Top 5 Mental Health Apps To Get You Through The Holiday Season
SuperBetter is a gamified program intended to help users build resilience, defined as “the ability to stay strong, motivated and optimistic even in the face of difficult challenges.” SuperBetter aims to help the user track their goals and achievements, while also providing education about the importance of each activity. SuperBetter invites users to create a fully customizable “Secret Identity” to tackle quests, use power-ups, and identifies “Bad Guys” for users to defeat. Users can conquer a real-life “quest” by completing tasks that are shown to increase overall health and well-being. Examples of “Quests” and “Power-up’s” include drinking water, reaching out to an old friend, walking around the block, and practicing “self-care” others. Through “Allies”, SuperBetter offers a social option to challenge friends to join a user’s quest, and users can customize their quests, challenges, and “Bad Guys” to address a variety of real-life concerns, from physical health, emotional health, and social connection. Users can also download “PowerPacks” which are designed to help people with symptoms of conditions such as depression, chronic pain, and anxiety. Other features include goal-setting, tracking gratitude and reviewing achievements.Read the Professional Review for SuperBetter: A Professional Review
Available for: Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Requires Android 4.0 and up. Available on the Web.
Developer: SuperBetter, LLC
Type of Treatment: Symptom Tracking/Self-Monitoring, Psychoeducation & Information, Gratitude
Targeted Conditions: Mood Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, PTSD, Chronic Pain
Target Audience: Not Specified
Designed to be used in conjunction with a professional? No
Languages Available: English
Get it on: Apple App Store, Google Play
Published in 2015, a clinical trial of 283 adult users of SuperBetter found that 10 minutes of gameplay for six weeks prompted decreased levels of anxiety and depression, compared to a waitlist control group. The study also found that users who played the “Being Awesome” quests showed greater improvement than the users who completed the therapeutically oriented quests after six weeks of gameplay. (Roepke, A. M., Jaffee, S. R., Riffle, O. M., McGonigal, J., Broome, R., & Maxwell, B. 2015. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/g4h.2014.0046)
Published in 2017, a clinical trial of 39 youth aged 13-18 yrs found that incorporating a gamified app (SuperBetter) into standard treatment may promote health management among teenagers with unresolved concussion symptoms. Participants were divided into two cohorts (Phase I n=20, Phase II n=19) with Phase II participants receiving standard treatment alone as a control. (Worthen-Chaudhari, L., McGonigal, J., Logan, K., Bockbrader, M. A., Yeates, K. O., & Mysiw, W. J. 2017. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02699052.2017.1332388)
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A professional in a relevant field downloads and uses the technology and writes a narrative review, highlighting pros & cons and some recommendations for use.