By Mehr Gupta
My mental health journey has been a tough one. From not being aware of my symptoms, to being educated on the topic and seeking help, I have learned the importance of self-care. Sometimes it can be hard –– especially in a demanding university environment with an endless to-do list –– to just stop, breathe and think.
When we get so caught up with work, we forget to take care of what’s most important: ourselves. To keep myself aware and up to date with my feelings and emotions, here are three mental health apps I find useful:
Writing in a journal about how you’re feeling is helpful, but can be time consuming. Daylio, a free micro-diary app, is great because it makes logging easy: you just select your mood and feelings of the day from a vast selection of icons. If what you’re feeling is more complex, you can add your own icons or jot down notes. Through the monthly mood chart, you’re able to look back on how you’ve felt throughout the month in a very visual way.
Although I love going to yoga class, anxiety can hit at anytime. Calm is a guided meditation app that provides seven-day programs aimed to help you destress, whether that’s aimed to improve your sleep or enhance your focus. The app also contains calming bedtime stories to make your nighttime routine a little more fun. You do have to pay to unlock app content, but the serene nature scenes and relaxing music tracks make it worth it.
A big misconception about mental health is that it’s a linear journey. Mental illness is a dynamic journey with ups and downs, peaks and pits, good days and bad days. Moodpath is a free mental health companion that seeks to help you figure out why you’re feeling the way you do. The app asks a series of daily questions to assess your well-being and and screens symptoms of depression. While the app should not be used as a self-diagnosis tool, it provides a document of your progress that is useful to discuss with a professional. The app also contains over 150 videos and exercises geared toward strengthening mental health.
If you are struggling, you are not alone.
Boston University Behavioral Medicine: (617) 353-3569
Samaritans Boston: (877) 870-4673
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255