Puberty can be a challenging time for the whole family. In this unique, formative phase of their lives, teenagers need to develop the healthy self-care habits that will allow them to thrive in adulthood. Fortunately, there are many great tools to help young people identify and address issues and develop good mental health practices. Here are some of the best smartphone apps available for kids and young adults to prioritize their mental health.
Mood trackers like Daylio are great for spotting mood trends and personal habits and how they might be connected. Daylio’s emoji-based approach allows your teen to record their mood in seconds without even having to write any words. Also, they can track all kinds of activities and habits, and choose from categories like food, chores, and sleep.
A detailed one statistics View allows you to review and reflect on progress and spot positive or negative trends. Daylio can help your teen discover and develop positive habits. And Daylio Premium even has a PIN lock feature to keep your innermost thoughts safe. Learn more about the app in this overview of how to use Daylio.
Downloads: Daylio for iOS | Android (free, subscription available)
Woebot is a free app that puts the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in your pocket. Developed by leading psychologists and clinicians, Woebot acts as a coach that uses AI to chat with you like in a real conversation.
Check back each day for step-by-step guides on topics including managing stress and emotions and achieving your goals. The “bot therapist” approach is perfect for many teens, as it offers anonymous support on their phones for issues they may have difficulty articulating. They can rest assured that they will receive credible advice in return.
Downloads: Woebot for iOS | Android (free)
3. Be happy
Happify is another app that can help users reduce stress and negative thoughts. It does this through bite-sized quizzes, games and activities aimed at developing optimistic thinking patterns and boosting self-esteem.
Identify your goals and the app will present you with appropriate games and meditations. For example, in a hot air balloon challenge, you will tap each balloon with positive words and avoid negative ones. You can absorb the lessons while diverting your mind from unhelpful thoughts.
While Happify isn’t specifically designed for teenagers, it’s a tool they can appreciate and continue using into adulthood. You can also explore more soothing mobile games to play.
Downloads: Happify for iOS | Android (free, subscription available)
One of the most popular mindfulness and meditation apps, the Extensive Quiet kids Section means you may have already introduced Calm to your kids. Teens and young adults can also use Calm to learn the principles of slowing down, reducing stress, and improving mindfulness.
If your teen is overwhelmed by exams, feeling anxious, or having trouble sleeping, they can search the extensive catalog for a standalone meditation—or even an entire course. There are also soundscapes, sleep stories, and breathing exercises. You’ll find plenty in Calm to meet the needs of the whole family, including plenty to practice together.
Downloads: Silence for iOS | Android (subscription required, free trial available)
Headspace is an excellent resource to help your whole family learn mindfulness and meditation skills. Here’s how to get the most out of Headspace as an adult. Teens and young adults, on the other hand, will love a lot about Headspace, not least of which is its quirky, accessible interface.
There is a huge body of material on meditation, sleep, and mindful movement, including a great one Beginning meditation section and a Student basics Program. Star Wars fans will love the activities in the Find your strength Section where they can breathe with Yoda or practice galactic gratitude.
Sports fans can choose power of thought, Premier League footballer Raheem Sterling’s brilliant series on positive thinking and self-care. And if you ever find yourself at the end of your tether caring for your teens, Headspace offers a vast collection of mindful parenting resources, including forgiveness and self-compassion meditations.
Downloads: Headspace for iOS | Android (subscription required, free trial available)
6. Smiling ghost
Smiling Mind is a free mindfulness meditation app developed by psychologists and educators to provide mindfulness and meditation tools for everyone. It can be especially useful for parents who are looking for an app that will teach their children meditation skills to cope with life’s challenges.
The youth The section in Smiling Mind is aimed at young people between the ages of 13 and 18. Meditations are grouped by age group, with a “Sleep for Teens” category and sections for “Sports,” “Study,” and “Back to School.” The 16-18 year olds program is thorough and comprehensive and contains everything you want to teach your child about their own emotions and the mind-body connection.
Downloads: Smiling Ghost for iOS | Android (free)
Sanvello is a self-care app that helps you track your mood and achieve wellness goals through a tailored personal plan of CBT-based exercise and mindful meditation. The Sanvello library is huge, and the peer support community has millions of members, so there is plenty of support for whatever issues you and your teen are facing.
US citizens may have Sanvello Therapy included in their health insurance, which may also provide access to personal trainers. Anyone can subscribe to Sanvello Premium to get full access to all resources.
Downloads: Sanvello for iOS | Android (free, subscription available)
8. Conversation Area
If you are seeking therapy to help your teen, Talkspace is an app-based service that can help. It walks you through a series of questions and matches you with a licensed therapist who can provide professional support through private messaging or live sessions.
Messaging therapy can be a good solution for your teen because it removes any stigma and obligation that comes with sitting down face-to-face with a therapist. Talkspace meets all legal requirements for parental consent to therapy. It’s available through health insurance policies, so visit the Talkspace website for all the details.
Downloads: Talkspace for iOS | Android (subscription required)
9. Youth Counseling
Teen Counseling is part of BetterHelp, the world’s largest counseling service. It provides teenagers with access to professional therapy through text, phone, and video conferencing services. Counselors can help your child deal with issues such as anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem. They are also trained to deal with bullying, eating disorders and relationship problems.
Teen Counseling is not available through health insurance or Medicare, but visit the Teen Counseling website for the latest cost and availability information.
Downloads: Youth Advice for iOS | Android (free)
10. You are
Youper uses CBT techniques to help teenagers, or anyone uncomfortable with attending traditional therapy sessions, on a self-guided therapy journey. Through Youper you can learn to analyze thoughts and recognize negative spirals in order to then find better ways of thinking. It’s also a mood and symptom tracker and offers a thought journal and goal setting feature.
Youper has over three million users and boasts a multitude of awards and five-star ratings. A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found Youper to be an effective mobile app for treating symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Downloads: YouTuber for iOS | Android (free, subscription available)
11. Quiet damage
Calm Harm is an award-winning app that has helped over two million users learn a “safety net” of helpful thoughts and behaviors that can help them resist the urge to harm themselves. Users can choose activities from categories like Comfort, Distraction, and Expressiveness, and learn breathing techniques to help them be more mindful.
Developed by clinical psychologists for teen mental health charity stem4, this award-winning tool provides a free, anonymous, and secure source of support for users 13 and older.
Downloads: Quiet Damage for iOS | Android (free)
Tech provides effective mental health support for teens and young adults
All of these apps have helped numerous people of all ages access psychological support and build a more resilient mindset to face life’s challenges. If your child is struggling to open up and speak, a resource they can access on their phone or tablet could be a perfect solution.
It is important to note that for urgent help or intervention you should contact the medical and support services available in your country. Consult the HelpGuide directory for local information.