Social Anxiety Apps You Should Be Trying
Are you interested in trying apps for social anxiety? I thought I’d do a little run down of some of the best options that I know of for managing sccial anxiety with an app. Some of these I’ve tried and others I’ve not, but I’ve researched them enough to be able to give my opinion.
My best advice is to start with the free ones and see if there’s one you like. My personal favorite is Woebot for managing negative thinking so you could try that if you deal with a lot of unhelpful thoughts. If your bigger issue is physical symptoms of anxiety or the inability to relax, you might want to start with something like Headspace.
Like I mentioned, this is one is my favorite perhaps because I’ve used it the most. It’s a very simple interface: There is a robot who chats with you and asks you questions to guide you through various thought challenger exercises (and other techniques as well). If that sounds a little weird (talking to a robot), let me tell you that you quickly get used to it. The robot actually likes to make jokes, which helps to keep things light.
The Calm app is designed to help you with sleep issues, stress, and anxiety. Many people with social anxiety struggle with falling asleep at night. Perhaps you toss and turn, worrying about upcoming events or things that happened in the past. If this is you, you might want to give Calm a try. Their website had me answer a few simple questions to get started (I presume to choose what to focus on).
I read a story about a blogger who used the Calm app to practice meditation each morning and found it immensely useful. There is apparently also a calendar for you to keep track of how many times you’ve meditated in a month. You can also get a paid version (for a monthly fee) to get premium features like 7-day programs to manage stress or improve sleep.
Headspace is another meditation app with free and paid versions. If you want a story of how one person with social anxiety used meditation, I love the story in this article by Kim Kaletsky. Headspace offers to teach you meditation and mindfulness, with sessions as short as one minute. While an annual subscription is a bit pricey, this is a very popular app that is worth considering.
Worry Watch app helps you to write down your worries and remind you to think about them later, reflect on whether the thing you worried about turned out as bad as you expected, analyze your thought patterns, and figure out whether your worries have any basis in reality. The app includes an Anxiety Journal where you can write down details of your worrying like the date, context, type of scenario, intensity, thought pattern, and outcome. It also includes an Anxiety Tracker and Positive Affirmations. This is a good app to try if your social anxiety involves a lot of worried thoughts.
Sanvello (formerly Pacifica)
I was hunting around for the Pacifica app and could not find it. There’s a reason why! It’s now called Sanvello. This app helps you with stress, anxiety, and depression and has over 3 million users. Sanvello is also covered by some health insurance plans, so it’s worth looking into if you have employer health insurance. Unlike some other apps, Sanvello has been evaluated through research and shown to be effective for mild to moderate anxiety and depression (in a randomized study with 500 people).
Beat Social Phobia
I’m including this app because there aren’t that many specific to social phobia, and this one fits the bill! Beat Social Phobia is a paid app (but it’s cheap). Andrew Johnson uses hypnosis to help you overcome social anxiety. This is an app you’ll probably find best used in bed at night.
That about sums it up! The apps tend to fall into two main categories: Those for relaxation or meditation and those for working on your thoughts. So, I suggest you figure out where your main issue lies (relaxation or troublesome thoughts) and then start from there. I’d love to create an app for social anxiety myself someday, so if you have any suggestions or you’ve used a different app, feel free to let me know in the comments!
Related Articles about Help for Social Anxiety
- Where to Talk to Someone Online
- 5 Ways CBT Can Help Your Social Anxiety
- 10 Tips to Get Free Online Counseling