Apps of the Year

Bipolar disorder causes your mood and energy levels to change dramatically. In severe cases, it can interfere with your ability to carry out routine tasks. If you have the disorder, you aren’t alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), bipolar disorder affects about 3.9 percent of American adults. Another estimated 3 percent of adolescents are affected, as estimated by the NIMH.

Doctors often ask people with the disorder to keep a daily log of symptoms and activities in order to make healthcare decisions and manage life with bipolar disorder. Check out these 14 apps that can help you keep a log, track and chart information, and generally make life with bipolar disorder more manageable.

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Bipolar Disorder Connect

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free

Sometimes what you really need is to connect with other people who live with bipolar disorder. That’s where Bipolar Disorder Connect comes in handy: It’s a support system in an app.

This Alliance Health Networks app is designed to let you open up a dialog with others. Jump in on discussions where you can seek answers, and perhaps give a few of your own. You’ll be able to follow others, participate in conversations, and message your friends. Connect with people who “get it” and stay in touch, no matter where you are. 

DBT Diary Cards and Skills Coach

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars $4.99

Created by a licensed psychologist, the DBT Diary and Skills Coach app includes dozens of features designed to enhance your coping skills. In addition to tracking emotions and behaviors, this app includes a reference manual and skill coaching. Other features include reminders, history graphs, and the ability to customize your experience. Through the app, you can email your doctor or set it to automatically update your doctor every week. You can also set a password to protect your privacy.

Happier

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Android rating:
4 stars Free

Sometimes, it may feel as though you’re surrounded by negativity. This free app is likely to make your day if you’re seeking positivity, inspiration, and a little gratitude sharing. Think of it as a social journal with a community, minus the negativity.

The idea behind Happier is that smiles are contagious. Seemingly insignificant everyday moments can be used to spread good cheer. When you give a smile, it’s a fair bet you’re going to get a smile. And just at the moment when you’re feeling a little down, Happier is there to give you a boost. Make sure you jot down things that make you happy so you can refer back to them later for an instant happiness boost.

iMoodJournal

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars $1.99
Android rating:
4.5 stars $1.00

One of the best ways to understand any condition is to keep records. iMoodJournal is an easy-to-use, efficient app designed to keep track of lots of details. The longer you use iMoodJournal, the more you can learn from your history.

Record moods and emotions, jot down thoughts, and link moods to their triggers using hashtags. The app records sleep patterns and keeps track of medications, so you’ll be more prepared next time you visit your doctor. You can use a password to keep your information private, or share your mood on Facebook. iMoodJournal also comes with a login reminder.

In Flow - Mood and Emotion Diary

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Android rating:
4 stars Free

One of the first things many mental health professionals recommend for people with bipolar is to keep a diary to track their symptoms. If you don’t care for dragging a traditional pen and journal around, then the In Flow Mood and Emotion Diary may be right for you. Track your mood throughout the day and identify what makes you happiest, as well as what might bring you down. The app sends out a daily reminder to make sure you don’t skip any recordings. You also have the option of sharing your mood with friends and cheering other users on for extra support all around.

Moodlytics, Smart Mood Tracker

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Android rating:
4 stars Free

Tracking your mood is important in bipolar disorder management, and the Moodlytics Smart Mood Tracker app makes it easy. Input your mood as often as you like, and the app records a chart so you can detect any patterns. You can set goals and record triggers in a private journal. You also have the option of sharing your mood on your Facebook profile to garner the support of your loved ones.

Moodtrack Diary

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars $0.99
Android rating:
4 stars Free

With the MoodTrack Private Diary, you can maintain a social diary or keep things private. The social component allows you to connect with other people living with bipolar disorder, share insights, and make supportive new friends.

Use it as much or as seldom as you’d like to create a history of moods and possible triggers that you can view in graph form. You can also keep a log of medications and other therapies to see how they’re working. While you don’t have to be online to record your moods and add information, you can create a backup for your records when you do use the app online.

BrainWave Tuner

iPhone rating:
4 stars $2.99
Android rating:
4 stars $3.99

This app is all about taking control of your moods. Let the BrainWave Tuner take you away to a better place — all you need is a good set of earphones. With a choice of 20 preset sound patterns, you’re sure to find just what you need for your current mood.

You can use certain sounds to stimulate awareness and focus attention. Or, you can choose sounds to help you meditate, rest, or lull you to sleep. Find just the right beat to relieve a headache or unleash your inner creativity. In time, you’ll know exactly which sounds work best for you.

Optimism

iPhone rating:
4 stars Free

An app can’t help you track a medical condition if you don’t use it. That’s why it has to be intuitive and habit-forming — this is the goal of the Optimism app.

When you routinely record the specifics of your daily moods and symptoms, Optimism gives the information back to you in the form of detailed charts. You can also get your reports by email for easy sharing with your doctor.

It’s all about feedback. By routinely recording the specifics of your daily moods, you may be able to figure out your triggers, so you can do something about them. Check out the app’s “Stay Well Strategies” for tips on minimizing your triggers and symptoms.

T2 Mood Tracker

iPhone rating:
4 stars Free
Android rating:
4 stars Free

Developed by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, the T2 Mood Tracker includes a full range of mood scales, plus you can build your own. It only takes a swipe of the bar to rate your mood, and the results show up in graph form.

The app allows you to add plenty of personalized details in order to customize your experience. And a report generator makes it easy to share the results with your doctor. Best of all, if you need a new phone, you can back up your data, so you don’t have to start all over.

The more information about moods, events, and treatments you add, the more you’ll learn.

DBSA Wellness Tracker

iPhone rating:
4 stars Free
Android rating:
4 stars Free

Managing life with bipolar disorder is this app’s goal. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance created the free Wellness Tracker to help you partner with your healthcare team. The more you know about bipolar disorder, and the more you understand your individual needs, the better prepared you’ll be to make decisions about your healthcare.

It’s easy to add information about your emotional and physical symptoms, so you can track your personal trends. Plus, the intuitive design means that you won’t waste a lot of time trying to figure it all out.

How Are You

iPhone rating:
4 stars $12.99
Android rating:
4 stars $12.99

Tracking your mood is important, but improving it is another obstacle. The How Are You app may provide some solutions. With positive psychology tips, this comprehensive program offers 30 scientifically backed solutions to boost your mood. It also offers a mood tracker, as well as exercise tips for a more positive outlook. Be sure to keep records on your journal within the app so you can line up the results with the mood tracker. The app has the ability to provide an analysis to share with your doctor.

Mental Illness

iPhone rating:
3 stars Free ($2.99 without ads)

Ever wonder about bipolar disorder or other mental or developmental disorders? With the Mental Illness app, you can find general answers to your mental health questions, like “How do I know if I have postpartum depression?” “What is panic disorder?” And, “Is Asperger’s syndrome the same thing as autism?”

While the Mental Illness app is no substitute for a doctor — and doesn’t claim to be — it can help you sort out the difference between anxiety and depression, or bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. This app is best for those completely new to mental health disorders, so you might consider referring a loved one who wants some education.

Bipolar Disorder Guide

iPhone rating: no reviews yet
$0.99

The Bipolar Disorder Guide is an essential comprehensive guide for anyone wanting information about the disorder. Included is an easy to navigate menu of options where you can learn the basics, as well as some of the most common misconceptions. You’ll also learn about the most common treatments and coping mechanisms. A mood tracker eases the process of identifying fluctuations and triggers. As a bonus, the app can help you find support groups.

Your App for Your Style

Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging, but the more you learn, the better off you’ll be. Some of these apps will make you smile. Some will help you connect with others, and some will teach you something about yourself. Choose an app that suits your style and use it to make life a little bit easier.

Methodology

We selected these bipolar apps based on their potential to aid people who live with bipolar disorder. Additional factors considered in selecting these apps included user ratings, affordability, accessibility, format, functionality, and relevance to bipolar disorder and its community's needs. Together, this collection represents a valuable cross section of helpful iPhone and Android apps that are designed to make bipolar disorder more manageable.

Please note: Healthline Networks does not imply warranty of fitness or endorse any of these applications. These apps have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Healthline Networks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the apps unless otherwise indicated.