app. The standard app is free, but Premium comes at $4.5/month, which gives you symptom monitoring, advanced conversations, problem-solving AI chat, meditation sessions, etc.
- Personality test with suggestions
- Insightful conversational style AI
- Frequent anxiety monitoring
8. Online Support Groups
Being a part of support groups helps you to gain insights into what you’re actually dealing with. These support groups will help you better understand anxiety and you may find ways to cope up with it. Another part is giving back to the community. So, if you’re someone who has successfully dealt with it, these groups can be a great way to show the path to others who are still struggling. Here are a few support groups you can join.
- Turn2me – It hosts online support groups run by professionals on various issues like anxiety, stress, depression, etc. It’s completely free but requires prior booking.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America – This website is a treasure of resources about anxiety and depression. It also organizes frequent webinars by professionals and you can also seek personal support from therapists around your location.
- 7Cups – You can get yourself enrolled for paid counseling and therapy sessions with licensed professionals. It also has a free 24×7 chat where you can talk to volunteer listeners.
Hold tight! It’s going to get better.
Look, things take time and constant effort. But if you feel you need an intervention, talk to your family and friends or consult a doctor. If need be, find a therapist near your area. Above all, don’t feel you’re alone and know it’s completely natural to feel anxious. Add some of these apps to your daily routine and take the first step towards feeling better. If you’re specifically anxious about COVID-19, check CDCs guide on managing stress and anxiety.