You’re traveling the world, living what most people would consider the dream life. But as we know, perfection is an illusion, and even when you’re moving around the world, living your best life, some days are tough. The added stress of being in new environments, meeting new people and a lack of stability, doesn’t help. In times like these, it’s important to stay grounded and continue to take care of yourself and your health, even when it’s not necessarily convenient.
As a digital nomad, you work hard to maintain your lifestyle and are continually adapting to new surroundings and situations all while keeping up with the day-to-day chaos that life throws at you. While there is a shift in the conversations around mental health in office spaces and the corporate world and attempts to make it more of a priority, nomads face an entirely new set of challenges when it comes to dealing with health in general. Lack of convenient mental health services, access to therapy and professionals in the field can make it difficult to know where to turn to.
Luckily, thanks to modern technology and our handy smartphones, you can access to systems and communities that can make you feel better, connect you with communities of professionals and give you more clarity into your emotions in times of distress.
Here are a few apps specifically designed to keep you grounded and cater to your mental health when you’re on the go.
Pacifica is an app designed to help you reduce anxiety, depression, and stress through meditation and journaling. When you begin using it, you’ll pick what kind of environment relaxes you most. The app will ask you about your meditation goals and what time you prefer to meditate. It also asks you if you’re working with a mental health professional and tailors your practice based on that information. It has a lovely and calming interface and design which adds to the overall effectiveness of it and compels you to want to use it more. Every day there is a unique meditation that’s free for everyone and focuses on a specific point of stress such as school, work, relationships, etc.
A feature that’s unique to Pacifica its integration with Spotify playlists. Every week it recommends a new playlist curated with tracks to empower and energize not only your meditation practice but your everyday life as well. The app lets you add mood entries to track how you’re feeling on specific days. A big highlight of Pacifica is their community discussions and chat rooms. It gives you access to people who are also using the app and lets you chat about struggles and wins you experience during your meditation practice.
The free version is limited, and the app offers a full version for 8.99 per month, $53.99 per year, or $199 for a lifetime. The free version gives you access to 7 basic modules that focus on general meditation, but if you want to really hone in on a specific pain point in your practice, you probably won’t find it in the free version. If you’re willing to pay for a subscription, this app is excellent for people who want to work on specific issues they’re dealing with, i.e., social anxiety, confidence, etc.
When Headspace first came out, it was groundbreaking, and it was hard to imagine another platform competing with it. Well, those days are gone, and Headspace is now one of the thousands of meditation apps available. The app still offers excellent options for guided meditations based that incorporate elements of calming and providing clarity on specific things you’re working through. Users get a 10-day free trial of premium content and after the premium content is $12.99 per month for full access or $95 per month for an annual subscription.
For Mood Tracking and Reflection
The founders of the Happy Not Perfect app want to change the way you look after your mind through thoughtful and straightforward exercises and reflections. The app features hundreds of themed sessions to work through your current stressors and specific activities to help you deal with things like work stress, depression, and complicated relationships. They use guided visuals with very clean and modern aesthetics that make it different than any other app of it’s kind. You can also play mindfulness games to distract your mind and find clarity or tune in to one of their hundreds of sound healing experiences. The journaling feature lets you keep track of how you’ve been feeling over a period of time and gives you space for reflection into what stressors are making you feel that way. You can access one free session daily or subscribe to unlimited personalized sessions for around $5 per month.
Stigma is a mood tracker and journaling app designed to provide users with a safe way to track your moods, write about what’s on your mind, and connect with a community of people going through similar situations. It features a simple journaling feature and a visual calendar that helps track your moods over more extended periods of time. It has a pretty robust analytics feature in the free that allows you to see how your attitude and thoughts adjust over time and it creates word clouds to show you prominent trends in the words you use in your journals.
A large portion of the app is free, but they do offer options to upgrade for access to advanced features like analytics to track things like how your locations and fitness levels relate to your moods and will integrate with your fitness apps and other health trackers. The advanced version also lets you create long-form journal entries within the app.
For Advice and Therapy
7 Cups is an online community for free therapy and counseling. It essentially lets you live-chat with one of their “listeners” at any time of day. You are paired with “listeners” based on what you are feeling and what you want to talk about. The listeners are usually volunteers and not qualified health care professionals but are there to offer support and lend an ear to users in times of need. The chats are free, anonymous and confidential and listeners are available in many different languages. You can also chat with licensed therapists through their premium service for $12.99/month. The app offers educational materials such as free mindfulness and meditation exercises, a free wellness test, calming games, and activities and a video library of content to provide more insight into the benefits of therapy.
TalkSpace is an online therapy app that matches you with qualified cognitive behavioral therapists and is meant for people who want the real therapy experience without traveling to an office and without paying the high premiums associated with traditional therapy.
For plans that start at around $49 per week, you are matched with a therapist that has experience with the type of therapy you are looking for. You can choose to have monthly (or more frequent) video calls with your therapist and have access to them in an online chat during their specific office hours. The therapists generally respond 1-2 times per day and offer actionable steps and advice that you would get from an in-office therapy session. They also have different packages like unlimited 24/7 chat access, limitless video chat options and specific forms of therapy for couples.
Also published on Medium.