Men are four times more likely to die from suicide than women, and men ages 25-54 account for the single largest number of suicide deaths in the U.S. And yet, men are also the least likely to receive any support for their issues. Today, we ask: Why?
Talking about men’s health and wellness can be a bit of a tricky situation because even though the various stigmas surrounding mental health issues are disappearing, men are still men; we’re supposed to be calm and resolute at all times, we’re not supposed to complain or talk about how we’re feeling and we’re supposed to have our shit together when everyone around us is in shambles. It’s all part of the gig.
While we’re all for the pride that comes along with being that kind of man, we also know that it’s unhealthy. We all go through different things, and sometimes, we need to be able to relax, take a breather and be able to acknowledge how we’re feeling and what we’re going through.
Luckily, there are plenty of services and levels of support out there to help us cope with what we’re going through. Of course, it’s important to note nothing beats seeing a real life mental health professional, but we also understand that you’re busy and always on the go, and that you don’t have 24-hour access to the people best suited to help. We decided to put together this roundup of mental health apps because we know that when things are tough, anything helps.
More people are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression in the U.S. than ever before, and as the conversations surrounding these mental disorders and illnesses become more prevalent, we’re finally starting to see progress in how they’re handled.
Pacifica is one of the more popular apps for people suffering anxiety and depression because it uses tools designed by psychologists and mental health professionals to help mitigate the effects of stress, anxiety and depression.
The app itself includes things like meditation tools, self-help guides, mood tracking tools, thought/feeling journals, daily challenges and goal tracking, a health tracker and, perhaps most importantly, a peer-support community dedicated to helping users feel better in the moment.
The app itself is free to download, but unlimited access to all its tools can be had on a monthly ($5.99/mo.), yearly ($35.99/yr) or one-time payment ($199.99). The app itself is beautiful and intuitive, and users have reported feeling better.
Lantern is another excellent app that takes a very clinical, pragmatic approach to helping people suffering from different types of mental health issues.
Every new user takes an assessment test to see where they are; where they can use some help, and where they’re strongest. The test covers five areas, including body, mood, sleep, social life and stress/anxiety—all major factors that drastically impact our mental health.
Based on the results of users’ scores, the app creates a daily schedule of exercises and activities tailored specifically to each user’s needs. What makes Lantern so important, however, is that each user is also matched with a professional coach who’s there to answer all their questions.
The best thing about it is it’s a web-based mobile platform, which means you can use it at your convenience, wherever and whenever you have the time.
The only drawback to Lantern is that it’s not free. Then again, for the specialized help it offers, we wouldn’t expect anything less. Subscriptions start at $49 per month and can be cancelled at any time. For what it’s worth, if you’re not 100 percent satisfied with their services, they’ll provide a refund.
Remember: There is no replacement for real, live, face-to-face therapy. However, we don’t feel disingenuous by saying that Talkspace is about as close to the real thing as you can get.
Users chat with a therapist who assists them in identifying their needs, select a plan that makes sense for them, selects a real-deal licensed therapist with whom they feel comfortable and safe talking to and then sessions begin. Once you’re matched with the right therapist, they stay with you. They get to know you, understand your daily issues and slowly begin to help you remedy them, step by step, day by day.
You can also write to them whenever you want, and each therapist is required to respond to their patients at least once or twice a day. If you’re going through a particularly rough time, you’re also free to schedule a video chat with them to help better assess your particular needs.
Emotional well-being is incredibly crucial to our existence, and the tough thing about seeking out help—even from clinical professionals—is that every single person has an entirely different spectrum of emotions. It’s just the way we work.
7 Cups of Tea is excellent because it’s an entire community of people dedicated to making one another feel better. You won’t find certified psychologists here (they do participate in the program, but aren’t allowed to give advice), but you will find highly trained volunteers who want nothing more than to help you figure things out.
It sounds complicated, but essentially, 7 Cups of Tea is a 100 percent free app that uses volunteers with finely tuned active listening skills to help support members, validate their concerns and issues, listen to their problems and help them explore how they’re feeling and what they’re going through. Each volunteer goes through a rigorous training that includes over 40 different courses, and must be thoroughly vetted before they are allowed to engage in real chats.
What makes 7 Cups of Tea truly unique is that aside from being able to have confidential and anonymous one-on-one chats with volunteer listeners, they can also engage in a multitude of support chatrooms for things like Relationship Support, Thinking Space, LGBTQ+ Support, Disability Support, Depression Support and more. Members can also participate in guided discussions, forums and other community pages. Sometimes, it just helps to talk to someone.
It’s a relatively little known fact that the amount and quality of sleep we get can have a massive impact on our mental health. In fact, according to some studies, up to 90 percent of both children and adults diagnosed with clinical depression also suffer from some kind of sleep depravation or insomnia.
Any way you cut it, you need sleep. Period. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is an app that actively monitors your sleep cycle in order to ensure that when you do have to get up, it’s while you’re in your lightest part of your sleep cycle, meaning you’ll naturally wake up easier, with less assistance from the app’s alarm.
How does it work? No, it’s not voodoo. The app uses either your phone’s microphone or accelerometer to detect your body’s motion patterns. From there, it puts together its own sleep analysis and decides when, exactly, you’re at your lightest sleep. It’s a little creepy, but it’s also quite brilliant. And most importantly? It works.
(Editor’s Note: These apps are obviously helpful in varying capacities, but we think it’s important to reiterate that these are not meant to serve as replacements for the work that mental health professionals have years of training in. If you need help, stop thinking about it and go get it.)