10 Best Apps for Children and Young People
Many parents or guardians have a love/hate relationship with technology. It is often understood to have a detrimental impact on the mental health of children and young adults. However, there are a multitude of apps that effectively promote positive mental and emotional wellbeing – enabling us to make technology work in our favour.
The clinicians at Collective Psychology have developed this list of our favourite apps. We’d love to hear about your favourites!
Apps for mindfulness and relaxation
Smiling Mind is a free mindfulness meditation app developed by psychologists and educators. Programmes within this app include help for children and young people aged 3-18 – and for adults.
Relax Melodies helps you to unwind and sleep. It gives you the freedom to create your own bedtime or relaxation experience by mixing guided meditations, sound and music, stories and breathing exercises.
Cove is an app which uses music to help you express emotion. The premise of Cove is that music can help to regulate and identify how you are feeling when finding the words is too hard. It is a really creative app for music lovers.
My Life is an app which contains guided meditations and mindful activities. It’s for everyone to use and has won numerous awards – there are even some meditations in Spanish!
Apps for self-harm
Calm Harm is an award-winning app designed by a Clinical Psychologist. This app helps you to resist or manage the urge to self-harm. It offers four categories of tasks to target the main reasons why people self-harm: Express; comfort; distract; release.
DistrACT is endorsed by the NHS. This app focuses on suicide prevention and crisis support. It was designed by mental health professionals and people with lived experience. This app is both informative and provides alternatives to engaging in harmful behaviour.
Apps for mood management and strategies
Daylio contains access to a self-care bullet journal with goals, a mood diary and a happiness tracker. It focuses on improving the self through embracing self-care and gratitude (among many other things).
Wysa is an emotionally intelligent chatbot that uses AI to react to the emotions you express. It provides strategies, techniques and support in a fun and conversational way. Its information is informed by the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).
What’s Up is a free app that is informed by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) principles to help with depression, anxiety, anger and stress. It includes diaries, techniques, metaphors for understanding your experience, thought trackers and breathing exercises.
Apps for anxiety
SAM is a friendly app that offers a range of self-help methods for people who want to find ways to manage their experience of anxiety. There are 25 self-help options and you are encouraged to build your own toolkit of anxiety management resources as you use the app.
The North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT), who are commissioned to provide mental health support for children and young people in Kent, have published a fantastic database of resources for a wide range of difficulties. Please check it out for more help and advice.
While these apps are helpful in offering some simple techniques and alternatives for managing difficult experiences, they are not intended to be a substitute for therapy with a trained professional. Please do reach out to us if we can support you or your child with any difficulties they are facing. In the event of a crisis, please visit your local A&E department or call the police.