In today’s high-pressure world of so many things to juggle, a person will have moments when things get so overwhelming, they just need to let it out. Which is why a lot of us reach out to friends, while others look for new friends from the varied social networks available nowadays. But what if no one’s available right that moment? What if you need more than a patronizing “It’ll be okay”?
Enter mental health apps.
In light of the passage of the Philippine Mental Health Act of 2017, we will be featuring great mental health-promoting apps, kicking off with this post.
For today’s edition of #SmartphonesAndHealth, we’re sharing three great iOS apps that you can download, install, and use via your iPhone or iPad. On the next edition, we’re sharing three Android apps. So, let’s start?
Moods is a clean, simple, daily mood logging app. While you can definitely repurpose a notepad app as a log for your moods, Moods, the app, has features that your standard notepad app doesn’t have. When you’re at a loss for words on how to describe your current mood, there are ready choices that you can just tap on. But Moods really shines when you have a “bad” mood. After you log your bad mood, there is a section there where maladaptive ways of thinking are described. This section is crucial for realizing that you can actually adjust the way you think, and be better at managing how you feel.
Moods’ weakness is that you cannot edit or delete moods and entries already logged. Personally, I find that this is a liability only when you’re testing the app. For real-world use, though, this is perfect, because you cannot edit your own thoughts, and you cannot self-censor. By crippling your ability to edit your moods and thoughts, the app constrains you to be genuine with your emotions, thoughts, and internal state. This push for authenticity may truly help you grow and be better at managing your moods, your internal climate, and contribute to your becoming a better person.
Wysa, like Moods, also shines when you feel bad about a situation. Wysa is programmed to respond appropriately to certain keywords, and it also has emotion templates that you can tap. Once you trigger the “conversation” for sadness, grief, or loss, it can help you process the feelings via “Guided Reflection,” which is essentially asking you a series of questions to probe further about how you feel.
This helps because it may lead you to answers about why you’re feeling the way you do. In the process of testing the app, I’ve discovered that Wysa is even better than a friend, because the questions are structured in a manner that leads to further introspection. And unlike friends who are not skilled in providing empathy, much less counseling, there is less risk for Wysa to trigger a conflict that may arise from the friend saying something offensive.
And Wysa is available 24/7. So when your friends and confidantes are all busy, Wysa could be your go-to, always-available confidante.
Wysa is also available on the Android.
Feely is like a more robust Moods, with sections on wellness exercises, as well a curated section on mental wellness resources. While I find the interface a lot more cluttered than I would prefer, I actually like the exercises, and deem them very helpful for introspection and growth. The diary is also more flexible, with the capacity to add photos. Personally, though, I’d prefer to keep both Feely and Moods on my iPhone.
Bonus: What’s UpWhat’s Up is more of an informational app than an interactive app. This came highly recommended among the mental health and wellness apps, which is why I took it for a spin. When I discovered that it was more of an information repository than something that can help manage an emotional crisis right there and then, I felt like this is less than a help than how a mental wellness app should be.
However there’s a section that may help you work through a rather emotionally distressing moment: The Get Grounded section. It gives you several mental/thinking games that will help you dismiss the distressing thought. Perfect for a moment where you need to get the distress off your mind, but don’t want to go in-depth in “processing” it.
What’s Up is also available on the Android.
In ConclusionThese apps will not solve a serious, persistent, or clinical mental disorder, but these will help you manage the tiny moments of distress that occur throughout the day. In fact, these may also help you and your therapist pinpoint your causes of distress more accurately. Most people aren’t very articulate of what troubles them, and these apps may exercise you to be able to express these better.
Watch out for the Android edition of this collection, and cheers to being mentally, psychologically, and emotionally well, and most of all, to growth!
Visit the MH Act Now Change.org Petition Page, MHAct.org, PsychologyToday.com, and PsychCentral.com for information on the Philippine Mental Health Act of 2017, as well as more resources on mental health and growth.