A List of the 7 Mental Health Products I Recommend for Social Anxiety
Mental health products are not as common as fitness products. That’s because there aren’t really items that we specifically think of as being for mental health (besides perhaps self-help books).
Instead, if you want to gather mental health products to help you with your social anxiety, you’ll need to get creative and think about what items could support you in terms of helping you relax, helping you with negative thought patterns, and boosting your social skills.
I’ve listed just 7 of my favorite mental health products below, but there are limitless options if you start looking. Just keep in mind what you are trying to achieve and then search for items that are solutions to that specific problem.
Woebot is a free app that you can download to your phone. It works really well for challenging your negative thinking patterns and keeps track of your common “thinking errors” to help you decipher your habits.
For example, over several months of using the app, I realized that I often fall into a “black-or-white” thinking pattern where I see everything in extremes. I’m either succeeding or failing, accomplishing things or lazy, etc.
I’ve now gotten to the point that I don’t even have to use the app—I know what it’s going to ask me. When I catch myself saying those negative things, I can quickly rephrase them.
My favorite phrase I’ve learned to use is “I’m learning” in place of whatever unhelpful thing I might otherwise tell myself. “I’m learning” isn’t something so over the top that I don’t believe it. It’s realistic and I’m able to say it and believe it.
I started to keep a bottle of lavender spray at my bedside table mostly for my daughter who sometimes has trouble sleeping. I noticed how it seemed to help her, so I started spritzing a bit on my pillow on nights when I felt particularly anxious or stressed or knew I would have trouble falling asleep. It works! This makes sense, given that lavender is one of the scents that has research evidence to support its use for treating anxiety. I use a locally made lavender spray, but this one is similar.
I find 5-HTP helpful particularly with balancing mood fluctuations due to hormones (more on that in a bit). If you find that there are particular times of the month that you have low mood, taking 5-HTP during those times might help (at least it’s been helpful for me). 5-HTP influences your serotonin, so you might also notice an improvement in your anxiety level. Given that 5-HTP has effects on serotonin, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure it won’t interact with any medications you are taking.
Before I was a mom I had a gym membership. Then we moved out of the country for a few years, and I let my membership go. When we returned to Canada, I got into running and yoga but was looking for something that was more of a full body workout. Somewhere along the way, I stumbled across the Fitness Blender website and the rest is history!
Fitness Blender was created by Daniel and Kelli Segars, a husband and wife from Seattle who wanted to make fitness accessible to everyone regardless of income or access to a gym.
You can access all of their workouts for free on Youtube, or you can purchase one of their plans (ranging from about $4.99 to $14.99) to follow a 4 or 8-week program specifically designed to target different things (for example, right now I am doing their “Strong” program).
One thing I will absolutely recommend, if you do become a Fitness Blender regular, is to save up and purchase a set of Powerblocks. These are adjustable weights that Kelli and Daniel use in the videos. While you can get away with a couple of light free weights at the beginning, you’ll benefit if you eventually move up. This is the exact set of Powerblocks that I own.
Lemon Chamomile tea
If I have a night where I can’t calm down before bed, I try to make myself a cup of this lemon chamomile tea. I know it sounds cliche, but seriously this stuff is amazing. I can take hours to fall asleep at times and this tea always helps me to relax.
Hormone horoscope is another app I use most days of the month. It’s designed for women to help track how your hormones influence your mood throughout your monthly cycle. It also provides tips on what you can do to feel better depending on how your hormones are affecting you at any particular time. There is a paid version of the app, but I just use the free version.
Radical Transformation Podcast
Last but not least, I have to mention the Radical Transformation Podcast by Faith Hawks. Yes, there are a lot of mental health podcasts you can listen to—so why do I keep coming back to this one?
I prefer a conversational type of podcast that isn’t scripted. I don’t mind if some parts are scripted, but when the whole thing is, I find it harder to listen to. Faith does an excellent job of boosting your morale if you’re feeling low or challenging you to examine the beliefs that are holding you back. A word of warning: she does sometimes use language that not everyone will be okay with. But I find her podcast refreshing, entertaining, and helpful as far as mental health products go.
That’s it! My list of 7 mental health products covers relaxation, physical health, and negative thinking—all of which should help at least a little to reduce your social anxiety. What are your favorite products? Leave a comment below and share what works for you.