Setting goals may seem easy, but maintaining momentum for those goals is the hard part. And when you’re lacking routine, connection, or in-person mental health support, it can be difficult to move forward. Whether or not you have a mental health condition, self-help tools are a great way to help you make progress towards your goals.
We’ve compiled a list of self-help tools to help you achieve your goals in different areas of life, including mental health, productivity and time management. Try a combination of these tools to see which works best for you. As you try them out, you may find it easier to maintain a pattern of healthy behaviors and make significant progress towards your goals.
Mental Heath self-help Tools and Apps
I am — an app for motivation
Throughout the day, you’re likely to be bombarded with push notifications on your phone from social media, news, and software updates. Notifications can be distracting, but with “I am” your notifications can help you practice daily affirmations.
This app is a great way to schedule motivating, positive messages as you go about your day. You’ll see statements like “I am worthy” or “I will only compare myself to myself” as gentle reminders throughout the day. Use these daily affirmation notifications to change negative thought patterns.
Happify — an app to boost your mood
If you’re looking for a more stimulating and gamified tool, this app is for you. Developed with doctors and AI, this app helps to boost your mood through science-based activities and games. According to the app, 86% of people who use Happify regularly report feeling better about their lives.
Each track contains quick quizzes, games and activities that guide you to see the more positive aspects of life. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with negative thoughts, stress and life’s challenges, use this app to guide your mind through exercises and games.
MindShift CBT — an anxiety-management app
MindShift CBT is a great app to help you practice anxiety-management exercises in between therapy sessions. This app provides scientifically-proven strategies based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Using CBT tools, you can challenge negativity and develop more effective ways to be mindful and relax.
More specifically, this apps helps you write thought journals, challenge yourself with belief experiments, build fear ladders and do comfort zone challenges. All the exercises are presented in small chunks with plenty of supporting information to help you naturally integrate these strategies with your daily life.
The Five Minute Journal — a physical journal
If you would rather write in a journal than download another app, this tool may be suitable for you. This journal only takes five minutes of your day to help you reflect and stay focused on your goals with guided exercises.
Filled with inspiring quotes and exercises for daily affirmations, weekly challenges, and daily reflection, this journal helps you record your daily progress. Use this journal to start and end your day with gratitude prompts and self-reflection.
Productivity and Time Management Tools
Focus Booster — a time management tool
This time management app is based on the Pomodoro Technique and can be helpful for those with ADHD. While you can time yourself with a watch to practice the Pomodoro Technique, this app helps you keep track of your pomodoros with dashboard reports and insight into how you’re spending your time. With a simple and efficient user interface, you can use this app to help you minimize distractions and stick to a schedule.
BlockSite — a website blocker
Find yourself scrolling endlessly through your favorite websites? Keep yourself on task with this Chrome extension that blocks distracting websites and apps. Especially if you work from home, this tool is effective in boosting your productivity and controlling your browsing content. Take control of your time and get more done during the day with this website blocker.
BeeMinder — a goal tracker
Keeping track of all your goals can be overwhelming. With Beeminder, you can track and monitor everything from your trips to the gym to logging how often you write. This app helps record your progress through data graphs for any activity, such as the number of words you wrote, the number of hours you worked, or the number of articles you’ve read. Integrate this app with your Gmail, Apple Health, Slack messages and more for accurate tracking. With this app, you can practice quantified self-tracking and commitment to your goals.
MindNode — a mind-mapping software tool
Feel like you can’t organize your thoughts? Try using this mind mapping app to visually organize ideas and tasks. According to research, mind-mapping improves learning, information recall, productivity, creativity and more. If you’re the type of person who relies on visualization to remember things, mind-mapping can help you separate large amounts of information into more digestible visual and written forms. It makes complex issues easier to understand.
With MindNode, you can customize and use templates to suit various needs. Use this mind-mapping software to practice a more engaging form of brainstorming or planning.
Notion — a project management tool
Notion is completely customizable and easy to use. You can organize your whole life into various pages, tables, to-do lists, kanban boards and more with Notion. The best part about Notion is that you can connect each of your projects to one another. For example, your workout calendar can reference your journal entries.
This app uses databases and markdown pages to help organize your personal or collaborative work. Whether you need an app to help you take notes or manage projects and tasks, take advantage of the flexibility of Notion to keep track of all your work.
Pocket — a content-saving app
If you’re the type of person who keeps hundreds of tabs open with interesting articles to read for later, you know how difficult it is to organize or keep up with the content you want to see. When you want to find that interesting article you saved last week or a youtube video with a specific life hack you need, this app is for you. Pocket makes it easier to keep up with all the different links, articles, videos and pictures you save on different platforms.
This content-saving app lets you select and save any kind of content to view later in organized folders from any device, publisher or app. Using this app can help you capture content that is helpful for you and curate your own space filled with only content you care about.
Achieve your goals with self-help tools
Finding the right resources or tools can help you stay on the right path to achieve your goals. Think of these self-help apps or tools as a way to guide and support you when you’re feeling unsure of the direction you’re going in. Many of these tools are based on research and therapy techniques to provide evidence-based interventions– meaning they’re more likely to be effective.
However, apps and tools can’t replace mental health professionals. Consider using these tools as a supplemental aid to the strategies you learn while working with a mental health provider. At Ahead, our team of providers can help you learn several evidence-based strategies to improve your life. They can help you figure out what tools and resources will work best for your goals while guiding you on your mental health journey. With a combination of daily exercises, encouragement, and professional mental health guidance, you can celebrate the smaller destinations along your journey and achieve your goals.