Top 5 Mental Health Apps To Get You Through The Holiday Season
MyLife Meditation is a web-based program and mobile app for mindfulness. The app guides users through the basic steps of mindfulness: identifying thoughts and emotions in the moment while practicing meditative techniques to achieve a relaxed state. MyLife Meditation first has users rate their mood in a unique “check-in” system and then identifies one or more brief mindfulness meditation exercises that might be helpful. Each exercise specifically focuses on teaching users to bring “kindness and compassion” to their everyday interactions. The program lets users track their general mood over time, which may help identify trends and patterns.Read the Professional Review for MyLife Meditation (formerly Stop, Breathe & Think): A Professional Review
Available for: Requires iOS 11.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Requires Android 5.0 and up. Available on the Web.
Developer: Stop, Breathe & Think, PBC
Type of Treatment: Mindfulness
Targeted Conditions: Mood Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Sleep
Target Audience: Adults, Adolescents
Designed to be used in conjunction with a professional? No
Languages Available: English
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Get it on: Apple App Store, Google Play, Web
One study aimed to evaluate the effects of immediate and long-term use of a guided meditation and mindfulness app (Stop, Breathe & Think) on users’ emotional states. Data for this study was collected by the company that developed the app. Through a comparison of the user’s baseline emotional state before they completed activities with their emotional states after completing an activity gave insight into the long-term effects of the intervention. Immediate effects of users’ emotional states were explored using preactivity and postactivity. A total of 13,393 people took for the full duration of the study. It was found that long-term effects of the app were associated with positive changes in baseline emotional state with a 4% positive mood increase. Individuals who were anxious or depressed tended to have a favorable long-term emotional transition (e.g. from a sad emotional state to a happier one) after using the app for an extended period of time. (Athanas et al., 2018. https://mental.jmir.org/2019/5/e12617/)
A pilot randomized controlled trial was conducted to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of Stop, Breathe and Think in a college population. After 4 weeks of engagement with the platform, users reported high satisfaction and moderate app usage. In comparison to a waitlist control group, these results provide mixed findings suggesting the potential benefits, as well as challenges in using a mindfulness app for students waiting to receive counseling services. (Levin, Hlicks, Krafft. 2019. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2816&context=psych_facpub)
We review apps against rating criteria developed by experts in the field. Some of those criteria are:
We look at the research supporting the technology and the credibility of the development process.
We review privacy policies to see if key pieces of information about what happens with entered data are addressed.
We explore how fun, functional, easy-to-use, engaging, and interesting the technology is.
A professional in a relevant field downloads and uses the technology and writes a narrative review, highlighting pros & cons and some recommendations for use.