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Top Mental Health Apps to Help You Track Symptoms, De-stress, and Thrive in Recovery

Whether you are in outpatient treatment and looking for ways to stay connected with your recovery, or transitioning into sobriety and looking for access to round-the-clock support, one of the many mental health apps available may be a perfect solution.

When stress, negative thoughts, or the urge to relapse strike, these apps can come in handy to help you find balance until you can connect with a meeting or a person to further ground yourself in your recovery.

  • ACT Coach: Struggling with compulsive behaviors (like drug and alcohol use or gambling, for example) that get you into trouble, or repetitive thoughts or memories of trauma that inhibit your ability to function? ACT Coach can help you to acknowledge these issues and work through them with mindfulness exercises while gaining a sense of personal control through tracking your experience. For iOS.
  • Stop, Breathe, Think!: Mindfulness through meditation can be hugely helpful to your ability to manage stressors by remaining actively and positively in the current moment rather than worrying too much about the past or stressing about the future. This app will teach you how to meditate, provide a range of different meditations for you to use, and let you track your progress as well, including how you feel before and after meditation, and how often and for how long you stick with it. For Android and iOS.
  • Breathe2Relax: If stress is a big trigger for you, and you find that your first impulse when faced with an issue is to drink or get high, the Breathe2Relax app may be a good fit. This app offers breathing exercises you can employ when feeling critically stressed, specifically diaphragmatic breathing exercises, as well as a chance to chart how you are feeling. For Android and iOS.
  • Step Away: For those who are experimenting with their ability to stop drinking or moderate their drinking on their own, as well as those who are seeking to stay sober after addiction treatment, Step Away can help. The app offers you ways to avoid heavy or problem drinking, especially when faced with triggers like cravings, boredom, or a bad mood. It can also help you to prepare in advance when you know you are about to enter a potentially triggering situation. For iOS.
  • Depression CBT Self-Help Guide: If you struggle with depression in addition to a substance use disorder, this app can be immensely helpful to you. Not only will it provide you with personalized screening tests to help you self-assess your mood and symptoms, and a cognitive thought journal to help you track your stressful thinking, but it also provides a wealth of articles about clinical depression and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as well as emotion training audio to help you better understand how you can manage symptoms. For Android.
  • SAM: Anxiety is a common feeling in early recovery, whether or not a disorder exists. SAM is an app that can help you to monitor your anxious thoughts and learn exercises that will help you to successfully manage the issue. Additionally, there is a “social cloud” you can access anonymously, putting you in touch with other users of the app who are similarly struggling with anxiety. For Android and iOS.
  • MindShift: Anxiety disorders and associated symptoms can be managed with a focused effort on shifting your mindset, according to the MindShift app. Whether you tend to be a perfectionist, struggle with social anxiety, or often worry obsessively, the MindShift app will help you to look at the issues underlying those responses and help you to identify new ways to manage them without the anxiety response. For Android and iOS. 
  • PTSD Coach: For those living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in addition to a substance use disorder, the PTSD Coach can provide information about the disorder as well as effective treatments. It also offers tools that will assist in coping with symptoms and the option to track symptoms and determine which coping mechanisms were most helpful. For Android and iOS.
  • Quit Pro: If you are a smoker, quitting can help you to feel better mentally and physically, which will in turn help you to better manage stressors that may otherwise trigger the urge to drink or get high. You can monitor your cravings, identify triggers that make you want to smoke, and even keep track of the amount of money you save every day that you avoid lighting up. For Android and iOS.
  • Operation Reach Out: If suicidal thoughts or behaviors are part of your experience, Operation Reach Out has been created by researchers at Emory University to help you track those feelings, keep your personal info on profile, and connect you with local mental health services in the event of emergency. If you need immediate assistance, the GPS locator can help you find it. For Android and iOS.

The idea of free, readily accessible assistance when you are in crisis can be hugely beneficial in recovery, but it is not a replacement for comprehensive professional mental health and substance abuse treatment. If you, or someone you love, are struggling in early recovery, or if you need to build a strong foundation for your new life by enrolling in an intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment program, contact Desert Hope today.