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Mental Health and Wellbeing Apps for our Online Learning Community

Mindfulness Apps

At eCampus NZ, we think the ākonga in our learning community must have superpowers.

Many of you are studying alongside lots of other important commitments, like full- or part-time work, parenting, and caregiving.

It’s common, and absolutely understandable, to feel stressed sometimes. However, feeling stressed or overwhelmed over a long period of time is not good for your mental and physical heath.

Luckily, the world is waking up to the importance of actively supporting mental health and wellbeing. If you’re an eCampus NZ learner and you need support, please reach out to your student advisor, who will connect you with the help you need.

There are also some great apps and online self-help tools out there to help us all look after ourselves.

With so many options available, we want to take the stress out of finding an app to suit your needs. Here are eCampus NZ’s top apps to support your mental health and wellbeing:

 

Take a breath

Have you ever noticed that your breathing becomes faster and shallower when you’re anxious or stressed?

It could be that you’re feeling anxious or stressed because you’re breathing poorly – not the other way around.

The way you breathe directly impacts your physical and mental health. The Take a Breath App, developed by doctors and scientists from Auckland, Berkeley, and Stanford, teaches you the science around breathing, and then provides training to help you reset your breathing patterns and breathe well again.

Features include learning modules, breathing exercises, and the 7-Day Take a Breath Challenge.

Price: Free (there is a premium version, but there are plenty of features available at no cost)
Available on: IOS (App Store), Android (Google Play), desktop.

 

Mentemia

Mentemia is a free app, backed by the Ministry of Health, that gives you the tools to make small daily steps that create big changes for your daily wellbeing.

The app, which was developed by All Blacks legend Sir John Kirwan, helps you identify where you may be struggling, then gives you access to simple exercise to help you feel happier, build stronger relationships, help you cope with stress, and improve your wellbeing.

The great thing about Mentemia is that it tailors the content and exercises you see to what you need. It will help you to work out a mental wellbeing plan, access mood- boosting content, and track your mental fitness.

Price: Free
Available on: IOS (App Store), Android (Google Play)

 

Melon

Like Mentemia, Melon is supported by the Ministry of Health as an online tool to help Kiwis through the impacts of COVID-19.

It provides a safe space to connect with others and support each other, with tools such as a health journal (rātaka), coping tools (mātauranga), and community support (pāpori).

We love its emphasis on connection and community. This app may be particularly useful to learners who study from home.

Price: Free
Available on: IOS (App Store), Android (Google Play)

 

Calm

Calm is a popular sleep, mediation and relaxation app which is designed to help users improve sleep quality and reduce stress and anxiety.

It’s best known for its Sleep Stories – think bedtime stories for adults, read by narrators (including the likes of Stephen Fry and Leona Lewis) who have your good night’s sleep in mind.

Other popular features include guided meditations (pick the length that suits you), sleep music, nature sounds, and classes delivered by experts on mental health, mindfulness and wellbeing.

Price: Free version available. If you do decide to get a subscription, it’s a good idea to make use of their 7-day free trial so you can see if it works for you before you commit to a longer subscription (which is quite pricey). Just make sure you uncheck ‘auto-renew’ so you don’t get billed.

Available on: IOS (App Store), Android (Google Play), desktop.

 

Headspace

Like Calm, Headspace promotes mindfulness techniques that can help with mood, focus, and coping skills.

Price: Free – the free version includes ten short meditations and other resources to help you understand meditation.

 

Waking Up

Waking Up is another meditation app – perhaps best suited to the more experienced meditator. Neuroscientist, philosopher and New York Times author Sam Harris guides you through the practice of meditation and examines the theory behind it, helping you to make discoveries about your own mind.

Price: While Premium subscriptions do come at a cost, Waking Up offers free accounts to those who can’t afford to pay here.

Available on: IOS (App Store), Android (Google Play)

 

Staying on Track

Okay, so this one isn’t technically an app, but as an online tool designed to support Kiwis’ wellbeing during COVID-19 and beyond, we couldn’t leave it off our list!

The Staying on Track course, along with its resources, has been created to support New Zealanders with their mental and emotional health through times of stress and uncertainty.

It will equip you with easy-to-use, practical strategies to cope with stress during difficult times. You’ll learn how to support your mental and emotional health, and practise skills to help you and your whānau stay on track.

Click here to complete the free course.

These apps are not intended to be a replacement for professional advice. If you’re struggling and need to talk things through, it’s important to ask for help. If you need help now, visit the Mental Health Foundation website for contact information for free assistance right now, no matter where you live in New Zealand.

 

Need to talk?
1737 is a free service for New Zealanders who are feeling down, anxious, a bit overwhelmed or just need to chat. Free call or text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor, any time of day or night. This service is completely free.

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