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URMC / BHP / BHP Blog / October 2022 / Using Apps as a Tool to Support your Mental and Physical Health

Using Apps as a Tool to Support your Mental and Physical Health

Author: Sara Hanson, BSW

In an age with endless knowledge at our fingertips, it comes as no surprise that there are resources available in an instant to provide relief when feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or burnt out. It is important to note that a smartphone app is not a substitute for professional assessment and treatment, but can be very useful during particularly stressful times. There is research to support the use of mindfulness or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) based apps for managing stress, as well as a plethora of data to show that any type of physical activity or movement can help burn those feelings of stress and anxiety. We’ve compiled a list of apps that meet these criteria, are free (with in-app optional purchases), and get a 4-star review or higher in the IOS App Store:

Mindfulness Apps:


  • Rating: 4.9/5
  • Best Meditation App of the Year Winner - TIME magazine and Women’s Health
  • Thousands of guided meditations
  • Thousands of music tracks and ambient sounds help with calm, focus, sleep, and relaxation
  • Thousands of discussion groups and community features
  •  Statistics and milestones for tracking your progress


  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Guided meditations in a variety of topics, such as anxiety, stress management, and sleep issues
  • Mood check-ins, progress tracking, and non-meditation activities like deep breathing


  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Choose from hundreds of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises, some as short as 3 minutes
  • Sleep meditations and sleep stories/sleepcasts
  • “SOS” sessions with in-app purchase for immediate help with panic, anxiety, and stress
  • Movement mode to help relieve tension or complete a workout


  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Focuses on Positive Psychology, while using principles of mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help combat negative thinking, anxiety, stress, and worry

Movement Apps:

30 Day Fitness at Home

  • Rating: 4.9/5 stars
  • Multiple workouts and challenges for different muscle groups
  • Helpful reminder setting
  • Detailed videos
  • Progressive workout intensity


  • Rating: 4.9/5 stars
  • Search for local trails to hike, run, or bike
  • GPS navigation so you don’t get lost
  • Save trails you love or trails you want to try in the future
  • Explore nature while burning off excess stress

FitOn Workouts & Fitness Plan

  • Rating: 4.9/5 stars
  • Customizable workout plans
  • Free exercise and meditations on demand
  • No subscription required
  • Search by workout type, body part, length of workout, or intensity

Studio Sweat on Demand

  • Rating: 4.8/5 stars
  • Named “Best Fitness App for Variety” by Shape magazine
  • Over 1000 workouts led by trainers in HIIT, Spinning, Yoga, mindful meditations, and more
  • Unlimited workout access to All Access Pass members
  • Ability to purchase and download workouts

Apps can be a helpful tool that you can employ toward your goals of physical and emotional health.  However, if you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or depressed, a tool may not be enough and you may want to consider reaching out for professional help.  Behavioral Health Partners is brought to you by Well-U, offering eligible individuals mental health services for stress, anxiety, and depression. Our team of mental health professionals can accurately assess your symptoms and make recommendations for treatment. To schedule an intake appointment, give us a call at (585) 276-6900.


Stress Management Apps With Regard to Emotion-Focused Coping and Behavior Change Techniques: A Content Analysis, JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2017 Feb

Can smartphone mental health interventions reduce symptoms of anxiety? A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 218, 15 August 2017, Pages 15-22


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