7 Free Anxiety Apps to Help You During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Many popular anxiety apps have created content specifically for coronavirus-related stress—and they're free!
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a surge of anxiety among people all across the world. And when you can't leave your home or do many of the things you enjoy, it can be particularly difficult to cope, which is where anxiety apps come in. Adweek reports that there's been a significant uptick in downloads of meditation apps and other apps that are centered around easing anxiety. Due to the current circumstances, many of these apps are currently offering free memberships to help people deal with this stressful time.
Matt Grzesiak, PhD, the creator of the Mixed Mental Arts model, previously told Best Life that a crucial part of managing your mental health while self-isolating is being proactive and making a plan. And downloading an anxiety app is one of the easiest ways you can maintain a feeling of control in this turbulent time. Read on to learn about some of the best anxiety apps out there and make them a part of your new routine—for free!
The Tapping Solution
The Tapping Solution app incorporates EFT Tapping—a self-soothing technique based on the principles of Chinese acupuncture and modern psychology, which asks you to focus on a negative emotion while tapping five to seven times on specific points of the body.
In response to increased anxiety over the coronavirus, Jessica Ortner, the app's creator, says that they "grabbed every meditation that's relevant to what's going on right now and unlocked it all and made it free." Ortner explains that one of the unique features of this anxiety app is that it measures people's anxiety before and after the EFT tapping techniques. Of the 10,000 people that have participated, The Tapping Solution has measured an "average decrease in anxiety [of] 49 percent in 10 minutes."
Simple Habit is a five-minute meditation app. While basic membership has always been free, the company recently announced that they would be making premium membership free through the end of April, as well as offering new meditation collections specifically geared towards coronavirus-related anxiety.
"We recognize that many people are now being required to stay home, resulting in loss of income and financial uncertainty," Simple Habit CEO and founder Yunha Kim said in a statement. "We're committed to our mission of helping people live better lives and we recognize that now more than ever, we have an opportunity to serve."
Headspace is one of the most popular meditation apps out there. They're currently offering their premium membership—which usually costs $12.99 per month—for free to U.S. healthcare workers, but they're also offering a collection of coronavirus-related content called "Weathering the Storm" for free to everyone.
According to their website, the collection "includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you out, however you're feeling." The folks behind Headspace say this is their "small way of helping you find some space and kindness for yourself and those around you."
Breethe is a meditation app that offers music, nature sounds, bedtime stories, guided meditations, masterclasses, hypnotherapy sessions, and more to help you de-stress, sleep, and feel calmer and happier overall. The app costs $89.99 per year, but they've recently put together a Coronavirus Anxiety Package that will be free for the duration of the pandemic.
"We really try to give real-life solutions to real-life problems," Lynne Goldberg, co-founder of Breethe, told Adweek. "So this is something that we feel we can really help people specifically with whatever it is that they're experiencing."
Insight Timer has more than 30,000 free meditations for everyone, including children. Their extensive library currently has lots of coronavirus-related content that's available to the public, like a guided meditation on how to cultivate compassion in this time of panic and fear.
If meditation and soothing music isn't for you, Colorfly is a free app that allows you to release your anxiety through the soothing act of coloring. The app's hundreds of illustrations range from simple to intricate, and you can even upload your own photos to color. Studies have shown that coloring reduces anxiety and improves mindfulness, like this 2019 research published in the journal Art Therapy. So now's the time to give it a try.
If you'd rather speak with a professional during this difficult time, Talkspace is a free app that matches you with a licensed therapist in your state who you can talk to on your mobile device. While the therapy itself isn't free, it's generally more affordable than a traditional therapy session, and they recently announced that they were "donating 1,000 months of free online therapy to medical workers across the United States."
They also launched some free coronavirus-related resources, such as therapist-led Facebook groups, blog posts by mental health professionals, and an Instagram channel to address users' concerns.