Let's face it: Going to therapy can be time-consuming, expensive, and inconvenient. And oftentimes, treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) require more than a session or two a week to be truly effective. If you want to create new patterns, habits, and thought processes, you have to make a commitment and work on it every single day.
These are just a few of the reasons online therapy and mental health support is such an exciting development. I mean, who wouldn't want to have mental and emotional support right at their fingertips? Technology can get a bad rap for being detrimental to our mental health, but these programs are the perfect example of how technology can improve access and improve our well-being in ways that 50 years ago, people wouldn't have ever dreamt of.
Here are six that we're excited to explore—and think should be on your radar, too:
You've probably heard of Talkspace before, as it's the biggest online therapy program (with over 1 million users already). They have over 3,000 licensed therapists who are background checked and trained to help those with anxiety and depression and a variety of other mental health concerns. You can access Talkspace on all your devices—laptop, tablet, or smartphone—and unlike other programs, you can also schedule video chats with your therapist, making it the most like traditional talk therapy.
2. What's Up
A big part of improving your mental health has to do with understanding your personal patterns and habits. By tracking your moods and behaviors, What's Up helps you do just that. The app uses the best of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and ACT (acceptance commitment therapy) to help guide you through your emotions. There are forums, guides on staying connected, and even breathing techniques (which we're big fans of here at mbg). Even better? It's completely free and super easy to use.
What's Up, Free
While not technically a "therapy" app, Calm is a meditation app that goes above and beyond when it comes to supporting your mental health. They have a 7 Days of Calming Anxiety track and other meditations that are aimed at improving confidence, breaking habits, and boosting happiness. They even have an Emergency Calm meditation that you can call upon when you're spinning out—because let's be honest, no matter how healthy we are mentally, things happen, and we can all get overwhelmed sometimes.
Have you ever heard of a word cloud? It's a pretty genius way to keep track of your moods and the factors in your life that affect how you feel. Essentially, Stigma is a journal that then produces a word cloud that visually displays words that help you track your state of mind and what's going on in your life. It's a great way to reflect on how you spend your time and what occupies your mind—and what you can do to break patterns and start filling your cloud with more positive words. Talk about taking journaling to the next level!
Unlike other programs, this application is led by a robot, called Woebot, that delivers personalized cognitive behavioral therapy through an app on your phone or computer. Developed by a clinical research psychologist, Woebot asks you about your day, helping you unpack your feelings and supporting you when things get tough. In fact, Woebot has already been put to the test. In a study published in the journal JMIR Mental Health, researchers tested Woebot on 70 college students with depression or anxiety by comparing it to another web-based mental health education platform; results showed that students working with Woebot significantly reduced symptoms of depression over the two-week study period, while the group using the other method did not.
6. Anxiety Reliever
Anxiety is often unpredictable, and that can make it really hard to manage. This app will help you identify triggers and tracks your thought patterns. Then, it has audio sessions that help you overcome anxiety, stress, and even insomnia. When you subscribe to the app, you will also get tips and supportive messages from the Anxiety Reliever team that are based on the rate of your anxiety. When you're anxious or stressed, that little bit of extra support can go a long way to help you feel better.
Anxiety Reliever, free but with in-app purchases
No matter what your specific goals are, these new technologies are there to support you on your path to healing. So whether you're looking to feel happier, be more confident, or you're struggling with panic attacks or an addiction, consider trying out one of these programs on its own—or in combination with traditional talk therapy. You mind will thank you!