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Although it’s enticing to imagine a change of scenery will alleviate mental distress, it isn’t always that simple. If you find yourself in need of support while traveling, these apps will help bridge the gap until further resources can be sought.
Possibly the most advanced mental health app around, Talkspace pairs you with a trained therapist from just $49 per week. Communicate via messaging or set up a video call to access real-time counselling whenever you need it. Knowing a professional is on call to help you work through difficult emotions as they arise is a huge comfort when you’re on unfamiliar soil.
Two well-known psychological techniques—cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)—underpin What’s Up. This free, therapeutic app helps nudge you back into a more positive mindset with exercises designed to identify the root of your emotions, encourage good habits, and eliminate negative thought loops.
More than just a meditation app, Calm (winner of Apple’s 2017 iPhone App of the Year) provides an all-encompassing approach to relaxation that includes breathing exercises and bedtime sleep stories. Its guided meditations tackle specific topics from anxiety to inner peace, and touch on various approaches so you can discover what helps you, personally, find mental respite.
Some of MoodTools’ depression aids fall into the self-help category (think a video library of TED Talks and meditative affirmations), while others are grounded in psychological research. Unpack and reframe negative thoughts with the help of CBT, boost your mood with activities and tools, and create an emotional safety plan to help yourself through unpredictable moments of crisis.
This digital safe space connects you with trained ‘listeners’ and therapists so you can instantly find a compassionate ear. 7 Cups users can select experts based on their affiliations or life experiences to ensure they feel completely comfortable sharing what’s on their mind.
The app also lets you engage with a community of like-minded people who can chime in with messages of support or advice. Their input can help you reframe an imagined worst case scenario and keep things in perspective—a technique known in psychology as ‘reappraisal.’
If you are considering suicide, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for crisis center listings around the world.