Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Self Help Apps

These reviews include only free apps. The selection was chosen based on screenshots that looked promishing and a few that were recommended from other sites.

Moody Me: This app is essentially useless. You can choose a mood label from a list of about a dozen different moods and that’s about it.

Best Self-Help Quotes: Has a bunch of quotes you may or may not find inspirational.

Transform Your Life – An Awareness Package: Has daily quotes along with contemplative assignments (which I think gives this app a slight advantage over the quote only ones). It looks interesting enough that I might keep it around for a while.

TracknShare: This is a good mood diary that allows you to track mood, sleep, diet (by food group and includes a category for ‘sweets’), weather, and stress (and quite a few other things). It also lets you record notes and track acts of kindness and gratitude and puts it all into a graph. Unfortunately, the free version becomes limited after about a week, but the app does provide good ideas of what to include should you want to make your own mood tracker.

MoodTracker: Has medication reminders/trackers as well as mood, drugs, menstruation, sleep, and functionality. Graphs results. I prefer TracknShare.

My Instant Coach: This app gives general advice to life’s most common questions. I expected to really dislike this app, but it does a fair job of giving you some ideas and strategies of how to begin tackling your problems. It’s not complete by any means, but it is just an app and might give you some ideas or new perspectives you hadn’t thought of. It has me intrigued enough that I will keep it around for a while.

iZen Lite 2: This is a digital version of a zen sand garden which you can rake and decorate with a few different rocks. You can also share/save your garden. It’s nothing fancy, but I think I will enjoy it more than playing Angry Birds. And maybe it will make being on a crowded bus a little more relaxing.

My Thoughts: This is a collection of affirmations (e.g. “Today is the beginning of my new life”). I think it’s better to generate your own affirmations, but that can be very difficult some days. At the very least, it’s something positive to look at and think about during your day.

ZaZen Lite: I had high hopes for this one, but it’s really just a timer. Though it does have a nice bell sound.

MindfulnessAttitude: Again, a disappointment. It is intended to give descriptions of the different aspects of mindfulness, but the descriptions were very brief a far from explanatory.

There are also a lot of free meditation apps, but I think finding the right guided meditation is a personal thing, so I won’t review any of them here.

Remember, these apps aren’t intended to replace therapy. I wouldn’t even really call them an adjunct to therapy, but they can be useful reminder tools.

If you don’t have an apple product, but like the idea of tracking your moods check out some of my mood diaries (under the label Mood diary). Or create your own personalised version in excel.

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