The hustle and bustle of everyday life can really wear you down. Try these helpful apps that can manage your mental health and boost your spirits.
These tools have a mix of science and age-old wisdom, and focus on bringing a positive force into your life. Whether it’s through proven self-care or mind hacks to manage depression, you will be able to find something worth incorporating into your routine and thus lead a better life.
1. No Zero Days (Android, iOS): One Small Step Every Day
No Zero Days has a fresh and positive take on life. The philosophy of the app is to recognize that no matter how useless a day seems, you can make a difference by doing one small step.
It divides your day into four steps: Created, Helped, Learned, and Health. Every day, when you do the smallest thing that goes towards any one of these four categories, tap that button. You can long-press the button to write a note about what you did, or even change the category altogether. At the outset, you can go back a week to add what you achieved in days before installing the app.
The idea is to recognize that even when a day feels truly useless, you can turn it around by accomplishing just a little. Get out of the feeling of having a “zero day” where you achieve nothing.
Even with ten minutes left on the clock, you can do ten squats or write a journal or learn something on the internet. That’s all it takes to start a chain of “no zero days” and keep at it.
2. Nao (Android, iOS): Mood Tracking Journal With Voice Notes
Nao dubs itself as an emotional diary, but one which you can also turn into a support blog from a social network of similar people looking for positivity. There are three aspects to Nao that make it worth checking out.
At the base level, it’s a simple mood tracker. Choose from one of five moods you are currently feeling, and the app will change color to reflect that. It’ll keep that color till you change it again.
When you change the mood, you are prompted to add a voice note on what made you feel that way. Nao also transcribes the note into text, so you are saved from typing but get to review it quickly.
Finally, you can choose to make the note public or private. If you make it public, other Nao users can see what you said and comment on it, giving you the support you need. The app also has a chat bot for this.
And yes, you can also check out what other Nao users are feeling and offer some help, turning it into a support-based social network of positivity.
3. Empty Your Cup (Web): Daily Micro-Blogs of Positive Wisdom
It’s an old Bruce Lee story. A learned man goes to a Zen teacher, and constantly interrupts him. The Zen master pours tea, and keeps pouring even when it overflows. The man protests, and the master points out the man is much like the teacup. “If you do not first empty your cup, how can you taste my tea?”
Niklas Goeke offers such stories of wisdom and positivity in a daily micro-blog at Empty Your Cup. You can visit the blog or subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox. Goeke covers a range of topics every day, including weekends. It’s a small dose of goodness in the trials and tribulations that life throws at you.
Of course, Goeke isn’t the only one to offer this. If his stories are not to your liking, try these other inspirational websites for your days.
4. Skills (Android, iOS): Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Games
Skills is a group of 13 games that focus on mindfulness and stress tolerance. The games are based on the work of Dr. Martin Bohus, one of the leading psychotherapy researchers in dialectical behavior therapy. A clinical study shows that these Skills games were helpful in 82% of players.
The 13 games vary significantly, tackling different aspects of mental health. For example, in one game, you have to tilt your phone to make a ball fall on to the next level, or use the ball to crash into bubbles and burst them. In another game, a progress bar starts filling up or a countdown timer starts and then the screen goes black; you need to guess when it will end and tap at that time.
Each game has different purposes. The app restricts you to one game at the start, but you can unlock them all for free if you play the given games repeatedly. The more you play, the more games will unlock, and you’re getting some mental health relief. If you prefer to unlock immediately, you can pay a small fee.
5. Care Cards (Web): Positive Self-Care Reminders
When you’re caught in the rat race, you are going all out to be more productive and do as much as possible. But while you take care of your tasks, you might forget to take care of yourself. Care Cards is here to send self-care reminders.
Care Cards is a web app optimized for mobile, which you can turn into an app on your phone too. The cards have a soothing and calming design and have helpful tips to look after yourself. For example, it might be an ego boost, like a card that says you’re a strong person who can achieve anything. Or it can be a reminder to simply smile since science says this small act makes your body release chemicals that make you happy.
It might be a good idea to turn Care Cards into your homepage or New Tab page to get a few pick-me-ups every time. I’d also suggest making it an app on your phone and keeping it on the homescreen, so you can boost your day with a quick tap.
Scheduled Healthy Reminders
No matter which app is ideal for you to manage your mental health, starting that app and going through the process is up to you. That’s why you need to focus on self-care and set up reminders for healthy practices.
Care Cards is just one of the many apps offering to tap your shoulder and tell you to take a break for your own sake. You will find others on social networks as well as dedicated apps in our list of self-care tools for positive and healthy reminders.