American adults spend an average of 11 hours and 52 minutes every day with media, most of it on personal screens (tablets, phones, computers). We also spend a lot of the time anxious or worrying. So it makes sense that at some point someone would try to build an app to help us cope with our stress and fears. While there isn’t an app that we’ve found that has been made specifically with survivors in mind, there are plenty of apps (many of them free ) that may help survivors dealing with varying levels of anxiety, panic, and low mood.
Most of these apps are based on a framework called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). We have an upcoming blog post all about how and why CBT works for so many people (either alone or in conjunction with medication), but in a nutshell CBT requires participants to think about their behavior, thoughts and past experiences that cause them difficulty and helps individuals develop strategies and new ways of coping and (hopefully) thriving in the world.
*Unstuck is one of the easier to use and prettier CBT apps available. As the name would suggest this free app guides users through a series of quick questions/prompts to help users understand why they feel stuck and help them work through the problem. Bonus: They have a regularly updated Tumblr full of extra tips and wisdom.
DBT is an app designed to accompany therapy or reconnect users with skills they learned in therapy, but might not have used for a while. The app emphasizes skills that, when practiced regularly, can help users through difficult times.
Pacifica is another beautifully-designed free app available for Apple and Android devices. It’s ideal for use between sessions with a trained professional or if you’re trying to get back into some more mindful habits through deep breathing and behavioral exercises.
Joyable is a totally online program that helps people suffering from social anxiety (nervousness and discomfort caused by or at the idea of social interaction), their guides are trained and the platform has gotten rave reviews.
PTSD Coach was developed by the US Department of Veteran Affairs to help the staggering number of military members dealing with post traumatic stress disorder as a result of combat. The app has received high ratings for it’s evidence-based approach and been downloaded in over 74 countries. Although designed initially for veterans the app can be used by anyone to learn more about various PTSD treatments available, screen and track PTSD symptoms as well as use in-app tools to help manage stress as it occurs in daily life.
Note: We’d love to update this list regularly, so please send us app/tool recommendations in the comments!