Some of the ways we’ve been keeping ourselves grounded, creative, grateful, mindful, and positive in these trying times have been with apps. While obviously the dawn of the smartphone era has led to no shortage of apps that are bad for our mental health (looking at you, Twitter) the story’s not all bad. There are loads of apps that can help to promote psychological well-being. Let’s look at a few.
Apps for productivity – check out a few of our best recommendations here for apps to keep your creative juices flowing in quarantine:
- Splice – This app lets you explore the wide world of Ableton plug-ins without getting suckered into buying something you’re not going to regularly use. It also lets you get your hands on a nearly infinite supply of royalty-free samples, and gives you the opportunity to collaborate with your creative tribe and the broader community on the platform as you build your music.
- Mindly – Mindly’s just a really simple and effective organizational app. If you ever feel like you have fifty tabs open in your brain and you can’t seem to close enough of them down to figure out where they all tie together, Mindly might be of use to you. You can use it to organize your thoughts, your work, and your hobbies to make sure you’re using your day productively and satisfyingly.
- Zero Willpower – We’ve all done it before. You sit down at your laptop with a goal in mind and the next thing you know an hour has passed and you haven’t even started what you wanted to do. Zero Willpower is a simple app that lets you put timers on some of your biggest time-wasting apps so that you can cut yourself off from wasting away your day on unproductive websites.
Apps for maintaining your mental health – these are a couple of the best apps we know for coping with the unique pressure we’re all under right now:
- Headspace – This is an app focused on meditation, that offers all sorts of guided mindfulness exercises sorted by any number of needs. Whether you’re looking for a short anxiety-reducing practice to start your day, or a long gratitude practice as you’re trying to fall asleep, you can quickly find what you need on their app and even follow the people whose meditations most resonated with you. It’s also offering a free year of its premium service right now for people affected by the pandemic.
- Insight Timer – If you’re looking for a free service that’s got guided meditations available, this is one of the best ones out there, featuring tens of thousands of options. With celebrity teachers like Russel Brand and specific meditations for any given need it’s a great way to experiment with a meditation practice without getting in over your head.
- Calm – The Calm app was one of the first options in this space, and though it’s got a subscription model after your initial free week, it’s also got great options like bedtime stories that are constantly being updated.
- Talkspace – Sometimes it feels like no amount of self-care is doing the trick. That’s where a therapist comes in. If you’re struggling in isolation and you’re not comfortable reaching out to someone in your life, Talkspace can connect you with a licensed clinical therapist that’s trained in techniques to actually help you confront some of the things that are dragging you down and help you to manage your time alone as we all seek a little more connection.
Other resources – maybe an app isn’t really going to be able to help you right now. There are additional resources out there for folks that need support.
- The New York State Emotional Support Line – If you’re struggling with anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, or in a state of crisis as a result of COVID-19, New York State has set up a hotline that you can call. They’re accepting calls from all over, so don’t feel like you need to be a New Yorker to take advantage of the service. Their team is staffed with mental health professionals and will take your confidentiality seriously.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline – If you or someone you know is feeling trapped in their home in an unsafe situation during this crisis, you should feel confident reaching out to this hotline where they for years have taken the goal of a path to safety seriously. They’ve also got a live chat feature on their site, and they guarantee the anonymity of your report.