Hi Trish, I’m wondering if there are technologies or online communities you recommend to support my mental health?
Hi, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well and having a great Tuesday. Welcome back to another week of Ask Trish!
To this week’s questioner, thank you so much for the fantastic question. Indeed, we’ve talked extensively on Ask Trish about the ways that technology can adversely affect our mental health – whether it too be too much device time, the pressure to post on social media, self-image online, or even receiving inaccurate information about mental health online – but have yet to explore the myriad ways that today’s technology can in fact support and advance our mental health. And indeed, it can, often in ways that are more flexible, convenient, and potentially cheaper than other resources or tools (all of which, of course, are great!).
In that vein, this week, I offer you all a list of a few tools, resources, and spaces – including apps and online communities – that you can turn to for mental health support or simply as a means to feel uplifted/empowered or find your peace. I do want to say, though, as a disclaimer: these are tools and spaces I’ve either used or been to/tools experts have recommended, and while they may work well for us…they may not be the best for you! Use this list as a starting point, not the end-all-be-all of ways you can leverage tech to support your mental health. Do also note that by including these resources here, I’m not saying that they’re perfect, or there are no downsides to using them…for instance, as we’ve explored in other Ask Trish posts, lots of apps collect and sell personal data. All that’s to say, as always, do your own research and evaluation before using any tool or resource with the goal of supporting your mental health.
With that said, here’s the list:
- InsightTimer – InsightTimer is an incredibly popular meditation app that is available for FREE. That’s right – it’s free! (That’s huge, because other popular alternatives, like Headspace and Calm, can cost a pretty penny.) I like to use InsightTimer before bed; its many sleep meditations help me relax and drift into deep sleep. But there are tons of other meditations, too, as well as courses, talks, and music to choose from.
- On Instagram – @ohhappydani and @themindgeek – Danielle Coke Balfour (who I’ve already featured elsewhere on Ask Trish!) is an artist and social media influencer who uses her account, @ohhappydani, to share visuals and words of hope, empathy, and justice. Her reflections and thoughts often inspire me, fuel me, and make me feel at peace. Sarah Crosby, or @themindgeek, is a therapist and writer; on Instagram, she shares regular mental health notes and other expert mental health advice.
- On Twitter – @actionforhappiness and @thecybersmile foundation – Action for Happiness and The Cybersmile Foundation both have the goal of promoting kindness and inclusion and spreading joy, which they regularly do in their Tweets! I love the wise quotes and important reminders they share – they’re wonderful and indeed, deeply calming, throughout the day.
- For the LGBTQ+ community – The Trevor Project is an absolutely incredible LGBTQ+-focused mental health initiative that offers FREE, CONFIDENTIAL counseling 24/7, 365 days/year, anywhere in the US. If you’re experiencing crisis, all you have to do is go to their website, and you can either chat, call, or text with their counselors who are trained in the unique challenges the LGBTQ+ community faces.
- I am – Daily Affirmations – The “I am – Daily Affirmations” app provides users with custom positive affirmations and reminders throughout the day. You can add them to your home screen or receive notifications, and choose from several topics, from stress and anxiety, to positive thinking, to health, to self-love…and more. It’s a simple and easy way to surround yourself with positive self-talk on your device.
I hope you found this post helpful, and that this list is a good starting point for you as you explore ways to support your mental health via modern technology. Please let me know if these tools, resources, and spaces help you – and in what ways – in the comments section! Above all, never forget: self-care is non-negotiable – it’s so important to take care of yourself, whether via technology or more traditional means (for me, a nice run or a movie night!). With that said, I’ll go ahead and wrap up this post – but before I do, it’s time for my end-of-post plug: if you’ve got thoughts, questions, or concerns about the Internet, please share them here. Not only will you get some spot-on advice, you’ll be helping our broader community, including folks wondering the same things you are (and I promise you, they are!). With your contributions, you can help yourself, help them, and help support the growth of this incredible resource. Thank you in advance for that support!
Have a great week,