We’ve selected these apps based on their quality, user reviews, and overall reliability as a source of support for people who live with bipolar disorder. If you want to nominate an app for this list, email us at [email protected].
Bipolar disorder is a manic-depressive illness that affects close to 3 percent of the U.S. adult population, or roughly 6 million people. People with bipolar usually experience intense highs and intense lows, also known as mood episodes. These highly rated apps are designed to help people with bipolar disorder track their moods so they and their healthcare providers can get more detailed insight into their daily highs and lows.
Part journal, part mood tracker, iMoodJournal can log just about anything and everything you do that affects your mood. Sleep, energy, stress, medications — you name it. Add a hashtag (#) to your specific topics to establish connections between moods and experiences. This allows the app to create a more cohesive analysis of your daily feelings so you can zero in on where and why your stress levels rise or drop.
T2 Mood Tracker
Created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, T2 Mood Tracker provides users six mood scales to track and monitor their feelings. It’s also designed to help you share your daily feelings and experiences with your healthcare provider. An easy-to-read graph lets users get a thorough overview of their mood trends. Plus, a notes section lets users document daily events, changes to medication, or even treatment plans.
This unusual app is built around brain wave stimulation. The idea is that binaural beats can help stimulate the brain in a way to bring about a desired state. Users can choose to relax or choose to be more attentive. The 10 preset sound patterns are composed to help alleviate headaches, promote meditation, self-hypnotize, or even incur sleep. The nearly 30 different options can help with everything from pain relief to energy boosts.
DBSA Wellness Tracker
You’ll love this app’s user-friendly design. One of the most popular features is the at-a-glance page. It gives users a convenient way to access and update the app’s five categories: health, medication, lifestyle, well-being, and symptoms. Each section has a multitude of questions that help you zero in on what’s truly ailing you. The reports section brings it all together in an easy-to-read downloadable page.
DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment and one of the preferred psychological treatments for people with bipolar disorder. The app is the only one of its kind, created by a licensed and DBT-trained psychologist. User reviews agree that the diary card on the app is by far the best around. They like that it’s easy to access and easy to fill out. New features include a daily reminder, PDF report capabilities, password lock, and data graphing.
While the name implies that this app is about breathing to relax, there’s really so much more to it. Users have access to content that explains in detail what stress can do to the body plus instructions and techniques to manage such stress. The breathing exercises give step-by-step guidance for first-timers. A body scan tells you where your stressors are concentrated. And after a breathing session, the app will update you on any changes your body has encountered.
This mood tracker is by far one of the most simple and straightforward. Each day you’re asked to select your mood, which have corresponding colors. The colors are then plugged into a monthly calendar so you can view trends over time. Users can set timers to ensure they enter their feelings every day. Time-stamped notes and changes to medication are also easy to enter in the notes section. At the end of the month you can email your doctors your daily outcomes.
Track your mood throughout the month. The app’s custom charts and graphs show you how you’re faring each month based on a daily selection of a number that corresponds to a mood. You can also tag your mood using specific words, which show up on the home page every day, along with your tracking record for entering your data. The newest version lets you upload your moods to a spreadsheet, access Dropbox, and access a database to back up the system.
Bipolar Disorder Connect
Bipolar disorder can be isolating, especially if you don’t have anyone close to you that can identify with your struggles. Bipolar Disorder Connect is there to connect people with bipolar disorder no matter where they are. This tool gives you access to a community of people living with the condition. You can ask and answer questions as well as make new friends. The app also features tracking tools to help you monitor your moods and share those updates.
We really like the simplicity of this app. The first page asks, “How do you feel?” From there, you’re asked to select a group of prepopulated words to further hone in on your feelings. A notes section allows you to expand on your thoughts even more. The Challenge Thoughts page takes all your emotions throughout the day into consideration. The algorithms then provide you with the tools you need to help combat negative self-talk patterns.
Stigma is a unique mental health app in a crowded field. The journal component is considered one of the best around. That’s because of Stigma’s word cloud technology. It notices which words you use the most when writing down your feelings. We’re also fond of the app’s social networking capability. Users can connect with peers through a message component. If you’re drawn to community groups, Stigma makes it easy to join them, too. There’s also a feature that lets you share your journal and get feedback if you so desire.