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Image / Self / Health & Wellness

Meet the new wave of innovative mental health apps


By Fionnghuala O’Reilly
13th Aug 2023
Meet the new wave of innovative mental health apps

It’s not just about meditation any more – the new wave of wellness and mental health apps are tailored to help you on your wellness journey in new and innovative ways.

While there’s no doubt that many apps can negatively impact your mental health (social media, we are looking at you), evidenced- based research is showing that the right ones can help you relax, de-stress and make small improvements to your routines that can increase overall health and wellness.

Of course, individual wellbeing doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it improves when we tackle it as a collective. Self-care can help us feel calmer and less stressed, but so does connection to others. An app can’t replace the benefits of community, social connection or therapy, but the right one can help you start down the path of wellness or work in addition to other forms of mental health management and support.

Established apps like Calm and Headspace have led the charge for several years now, but they’re not the only ones. There are now a bevy of different formats out there that range from providing guided meditations, mindfulness programmes and breathing exercises to increase relaxation to tracking mood and behavioural symptoms and more. The quality and intentions of what they provide are what matter most when choosing the right one for you.

When it comes to technology, privacy should be top of mind; it’s important to look at the fine print to see how your data is being used. Before signing up, always make sure you are comfortable with how your information is being tracked.

“An app can’t replace the benefits of community, social connection or therapy, but it can help us start down the path of wellness.”

MOODFIT

iOS and Android, €10.99 per month

Writing down your thoughts and journalling is a great way to articulate and organise yourself through self- reflection. The benefits of journalling include building self-awareness and practising gratitude, which can lead to an improved mood and lowered stress. Before the digital age, journalling meant putting pen to paper, but these days you can download an app like Moodfit, which offers users a host of tools for stress and resilience, including keeping a mood and gratitude journal. getmoodfit.com

MEDITOPIA

iOS and Android, €7.99 per month

Looking to start meditating? Practising meditation and mindfulness leaves many feeling present, aware and in control, which can reduce stress and improve sleep. Meditopia is a mindfulness app that’s great for beginners. It will teach you what you need from scratch by combining meditation with sleep strategies and even includes the ability to chat with certified experts if you need a bit of extra support. meditopia.com

AURA

iOS and Android, around €4.70 per month

A powerful all-in-one mental wellness app, Aura gives you individualised recommendations and access to a very large and well-curated library of content from coaches, therapists and storytellers from around the world. Personalise your experience by taking a quiz to work out your areas of interests and then get stuck into listening to meditations, life or health coaches, work wellness tracks, prayers, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), and more – there’s something for everyone. aurahealth.io

EXHALE

iOS and Android, free

Finding communities where you feel seen and connected to those who share similar culture and life experiences can be integral to healing and practising wellness. Exhale is the first emotional wellbeing app designed specifically for Black, Indigenous and Women of Colour. In addition to meditation and breathwork, you can access the app’s guided visualisations, coaching talks, and daily affirmations for encouragement. exhalesite.com

Photography by Unsplash.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of IMAGE Magazine.

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