Taking care of your mental health is just as crucial as your physical health. While checking in with a mental health professional is ideal, often, you may not have the time or accessibility for that. This is where mental health applications can help you. Several apps use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques as their core functionality.
CBT is proven to be effective against a range of mental disorders. It is a psychological treatment that is backed by numerous clinical studies. That’s why mental health apps have CBT-integrated sessions and tools.
Let’s take a look at some of the best CBT apps.
1. CBT Companion
The CBT companion app is a mental health application packed with highly engaging exercises. The exercises and lessons help recognize mental patterns and the app suggests ways to correct them. You can take a PHQ-9 depression test, which is a standard self-assessment for depression.
In the app, you can use a mood tracker by selecting from dozens of emotions and journaling about your day. There are also several CBT exercises that you can try out. For example, the What If exercise helps identify catastrophic thinking. The exercise begins with listing your fears and then doing a detailed analysis of those fears.
Similarly, several other exercises—such as guided imagery and challenging assumptions—help with managing different negative mental patterns. Meanwhile, the Lessons tab is packed with informative content about CBT, cognitive distortions, and various problem-solving strategies.
The Intellect app aids your mental health by using CBT to change the distortions and negative perceptions you might have about yourself. Mental health experts have validated the exercises and self-guided CBT sessions in the app.
Intellect breaks complex issues into easily understandable Learning Paths. You can choose from 25 learning paths and gradually gain a better understanding of your symptoms. The check-ins and exercises help you apply all that you learn to real life. Additionally, features such as rescue sessions, guided journals, and daily exercises can help build positive habits.
Due to its simplified content delivery and gamified approach, following the learning paths are easy in Intellect. You can also track your moods and mental health progress over the weeks.
Sanvello is a great app to tackle anxiety and depression. It helps you feel better on your terms. Moreover, it personalizes mental health tools based on your assessment. When you first start using the app, the interface is customized according to your likes and goals. Apart from its self-guided sessions, Sanvello also has the option of connecting you to professionals in case of emergencies.
The app features blog posts, quotes, and meditations. Additionally, it has a community page where you can read and interact with other users. Track your mood every day and unlock even more with a premium subscription. While the app does use some free CBT tools to shift thought patterns, you can unlock the complete CBT library with premium.
Lastly, Sanvello also supports insurance coverage. Therefore, if you’re eligible, you can use your insurance coverage to unlock the app’s premium features.
4. CBT Thought Diary
CBT Thought Diary is a free mood journal and thought record that works alongside in-person CBT. The app helps you map your emotions using multiple types of journals. You can track your mood and analyze your thoughts or use the gratitude journal.
Regular check-ins and daily in-app notifications help you build a habit of journaling. Under the Discover tab, you can learn all about negative thinking patterns and how to overcome them. The information is presented in a condensed manner that makes it very readable. After journaling for four days, you’ll also unlock the app’s mood insights.
5. MindShift CBT
MindShift is a CBT tool for managing anxiety. It has a set of quick tools built into it that can help quickly calm you down when you’re feeling overwhelmed. For example, the Take a Breath session is a quick two-minute breathing exercise that lowers stress. Also, if you need professional assistance, you can contact a hotline available within the app.
MindShift uses several methods to break your cognitive distortions. Apart from thought journals and daily check-ins, it has Coping Cards—a set of cards with positive reinforcements that you can read anytime. Select an issue, such as worry, anxiety, or perfectionism, and the app will populate a new set of cards.
Finally, the app has guided meditation sessions built into it, so you can access mindful audio recordings in the Chill Zone to feel more relaxed.
MindDoc is an efficient mood tracker. When you sign up, you have to answer ten questions. The app then creates a mood insight based on your responses. The mood insight tells you the shortcomings and how you can work on them. You can take this assessment three times per day to record your emotional state at different times of the day.
Apart from self-guided CBT sessions, MindDoc is also integrated with telehealth services through a partnership with one of the leading telehealth platforms, Betterhelp. You can get remote therapy by paying for a weekly plan. You’ll also need a premium subscription to access MindDoc’s vast library of self-guided audio sessions.
7. Evolve: Daily Self Care Coach
Evolve is one of the best personal growth applications. It has a soothing interface and relaxing background audio. You can select the type of ambient audio you want to play in the background. Every day, you’ll receive a series of motivational cards to get you started. Following that, Evolve curates a range of tasks for you to complete.
CBT coaches have created the courses in Evolve. These courses take a practical approach to certain situations. For example, a session on mental well-being begins with a focus on understanding your emotional state. Following that, the app gives you strategies to build a healthy emotional foundation. Evolve has several interactive tools, such as meditations, therapy sessions, sleep sessions, and more.
With the premium version of Evolve, you can unlock all journeys and meditations within the app.
CBT Can Keep You Mentally Fit
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on recurring negative thought patterns. Through CBT, you can learn to adopt new perspectives to different situations. If you cannot avail in-person therapy, CBT apps are a good place to begin.
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