17 Best Depression iPhone & Android Apps of 2013
Getting On-the-Go Help for Depression
Depression is a brain disorder that causes feelings of loneliness and despair, among other life-changing effects. The fact is that you’re not alone: the National Institute of Health estimates that depression affects at least 20 million Americans.
It’s important to seek effective treatment for depression. Consider the following helpful apps as a part of your treatment plan to get back on track and start enjoying your life again.
Depression CBT Self-Help Guide
Android – 4.5 stars with 218 ratings – 50K-100K installs – Free
The notion of happiness can often seem unattainable when you’re battling depression. The Depression CBT Self-Help Guide helps you cope with feelings of sadness with techniques for transforming stress into positive thinking. Equipped with a daily diary, this app helps you identify stress patterns that can complement cognitive behavioral therapy.
This interactive app also provides suggestions for coping with stress and is equipped with informative articles to better understand depression. As a bonus, the Depression CBT Self-Help Guide has audio sounds to listen to wherever and whenever you need to take a breather from everyday stress.
Android – 4 stars with 457 ratings – 100K-500K installs – Free
Happiness and positivity go hand-in-hand. It can be difficult to get through dark days when you can’t think positively about your life. The free Positive Thinking app provides you with friendly advice when you need it most.
A visually appealing interface brings positive phrases and reminders to help change your outlook. The app also lets you add your own positive phrases to a personal list of quotes viewable anywhere, at any time. Feel free to share the good vibes by uploading favorite quotations to social media, email, or text messages.
You can also customize the background image with a variety of soothing images to enhance your positive energy.
iPhone – 4 stars with 99 ratings – Free
Effective depression treatment can’t begin without a proper diagnosis. Depressioncheck can help you keep important information your doctor needs to diagnose your condition.
This user-friendly app asks you specific questions about your mental health over the last two weeks. (Note: it’s important to answer these questions honestly, as true clinical depression symptoms persist two weeks or longer.) The test only takes three minutes to complete, and it’s free to Apple users.
When you’ve completed the test, you get a score along with other important information to share with your doctor. This medically backed app is credited with helping patients seek help for major depressive disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder.
Pain & Depression Relief
Insomnia can be a precursor to depression. Your brain can’t function properly without the right amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation also interferes with the way you handle stress, which makes treating depression difficult.
Pain & Depression Relief focuses on solving sleep problems to facilitate the management of depression symptoms. The revolutionary system lures you to sleep with binaural entrainment. This is a fancy term for playing two different sets of tones for each ear.
If your brain doesn’t respond to these tones, you can select the isochronics option, which sends a single tone to each ear. The frequency tuning method increases waves in the brain that lure you to sleep without the need for those annoying headphones.
Android – 3.7 stars with 45 ratings – Free
Depression Inventory is an Android app that helps determine if your current treatment plan is working. The app consists of a weekly test that tracks whether symptoms have improved, worsened, or stayed the same. If your answers fall into the latter two categories, it may be worth sharing this information with your doctor.
A tracking interface also provides a clear picture as to how far you’ve come in your treatment plan. Thanks to this app, you can track your progress on a weekly basis in between doctor’s visits for free.
iPhone – 4 stars with 36 ratings – Free
With all the depression medications available, how do you know if your prescription meets your needs? Psych Drugs is a free app that provides you with instant downloads of all depression-related medications, including MAOIs, SSRIs, and TCAs.
The helpful app provides information on use, dosage, and side effects, as well as possible drug interactions. You can even obtain information on generic versions to potentially save money on your meds.
You can’t write a prescription for yourself. However, Psych Drugs gives you what you need to have an informed discussion about your options with your doctor.
NIH Depression Information
Android – 4.3 stars with 23 ratings – Free
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the country’s leading government-supported health agency. So if you’re looking for reliable facts about depression disorders, there’s no better app than NIH Depression Information.
This free Android app gives you a basic overview of depression. This can be extremely helpful for those seeking a diagnosis. The information is broken down in a way that can even help loved ones seek assistance for friends and family with suspected depression.
NIH Depression Information explains common symptoms of depression and related disorders, such as bipolar. On top of that, you also get an analysis of the most common treatment measures recommended by NIH.
Moody Me - Mood Diary and Tracker
iPhone – 4 stars with 16 ratings – Free
Remember venting frustrations to your diary as a child? The Moody Me – Mood Diary and Tracker by MedHelp takes the concept of a secret diary to a new level.
This app tracks your mood on a daily basis, without the need for hours of writing. Simply log your mood each day and gain inspiration to help improve your outlook.
This Apple app even lets you capture and store pictures that make you happy. On top of that, you get access to forums on MedHelp for all of your mood-related questions and concerns.
Health Through Breath
iPhone – 4.5 stars with 19 ratings – Free
When we encounter stress, we often forget to breathe correctly. Quick and shallow breathing can actually worsen the effects of stress. Handle stress better with the help of the Health Through Breath app for iPad and iPhone.
This app focuses on breathing techniques inspired by meditation exercises. It lets you choose a level from beginner to advanced, and you can even customize your own 15-minute breathing exercises as you learn what works best for you.
Practice these free exercises in the morning for a better day, at night for a more restful sleep, or anytime you need a breather.
Balancing all aspects of health and wellness can complement your depression treatment program. Fig helps increase your physical and emotional vitality through goal assistance and tracking tools. Browse through categories such as eating well, moving more, relaxation, and feelings. You can also create your own goals tailored to these categories.
The app also gives you an option to share your progress with the Fig community for moral support and encouragement to stay on track. Download this all-in-one app and feel good about the progress you make over time.
Exercise is a natural mood stabilizer. Not only do increased endorphins improve your mood, but the physical results that stem from regular exercise can also help you feel good about yourself. Don’t feel overwhelmed if your doctor suggests regular fitness to complement depression treatment. The FitnessBuilder app has helped thousands of users of all fitness levels build and maintain an exercise plan.
Access over 5,000 workout videos with a 30-day free trial. You can even streamline coaching advice and track your weight and BMI. The app connects to active accounts on the Fitness Builder website, but you don’t have to be a member to gain access to all of the great tips. You can even benefit from this app on days you have to miss uplifting walks due to inclement weather.
iPhone – 5 stars with 20 ratings – Free
Although young people are extremely vulnerable to depression, strategies for managing symptoms are often targeted to older adults. Smiling Mind was developed specifically for youth and teenagers experiencing depression.
Created by psychologists, this free app helps you set meditation goals and guides you through each session. At the end of every session, you can take note of changes in your mood and track your progress.
iPhone – 3.5 stars with 30 ratings – $4.99
Developed by game designers, SuperBetter helps you fight your greatest enemies and battles. This Apple app gives you the opportunity to overcome challenges in a safe format, while providing you the mental clarity needed to tackle real-life goals.
For example, self-critics can battle “bad guys,” while joining forces with “allies,” or SuperBetter players. Your mother may have told you that video games are bad for you, but this app is actually wellness-approved for mental health by medical advisors. And at just $4.99, it’s much cheaper than those expensive games you asked for as a child.
iPhone – 5 stars with 8,801 ratings – $1.99
Depression affects your sleep habits in numerous ways. You could feel more fatigued than you used to, and find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. At the same time, you may wake up frequently during the night due to stress.
Tracking your sleep habits with the help of the Sleep Cycle app can help you and your doctor determine methods for getting sleep that is more restful. This app customizes your wake-up time with consistency, and to alarm tune of your liking.
During the night, Sleep Cycle tracks how many times you wake up and how much time you spend in deep sleep. Over time, you’ll be able to recognize patterns and make note of habits that are preventing you from getting a good night’s rest.
iPhone – 4 stars – Free
Follow-up appointments with your doctor are an essential part of monitoring your condition. However, keeping records of your progress on a day-to-day basis is also beneficial. The free Depression Monitor can help by evaluating symptoms and providing insight into any changes that occur.
Simply answer a straightforward questionnaire based on how you’re feeling, and the app provides a score. The more points you receive, the higher the severity of your depression. You can even take the test more than once a day to track how you feel before and after different events in your routine.
Android – 4.8 stars with 52 ratings – Free
Finding happiness is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of depression. It requires you to do something about it when you don’t feel like doing anything at all. Happy Habits encourages you to make small steps towards happiness by accomplishing specific tasks tailored to your goals.
The app assesses your overall happiness with a brief questionnaire. With daily use, Happy Habits issues positive affirmations along with solutions for overcoming personal challenges. Use the daily journal to capture your feelings and reflections on the affirmations you receive. Over time, you can accumulate points based on your efforts towards actively creating a happy life.
Secret of Happiness
Android – 4.3 stars with 2,733 ratings – Free
While there is no one secret to happiness, the Secret of Happiness app helps you combat feelings of sadness and dissatisfaction. This free 30-day program is designed to get you into the habit of thinking positively about your life.
Every morning the app instructs you to list three things you’re thankful for, as well as one goal you want to accomplish for the day. Before bedtime, the app prompts you to write one event about your day that you’re happy about.
There Is Hope for Depression
Depression is increasing worldwide. It’s considered one of the most debilitating health conditions due to its physical, emotional, and mental effects.
These apps aren’t replacements for medical care. However, finding even a few minutes of hope can help you feel better and carry you through your most challenging days.
We selected these apps based on their potential to aid people who suffer from depression. Additional factors included user ratings, affordability, accessibility, format, functionality, and relevance to patients’ needs. This list represents a wide range of helpful iPhone and Android apps that make it easier to manage depression.
Please note: Healthline Networks does not endorse or warrant for fitness of purpose any of these applications. These apps have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Healthline Networks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) haven’t approved them unless otherwise indicated.
- Depression. (n.d.). National Institutes of Health. Retrieved August 7, 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/depression.html