In today’s ever bustling pace of life, it can be challenging to slow down and take care of ourselves. With so many things demanding our constant attention, our own mental well-being can quickly deteriorate. Though we may partly blame technologies, some innovative companies have come to find ways of incorporating them to better our overall health.

Just the other day one of my seasoned co-workers stopped me after a meeting and asked me exactly what a “smart phone” can do. I gave her a quick demo. Email, internet, camera, maps, calendar, weather, calculator, and then the fun stuff. Apps! Anything from pedometers and allergy alerts to flight check-in, movie theatre showing updates, grocery lists, Starbucks giftcards, scanners, and so forth all at the touch of your finger. Even a flashlight, I mused with awe!

Upon Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram, a photo design, editing and sharing app, software developers, entrepreneurs and others are now hoping they can be the next one to strike it rich. While it’s unclear if mental health apps will ever be the next big ticket item, there are several apps that can aid a range of consumers, including mental health clients.

Though there are many out there, below are the some of the top apps that can help to promote better mental health. And the best part is, they’re free! Of course many may require an upgrade for more full features, but often we’re talking 99 cents. Feel free to check reviews and see what people are saying. The beauty of such feedback is that many of the technological glitches are worked out by the manufacturers pretty quickly.

Many of the apps listed below correspond to a previous article I wrote about the E.M.P.O.W.E.R. model, an empirically supported framework for better balance and mental health. The acronym stands for exercise, meditate, positivity, outdoors, work, enlightenment, and relationships. For more information, read the full article here. To begin applying these principles to your own life, check out the apps listed below, or just use the categories and key terms to find the best fit for your life.

1) Health/Nutrition Apps

  • Water Your Body Lite (FoWare)
  • Daily Tracker Lite (Lumen Spark LLC)
  • Pedometer FREE (Arawella Corporation)
  • Pedometer Step Count (runtastic)
  • Pink Pad Free (Alt 12 Apps, LLC) 

2) Sleep Apps

  • Sleep Stream 2 (Explosive Apps)
  • Smart Alarm Clock (Arawella Corporation)
  • Relax & Sleep Well (i-mobilize, inc.)

3) Mood Tracking Apps

  • MyMoodTracker Lite (Aspyre Solutions)
  • Moody Me (MedHelp)
  • Mood Panda (Jake Greenwood)
  • Optimism (Optimism Apps)

4) Gratitude Apps

  • i-Gratitude (Khushwinder Bedi)
  • Gratitude Diary (Rude Labs)
  • Gratitude and Happiness (Track & Share Apps, LLC)

5) Meditation Apps

  • Headspace (on-the-go) (Headspace)
  • Take a Break! (Meditation Oasis)
  • Buddhist Meditation (PPL Development Company LLC)
  • Lotus Bud Mindfulness Bell (Chad Sager)
  • re-mindful (Random APPS of Kindness)

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