10 mental wellbeing apps: Support yourself during tough times
On the 11th of March 2020, WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. This list was originally developed
Since then there has been plenty of information about how to keep physically healthy but less information about keeping your mind healthy.
In this unprecedented time, people used to working away from home for years now have to deal with the complete opposite. Sure, having a digital detox is a fantastic idea but when you do revert back to your phone you need a mental wellbeing toolkit!
Take a look at the list and start living with the sense of normality you’re used to!
Have you ever wondered how to learn meditation? Well now you can, and it’s easier than ever!
Headspace is an industry leader in offering guided meditations and mindfulness techniques to people who have never come across the subject before.
Headspace is an app that has beginners and people new to the practice of meditation in mind. Users are able to follow guided meditations to learn the basics of the practice before specializing in an area that affects them. These specializations range from sleep casts and evening meditations to performance and personal growth lessons. Long time users will be able to tackle some of those life challenges that have been a problem for quite some time and begin working through them.
We love how accessible Headspace has made meditation, especially for people with only a little amount of time or who don’t know where to start. If you’re looking for something or someone to help you through areas in your life and don’t know where to start, this is the place.
Blinkist is a book summary service that costs only a few dollars each month. Why are we advocating a book summary app? Well, reading books is a great form of escapism for some people and a far better activity for your mental wellbeing than watching television or going on your computer. I am writing this article during the 2020 world lockdown which means that most of you probably do have the time to actually read a book. However, if for some reason you are working normal hours at home or simply still don’t have the time, then this is the app for you. Blinkist has an extensive library of non-fiction books that are carefully dissected into several ‘Blinks’. Users are able to read each Blink that has been created for the book to find out the key points and understand the book in a far shorter time frame. readers also have the opportunity to listen to these blinks in audio files which takes even less effort. This means that theoretically, you could go from reading one book a month to one book a day or month.
Blinkist is a great place to start understanding and learning from some of the greatest minds in history in an effort to improve your life. If this is something that interests you, then give it a go. With a 7-day free trial, you have nothing to lose!
It’s so easy in times like these to forego good habits and break routines in favour of quick fixes. This is where Fabulous comes it.
Fabulous is an app designed to help you build healthy rituals one small step at a time. The first time you load the app up after a little bit of reading you will be given the task of drinking water as soon as you get up for three days. This for most people is un-obtrusive and totally achievable.
Over the course of the next few weeks and months, the app gradually introduces you to new small daily habits in an effort to help you build a healthy routine. You’re then able to submit your own routine and attempt to stick with it.
Whether you’re looking to practice a more mindful life, keep up with your studying, or practice your hobby daily, Fabulous is here to help manage your life. If quarantine is getting the better of you, Fabulous can help you adapt to your temporary position in life and start feeling a sense of normality again.
Save the planet by staying focused!
Though I am used to working from home there are times where I struggle. This time (early 2020) is one of them. I imagine that many of you are experiencing what it feels like to work from home for the first time which can be full of distractions. Aside from setting yourself up a dedicated area to work from, this app is your next best friend.
Forest is an app built to help you focus with a sense of achievement and responsibility reward system. Users will attempt to focus for as little as thirty minutes at a time. During that period if they stay on the app, their tree will flourish. If the app is closed and apps such as Facebook are opened, then the plants/trees will die. The more sessions you complete successfully, the more plants and trees you will have access too.
The app is free, which is great to know the developers cared more about your user experience than they do about profit. You can grab the google chrome extension here if you want to sync your progress with your computer browsing too.
If self-accomplishment isn’t enough to warrant you downloading the app, then saving the planet should be. When you spend your in-app coins to purchase new virtual trees, you can also buy trees to be planted in real life. Each real tree costs 2500 coins which shouldn’t take you more than a few sessions to earn.
Our view on this app is that it’s an absolute must download. Who knew you could save the planet just for focusing for a few hours each day!
5. Keep Yoga
So maybe you can’t get out to exercise during the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit and healthy.
Keep Yoga is an android and IOS app with hundreds of calming yoga sessions to follow. Users are able to have daily free sessions or pay for specific practices.
With detailed descriptions, caring yogis, and professionally shot videos this is for sure an app that can replace your community classes for the time being.
If you like the idea of meditation but don’t want anything fancy, Keep Yoga has a section that allows you to sit and focus for just 15 minutes a day. A small-time sacrifice for a potentially big reward.
Keep your mind and body in a healthy condition by practising yoga daily. We recommend doing this first thing in the morning before the Instagram scrolling starts!
In times such as these people often attempt to keep physically healthy but forget to challenge themselves mentally. Lots of us are currently left with very little to do and we don’t have jobs to keep our brain occupied.
With a little free time and a mental gap in our routines, it seems like the perfect time to learn a language! Besides, self isolation will not last forever and you want to be able to speak the languages of all the countries you’re bound to visit when its over, right?
Duolingo is an application designed to take the stress out of learning a language and make it approachable to as many people as possible.
New vocab is often taught with images to help visual learners progress and to cement an image to a word when you later come to recall it.
As you progress through the ranks Duolingo keeps a record of your weakest words and areas of grammar and tests you on them throughout. This personalisation takes a lot of the stress and organisation off you and lets the app deal with it.
Whilst we aren’t claiming Duolingo alone will make you the polyglot you’ve always dreamed of being, its a great tool to have readily available at your fingertips whenever you need it. It’s also far more productive than looking through social media all day.
So to summarise: If you’re spending more time on your phone during self-isolation, which we imagine many of you are, then spend it on something as productive and thought-provoking as learning another language. The folks behind Duolingo really gone above and beyond to make such a pleasurable user experience, so there’s absolutely no excuse not to give it a go!
As we’ve discussed already, in unprecedented times such as these it is still important to keep up some sort of routine, even if it’s heavily adapted to you normally one.
One thing we all need in any routine is quality sleep and whilst I sadly cannot sing you to sleep every evening, Sleepzy can. Sort of.
Sleepzy is a sleep cycle tracker for your phone that ensures you have the best night possible. You may be happy with your standard phone alarm but I guarantee this will change the way you look at your night forever.
Sleepzy gives you the option to first set your sleep goal for the coming days and then goes about planning your schedule. Sleepzy tells you when to go to bed, will wake you up before your alarm if it’s optimal based on your current sleep stake, tracks your sleep quality, sleep dept, and snoring.
Sleepzy does all of this without needing to be under your pillow. Simply place your phone on the bedside table and it’ll take care of the rest!
8. Alto’s Odyssey
Sometimes we need to let off some steam, especially in stressful times. There are loads of apps that grab our attention with flashing lights and garish colours, but they aren’t apps we would necessarily suggest for mental wellbeing.
Alto’s Odyssey is an endless runner game with a beautiful art style and captivating sound design. This is one of those games that becomes a different beast altogether with your headphones in.
The game features one mode in particular called “Zen Mode” that is basically built for mental wellbeing. “Zen mode” offers no score, no timer, and no distractions. Players are able to playfully ride through the serene atmosphere without fear of interruption. We are left to listen to the soundtrack in peace and only quit when we have had enough.
Alto’s Odyssey is the second in series from the developers, with the first being Alto’s adventure. If you find yourself a fan of this game it might be worth checking out the other.
9. Fishing & Life
Fishing life is technically a sports game, but having played it for a few hours I can tell you that’s not entirely true. Fishing Life is an extremely chilled out fishing simulator that will make you want to pack up your worldly belongings and buy a small hut in the middle of nowhere. Much like Alto’s Odyssey, the art style in this game is simply superb.
For the most part, you’re completely left to your own devices. Quite simply you fish out of your boat, get coins, and upgrade to better equipment. At no point are you forced to do anything and there are no time restrictions.
This will be great for those of you who still haven’t found a form of escape during self-isolation. Whilst it may not be enough to chill you out by itself, it’ll certainly go a long way to helping.
So this might be a slightly strange app to see on the list, but we feel it’s important. A global pandemic is bound to put you under some amount of financial stress so it is now more than ever important to keep track of your spending habits.
What is Monzo?
Well quite simply, in their own words is a bank within an app. It helps you budget better, takes the stress out of spending abroad, and even gives interest on your bank balances.
I have been with Monzo for a number of years now and I believe its greatest strength is with its customer service. You can speak to a real person whenever you like and however you like.
As well as this, Monzo tells you how much you’re likely to have left at the end of the month based on your spending habits and also gives you a full round-up each month about how you did.
If you want to be more in control of your money or simply want to forego the brick and mortar banks of yesteryear, then give Monzo a try and find out more by visiting the links below.
Remember, just breathe… xx