Modern technology can drive anyone insane. From devices that keep you up all night to social media posts that make you feel awful, you may be tempted to go live off the web. However, technology also can be a powerful tool for promoting positive mental health. Here are some great resources if you’re fighting depression or simply want more peace and happiness in your life.
Therapy on the go
Sometimes, you don’t have the money or free time to go to a therapist’s office. But online, there’s BetterHelp. Since BetterHelp is a highly rated online therapy service with more than 2,000 licensed therapists, the service makes it easy to get help from the comfort of your home couch.
After answering a few questions about your health, mood, and sleeping habits, you will be given a choice of therapists. Not only will you get a chance to see what each therapist specializes in, but you also get to see his or her reviews.
You can then privately send your therapist chat messages at any time through BetterHelp’s secure web portal or mobile app. This can be very helpful if you want to talk about what you are struggling with late at night. While therapists are not available 24/7, they will respond quickly. If you want a more traditional session, you can schedule a time for a phone call or online video session similar to Skype. BetterHelp does not save any of your records, and your therapist can contact you only through the service, so you can get help anonymously if you prefer.
You can try BetterHelp for a free 7-day trial. After that, the service costs $65 per week for the first three months, then $45 per week afterward. While the service isn’t cheap, it is more affordable than going to in-person counseling once a week.
Gaming your way to wellness
Plenty of games let you play an imaginary hero, but Super Better is all about unlocking your own inner champion. You will be assigned “quests,” but instead of fighting a dragon, you are given steps on how to meditate, start a new habit, or overcome anxiety. You will also have the chance to earn power-ups through self-care, which can involve something as simple as going on a short walk or hugging a loved one. The whole goal is to earn an “epic win,” which is a long-term goal you get to define.
Listen and relax
If you want a master class in mindfulness, start subscribing to the Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin. Rubin is a best-selling author who has interviewed hundreds of psychologists, spiritual leaders, and high achievers (including the Dalai Lama and Oprah) about the secrets of pursuing happiness. On her podcast, she shares wonderful “happiness hacks” for finding a better work/life balance, breaking bad habits, or reconnecting with friends. Best of all, the episodes tend to be 15-30 minutes long, making them perfect for the drive home or a lunch break.
Putting the app in happiness
Calm is one of the highest-rated mental health apps for its beautiful design and many wellness features. The first thing you will notice are relaxing pictures of mountains, sunsets, or the ocean. As you dig deeper, you will find excellent audio courses on how to start meditating, fight depression, or ease anxiety. There are even classes aimed at teaching your entire family how to relax and find more happiness.
The breathing tool is especially helpful if you’re just learning to meditate, as the app will let you know exactly when to inhale and exhale. Calm tracks each meditation session, so you can see how you’re progressing over time. The app also offers calming nature sounds and beautiful instrumental music to help you fall asleep.
While there is plenty of free content, for $60 a year, you get full access to more than 100 guided meditation sessions, more music, and video classes taught by leading psychology experts.