For Immediate Help
My3 This includes a three-person contact list to call for help if they're in despair (911 and the National Suicide Hotline are automatically included), a self-created safety plan, and other resources. Because it was created by mental health professionals, the app uses vetted strategies to help kids avoid suicidal thoughts and suggests positive actions to take when they need more support.
Calm Harm - Manages Self Harm When teens feel compelled to harm themselves in times of distress, this app offers them lots of ways to derail those impulses under categories like Comfort, Distract, and Breathe. After they choose a method, they set a timer so they can move on when the urge passes. Over time, they might be able to internalize these strategies. Teens can also include a personal call list so they can reach out to someone in those moments.
For Ongoing Support
HappiMe for Young People Using a kid-friendly approach, this app walks kids through four steps: Learn, Recognize, Deal With Your Emotions, and Replace. It helps kids picture their thoughts as something separate from themselves -- the chimp, the computer, and the happitar -- a psychological method that allows people to deal with negative thoughts at a distance. The company offers two more versions, one for younger kids and one for adults.
Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety. Created with mental health professionals, this app offers an array of therapeutic tools and services. Teens can set goals, schedule time each day to focus on mental health, join community forums, access a new therapist or their own (if their therapist works with the app), use guided meditations, and more.
Mightier For children ages 6-14, this app uses the power of video games to help build emotional strength and resilience, specifically help with those who suffer from tantrums, frustration, anxiety and ADHD.
Virtual Hope Box This tool uses three modes -- Remind Me, Distract Me, and Relax Me -- to help teens stay connected during stressful times. Teens can store images, such as personal photos, and activities, such as songs, quotations, and even games such as sudoku, to use when they need to. They can also meditate or use a "coping card" they've pre-created.
What's Up This app uses Cognitave Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy to help cope with depression, anxiety, anger, stress and more.
Mind Shift Rather than trying to avoid anxious feelings, Mind Shirt stresses the importance of changing how you think about anxiety. Referred to as the "cheerleader in your pocket."
Breathe2Relax A portable stress management tool that provides information on the effects of stress on the body, with instructions and exercises to decrease the stress response.
Calm Relaxation, sleep stories, meditation and breathing exercises. Free for teachers.
Self-help for Anxiety Management SAM is an app that offers self-help methods for people who want to learn to manage their anxiety.
For a Positive Focus
Apart of Me This unique app uses a gentle adventure-game approach to tackle tough topics. By exploring a beautiful world, getting guidance from its characters, and doing periodic meditations, kids can learn about some tools for handling tough times. Apart of Me also offers audio recordings from real kids that provide a model for working through difficulties.
My Gratitude Journal This inspirational app uses the proven method of expressing gratitude to improve mood and well-being. Every day, kids list five things they're grateful for and embellish their entries with photos and emojis. Note: this app is not free.
Three Good Things This teen-created app lets kids write about three positive experiences every day. They can also set a daily reminder and review old entries to remind them of their positive thoughts.
MindHappy Use this app to write down three things that made you happy each day. This daily reflection will help make you more mindful of the good things.