University can seem daunting, especially if you’re moving away from home for the first time! During these uncertain times, it’s important to put your mental health and wellbeing first. If you’re a student, struggling to cope with the pressures of life at university, your smartphone could help keep you on track! Here are our pick of the best apps that could help to protect your mental health at university.
Remember, if you’re struggling with mental health issues, you should always speak to a healthcare professional. Your university should offer counselling services, which you’ll be able to find on their website. You can also see your GP, who will be able to offer support. These apps and services are not a replacement for professional help, but may provide you with daily help and support. For more information, please see the NHS mental health and wellbeing support page.
Daylio is a simple yet effective daily mood and activity tracker. Every day you’ll get a notification asking how you’re feeling on a scale from one to five. You’re then prompted to log any activities you’ve done. It can be used as an old-school daily journal to jot down any thoughts, too. The app can be as basic or as fleshed out as you like. You could use it as a simple mood journal, or you can set up custom activities and goals, setting objectives to maintain good habits.
According to the NHS, “Becoming aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better.” Headspace might just be the most popular meditation app available on smartphones, and can help its users find a sense of calm through guided meditation. If you’re wanting to practise meditation, this app could be the perfect place to start. At £49.99 per year or £9.99 per month, it can be a little pricey. But there’s a two-week free trial, and you can get Headspace free with a £4.99 student Spotify Premium membership.
A collaboration between the University of Liverpool and University of Manchester, Catch It uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques to help its users better understand how they’re feeling. You’ll be asked to record and rate your mood, take a moment to reflect on what you’re thinking, then write down a method to better deal with the problem. If you’re struggling with feelings of anxiety and depression, Catch It has been designed to provide a coping mechanism for these kinds of thoughts.
7 Cups – Anxiety & Stress Chat
While the apps mentioned so far can give great benefits for catching negative feelings or tracking your mood, sometimes there’s no substitution for a real person to talk to. 7 Cups promises free “anonymous emotional support and counselling on-demand from trained active listeners and therapists.” You’ll be able to connect to one of over 20,000 trained listeners and licensed volunteers for confidential emotional support anytime, anywhere. There are in-app purchases available, including a subscription for professional online counselling. But without paying, you’ll still be able to access 7 Cups’ 24/7 chat with their listeners.
If you’re struggling to make meaningful changes, Habitica could make changing your habits a little more fun. The app aims to turn your real life into a video game, levelling up and earning rewards by completing daily goals and to do lists. It’s fully customisable, too. Whether you’d like to eat healthy, exercise or do something creative, you can work on whatever you choose. Gamify your habits, with Habitica!
Podcasts are a great way to learn from experts in a particular field, and mental health is no different. There are plenty of podcasts on the topic, but here are some of our favourites.
Happy Place – Fearne Cotton
Fearne Cotton’s podcast Happy Place sees her talking to celebrities like George Ezra, Alicia Keys and Russel Brand, on “life, love, loss, and everything in-between”. If you’re enjoying the podcast and own an Amazon Echo device, you can even access a set of free guided meditations. Just ask, “Alexa, open Happy Place Meditations!”
Mental – The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health
Created by Bobby Temps, Mental aims to do exactly what it says on the tin; destigmatise mental health! Each week, the podcast takes a deep dive into a different factor in mental health. Recent weeks have seen the hosts tackle subjects like addiction, self-love and loneliness.
The Hardcore Self Help Podcast
Each week, Duff the Psych answers questions on mental health “without the psychobabble”. Duff wants anybody listening to The Hardcore Self Help Podcast be able to digest the information without any jargon getting in the way. You can even get in touch with your own questions!
We hope this list can help you make some positive changes while at university! Remember, if you’re struggling with your mental health, you can seek out counselling services from your university. You can always speak to your GP regarding your mental health, or visit the NHS website for further information of other organisations that can help.
If you’re a student, you might want to think about taking out insurance for your contents. At The Insurance Emporium, our Student Insurance starts with just one Standard Benefit, with cover for your student contents up to £5,000. Then, you can customise your policy with our range of Optional Benefits, including cover for mobile phones, bikes and musical instruments. Head on down to The Insurance Emporium to see if we have the insurance for you!
* This blog is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Daylio, Headspace, Catch It, 7 Cups, Habitica, Happy Place, Mental – The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health, or The Hardcore Self Help Podcast.
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