The Fab 4: Best Therapeutic Apps
The world of technology and apps has opened up a wonderful opportunity for therapeutic interventions. No longer is the day when you had to walk into a counselor’s office feeling uncomfortable just to ask for some breathing techniques…thank you internet! However, a counselor would never have a problem answering those questions either.
For the purpose of this blog lets dive straight into my favorite apps…but please read my disclaimer at the end.
I’ve heard amazing things about moodnotes, I mean just check out the app reviews for yourself. Now this one does cost a whopping $4.99, but wouldn’t you spend that on a journal at Marshalls or Target? This app is grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and positive psychology to help you track moods, develop healthier thinking habits, bring new perspectives to situations, increase self-awareness, reduce distress, enhance your sense of well-being, and more. If you are in therapy this may be similar to homework your own counselor assigns you. Now I understand some of us are paper and pencil gals, me too girl, me too. However, technology has granted us the ability to journal in apps so we can track progress easier. Plus we always have our phones on us so we can surely find 5-10 minutes a day when we’d normally be scrolling Facebook or reading threads on reddit to journal.
“A multitude of apps compete daily for people’s attention, but Moodnotes gives you the opportunity to focus on yourself. It empowers people to take control of their emotional health and mental wellbeing and this, for us, is the biggest reward that Moodnotes offers."
Stop, Breathe, and Think
The focus on breathing and free portions of this app are totally efficient! My FAVORITE part of this app though is that if you love it and pay the subscription fee then a portion of the profit is donated to Tools For Peace (a non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk youth experience the benefits of mindfulness and mediation. Lets call this app a ‘soul vitamin’!
Ashley LeMieux, founder of The Shine project and someone I whole heartedly look up to, hosted a great educational call on ‘How to get Unstuck’ and spoke on her experience with counseling, “You know what my therapist tells me- yes I go to therapy, EMDR, I love therapy, I am an advocate of counseling forever and ever-my doctor always tells me every time I leave, she says: don’t forget to breathe”.
So, STOP what you are doing, BREATHE to create a space between your thoughts, emotions and reactions, and learn to settle down and THINK.
An app that is a must have for me has been audible. While this may not be a therapeutic app specifically there are so many books to choose from that this can be the purpose it serves for you. I pay $ a month so I can get an audio book a month at no extra cost; boy has this been convenient for a multitude if reasons!
· Books for my counseling courses (i.e.: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog)
· Listening on my drive (last semester on average I was driving 9 hours a week so having audio books available was a great way to make productive use of my time!)
· Self help books (I’m a sucker for a good self help book…)
· Can use over and over (Like most of these apps, once you get a book/pack it is yours! Much cheaper than walking into Barnes and Noble now-a-days)
A book I recommend starting with is Brene Brown’s Braving The Wilderness or Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass.
First of all I love the animations and voice, but these are totally personal preferences. There are several packs available; I tried the happiness/self-esteem and basic pack thus far. If guided meditation is something you want to commit to then this is your app.
I think the best part of this app is the daily quote notification sent to my phone; i love receiving inspirational message reminders. Todays reminder: "Life is short. We can live it lost in our own thoughts, or we can choose to be present, moment to moment, watching as life unfolds around us."
Disclaimer: I will always advocate for counseling; I believe EVERY person can benefit from a counselor that is suited to them (whether it be a therapist working from a feminist, cognitive behavioral, or Adlerian, etc. orientation). Before committing to a counselor please make sure you explore their website, find them on sites like Psychology Today, and feel free to ask them questions about their methods. I believe these apps are a wonderful addition to counseling OR a way for the community to use therapeutic interventions without having to walk into an office where they may feel awkward to begin.
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Do you have a favorite app I missed? I'd love to hear about it in the comments so I can give it a try! I will be posting more about my experiences with meditation and apps in my instastories periodically so make sure you are following Project Rise Up there: @projectriseup.