Feeling anxious? It’s not just you. According to the 2016 Canadian National College Health Assessment, 32.5 percent of students reported that anxiety had affected their academic performance in the previous 12 months, while a whopping 64.5 percent of students reported feeling overwhelming anxiety at some point in the previous 12 months. With mental health issues on the rise, we need all the tools we can get our hands on to help us cope with life’s stressors. Here are four of our favourite mental health apps that incorporate scientifically proven strategies for managing stress and anxiety.
1. SAM (Self-help for Anxiety Management) by University of the West of England
Created by psychologists, computer scientists, and students, the SAM app can help you learn the signs and triggers of anxious thoughts and behaviours, as well as self-help exercises for managing everyday anxiety.
2. MindShift CBT by Anxiety Canada
Similar to the SAM app, MindShift helps you identify and work through specific anxiety-causing situations. With MindShift, you can create customized tools to help you cope, then save your plan in case you experience anxiety again.
3. Calm by Calm.com
Worried about an upcoming test, or can’t fall asleep because of everything that’s on your mind? The Calm app can help lower your stress level with guided meditations, breathing programs, soothing music, and even bedtime stories.
4. Headspace by Headspace, Inc.
Mindfulness meditation can be an important addition to your self-care routine. Studies have shown the power of meditation to improve both anxiety and depression. The Headspace app illustrates various mindfulness techniques and principles to help you stay balanced and worry-free.
American College Health Association. (Spring 2016). National college health assessment. Canadian Reference Group [PDF]. Retrieved from
Goyal, M., Singh, S., Sibinga, E. M. S., Gould, N. F., et al. (March 2014). Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(3), 357–386. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13018
Harvard Health Publishing. (April 13, 2018). Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response