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World Mental Health Day: The best apps to improve your mood
There are a ton of different apps out there dedicated to mindfulness or mental health, but it’s difficult to know which ones are best. Below I’ve listed four different apps that I’ve personally used before and can definitively recommend as being helpful for relaxation and sleep, both of which have a massive impact on our mental health.
Headspace | Free with optional subscription. Available on iOS and Android
You’ve probably heard about Headspace before. If you haven’t, I’m sure you’ve heard of Spotify. Headspace is part of your Spotify premium subscription but is its own separate app dedicated to mindfulness.
My favourite part of Headspace is the guided meditations, which can range from feeling like you’re on a train, night swimming, in a midnight library or by a desert campfire. The app teaches you how to meditate, breathe and help focus. The app has hundreds of guided meditations and their cute little animations make the experience just that little bit more fun.
Sleep Cycle | Free with option subscription. Available on iOS and Android
I’ve been using this app for years. My favourite feature is the way it wakes you up. I’m sure we all have a bad reaction when we hear our alarm noise. The greatest thing about Sleep Cycle is that it wakes you up gradually, with light sounds that feel like you’re waking up in a dream.
The way Sleep Cycle wakes you up so gently is by tracking your sleep patterns and working out which stages you’re going through during sleep. From light sleep to deep sleep and REM sleep. This way this app wakes you up when you’re in the lightest sleep possible, making that jolt awake a far away memory.
Calm | Free with optional subscription. Available on iOS and Android
It’s likely you’ve heard of this one too. Calm is the #1 app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation with over 50 million downloads. Calm can be used for meditation, sleep, music and even learning mindful movement and gentle stretching.
If you’re not feeling Headspace, Calm might just be for you. It even has a couple of celebrities, like Matthew McConaughey telling you a sleepy story about the mysteries of the universe or Stephen Fry taking you on a journey through the lavender fields of Provence.
Daylio | Free. Available on iOS and Android
Dailyo is a private mood-tracking journal. Everyday it prompts you to pick your mood for the day and include the activities you got up to. The format helps you to understand your habits better, and what is making you feel certain ways. You can write notes on each entry and set them with a pin lock, so it’s like having a your own little private diary in your pocket.