Manage stress, insomnia and more with these free mental health apps

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There are plenty of mental health apps out there, but some of the best require a subscription. If you just want a few basic tools to help you manage your mental health, the US Departments of Veterans Affairs have developed a ton for veterans, but made available to everyone.

You can find the full list of apps here. Most are available for iOS and Android, and they’re all free. There are also some web tools that don’t require installing an app at all..

None of the apps are intended to replace professional mental health help, but they do provide tools that can help you between visits or when you are not ready or able to talk to someone. They tend to include information to help you get to know your situation better, tools that you can use. like guided meditations, quizzes to help you gauge your progress, and a journal to track your mood or how many times you’ve practiced the techniques in the app.

Among those worth seeing:

  • Mindfulness Coach: You can learn about mindfulness, track how often you practice, and listen to dozens of guided meditations with specific goals, like Building Compassion or Walking Mindful.
  • COVID Coach: This one is meant to deal with the various stresses associated with living a pandemic, with tools for times of stress, loneliness, sadness, anger and more.
  • PTSD Trainer and PTSD Family Coach: These include tools for monitoring and managing symptoms. The Family Coach is for family members of people with PTSD and includes ways to deal with your own stress and emotions while maintaining a healthy relationship with the person you are caring for.
  • Stay Abandon Coach: it is to quit smoking. You can open app for remember why you quit, and yYou can also track stats like how long you’ve been quit and how much money you saved.
  • AIMS for anger management: This app provides relaxation tools that you can use now, as well as tools to track your feelings and make plans to respond better in the future.
  • Insomnia Coach: Do you have trouble sleeping? This app guides you in learning sleep hygiene strategies and gives you tools to track your progress.

These apps might not be as sophisticated or absorbing as something like Headspace, but they’re backed (in many cases) by proven psychological techniques that have helped people manage their mental health. If you’re looking for something that gets the job done without requiring a subscription or account, these mental health apps may be the help you need.

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