Eating disorders are a difficult subject to approach, which makes treatment and recovery even harder. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, an estimated 24 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder. This means you certainly aren’t alone.
Recovering from an eating disorder requires a great deal of help from trained professionals. These apps are only a small part of a potential plan. But if you’re trying to get well, hopefully one of these can help in some small way.
It takes a lot for an app to maintain a 5-star rating after more than 1,000 reviews. This app has, which speaks to how respected and appreciated it is among people with eating disorders.
Recovery Record is designed to help people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. But people with other eating, weight, or body concerns might benefit, too.
You can log each meal or snack you have, as well as the feelings and thoughts associated with it. This information is compiled into an easy-to-read chart that helps you and caregivers spot patterns and see improvement. If you choose, you can even share your results and encouragement with a virtual support network of other app users.
Rise Up + Recover
Rebuilding a healthy relationship with food can start on your phone. This app requires you to log your meals and snacks, as well as your emotions. When you do, a motivating quote pops up to remind you of how well you’re doing. When you find yourself face-to-face with a setback or feeling the urge to turn to bad behaviors, the app’s coping skills menu provides distractions and coaching tips to keep you on track.
When you need more help than motivational support, you have the option of finding professionals directly through the app.
As part of any recovery program, you’ll make a variety of goals and promises. This app can help you reach them honestly. Tell the app your goals, and it will create behavior points that indicate if you’re doing well or not so well. When you’ve crossed into troubling territory, you’ll get a warning that your behaviors are jeopardizing your goals.
The app can then provide you with encouraging devotionals. If you need in-person help, the app can even reach out to a sponsor or accountability partner who can help. With an easy “light” system based off of traffic lights, the goal is to get as many green lights as you can. A red light will appear on your calendar if unhealthy behavior is detected.
Optimism was designed to help people with depression track their mood changes and emotional triggers. But anyone with a mental health condition can benefit from this app. Keep a diary of your emotional health and factors that might affect it, such as sleep, exercise, medication, and caffeine and alcohol consumption.
You’ll build a diary of your mood and mood-altering behaviors. You can even track your symptoms as they change day-to-day. This information helps you and any healthcare professionals identify potential triggers as well as ways to help you heal.
Kissy Project is an app designed to help teenagers dealing with eating disorders. Australian teenager Kirsten Hertog began her website, blog, and this app as part of her healing process from anorexia, depression, anxiety, and binge eating disorder.
Each week, the app assigns you a new appreciation task. It can also provide emotional support and encouragement to girls and young women facing many of the hurdles Hertog once faced herself. Connect with Hertog by reading the Kissy Project blog, and know you’re not alone.
What’s My M3
Quantifying your progress can help you grasp how well you’re doing. All sorts of upper and lower number limits are used to measure your health, including cholesterol, blood cell counts, and blood sugar levels. Why not mental health? Use this app’s survey to take stock of your emotional and mental health.
The number functions a bit like a game: When your score is low, how can you actively work to make it higher? The app lets you see your mental health improve over time, which is another reminder that you can — and will — get better. This is an important key to overcoming any eating disorder.
Positive Thinking — The Key to Happiness
Eating disorders thrive on negativity, as a poor attitude towards your body image and well-being are at the center of poor eating habits. This app aims to transform your outlook on life into a positive one, where you can even experience a boost in self-esteem.
From tips on how to think positive thoughts, to daily inspiration on your iPhone, this app can help you stay motivated as you look forward to happier days ahead. When a quote particularly resonates with you, feel free to share it with your friends on Facebook.
Destructive thoughts are one of the most damaging aspects of an eating disorder. The negative opinions you have about yourself and the self-hatred you direct towards your body can be damaging and long-lasting. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a powerful tool that can help change your thought patterns and improve your mental state.
Many mental health professionals request that patients keep an ongoing journal to record their feelings, as well as the events that may have affected their mood. This app makes it easier to do than toting around a pencil and paper all day.
Eating Disorder Assessment
Family members or friends may sometimes worry that a loved one has an eating disorder. Although this app isn’t a medical tool and can’t provide a real diagnosis, it may help you identify eating disorder-related behaviors.
The app is set up as a survey to track your symptoms or the symptoms of someone you care about. Answer yes or no to a variety of questions, and the app will let you know if these answers indicate a potential eating disorder. You can even use it yourself if you think you might struggle with an eating disorder.
Start the Journey to Recovery
The road to recovery begins when you decide it’s time to change. Your friends, family, and other loved ones can help you begin the journey to ending your eating disorder, but you’ll get additional help from outside sources, including doctors, therapists, and possibly even a phone app.
These 10 apps are designed to give you the help and motivation you need to heal and learn to live and thrive after your eating disorder.
We selected these eating disorder apps based on their potential to aid people facing an eating disorder in a number of ways. Additional factors considered in selecting these apps included user ratings, affordability, accessibility, format, functionality, and relevance to people with eating disorders and their community's needs. Together, this collection represents the gamut of helpful iPhone and Android apps that are successfully designed to make overcoming an eating 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 (FDA) has not approved the apps unless otherwise indicated.