With midterms season fast approaching, and spring break not far ahead, finding healthy ways to manage and work through your stress is more important than ever for students of all ages. It can be difficult to control your stress without a plan, any strategies, or knowing where to start. Luckily, the developers of the following apps have done a lot of work for you- packaging healthy techniques, advice and medical research into free, easy-to-use apps that you can access right on your phone.
Pacifica uses psychologist-designed techniques based in cognitive behavioral therapy to help you understand and manage your emotions. Designed specifically for getting a handle on stress, anxiety and depression, it helps you track your feelings at your own pace, and then develop a strategy around them. Pacifica offers relaxation exercises set in calming audio for stressful moments, guided self-help paths for you to follow as slowly as you like, a mood tracker, a place to record, journal about and analyze your thoughts, daily challenges to help you work towards your long-term goals, a health goal tracker, and a vibrant community of fellow Pacifica users to support you along your journey.
Happify’s science-based games, puzzles and activities can help reduce stress, overcome negative thought patterns, and build greater emotional resilience by equipping you with effective tools and techniques to improve your emotional health. Their programs are developed by leading scientists and experts in positive psychology, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy, and about 86% of users report feeling better about their lives in two months. Happify offers over fifty different tracks to tackle different areas of your life, including conquering negative thoughts, coping with stress, building self-confidence, fueling your career success, and mindfulness. Happify is free to use, but offers a paid upgrade option with bonus content and features.
Calm comes recommended by psychologists, therapists, and mental health experts, and is a mindfulness app offering a wide range of exercises for everyone at different points along the path. Guided meditation sessions are available in many different lengths- from three minutes all the way through twenty-five- so you can adapt the app to fit your busy schedule. Calm also offers sleep stories, an original Daily Calm program created daily to help ease you into the day or unwind you at night, mindfulness masterclasses for users at all levels of proficiency, stretching and movement exercises, exclusive music for relaxation, focusing or sleep, a library of soothing soundscapes, breathing exercises, unguided meditation, and a way to track your progress with Daily Streaks and Mindful Minutes.
MindShift is aimed towards teenagers and young adults. It’s designed to support your struggle with social anxiety, worry, panic, perfectionism, and/or phobias through cognitive behavioral therapy-based tools that help you reorient your thinking, take action, and create lasting positive change in your life. MindShift features include Quick Relief when you need anxiety help fast, a Thought Journal to identify and challenge thinking patterns that keep you trapped, Coping Cards to ease your anxiety and adjust your thinking. You can also set up Belief Experiments to test the beliefs you have that fuel your anxiety, a Facing Fears program to help you gradually overcome your phobias in small, manageable steps, and so much more- all completely free.
Need someone to talk to about an issue in your life- big or relatively small? 7Cups offers anonymous emotional support and counseling from trained active listeners around the clock. Within the app, you can chat one on one with a trained listener anytime of day or night, connect with others within chat rooms and community forums, access online massage therapy with licensed therapists, use their mediation library with hundreds of mindfulness exercises, receive personalized care with their free wellness test, and boost your mood with activities, videos and more. 7Cups will set you on a growth path, customized to you, designed to improve your emotional and mental health one manageable day at a time.
Stress and anxiety can escalate during the springtime with so many responsibilities to worry about in school, work and your personal life- but taking a few minutes to relax and focus on your own emotional health can make all the difference in how you approach and handle stress. Don’t forget to make yourself a priority, too.