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Top 5 Apps to Help You Cope with Anxiety 

If you struggle with anxiety, you're not alone. In the United States, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem. The good news is they are also treatable. While treatment plans often include therapy and/or medication, there are some great apps to help you cope with anxiety.

These apps can be a great source of relief, especially if you don’t have access to a mental health professional. And even if you are already in therapy or taking medications, they are effective to use as a supplement to your treatment plan. Most of these apps have a free version or trial version that allows you to test it out the product before committing to any purchases. Here are our 5 favorite apps to help people with anxiety. 

 

Headspace 

Many people have heard of Headspace. Fun fact: they started out as a company that held in-person events. They quickly discovered that people attending wanted a way to benefit at home, so they transformed their product into an app. The app is described as “a personal meditation guide, right in your pocket."

Headspace offers introductory modules that aim to teach you the fundamentals of meditation and mindfulness. They even offer different meditation modules that focus on different problem areas, such as stress, focus, and anxiety.

What we like most about this anxiety app: 

  • Easy to select what's going to work for you and your schedule. 
  • Range of choices in terms of time (guided meditations for anxiety ranging from as short as 5 minutes all the way up to two hours.
  • Research shows that it helps people!

What could be better

  • Headspace is one of the more expensive meditation apps. 

Pricing: $12.99 a month, $69.99 a year (as of 9/1/2019)

Download: iOS, Android

 

Stop, Breathe & Think

The Stop, Breathe and Think app is easy to use and allows you to check in with yourself. When you start using it, the app walks you through a few basic questions about how you're feeling physically and mentally. It also allows you to connect the different emotions that you're experiencing at the moment. Then, based on your answers it makes recommendations on both guided and self-guided activities you can try. It has a wide variety of meditation modules, including for kids, college, pregnancy and many more.

According to a study they conducted, their users experienced 46% less anxiety, and, after the first session, had a 78% increase in positive feelings.

What we like about this anxiety app: 

  • Super interactive app 
  • Customizes your experience based on the answers that you provide 
  • Offers great tracking

What could be better: Some of the modules lack free sessions, which may make it difficult to know whether it’s a good fit for you.

Pricing: $9.99 a month, $58.99 per year (as of 9/1/2019)

Download: iOS, Android

 

Calm

Anxiety can make sleep difficult and this app helps address that struggle. While Calm offers guided meditations on many different areas like stress, anxiety, and relationships, it has a robust focus on sleep. For example, they have sleep stories to help you slow down your thoughts at the end of the day and get a good night of sleep. The app’s interface is one of the sleekest we’ve seen and the collection of modules beyond sleep is impressive. 

What we like about this app for anxiety: 

  • Emphasis on helping improve sleep, which is critical for self-care and overcoming anxiety. 
  • Calm Body feature leads you through mindful movement and gentle stretching, which helps improve sleep as well.
  • The Masterclass feature gives you access to long form, high quality videos with doctors explaining strategies to overcome depression, sleep issues, and other issues related to anxiety.

What could be better: Some users feel that the free version could offer more modules. While it offers a ton of content, it’s the most expensive app on this list.

Pricing: $79.99 a year (as of 9/1/2019)

Download: iOS, Android

 

Sanvello (formerly Pacifica)

Sanvello allows you to establish a goal that you're working towards. Some examples include: feel happier, decrease anxiety, build confidence and improve social skills.

You can set the app to check in with you at specific times of the day or randomly. When it checks in with you, you'll be asked how you are, how your mood is and what your present feelings are. There is also a section for you to use for journaling. 

There is a free week-long module to help you decrease your anxiety. There are several other areas you can use with the paid version. For example, learning the CBT style techniques module helps you learn to manage your emotions.

What we like about this app for anxiety: 

  • This app has groups you can join to connect with others experiencing similar anxiety challenges. It is reassuring to know that you're not the only one struggling.
  • Dedicated section for journaling
  • Ability to set goals and monitor progress over time. 

What could be better: Many fans of Pacifica were disappointed with the transition to the Sanvello brand, which significantly changed the interface. However, many continue to love the app, so it’s still worth checking out on your own.

Pricing: $8.99 a month or $53.99 a year (as of 9/1/2019)

Download: iOS, Android

 

Worry Watch 

The Worry Watch app creates a place where you can conveniently journal about your anxiety, a technique which has been proven to be helpful. You can track the details of how bad your anxiety is. The app walks you through questions to find out what area of your life you're worried about. It tracks if the worry is from a real or hypothetical situation. Then, it allows you to set reminders to come back and follow up on the thing you were worried about. This allows you to track the outcome of what happened. You can then find the patterns that you have with worry.  

What we like about this app for anxiety: 

  • Easy for you to spot key areas that are causing you anxiety. 
  • Pattern identification to help you notice many hypothetical worries never actually happen. 

What could be better: No free or trial version. No Android version.

Pricing: $3.99 (one-time purchase, as of 9/1/2019)

Download: iOS

See what anxiety app works for you

Apps are a great way to build skills like meditation to help you cope with anxiety, without taking much time out of your day. They are quick, easy, and convenient to use on your timeline. 

When it comes to choosing an anxiety app to use, all that matters is that it works for you. Check out the features of the apps listed here and see what one sounds like it addresses the area you are struggling in the most. Then, give it a try. Remember, if the app alone is  not working for you, it may be time to seek professional help with therapy and/or medications.