Free Mental Health Apps (To Use In College)

By Brooke Smoke on January 28, 2019

It’s no secret that college life is stressful. Between rushing to classes, trying to keep up with studying, and making sure to spend time with friends and community, it can be difficult to make time for your mental health. And though there’s no real substitute to trips to a trusted counselor or therapist when dealing with serious mental health issues, sometimes all we need is a few minutes a day to reset and get in the right mind frame. Here are some (free!!) apps to help you do just that.*

*Completely non-sponsored … I just like these apps. 

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Headspace

Okay everyone knows what this is. Do you meditate? Yeah, neither did I. BUT YOU SHOULD MEDITATE. Even if you just use it occasionally to chill out on especially stressful weeks (i.e. you have two papers and three exams and you haven’t even started studying), the techniques you learn from this app are applicable to your day to day life. And guess what? There are a lot of free guided meditations so that you don’t have to spend your laundry money to chill out. Cool, right?

Plant Nanny

Drinking water is important to your physical health, yeah, but it’s also one of the simplest self-care acts you can perform. When college life really speeds up and you’re eating microwave quesadillas and dry cereal from the box (i’m definitely not speaking from personal experience here), it can be especially difficult to remember to take care of yourself. However, self care begins with simple acts of kindness to yourself. Cleaning up after yourself, taking a walk, and, yes, just drinking enough water. This app is a really cute and simple way to track your water intake. Grow and take care of a cute little plant as you take care of yourself. It’s a great reminder of the fruits of self care.

Pixel Thoughts

This is one of my favorite app discoveries of all time. I keep it on my front page and use it a lot. It’s a great visualization exercise for anxious thinkers or those who struggling with overwhelming and persistent negative thoughts. All you do is put a thought in the star  provided to you. You can make it as short or as long as you like. Then you watch as the star gets smaller and smaller until it joins all the other stars in the vast universe and becomes indistinguishable from the rest. Repeat as many times as you please. The visualization is accompanied with some perspective-shifting thoughts and it’s a great way to take a step back and see the big picture. Highly recommend.

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Sleep Better

I know how hard it can be to get up in the morning, but sometimes you have no choice. Waking up abruptly to a loud alarm can make things even worse. SleepBetter is designed to help you wake up with your sleep cycles so no more rude awakenings. It sets off a chill alarm as you’re sleeping lighter and more willing to wake up.  And I know this just sounds like an ad (I promise it’s not), but as a sufferer of insomnia and a serial oversleeper, I can attest to this app working.

7 Cups of Tea

For those of us who don’t have the time or money for therapy, but still would love to talk to someone, 7 Cups of Tea is a great option. It’s certainly not a replacement for therapy and the volunteers are not licensed professionals, but there are listeners available around the clock that are trained to be a listening ear to those of us who just need to rant to someone for a bit. 7 Cups of Tea has a bustling community where  listeners and users can interact and help each other along their mental health journeys. There are also a number of resources available on the site that are free to use. And, of course, there’s an app that makes messaging your listener extremely convenient.

Though an app isn’t a replacement for real help in the event of a mental health emergency, everyone could use a helping hand now and then. Sometimes all it takes is a few extra minutes of self care a day.  It may sound strange, but taking a visit to the app store could certainly help you manage your mental health.

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