Life Hacks, Tech, Health, Now + Beyond

5 apps and resources to help anyone with anxiety and depression cope

Keep these coping mechanisms at hand for whenever the world has become too much

Reading Time: 4 minutes

There is nothing more isolating, and yet, so universal than depression and anxiety. It can almost feel as if you’re sinking within yourself with no switch to release.  And with the news of high-profile deaths like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain causing an increase of about 30 percent in calls to crisis lines and text services from people struggling with suicidal thoughts, according to Executive Director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education Dan Reidenberg, it’s necessary to know who and what resources are available for you. But asking for help can be just as debilitating as the trauma.

Knowing that finding the right resources can be daunting, we took out some of the guesswork in picking a suitable coping mechanism to fit your needs.

1. notOK

notOK app

Created by sibling duo Hannah and Charlie Lucas, notOK makes getting help and support from family and friends as simple as pressing a red button. When Hannah, 15, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that attacks your body and causes fatigue, the teen became depressed, anxious, and practiced self-harm. It was then her and her brother Charlie went to a summer coding camp and later developed the app with some help from mobile app developers.

When the user is in distress, they just tap the notOK button, which automatically sends out a text message that reads, “Hey, I’m not OK. Please call me, text me, or come find me.” This message is sent along with a link to the current GPS location to five pre-selected contacts in your phone who can offer emotional or physical support to the user.


2. Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line messaging service

While nothing beats talking to a professional therapist, sometimes money and timing is a factor and you need immediate support. Crisis Text Line is a confidential messaging service that connects you with a crisis counselor when you text 741741 with your crisis.

By assessing your issue, the trained counselors work with you to mitigate the immediate trauma so you can find relief through listening and suggested referrals. Sometimes you just need to be heard and to have someone tell you that it’s OK.

And if you feel like you’re in danger of suicide or homicide, the crisis counselor will try to work with the texter to form a safety plan.


3. Rootd

Rootd app
via Rootd

Panic attacks have a way of creeping up on you without a moment’s notice that knowing what to do next and how to focus can make it even more overwhelming. So having someone, or rather a teal monster, take control of the situation becomes a necessity. Once activated, Rootd takes you on a guided journey to relief by either tackling the panic attack head on or alleviating the stressors as quick as possible.

Rootd doesn’t just help in the present, it empowers you by giving you the tools and knowledge to understand your anxiety and panic attacks through short-term and long-term lessons so that you can live an anxiety-free life.


4. Headspace

Headspace app

What if we could program our brains to be happy and healthy? With Headspace it’s possible. By inserting 10 minutes of meditation into your daily routine, Headspace helps you lead a more mindful life. Each lesson is geared towards different areas of life like health, performance, and relationships, and is charted on a personalized progress page with reminders to help keep you on track.

It’s perfect to use during your commute in the morning or evening if you take public transportation or right before, during or after a high anxiety situation. Making sure you carve out a few minutes each day to practice self care and love is essential for fighting depression and anxiety, and Headspace is an easy step in the right direction.

5. Talkspace

Talkspace app

No one should be turned away from quality healthcare just because they aren’t insured or have the money to see a doctor and therapist. That’s why the people over at Talkspace created an ecosystem of therapists who are licensed and vetted to provide convenient and quality therapy all in the comfort of your home or safe space, and at a cheaper price than traditional therapy.

Thanks to their format which allows users to communicate with their matched therapist across platformsphone, laptop, and tablet—there is no restraint in time and place in which you can connect with licensed support with no judgment. Showing that Talkspace is “therapy for how we live today.”

Dominique Stewart

Dominique Stewart

Dominique Stewart is a creative with a BA in Magazine Media from Ball State University. She's interested in understanding how humans and pop culture relates to one another. In her spare time she enjoys hoarding books, gardening, and going on a deep dive into true crime podcasts. If every Hallmark murder mystery lead transformed into one person and was Afro-Latina, it would be her.

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