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Tech Envy: Apps for Mental Health

Tech Envy: Apps for Mental Health

Developed by a team of Stanford psychologists, Woebot chats with people about their day via text message. The chatbot offers conversation prompts, videos and other tools in a format modeled on cognitive behavioral therapy to encourage positive thinking. As more language data is collected and processed, Woebot’s responses become increasingly personalized; should it detect the user is in crisis, it refers the person to real-world resources.

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The IntelliCare collection provides 13 apps so users can customize a therapy program for their unique mental health needs. Each app was developed by researchers at Northwestern University to target specific symptoms linked to anxiety and depression. Users can work on their sleep problems with IntelliCare’s Slumber Time sleep diary, for example, or manage obsessive thinking through exercises in the Worry Knot app.

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Created by a Buddhist monk, Headspace brings mindfulness to the user’s pocket through guided meditations, articles and videos. Meditation is linked to numerous mental and physical health benefits such as reduced stress, lower blood pressure and better regulation of thoughts and emotions. Headspace offers motivation to maintain a meditation practice by “gamifying” the experience and awarding badges for usage streaks. The app is subscription-based and has millions of users in more than 190 countries.

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