This list of apps (and one website) covers the three areas that people most often are looking for support in: anxiety, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence. These are the apps that I recommend; a couple of them I use myself. My suggestion to you would be to play with them – try them out. See which one or two fits for you. There are, of course, many others. If you have a favourite that isn’t here, let me know. And if you use one of these, I’d love to hear how you find it.
Mindshift is an app from Anxiety Canada. It allows you to track how you are feeling, set goals, and practice strategies like grounding and positive self-talk. An example of a grounding strategy is, “count back slowly from 100 to 0.” It also has a “learn” tab with answers to questions like, “where does anxiety come from?” and a “chill out zone” which has a variety of breathing and calming guided sessions.
This app is excellent for youth and adults who experience a high level of anxiety.
Mood Meter is an app from Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. It is based on the RULER approach to building emotional intelligence. RULER is Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating emotions. The app allows you to identify and track your moods and emotions and then decide if you want to “stay” or “shift” how you are feeling.
This app is great for expanding your emotional vocabulary and noticing the nuances between emotions. Are you feeling nervous, worried or apprehensive? Children as young as 9 years old could use this app with some guidance.
Mindfulness for teens
Mindfulness for Teens is a website, not an app, but I snuck it in this list because I really like it. The website and book of the same name is the work of Dr. Dzung Vo. He is a pediatrician at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, and clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Vo specializes in adolescent medicine and has been practicing mindfulness since 1999. He has studied mindfulness extensively with Thich Nhat Hanh. The website includes videos of youth explaining how they have found mindfulness helpful as well as many shorter and longer mindfulness audio recording.
This website is great for anyone interested in learning more about mindfulness and looking for some guided audio practices. While the target audience is youth, adults would find it useful as well.
Breathe2Relax is an app from the United States’ Defense Health Agency – apart from their logo, this is not evident on the app at all. The app offers a simple inhale/exhale breathing exercise visual. You can customize how long you want the inhale and exhale to be, the number of cycles of breathing you would like to do, the background music and background photo. The background music and photo that you can choose from are fairly basic (you cannot add your own) but I like the simplicity of this app.
This app is recommended for anyone who wants a no-nonsense breathing app.
Headspace does have a fee, but there is enough that you can access without paying the fee that I am including it here. Headspace is a company that was founded in England and has its headquarters in California. It focuses on meditation and mindfulness. There is a Basics course which you can access without the subscription which teaches the fundamentals of meditation and mindfulness over ten short audio recordings. There is also a variety of guided sessions. There is a little lock icon next to the ones only accessible with subscription which makes it really easy to navigate. The “meditate,” “sleep,” “move” and “focus” tabs at the bottom mean that you can use to navigate to the content you are looking for.
This app is good for anyone looking to see if meditation and/or a meditation app is for them. You will probably eventually find that you do want access to the paid content, but there is enough to keep you going to find out if it is for you.
I hope you found this helpful. Please let me know of other apps or websites that you are enjoying currently.