Mental Health, Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology apps

Positive psychology approaches focus on nurturing positive feelings and emotions such as happiness, hope and optimism, by encouraging people to identify and reflect on their personal and unique strengths and qualities, as well as the positive aspects of their lives(“building what’s strong” rather than “fixing what’s wrong”; Evans, 2011). There is promising evidence that positive psychology approaches can be successfully incorporated within neurorehabilitation programmes, with positive outcomes. Professor Jonathan Evans from the University of Glasgow has previously published really interesting research on this, including for example this article.

As for  other types of psychological interventions a number of apps have started to become available that can support with practising positive psychology approaches and strategies. I am collating a list of some of the apps I have personally found the most useful – of course as usual any suggestions or feedback will be very welcomed.

“3 good things” apps – 3 good things is the name of a positive psychology “gratitude” intervention. This involves listing three good things a day that went well. It has been found to be associated with improved aspects of psychological well-being in people with brain injury (Andrewes et al., 2014; Evans, 2011). I have found this 1-minute video by Prof Seligman (commonly known as the founder of Positive Psychology approaches) helpful to share with clients to explain and remind them about what the technique is about  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOGAp9dw8Ac

In terms of apps, there seem to be a few out there, but they often either have a fee, or technical problems, or seem to be a bit complicated to use. The best one I have found until this point is called “Presently: A gratitude journal“. This is free, very user-friendly and prompts users to identify what they feel grateful for on each day. It is possible to set up reminders to do this and entries can be backed up on Dropbox.

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Of course, if one did or could not use an app but still wished to use their phone for this exercise, they could just use the more generic “notes” app within their phone, or any other journaling app that they may already be using such as Evernote. Reminders could then be set using for example Google Calendar, to reduce the risk of forgetting.

Routines and habits building apps

“Creating a routine” apps

As I am writing this post, we are still in the middle of the Covid-19 outbreak (click here for recommended apps and online resources). We know that individuals with cognitive and emotional difficulties tend to benefit from regular routines, and having a structure to the week has never been as important as it is now, for all of us! I will be thus collating here recommendations of apps that can help for this purpose.

Roubit: this app was recommended to me by one of my clients with brain injury, who downloaded it after the outbreak started and is reportedly finding it useful. It falls under the umbrella of “productivity” apps and unlike some others I have seen, it appears quite straightforward and easy to use. It allows you to create lists of routine tasks that you wish to remember to perform on a regular basis (e.g. weekly or daily), and to mark these off as you complete each.

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You can attach notes to each task (e.g. motivational statements) and set up reminders. The app will record and summarise the information inputted by the user during the week allowing them (and potentially their therapists) to keep track of how frequently ti has been possible to stick to their planned routines.

This is the link to downloading Roubit on Google Play store, to be used with Android phones: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jp.tsurutan.routintaskmanage&hl=en_GB

The app is free to download.

I am afraid I cannot find currently the app on the Apple Store – I have emailed their creators and will try to find out.

Meanwhile, if you know of any equivalent, user-friendly apps that can be used on iPhones, or that may be helpful for clients to support with routine-building, feel free to leave a comment.

Of course it is also worth mentioning that calendar apps or other apps that can help people with their prospective memory  can also be very helpful to help people to develop and stick with routines, alongside their other purposes.

Apps for neuropsychologists, COVID-19

COVID-19 – helpful apps and resources for people with brain injury

I hope everyone is keeping well and safe during these challenging times, in light of the Corona Virus outbreak and its devastating impact.

It is likely that many of our clients will or already finding the current situation stress-provoking- there are many challenges in store for them (and us all), among the uncertainty that we are having to face, the significant changes in routine and lifestyle we are having to make, and the requirements for social distancing and isolation and their associated effects.

For this reason, taking advantage of the extra time I have currently on my hands, I thought I would begin to pull together here some resources that may be especially appropriate for brain injured individuals to help them to navigate the next few months.

I will continue to update this page regularly and please send suggestions if you wish.

Online communities

Headway on HealthUnlocked – this is Headway online community, providing a space for people to talk about how they feel and their experiences, and virtually support one another (further guidance on what this involves and its ground rules here). More generally, Headway’s website and social media pages are as usual fantastic sources of information and valuable resources, and are being regularly  updated


Written resources

Communication cards to explain COVID and the pandemic to people with aphasia: a fantastic resource by aphasiafriendly.co

‘Coronavirus and getting better in Hospital’ easy-read booklet for people with communication difficulties, created and very kindly shared by Georgia Frith, Speech and Language Therapist

Easy-read information about COVID produced by MenCap (leading UK Charity for people with learning disabilities)

Easy infographic by the World Health Organisation on how to cope with COVID-related stress

List of ideas of indoor activities to do during quarantine

And here is another one. Even more extensive, comprising virtual tours, online learning courses, geography, music, history, art, literature, and other entertainment resources, all available for free. Lots of great ideas in there!

Dr Giles Yeates, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist owner of Rippling Minds, has also collated a range of useful resources and charities providing support to people with brain injury during these challenging times, on his website here http://www.ripplingminds.com/news.htmlz


Apps

On the blog you can find a number of apps that can be helpful, particularly on the “Mental Health” and “Relaxation and Mindfulness” pages. I have a number of updates that I will making to the lists in the new few weeks. It is worth highlighting that a number of apps have started to gift free time-limited premium memberships for their users, granting them with unlimited access to all their functionalities to support them during this emergency. Examples are:

  • Headspace, mindfulness app – free access is however for healthcare workers only
  • The ACT Companion app by Russ Harris – free for three months using the code TOGETHER
  • Sanvello, app to support with mood and anxiety, has also made its premium version free (although I am struggling to access it at the moment due to “error”)

Making sure to have a routine and a predictable structure to the week is particularly important right now, and has been recommended by various health bodies including the World Health Organisation, as a way to protect our mental health during isolation. You can find here recommendations on my blog for apps to support people with this.


Videos

15 Self-Care Ideas for Corona Virus Quarantine YouTube video by popular Youtuber talking people through some ideas for indoor self-care and activities

Thank you to Dr Aliyah Snyder who on Twitter let me know about the Brain Learning Centre. This offers interactive programmes and consultation services provided by three clinical neuropsychologists in the US to support people’s mental health and cognitive difficulties. In light of the COVID emergency, they are now offering a number of free online classes and workshops – these will touch on topics such as stress management techniques and negative thoughts management.

Watchwellcast is a YouTube channel with many fun and easy animated videos, all of only a few minutes each, on strategies on how to promote well-being


Assessment 

The MoCA team has released some guidance on how the test can be administered via telephone or videocall for research or clinical purposes. This has been distributed via email to those registered with their website. I cannot find the same instructions on the website, but happy to share these with any clinicians interested if you email or message me.

The International Neuropsychological Society (INS) has held a webinar in April 2020 on the topic of “Teleneuropsychology in Response to COVID-19” with guidance on the delivery of neuropsychological assessment in a virtual way – the recording can be accessed for free here

The BPS Division of Neuropsychology (DoN) has also released very helpful written, interim guidance on teleneuropsychology, which can be accessed here

Here you can find a video from Prof Jon Evans (Glasgow Neuorpsychology course director) on worldwide changes in Neuropsychology practice, thank you Dr Carroll for sharing this as part of the South East London Neuropsychology Special Interest Group mailing list:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CT91cmmLlE8TgnX6HYOYLXDwKwB5Hq4h/view 

 

 

 

 

 

Apps for neuropsychologists, Mental Health, Relaxation

FREE Relaxation & Mindfulness smartphone apps, that may be suitable for people with brain injury

There is a real wealth at the moment of smartphone apps aiding people with practising relaxation and de-stressing techniques. I confess that, when I have searched for these on online stores, I have at times felt almost “overwhelmed” by the number of apps available on the topic, with many of these offering great functionalities and extensive lists of options and modalities to suit different needs and preferences.

A couple of issues have however caught my attention, and also of other colleagues’ working within neuro-rehabilitation:

1-      Although it is brilliant that apps are becoming increasingly richer and sophisticated tools, this also means that they can become trickier to navigate. For people with intellectual and/or cognitive difficulties, some apps may result quite challenging to use due to the large amount of written text to process and wide range of options to choose from. These can become barriers in some cases, preventing some individuals from being able to access the app as desired, or leading them to give up using them quite early on after download, due to the level of complexity and effort required. 

2-      Many of the most popular apps require users to register or subscribe in exchange of payment. Some apps will still offer some functionalities for free, but the majority of contents will only be available following payment. Fees be relatively expensive and not everyone may be able to afford them.

Based on these considerations, I have been on the hunt in the last few months for apps that may be more easily accessible for people who may struggle with information processing and other aspects of cognition. I have also looked for apps that are completely free, so that users may not become inadvertently or unwillingly tied up to unnecessary payments. Here are some recommendations of apps based on my experience and suggestions by other very kind colleagues who have visited the blog and knew that I was looking for these types of apps.

Deep Meditation

This app has been developed by Deep Relax, an organisation that provides meditation and relaxation resources for free. The app offers guided relaxation or meditation tracks, of different length and complexity. It also gives access to “soundscapes”, music tracks that can facilitate meditation and sleep, also varying in duration.

The inclusion of “soundscapes” is a particular strength of this app in my view- this seems a great resource for people with communication difficulties or more severe cognitive impairments, who may it difficult to follow guided verbal scripts.  In the rehab unit where I work, we facilitate weekly “relaxation groups”, learning and practising a range of mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Patients attending these often report large benefits from simply being able to “switch off” in a peaceful environment, listening to soothing music. There is, indeed, a growing evidence base supporting the beneficial effects of listening to music on quality of life and psychological well-being in brain-injured individuals (Baylan et al., 2016). I have previously used some of the audio-guides as well soundscapes from this app in the group sessions, with consistent positive feedback from the participants.

Of note, Deep Meditation also allows its users to set up “reminders” for relaxation sessions, either daily or at set times during the week. It can help to track people’s “progress” by recording how often they have used the app, and provides with a meditation journal where it is possible to record one’s experiences, thoughts and feelings when or after practising the scripts.

One disadvantage of this app is that (in my view), in some of the tracks, the pace at which the speaker is reciting the script is slightly too fast – this can make some of the practises harder to connect with and hinder the relaxation experience. This however does not seem to be the case for all tracks. I always make sure, before recommending any specific track or using this in the session, that I have listened to this in advance, to clarify whether this is going to be appropriate or not.

Virtual Hope Box

I thank Dr Andrew Bateman for this recommendation. According to its description, Virtual Hope Box has been designed by patients in collaboration with health providers, based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is divided into four sections:

–          “Distract Me”: supports users in engaging in positive distraction; for example they can play games such as Sudoku or other puzzles through the app

–          “Inspire Me”: includes a selection of motivational quotes, to inspire and motivate users  through challenging situations or moments of distress

–          “Relax Me”: range of simple guided relaxation audio guides (including progressive muscle relaxation and visual imagery)

–          “Coping Tools”: users are supported in developing and identifying coping strategies and solutions, and planning positive activities (some patients may need support from a healthcare professional or family member in using this section, as they may struggle to generate ideas independently without a pre-existing repertoire)

The app also contains a “Support Contacts” section, where users can list a number of individuals to be contacted in case of an emergency. It also allows users to upload and store multimedia such as for example pictures of friends or inspiring music tracks which can support them during emotionally challenging times.

Although I have never used this app with any of my patients as of yet, it seems to have great potential, predominantly due to the simple design and the large variety of useful tools and resources that it offers, all contained within the same app.

Smiling Mind

Non-profit app developed by a group of psychologists and educators in Australia, where it is very popular. It contains a range of dedicated “meditation programmes” designed for a range of  different user categories and contexts – including specific ones for school classrooms and also  whole families. For people new to meditation, there are speciSmiling Mindfic beginner programmes. The programmes are divided further depending on their theme or purpose (e.g. to help with sleep, anxiety etc) and all contain a number of tracks of different length, that can be selected freely (you do not have to follow the order suggested by the app programme if you do not wish to). Another great feature of this app is that many of the tracks have been translated in a number of languages, also available for free.

 

Let’s meditate: Guided Meditation

Very straightforward app, where users can access a list of different meditations, with details provided about length, gender of the speaker and meditation content (e.g. body scan, gratitude meditation). All the users have to do is to click on the “download” button and let the script start.

The range of tracks available is, for now, quite limited; however the app is completely free of ads, there is no need to sign up, and tracks can be downloaded easily on the users’ phones, so that they can be listened to “offline”. This can be particularly convenient for inpatients, who may sometimes only have limited or fluctuating access to the internet.

Insight timer

This app has become very popular in the last year and I believe it is one of the most downloaded free meditation apps out there. It offers a very extensive, free library (40,000+!) of relaxation and mindfulness tracks, divided depending based on type (e.g. with or without background music), theme and length. It is a great resource, but it is worth bearing in mind that, because of its wide range of functionalities and options, the app can result at least somewhat challenging to navigate for people with communication and cognitive impairment, meaning that support may be required.

 

Have you used any of these apps, do you have any feedback on them or recommendations for any other ones not mentioned here? It would be great to hear others’ opinions on anything that they have found helpful, to continue expanding and refining on the list.

Updates

“How can I improve my memory?” A practical guide with smartphone apps suggestions

Thank you ever so much to all those who, following my last post here and message on Twitter, have sent me recommendations about smartphone apps on mindfulness and other relaxation techniques which might be appropriate for people with brain injuries (incl. individuals with communication impairments). I am still in the process of compiling the review and aim to publish it in the blog within the next few weeks. Having started my new job at the end of last month, and having had to deal with some research-related deadlines, time has been somewhat scarce since my last post!

If any of the readers have any further suggestions, these will be more than welcome. In the inpatient, post-acute neurorehabilitation unit where I work,  relaxation and mindfulness apps are often received with success by some of our patients. Together with another clinical psychologist, I co-facilitate a relaxation group of about an hour. Apps seem to provide great tools for patients to practise the strategies independently, in-between their rehabilitation sessions, in their bays, when trying to get to sleep, etc.

As I continue to work towards the review, I’d like to bring to attention another online resource that might be helpful for some of the readers. This Summer, with the help of Professor Robin Morris, as well as members of the Clinical Neuropsychology Department at KCH NHS Foundation Trust, I developed a written guide called “How can I improve my memory?” A practical guide with smartphone apps suggestions. As the title suggests, this resource is intended to be a brief guide including a range of simple, practical strategies and tips that people can trial to support different types of memory difficulties. It aims to be an enjoyable, easy-to-read tool, with a touch of humour and interesting facts and trivia about memory (for example, did you know that pigeons can recognise their own faces in a mirror?)

The guide initially provides with some educational information about memory, followed by tips on how to remember to do things, directions, things’ locations, and people’s names. It also includes some strategies on how to  learn and revise new informatiom (e.g., the “PQRST” technique), that might perhaps be particularly useful for students. At the end of the guide, there is a comprehensive review of smartphone apps that people can use to support with various types of memory and cognitive difficulties (the same apps presented in this blog, as well as on our article on The Neuropsychologist)

 

Our guide “How can I improve my memory?” A practical guide with smartphone apps suggestions, downloadable for free here

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The guide can be downloaded for free here. We are still trialling it in our clinics, collecting and monitoring feedback. If any of the readers of this blog decided to download it, read it or use it themselves, we would be extremely greateful for any feedback that you might want to provide, so that we can make sure to ingrate it in future updates.

 

Updates

Our article is out!

The latest issue of The Neuropsychologist, the official journal of the BPS Division of Neuropsychology, is now out and can be downloaded here.

As some of the readers of this blog probably already know, the issue contains an article written by the author of this blog (Dr Giulia Bellesi) and Professor Robin Morris (“Using smartphone apps for neuropsychological rehabilitation and the creation of an ‘apps’ hub”).

This briefly summarises previous literature on the usage of smartphone apps in neuropsychological rehabilitation and provides some clinical recommendations based on this. It then includes a review of apps that can be used to support patients in relation to different types of cognitive difficulties (memory, attention, planning…) – the same review can also be found on this blog, divided into different sections.

A big thank you to Dr Jessica Fish, The Neuropsychologist’s Editor, for all her support and help in improving the article and getting it out there! Aside from our review, the issue contains a wide range of interesting articles that are worth checking out, discussing a variety of issues of topical interest at the moment. These include, for instance, why it is important for neuropsychologists to obtain a protected title, the need of developing more standarsised ways to evaluate and capture complexity and needs haeterogeneity in people accessing neuropsychological rehab, and of establishing a stepped-care approach.

Of particular utility I also found the article written by Professor Kapur and Dr Veronica Bradley on the “Smart Papers“. The Smart Papers are clinical interview templates that can be used by clinicians when assessing individuals with suspected neuropsychological impairments, to ensure that no important information is missed regarding their background and difficulties. The papers also provide with handy checklists and aids that can help professionals to disentangle different types of presentations (e.g. functional vs. neurological) when assessing and interviewing patients. I have followed Prof. Kapur’s website for some time, due to this containing lots of helpful resources, particularly useful tips and booklets on how to support people with memory difficulties. I was already aware of the Smart Papers and have been referring to these quite frequently in my practice in the last few months due to their utility. 

As explained in the article, I am hoping to continue updating the apps reviews in the blog based on people’s feedback and comments. I will be watching out for new apps being released in the future that can potentially be helpful in clinical practice and include them here. Meanwhile, feel free to leave a comments with any feedback or suggestion, or check out some of the latest posts, if you feel these could be of interest: “Handy apps for neuropsychologists” and Embrace: a smartwatch for epilepsy?

I am aware that increasingly more empirical work is  being published at the moment assessing outcomes in intervention using smartphones within neuropsychological rehab  – I am hoping to be able to review some of this work in more detail here in the future.

Among all these things, I am intending to review some apps that can support people with brain injury and cognitive difficulties in practising mindfulness and relaxation. I have used some of these in the past with some success. At present I am working within an inpatient ward and from next week I will reprise co-facilitation of a weekly relaxation group for our patients. I would like to find out about more apps that can support them in practising the techniques more independently outside of the group, e.g. when they are in the bay on their own. Any recommendations for appropriate apps are welcome, especially aphasia-friendly ones, or generally any apps that do not place too heavy demands on language/understanding of complex information and are appropriate for people who might struggle to focus for prolonged periods of time.

the neuropsych cover

Apps for neuropsychologists

Handy apps for neuropsychologists

A bit of search in the past few months has revealed the presence of some apps available that can come in as handy for neuropsychologists in their day to day work, as well as to other clinical psychologists, professionals and students with an interest in brain structure and function. There seems to be variation in quality and depth across the apps, and I have to admit I have found only a few of them useful. I have listed here my three favourite ones. All the apps are free and available for download on both Apple and Android smartphones.

3D Brain

3DBrain is my number one favourite and has now been a “staple app” in my phone for a long time. As suggested by the name, the app presents with a 3D model of the human brain. Using your phone or tablet touchscreen, it is possible to rotate and zoom on several main structures, labelled accordingly. 

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The app also provides with basic information regarding the structures, including associated functions, cognitive disorders, useful articles and case studies.

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Brain

Similar to 3DBrain, it contains a list of important brain structures and information about their location, function and associated deficits. Brain does not contain with a 3D model of the brain but has useful pictures in the pages dedicated to specific structures. The content is overall organised slightly less neatly than in 3D Brain, making the app a bit more difficult to navigate.

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Interactive Brain

This can be particularly helpful for people that are trying to revising basic neuroanatomy concepts. It is divided into two main sections. One (“Anatomy”) presents with information regarding brain structures, accompanied by images. The second (“Interactive test”) tests users knowledge in an interactive fashion, by asking them to recall which brain structure is associated with specific functions, and “tap” on it within a radiographic MRI image of the brain.  One limitation of this app is that the information provided regarding the structures is succinct and relatively basic, making it more suitable perhaps for students Questions are always presented in the same order and are limited in number. The graphics are however detailed and of good quality.

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Do you know any other useful smartphone apps for neuropsychologists, and do you have any feedback about the ones above? Any recommendations or comments will be welcomed, and added to the blog.

Epilepsy

Embrace: a smartwatch for epilepsy?

What is Embrace?

On a Facebook Group for clinical psychologists a few weeks ago, a member brought to users’ attention the release of Embrace, a “smartbrand for epilepsy management” (official website here). In appearance, Embrace looks very similar to so-called smartwatches (e.g., the Apple Watch, FitBit…). 

The website claims that the device can identify the occurrence of convulsive seizures in people with epilepsy via machine learning. The watch collects information such as electrodermal activity (galvanic skin responses), motion detection, and heart rate changes; specific algorithms incorporating this are then, in turn, able to detect in real-time if and when the watch owner is having a tonic clonic seizure.

Embrace is paired to a smartphone app, downloadable by individuals selected by the watch owner’s (e.g., family members). The app alerts them immediately of when their cared one is presenting with a convulsive seizure, either via a text or a phone call. The app also provides them with information regarding the person’s location, so that they know where they can attend to them to provide help.

Embrace Watch

Picture taken from the official website

The design is smart and modern, and the colours of the wristband and screen can be personalised. Similarly to other smartwatches, Embrace also provides with information regarding sleep, rest, and physical activity. The appealing design and its functionalities, not all relating to epilepsy management and often sought after in more common smartwatches, are likely to make it more appealing and acceptable for users.

Does it work?

In February this year, Embrace obtained approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a medical device. My understanding, having done some brief reading on the subject for the scope of this post, is that there is growing recognition that measurement of changes in electrodermal activities can indeed help to detect seizures  (e.g., Poh et al. 2012). The evidence base is still in its early days though, and on their website Embrace acknowledges that their research team is still working on improving and refining their technology and algorithms.

According to their website, Embracing is currently running a clinical trial, comparing biometric data collected from the watch with e-diary seizure report information. This should allow to  gather more detailed information regarding pitfalls such as e.g. incorrect seizure dectections or undetected seizures, and therefore gain more data regarding the validity and reliability of the instrument, as well as identifying areas for improvement.  

Interestingly, on social medias as well as on Embrace’s blog it is possible to find several success stories and positive reviews of owners of the smartwatch, with some users stating that Embrace even “saved their lives“, allowing them to receive immediate help at the time of severe seizures. Many of the stories are touching, revealing that the watch has indeed the potential to help certain people.

From Facebook:

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From Embrace website, one of the “success stories”:

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How much does it cost?

At the time I am writing this post, Embrace costs $249 (USD) (approximately £190). An active subscription to the app is also required. The app fee varies depending on functionalities , from $9.90 to $44.90 per month.Embrace can be purchased and shipped to the UK for a delivery cost of $19.90.

Concluding comments

Overall the impression (as a non medically-trained clinician) is that more rigorous research is needed on the effectiveness and limitations of Embrace, which is still in its infancy. However, overall devices such as this do seem to have great potential and to be (generally) well-received by the epilepsy community. It is hoped that if the value of this technology is further proved and recognised, devices such as Embrace will start to become more widely available and accessible to individuals from all backgrounds. It would be interesting to hear more opinions of users or clinicians who have either used it or have indirect experience of the effectiveness of the watch.

Mental Health

Mental health apps

Here is a brief list of apps that can support people with different aspects of mental health. I have trialled most of these myself or suggested them to patients, with different degrees of success. The list is being updated regularly and currently still under construction.

If you have any recommendations or suggestions of other apps that are not on the list please do contact me (by either commenting on this post or clicking here), so that I can modify the list accordingly.

Low mood and negative thoughts

*NB many of these also suitable for anxiety management although focus seems to be on low mood

  • Thought Workbench– helps people to challenge their negative automatic thoughts in a structured manner. First, it prompts you to identify specific negative thoughts & associated emotions; then it guides you through identifying unhelpful thinking bias from a list, think of evidence for and against, and generate a more realistic thought.  
  • Thought Challenger: provides with a mood assessment tool (PHQ-4); helps with identifying negative thoughts and challenging these in structured manner;
  • Moodspace: helps with identifying negative thoughts and challenging these; tracking mood; provides with some “mood workouts” (e.g., think about 3 things that went well today); has some mindfulness tracks.
  • Cognitive diary: provides with psychoeducation about CBT and its techniques for tackling negative automatic thoughts and anxiety; helps with identifying negative thoughts and challenging these in structured manner
  • STOPP app: encourages you to “stop and think” during stressful situations/when feeling particularly low or aroused, step back; unlike the other apps, it is not “interactive”, in that you do not write or input any personal information. However it has a nice graphic with strong visual cues that can “stick” with you for future to remind you to stop and think in the future

Anxiety

*NB many of these also suitable for low mood management although focus seems to be on anxiety

  • Fear tools: provides with assessment/monitoring of anxiety (GAD-7); s with identifying negative thoughts and challenging these in structured manner; guides you through exposure exercise by providing with support in building a hierarchy of feared situations and prompting you tackle one at a time
  • MindShift: designed for adolescents and young people; provides with psychoeducation about anxiety (incl. but not only, social anxiety, academic anxiety), mostly using a CBT framework; describes a range of CBT techniques; also includes mindfulness and relaxation tracks targeting different types of worries; also has tips regarding sleep hygiene, increasing assertiveness, and perfectionist tendencies
  • Worry box –provides with a worry diary and guides you through identifying whether the event you are worried about is uncontrollable or not. If the worry is uncontrollable, the app provides with a range of coping statements that can help to think differently about it. It also allows you to “put” worries away by writing them down and placing them in a box.
  • Cognitive diary: provides with psychoeducation about CBT and its techniques for tackling NATs and anxiety; helps with identifying negative thoughts and challenging these in structured manner; contains relaxed breathing exercises
  • STOPP app: encourages you to “stop and think” during stressful situations/when feeling particularly low or aroused, step back ; unlike the other apps, it is not “interactive”, in that you do not write or input any personal information. However it has a nice graphic with strong visual cues that can “stick” with you for future to remind you to stop and think in the future

Other

Promoting positive thinking

  • Zest Best Gratitude Journal: prompts you to reflect on and note down positive events you are grateful for on a daily basis

Relaxation and Mindfulness

  • Headspace
  • Calm
Prospective Memory

Emergencies

            Emergencies

App name Description Costs
ICE – In Case of Emergency This allows people to store personal and emergency details (e.g., DOB, address, medical conditions, emergency contact numbers) all in one place. The information is then readily available in case of an emergency without having to rely on memory. Free