5 apps to help you beat seasonal depression

If longer nights and weather transition zaps your energy, you’ve got classic symptoms of seasonal mood disorder. Also known as seasonal depression, it occurs primarily in winter and makes a person feel blue for no relevant reason.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not a separate disorder. Instead, it is a type of depression with symptoms lasting for about 4 to 5 months. Although experts aren’t sure of what causes SAD, some believe that seasonal changes disrupt the circadian rhythm. It is a 24-hour clock regulating how we function during sleeping and waking hours, making us feel drowsy or energetic.

The American Academy of Family Physicians found that about 4 to 6 percent of US residents suffer from SAD. Also, people with a family history of bipolar disorder or depression are more susceptible than others.

The point being, don’t brush off that yearly feeling as winter blues or seasonal flunk that you have to deal with on your own. Take steps to keep your motivation steady throughout the year. And technology is your best friend while you’re on this mission.

Despite a deep pool of healthcare apps available in the digital market place, finding apps that effectively help your mental health is challenging. You’ll find over 10 000 mental health and therapy apps. It is essential to wade through the clutter and find apps that effectively help keep depression at bay.

Try some of these apps to help you manage your mental health:

1.MoodKit (Android, iOS)

Based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), MoodKit brings various tools to support the user. For starters, there are wellness activities categorized by the following titles:

  • Productivity
  • Social
  • Enjoyment
  • Physical
  • Healthy Habits

Developed by Thriveport, LLC, it is a terrific app that incorporates empirically supported functions to help depressed clients. Some other app features include a thought checker to help users in depression and change their negative thoughts, an online journal to record them, and a mood tracker to monitor progress over time. It helps you learn what causes depression and how to snap out of it.

There is no need for an extensive background in CBT to use this application. The interface might appear a bit overwhelming at first. That’s because there is a lot packed into it. It has minor gripes, like you have to start from the main menu every time you run this app. However, it could help anyone who suffers from mild depression or needs guidance to cope with pessimistic thoughts.

2.Talkspace (Android, iOS)

Talkspace is an online text therapy forum that offers access to therapists who ace at a broad range of mental issues. Initially, it asks you to complete a questionnaire about your goals and preferences. Once you are done, it provides several options from licensed and experienced therapists. Much like a dating site, you have to find your match after carefully studying their aptitude and achievements.

Talkspace has been around since 2012. Its founder is a former Huffington Post blogger Oren Frank and his wife, who aimed to ease therapy for those in need. It is quite challenging to take some time out for counseling within our crazy lifestyles. This app busts the myth that therapy sessions are time-consuming. With this app on your phones, you can text, send videos, or voice call your counselors.

It is incredibly helpful for those who need frequent support than the conventional once-a-week session.

3.Headspace (Android, iOS)

Seasonal depression often makes you yearn for the glorious days of the past. Or sometimes, it compels you to fret for the future. So much so that an individual stops living in the present.

Incorporating mindfulness practices can help you with that!

Headspace by Headspace Meditation Limited offers guided meditations tailored to different needs. The benefits of daily meditation include enhanced peace of mind, awareness, and relief from negative emotions.

Vanessa Lapointe, from British Columbia, Canada, says, “Meditation definitely helps with both depression and anxiety by creating space in mind and by helping us to realize we are not our thoughts.”

Speaking of the user interface, it is worth mentioning how remarkable it is designed. There are clear instructions and visual explanations. The users can also set meditation reminders to distress at work or relieve their minds before bed.

4.CBT-i Coach (Android, iOS)

Developed by the US Department of Veteran Affairs, a patient-facing smartphone app is designed to enhance cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. It also educates users on healthy sleeping habits.

Generally, people with SAD often express their inability to have a good night’s sleep. As a consequence, their energy levels hit the rock-bottom during cold months. This app monitors their time in bed and time asleep to figure out “sleep efficiency.” It guides users through learning about sleep, improving their sleeping environment, and developing positive sleep routines.

It is a collaborative effort between VA’s National Center for PTSD, DoD’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology, and Standford School of Medicine. The name of esteemed institutes behind this app makes it evident that it would be free of all bugs, following the same algorithm as other foolproof apps like the airG scam-free mobile applications. All such free-from-spam apps help provide a seamless experience to users making them feel more comfortable.

5.Smiling Mind (Android, iOS)

Free therapy apps are hard to find nowadays. The app Smiling Mind from Australian developers is easy-to-use and completely free.

It is suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners alike. The sessions are easy to follow with instructions and guided meditations. It contains lessons that apply to a variety of skill levels. And there are unguided meditations for advanced practitioners who want to work solo and enjoy some silence.

Moreover, the session lengths also vary between 15 minutes to 45 minutes. It brings you a weekly overview of your sessions and facilitates you with offline usage. And if there is a session you adore, you can save it in the “favorites” section.

Parting Note

It is okay to love apps that help you fight winter doldrums. But, be careful not to use them as a replacement for therapy or medication. If symptoms persist and enhance, you must seek professional assistance as they will guide you better.

We know how you love burying yourself in piles of files. Note that you can’t function at your optimal capacity if there is an unexplainable mental burden that secretly crushes you every day. Don’t shy away from reaching out for help!

Author Bio

Audrey Throne has an ongoing affair with the words that capture readers’ attention. Her passion for writing dates back to her pre-blosgging days. She loves to share her thoughts related to business, technology, health and fashion.

Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne

Audrey Throne

about.me/audreythrone