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The best apps for support with anxiety & stress

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If you need a little extra help with dealing with the stresses of day-to-day life, there are plenty of apps that offer support and mindfulness exercises.

Do you miss feeling like yourself? Suffering sleepless nights? Feeling like you’re alone? It’s hard not to be anxious during these trying times. With the pandemic, lockdowns and ever-changing regulations, it’s understandable to be anxious. Even the wait for therapy is longer than it used to be, but with smart technology there are ways to access support while you wait for help.

Within reach of your phone, there’s a multitude of apps out there that can help guide you back to wellbeing, from everyday mindfulness, sleep improvement, stress management and self-compassion exercises to support and help you further understand your patterns and triggers. Here’s our pick of the best apps.

Turning self-care into a daily habit with a Mindfulness app.
Meditating with a Mindfulness app. © Getty Images
Mindscape

Creative agency Cult developed this science-led platform, having partnered with mental-health charity Mind to help users battle anxiety and depression. Using voice technology, artificial intelligence and music therapy, the app talks the user through calming breathing exercises and discusses ways to manage stress, money and sleep via bespoke soundscapes.

Moodrise

This app raves about ‘digital nutrition’, and while it may sound gimmicky, the content users subscribe to has been designed to boost mood in place of mindless scrolling through sites such as Instagram and Facebook. Six popular mood states including happiness, confidence and focus can be addressed and enhanced using content created to fire up the specific neurotransmitters related to that mood. All backed by scientific research.

Headspace

Endorsed by more than 40 million users, this app pledges to combat anxiety and help improve sleep using simple techniques derived from meditation. It’s essentially a library of evidence-based soothing sessions you can play on the go or while chilling at home, teaching mindfulness skills that can be adapted to your lifestyle and mood.





Calmer You

From one of the researchers behind Headspace comes this app, which launched in February 2020 as the coronavirus crisis took hold. There are CBT sessions, workouts and breathing exercises, designed in collaboration with author and anxiety expert Chloe Brotheridge. Some content is available for free or subscribe to the full package for £5.99 a month.

Woman taking care of her mental health with smart apps.
Smart apps – Your Path to a Healthy Mind. © Getty
MoodMission

When you experience bouts of depression and anxiety, MoodMission applies its algorithms to your inputted emotional state, coming up with personalised quick and effective ‘missions’ to brighten your mood. The crew behind the app are also working towards add-on features for those in the workplace and to complement the work of mental health professionals.

Talkspace

When you need someone to talk to, Talkspace will match you with a licensed therapist in your local area from the comfort of your device and receive ongoing support via secure messaging and live video sessions. With 24/7 access and flexible plans to meet your needs and lifestyle, the app offers the opportunity to switch therapists seamlessly at no extra cost while protecting your privacy.

Sanvello

With more than 3 million users, this is one of the top-rated apps for stress, anxiety and depression. To improve mental and physical health, Sanvello teaches mindfulness skills and provides mood and health tracking tools. You can customise your journey with tools rooted in cognitive behavioural therapy to keep you on track to feeling better. It also offers guided visualisations — in the one-minute deep-breathing visualisations, you hear and see a person breathing at the pace of your choice along with the soundscape of your choice.





LetGOH — Addiction Recovery

For everyone who wants to get rid of their addiction habits, there’s LetGOH. It’s geared to help a number of addictions: alcohol, drugs, codependency, gambling, sex and love, as well as food addictions. You can easily find sponsors and the app also lets sponsors find people to sponsor, so you can help each other. Furthermore, there’s an effective set of guided and silent meditations that are specially designed for 12-step recovery.

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