We tried mental health apps and here’s what we found out
Are mental-health apps worth it?
Mental wellness apps have recently undergone a surge in popularity with more and more being released on the app store every day. Many university students have at some point used a mindfulness app to help them with the stresses of their everyday life.
We tried some mental wellness apps, rated them out of five and ordered them. While these apps act as an aid for those struggling with mental wellness, it is important to remember that these apps are not permanent resolutions.
Our least favourite, yet interestingly one of the most popular, is Headspace. The app offers lots of different mindfulness exercises for you to practice every day or when you are experiencing moments of panic. The mindfulness sessions are themed to fit your mood and vary in length. We personally found the branding of this app annoying as it felt Americanised and childish. This said, meditation works differently for different people, with ten million downloads Headspace must work for some. So, give it a try and see if it's for you.
We'd give Headspace a 1/5.
Next is Aura. We only found this app recently so are yet to fully explore its capabilities but, so far, we've enjoyed using it. The app works by making you choose an emotion and selects a short three minute meditation session to help you with that feeling. These short sessions are great as they can be easily worked into a busy schedule. While the app has received some bad reviews regarding its regular notifications, 98% of people have reported an improvement in their moods only after three days use. The app also offers ‘life-coaching’ sessions, stories and relaxing music. Our favourite thing was the ‘Gratitude Journal’ for daily reflections about things you are grateful for.
2/5 for Aura.
Calm is one of the most longstanding apps on the market proven to help reduce anxiety. Our favourite thing about this app is the huge variety of scenes and soundscapes you have access to in a moment of panic. Pop in some headphones and you can be whisked away anywhere from a mountain lake to by a fireplace.
This app is regularly improved with the new 'Kids' function, a timer to help you practice deep breathing and a new section dedicated to physical exercises to combat feelings of anxiety. The current membership price is £50 for a year which isn't exactly ideal for students on a budget. Despite this, we would absolutely recommend this as the top meditation app on the market.
Calm gets a 4/5.
Youper is a brand new app, offering 24hr access to your own personal AI assistant who is ready to listen to your thoughts and feelings. The app uses user-data to improve its conversational patterns to help decipher your thought processes and improve your mood. It uses a similar method to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which is a method of talking-therapy which works to challenge and change the way you think and behave. This app aims to improve your mental wellness on a more long term scale. This is by far the best mental wellness app we have used and we would 100% recommend it to anyone and everyone – even those who don’t struggle with mental health issues.
Youper gets our 5/5 rating.