From working at your desk in the day to unwinding during the evening, we look at six mental health apps that could help boost your sense of wellbeing during the pandemic and beyond…
It is clear that work-place stress is a significant issue and one that good employers need to address. In fact according to a 2020 Deloitte report, poor mental health costs UK companies up to £45 billion a year.
In conjunction with Regus, we take a look at six mental health apps designed to give you, or your employees, a mental health pick-me-up, especially during these difficult times.
You might already track your steps and food intake, but Moodflow wants you to keep tabs on something more rarely considered: your mental health. Every day it invites you to state how you feel, on a scale of one to five. The calendar view days are then coloured accordingly, and this over time potentially enables you to quickly spot patterns.
Dig deeper and you can partake in journalling – ideally to improve your mood by jotting down good things – and balance your life by infusing it with positive routines. In effect, it’s a to-do manager for boosting moods and wellbeing and is a welcome office companion.
Free (with in-app purchases); Android/iOS; moodflow.co
Billed as the ‘Fitbit for mental health’, Okina is available in two versions, either for individuals or for businesses. At the core of the app is smart technology which aggregates and analyses hundreds of your ‘digital clues’. This, in turn, helps you to get a more consistent measure through time of how different events, relationships and circumstances affect your wellbeing. Recently its parent company, People Matter Techhnology, raised £500k via an Innovate UK Continuity Loan to help scale the app. Says Nigel Winship, Managing Director, People Matter: “The loan has come at just the right time because the pandemic has created a huge demand for better wellbeing and a better understanding between employers and employees working remotely.”
Free; Android/iOS; https://peoplematter.tech/
3. Sleep by Max Richter
The original Sleep concept album by Max Richter lasts for eight hours, and is described by its composer as an eight-hour lullaby. In its app incarnation, there’s a different focus: helping you concentrate on work and giving you aural spaces in which to escape for a few moments.
You’ll need a premium Apple Music or Spotify account for the app to draw audio from. Richter’s music is then smartly reworked to help immerse you in a brief spot of meditation or block out the world when you’re trying to sharpen your focus on the job at hand.
Free; Android/iOS; maxrichtermusic.com/albums/sleep-app/
You might like the idea of regularly heading to the gym (when they are open again), but pesky reality can get in the way. Workout sessions can be time-consuming – not to mention expensive. Wakeout tries something different, offering over a thousand routines that can be squeezed into everyday life.
Whether you’re standing on a train or stuck at the office, there are exercises to try that last for as little as 30 seconds. And having the app regularly remind you to do a ‘wakeout’ will relieve stress and improve physical wellbeing more than you standing to attention on the hour just because your Apple watch told you to!
Free (with in-app purchases); iOS; wakeout.co
Mobile games seem like a good way to unwind during spare moments at the office or a commute – until they empty your bank account or leave you frustrated as you progress up the levels. In contrast, Empty takes a more ‘zen’ approach.
The game has you remove items from minimalist rooms, by dragging the scene to make objects merge into surfaces of matching colours. The production’s tactile nature and no-stress approach make it ideal for giving your brain something to do without overtaxing it. The gorgeous design and soundtrack also add plenty of replay value once you’ve completed all 19 hand-crafted levels.
Free; Android/iOS; dustyroom.itch.io/empty
6. Upright GO 2
Upright GO 2 is a combination of app and hardware designed to help you keep better posture. The aim is to make you aware of slouching, strengthen core muscles, reduce the risk of back pain, and boost wellbeing and confidence.
The hardware attaches to your upper back via adhesive strips or an optional necklace. The app then tracks data from the device, which you can later peruse to see how you’re doing. Slouch for too long and you get a gentle buzz that reminds you to straighten up. Soon, you’ll be able to walk around with a stack of books on your head!
$89.95/£84.99; Android/iOS; uprightpose.com