We've come a long way in a very short space of time, particularly when it comes to how we use technology. We think nothing of sharing details of our lives across social media and it's been a great way of keeping in touch with family and friends.
The thing is, technology can be both a bugbear and a boon if you suffer with mental health issues. Their impact on your life can seem too intrusive, but it can equally be used to your advantage. The growth of 'apps' that can be easily downloaded to your phone or tablet has changed we way we use technology.
To that end, we've tried to collate some the ways technology can be used to help, rather than hinder you. We brought together some of our favourite apps, which may help you in a number of different ways. It's not an exhaustive list by any means and if there are any you think deserve to be on the list, just hits us up on social media and we'll take a look.
Time to 'tech' a look ;-)
A personal favourite from the team here at Men Tell Health. It's full of custom-made meditation tracks to be listened to throughout your day. From waking up to going to bed, the app is full of over 80 short guided audio exercises which help you develop mindfulness, calm and compassion in the middle of wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It's available for iOS and Android.
Moodnotes™ empowers you to track your mood over time, avoid common thinking traps and helps develop perspectives associated with increased happiness and well-being. It's based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) principles. It works by user's logging their mood (set between 7 stages) by swiping on the onscreen face. You also have the option to add notes (not compulsory) about why you feel the way you do.
Moodnotes will then try to identify patterns in their moods, with questions to try and understand those feelings. It will also suggest CBT tactics for identifying and avoiding those 'thinking traps' that may lead to your mood going into a slump. It's available for iOS and Apple Watch.
Headspace (iOS, Android & Amazon App Store)
Think of Headspace as a personal trainer for your mind, but without all the shouting and sweating.
Headspace is meditation made simple. You can learn online, when you want, wherever you are, all in just 10 minutes a day. By doing a little everyday, it is designed to train your mind to be happier and healthier by either sleeping better, focussing more or worrying less (among other things).
7 Cups of Tea is an on-demand emotional health and well-being service. Their bridging technology anonymously and securely connects real people to real listeners in one-on-one chat.
Anyone who wants to talk about whatever is on their mind can quickly reach out to a trained, compassionate listener through their network. They have hundreds of listeners who come from all walks of life and have diverse experiences.
People connect with listeners on 7 Cups of Tea for all kinds of reasons, from big existential thoughts to small, day-to-day things that we all experience. Unlike talking to family or friends, a 7 Cups of Tea listener doesn’t judge or try to solve problems and say what to do. Their listeners just listen. They understand. They give you the space you need to help you clear your head.
Dosecast (iOS, Android & Amazon App Store)
If you take medication to help you with your mental health and sometimes struggle to remember when to take what, this might be app for you.
By adding in the details of the medication you take, when you need to take it and how, you can set up reminders and Dosecast will send you a notification when the time comes to take them.
As you take the medication, it will also send you reminders when you need to reorder and you can even log medication adherence (if you need that kind of thing).
Moodbug from MindApples makes it fun and easy to express your moods to the people close to you. Its simple 2-swipe system has been designed around the latest mood psychology research, let's you share how you REALLY feel about life's ups and downs.
Simply select the people who are most important to you from your phone contacts and start sharing and tracking your moods together. Mood bug makes it easy to keep up with how your friends are REALLY feeling, and you can respond to shared moods by sending free virtual gifts.
Pacifica (iOS & Android)
Pacifica is another self-help app based on cognitive behavioural therapy combined with relaxation and wellness techniques.
Comprised of five core activities, Pacifica is designed as a daily tool to help people address stress and anxiety at a gradual pace.
It's free to download (with a paid option to remove the ads).
If you're having a tough time, Big White Wall can help you get support, take control and feel better.
It provides safe, anonymous 24/7 to anyone (over 16 years of age) struggling with a range of common mental health issues, or who feel burdened by everyday worries and concerns. The app gives you access to Big White Wall's support services.
As we said, these aren't the only apps available and if you have one that you think others will benefit from, just let us know on social media and we'll add it to the page. 'Tech' care.