Give Your Mind a Break: 6 Mental Health Apps We Love

September 21, 2020 - 8 minutes read

We’re not going to pull any punches: The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough. Ideally, we’ve all used this time and the accompanying stay-at-home orders to reflect, stay healthy, and put in some self-improvement hours. But in reality, these turbulent times have made it easier for many people to fall into a rut. And can anyone blame them? With minimized social contact and potential unemployment, it’s been difficult to maintain any semblance of normalcy.

Does this message resonate with you? We feel definitely feel your struggle, and we want to help you get on the right track. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our favorite mental health apps. They offer guidance for better sleep, meditation practice, habit management, and more — all from the palm of your hand.

Free Yourself with Enso [iOS]

Enso is a simple, uncluttered app that helps you improve your meditation habit. It leads you through sitting in meditation for a few minutes without any distractions. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned meditator, you’ll enjoy the quiet and calm that Enso brings: there’s no music or voices to follow or get hung up on. Set the timer, hit start, and meditate until the timer runs out.

If you’re a more experienced meditator, you can further customize your sessions with multiple bells to mark prep time, sitting time, and interval rounds. Upgrade for $2.99 for even more features, like an in-app audio player for custom meditation jingles, an Apple Health integration, and extra alert sounds to customize your multiple bells and timers.

Unfortunately, this app is only available on the Apple App Store for mobile and tablet devices. There don’t seem to be any plans to create an Android version, but if you’d really like this app in the Google Play Store, message the Enso team and let them know!

Get Better Zzzs with Pzizz [iOS, Android]

You’re probably wondering how to pronounce the name of this app. It’s “puh-zizz”, according to this app’s website. Pzizz doesn’t just help you fall asleep better; it also helps you get to bed in a more relaxed manner. The app uses audio, speech, and music clips based on sleep research to help you fall asleep or just get relaxed and ready for some downtime for however long you want the downtime to last.

You can adjust the audio mix of sounds if a voice helps you fall asleep faster or if instrumental music does the job better. With the premium version of this app, you can unlock a much bigger library of clips and guided sleep and relaxation experiences.

Sleep Deeper with Dark Noise [iOS]

This wildly popular and beautiful app offers a variety of white noise sounds for anything in your life: reading a book, focusing on writing, taking a long walk, and even sleeping. The audio it offers includes heavy rain, crickets, waterfalls, coffee shops, wind chimes, and white, brown, grey, and pink noises.

With this amount of options, you can use this app all day, in a lot of different contexts: distraction, drowsy, focused, and meditation name just a few. The app also includes a “sleep timer” that shuts off the app after a certain amount of time has passed. Dark Noise is only available for Apple users, and there are no concrete plans to bring this app to Google’s Play Store.

Personalized Sound with Endel [iOS, Android, Web]

A competitor of Dark Noise, Endel is another popular app for creating personalized sound environments for a variety of contexts: sleep, focus, relax, and even flying. The app offers four modes that can work for any task or activity you might be up to; the relax mode calms you down by making you feel comfortable and safe, the focus mode boosts productivity and concentration, the on-the-go mode adapts the sound to your personal tempo, and the sleep mode soothes you into a slumber.

Doctor using a smart phone with copy space. Concept of healthcare and medical, communication.

With more platforms offered than Dark Noise, Endel is a favorite for third-party integrations with the Apple Watch, Alexa, car manufacturers, and retail spaces. Catch this app on almost any platform or device, and let us know how you like it.

Level Up Your Habits with Habitica [iOS, Android, Web]

Habitica made waves when it first launched as a unique app that gamified habit tracking. It provides motivation to check off your habits and goals on a daily basis with your custom-created RPG character. Your character attacks enemies (a.k.a. procrastination) for you and levels up whenever you check off your tasks and accomplishments, like errands, habits, and daily activities.

Connect your Habitica character to your friends’, and boost your experience with more fun features, like accountability and social networking. Even if you’d prefer to go alone, there are prizes and gear in store for your character. Log onto the web app and see a detailed dashboard of your stats, character avatar, and much more.

Chat With Someone on BetterHelp [iOS, Android, Web]

San Francisco-based BetterHelp lends an ear to anyone who needs someone to talk to right now. This app is heaven-sent for many during the COVID-19 pandemic since it’s been difficult to get medical appointments for anything that isn’t urgent or emergent. The BetterHelp app helps you reach a licensed counselor or psychologist through video, phone, or text. Take a quiz to see which type of therapist is the best fit for you, and BetterHelp will guide you to the right person.

The best part about this app is that you don’t need insurance to get in touch with someone who can help. Pricing ranges from $40 to $70 per month, and payment opens up a vault of over 10,000 therapists and counselors to talk with. To be a counselor or therapist on BetterHelp, you must have over three years of therapy experience.

You Can’t Have “Happiness” Without “App”

It turns out our mobile phones aren’t only for social media and checking emails; these devices can help us improve our mental and physical health. You just have to take the first step and give it a try.

Have you downloaded and tested any of the apps we listed? Do you have any favorite mental health apps that we didn’t include? Let us know what you think!

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