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5 apps that can help with anxiety


In the U.S., more than 40 million adults have an anxiety disorder, and more than 4 million American children experience anxiety issues every year, making it the most common mental health concern in the country, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

There are several apps designed to assist individuals living with anxiety. Some of these apps incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy.

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What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy, often referred to as CBT, is a psychological treatment used to change thinking and behavior patterns. It can help individuals recognize and break down negative thoughts stemming from anxiety.

“Numerous research studies suggest that CBT leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. In many studies, CBT has been demonstrated to be as effective as, or more effective than, other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications,” according to the American Psychological Association.

What apps can help with anxiety?

While apps can assist sufferers in dealing with anxiety, it is important to remember that they are not a substitute for seeking help from a mental health professional.

Here are five apps that can help with fighting anxiety:

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1. Moodnotes — Mood Tracker

Moodnotes allows you to track your mood every day. It also features mental health articles and can help you identify and avoid “thinking traps.”

When you download the app, it asks for your goal in using the app. Potential goals include:

When logging your mood, it will also ask you to reflect on things that happened that could have affected your mood. Were you traveling? Did you spend time with friends? What was the weather like? Did you work today? It will use your responses to look for patterns.

The app was created by clinical psychologists and design experts and is based on cognitive behavioral therapy, according to the app’s description. A premium, paid version is also available. Premium features include:

  • Multiple daily entries.
  • Personal statistics and insights.
  • Mood entry notes.
  • Access to more articles.

Device compatibility: The app is available in the Apple App Store but not in the Google Play Store.

Rating: 4.7 stars on Apple.

2. Calm

Calm is an app designed for meditation, sleep and relaxation. It features a library of meditation videos targeting anxiety, sleep, stress, focus and emotions. Like Moodnotes, Calm asks what you’re hoping to get out of using the app.

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The premium version of the app has a catalog of sleep stories, including popular children’s books and nature stories. Some are even narrated by celebrities like Harry Styles and Matthew McConaughey. It also has exclusive music for premium subscribers to listen to.

Calm’s premium plan has two payment options:

  • Annually: $69.99 annually.
  • Lifetime: $399.99.

Device compatibility: Available in both the Google Play and Apple App Store.

Rating: 4.8 stars on Apple, 4.5 stars on Google Play.

3. Headspace

Headspace is a meditation and mindfulness app. It aims to help users be present, feel calm, manage anxiety and sleep better. In the app’s introduction video, it claims its goal is to be “your mind’s best friend.”

The app features hundreds of guided meditations, mindfulness activities and “sleepcasts.” Users can also meditate with friends or people from around the world during live meditation sessions.

Unfortunately, the app is not free. Headspace offers two payment plans:

  • Annually: $69.99 with 14-day free trial.
  • Monthly: $12.99 with 7-day free trial.

Device compatibility: Available in both the Google Play and Apple App Store.

Rating: 4.8 stars on Apple, 4.5 stars on Google Play.

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4. Happify

Happify claims that its techniques were developed by experts who’ve studied cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology and mindfulness. The app can help users gain control over negative thoughts, cope with stress and increase self-confidence. Unlike the other apps on this list, Happify incorporates games to help users.

The app has a free and paid version. The paid version includes unlimited access to its games and meditations, as well as a 20-page character strength report.

The paid version has three payment options:

  • Monthly: $14.99.
  • Annually: $139.99.
  • Lifetime: $449.99.

Device compatibility: Available in both the Google Play and Apple App Store.

Rating: 4.5 stars on Apple, 3.5 on Google Play.

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5. Rootd — Panic attack relief

Rootd includes features like an anxiety journal, breathing exercises, visualizations, a panic button and lessons to better understand anxiety.

The app sends your data from “Breathr,” “Visualizr” and “Sleepr” sessions to the Apple Health app. All of the above features are included in the free version of the app.

The paid version of Rootd gives users access to more lessons, visualizations and even sounds designed to help users feel calm or fall asleep.

Rootd is the cheapest of the subscription-based apps on this list. The paid version has three payment options:

  • Monthly: $5.99.
  • Annually: $59.99.
  • Lifetime: $149.
  • It also offers custom company plans.

Device compatibility: Available in both the Google Play and Apple App Store.

Rating: 4.7 stars on Apple, 4.5 on Google Play.

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