There’s an App for that!
We polled the Therapy Austin staff to see what their favorite apps are that support mental, emotional, and spiritual health. We came up with a great list! Here, you’ll find tools for tracking your mood, your cycle, for learning and practicing meditation and mindfulness, for safety planning, staying connected, brain training, and even coloring! Take a look at these suggestions.
This is a free app in which you can track your daily mood and any activities you did, and then it gives you periodic overviews of how you've been feeling. You can also leave a small note about something you did, or a way you felt that day. Recommended by staff counselor Jen Braafladt.
For women who are curious about how their monthly cycle relates to their mood, the Clue app is helpful. It is mostly a cycle tracker but also allows you to track sleep, mood, energy levels, and more. Recommended by staff counselor Jill Hokanson.
This is an artificially intelligent chatbox that uses the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help people cope with depression and anxiety. There are multiple ways to use the app. WoeBot checks in daily to ask about your mood and thoughts. If you check in frequently with WoeBot, it will provide you insights into your patterns (ex. noticing you are stressed Sunday nights before work). You can also check in with it at any time during your day. Say you are feeling anxious about giving a presentation at work. After checking in, WoeBot may have you write your anxious thoughts, notice distortions, and rewrite your thoughts without distortion. WoeBot also offers tools such as stress-reduction and mindfulness exercises. Staff counselor Shannon Hafterson likes WoeBot because it compliments therapy. It's great for those who aren't fans of journaling to track patterns, it's psychoeducational, and it offers brief, in the moment help.
This app contains a huge repository of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises from both well-known and obscure teachers and gurus. In addition to offering guided meditations, it lets you set a timer and select a chime or gong sound to do your own mindful moment. It also tells you how many other people are meditating through the app at the same time as you, and where they are around the world. Recommended by staff counselors Jill Hokanson and Courtney Magahis.
This meditation resource gives you a week-long (or more) program for focusing on an area of your life where you need support, such as increasing attention or relieving anxiety. Even pre-teens can benefit from it! Staff counselor Madeline Turner really likes this app.
This app offers step-by-step instructions and lessons in meditation. Many clients report liking this program, and staff counselor Courtney Magahis recommends it, too.
Stop, Breathe & Think
This app offers a brief mind-body check-in, and makes recommendations for guided mindfulness exercises based on what feelings or sensations you note. Recommended by staff counselor Jill Hokanson.
This is advertised as a “5-minute meditation app designed to help busy people stress less, achieve more, and live better” and staff counselor Courtney Magahis recommends it.
Dan Harris wrote a book by the same name that is mostly interesting memoir and a little bit of instruction. With this app, he expands the instruction with lectures and guided meditations. Worth a peek according to Therapy Austin founder Danielle Hayes.
This is a suicide prevention app put out by the same people behind the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Gus Alvarez-Olsen, staff counselor, particularly likes the safety plan and home screens for their simplicity. Unlike a pen and paper safety plan, this allows for easy edits, makes it even easier to call people/resources, and drastically increases accessibility. Staff counselor Courtney Magahis is also a fan of this app.
This is a favorite of Therapy Austin founders, Ellen and Danielle. It is sort of like video-texting and is a really impactful way of staying connected in relationships. It’s useful for friends or family who live far away and it’s useful for those who have a very different schedule from yours, whether they are local or not.
This is a really interesting app based on the age-old buddy system. The idea is that you need to get some work done. You know you have a hard time staying on task. You sign in and get matched with a virtual coworker who is also in the same boat. During your scheduled 50 minute work session, after saying hello to each other, you and your workmate will work quietly, in tandem. This is all about the power of accountability. Danielle says it’s great for people with ADHD and procrastination issues.
Peak - Brain Training
From their own marketing: “Peak is here to help you sharpen up and feel smarter. Our games are designed to push you hard with short, intense workouts designed around your life. Challenge the skills that matter to you most with games that test your Focus, Memory, Problem Solving, Mental Agility and more.” Danielle enjoys this one, too!
Research has shown that coloring can help reduce anxiety and increase focus. Colors themselves can be soothing and the act of coloring is expressive and has meditative qualities.
Stay-tuned for more additions to this list. If you have any favorites, feel free to share them!