Remember the old Apple advert, “There’s an app for that”? With nearly 3 million apps available to download on the Apple App and Google Play Store, there really is an app for everything. Many of us rely on apps to ‘upgrade; our day; from to-do lists and productivity apps, through to health and fitness trackers, and everything in between. Apps can also help boost our mood and promote better well-being too… If you know where to look! Here are 11 of the best self-care apps I personally use to boost my mental health, mood and wellness.
I talk about Headspace so much you’d think they’re paying me (they’re not). However, it is one of the best meditation app I’ve used. Trust me, I’ve used a few. You can choose from a whole ton of different guided courses, starting from Beginner’s all the way through to a Performance Mindset course in partnership with the NBA. You’ll find daily motivational notifications, too. These make a nice change from some of the notifications we’re bombarded with daily.
I particularly like the Kindness course, which focuses on helping you become kinder to yourself and others. It includes visualising sunshine pouring into your body which is simply delicious! They also have some incredible playlists from people like John Legend and the actual legend that is Hans Zimmer. This is a must-download app for your mental health!
This was a random find for me one day on the app store and I instantly fell in love! It’s a completely free app that is part game, part mindfulness, part best friend. You can complete a range of different activities from stroking the cat to practising affirmations, and even collect little items to fill your shelves. However, there’s no ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ as these little games are purely for relaxation. Some of them are quite sensory and therapeutic, so it’s the ideal way to wind down after a stressful day. It’s perfect for when you only have a few minutes to practice some self-care (as are all these which you can do in five minutes). I find it really helps wth stress and anxiety, too.
Meditations, bedtime stories, ambient music, and new self-care strategies every day, Shine is a fantastic app for those feeling stress, anxiety or overwhelm It’s packed full of motivational messages the moment you wake up in the morning, which help kickstart your day. Feeling overwhelmed or anxious? Open up the app and try one of the guided meditations. Then, open the app back up at night for a bedtime story that will help you fall asleep. You could use Shine 24/7 if you wanted to (I sometimes do)!
This was another app I found by accident, but which was quickly added to my daily self care ritual. Imagine having your own personal coach in your pocket, who just wants you to be the best version of yourself. With stunning graphics and plenty of customisability, Fabulous helps you create rituals and routines that have a strong focus on self-care.
Drink water as soon as you wake up, practice gratitude, go for a short walk, write in a journal; these are just some of the routines and habits it gently encourages you to practice. You can also track your progress with your new habits. This app is science-based, with input from Dan Ariely, a behavioural science genius, which makes it a double whammy in my books.
Yet another science-based app that wants to help you become a better version of yourself. Happify is packed with clever activities and games that will focus your attention on the positives in life. The quizzes, games and activities are all designed by experts in psychology and CBT to help you get rid of negative thoughts and stress. There are different tracks for different things, including low self-esteem, career success, and becoming more mindful. I’ve spent hours on this app and I love how it’s reframing my mindset.
6. CBT Thought Diary
This app was recommended to me by my CBT therapist and although it’s fairly basic, it certainly does the trick. It’s ideal for challenging negative thoughts and cognitive distortions, using principles from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Positive Psychology. It works as a journal, so you could use it every day instead of a paper journal. However, I use it to challenge negative thoughts whenever they arise. I show you how I use it in this video. I find that it really helps keep track of any fluctuations in my mood, too.
I remember when adult colouring books started to become popular and I totally dismissed the idea. Now, however, I can’t get enough of colouring for self-care. There really is something so therapeutic about it. If you don’t want to waste paper or just want a quick pick-me-up, then Colorfy is one of the best colouring apps out there. It turns out that there is actually some science behind why colouring as an adult is good for our minds, too.
I’ve mentioned the Forest app before in my Pomodoro Technique article – and I’m going to include it on this list too, because I love it so much! This is an excellent free app to make sure you’re not spending too much time on your phone.
Set a timer for how long you want to be away from your phone, then let your little forest grow. If you come out of the app and try to do something else on your phone, however, then your plant will wilt. It’s ideal for those who want to spend less time scrolling through Instagram.
9. Sleep Cycle
You know me, I’m all about the sleep (and the naps). However, if you’re struggling to get enough sleep then this free app is a must-download! Ensuring you get enough sleep is vital self care that ensures better mental health and a whole host of other benefits. This app allows you to monitor your sleep patterns, look for patterns that might explain why you’re not getting enough shut-eye, and will also gently wake you up at an optimal time in the morning. It’s a great way to make sure you’re getting all the sleep you need.
10. Daily Water Tracker Reminder
Drinking more water is an ideal way to boost our health, our mental health, and our energy. However, if you’re anything like me, you probably forget to drink enough during the day. I always wake up with the best intentions, but it slowly goes downhill as the day progresses. Daily Water Tracker Reminder is a free tracking app that will help you keep on top of your hydration. You can set your own goal and then watch as you fill your body up with H2O. The reminders will really help you stay on track.
11. The Anti-Burnout Club Membership
Okay, so I’m kinda cheating with this one – sorry! It’s not technically an app, but the new ABC Membership is packed with everything you need to improve your wellness. Yoga, Pilates, meditation, mindfulness, breathwork, productivity tips and goals, community support, and so much more. New lessons are added every week and the Facebook community will have live lessons, challenges, Q&As and plenty of support. If you want a calm and healthy start to the New Year, then this is where you need to be! You can try it out for your first month for just £1 using the code NEWYEARHAPPYME.
These are just some of the apps I use on a regular basis; for self care, better mental heath, and to help boost my mood and mindset. Have you used any of them? Do you have any others to recommend?