The past month has been difficult for reasons that I will touch on a bit next week. Anyway, I made a therapy appointment at the beginning of July and the appointment was only a few days ago. That was a big chunk of time without much support. I knew I needed something that could help me immediately. That’s when I found an app called What’s Up.
Like the title of this post says, What’s Up is a free app that has a bunch of resources to help you when you need it. The main page is divided into four sections: Help Right Now, Coping Strategies, Information, and Personal.
Help Right Now is exactly what it sounds like – help that can assist when you need it in that moment. It offers some grounding techniques, positive words, a forum, and links to websites that can help you.
The Coping Mechanisms section provides things like ways to question your negative thoughts or help you determine what you’re feeling. I find it to be a helpful resource when I’m stuck in rumination and I don’t know how to manage my thoughts.
The Information section covers five topics. Those topics are anger, anxiety, depression, self esteem, and stress. Each section details how to notice the negative effects of each topic and how to overcome or manage those feelings. And at the end of each section, it provides a link so you can get more information.
Personal is where you can write down your thoughts, track your habits, and any other miscellaneous notes you may need to write. I haven’t used this section much myself. This is mainly because I’m a fan of writing by hand in my journal. Also, I already use another app that can track my habits. But the items provided look useful. There’s even a simple way you can record your mood in your diary, which is handy if you don’t feel like answering a bunch of questions about your mood.
Additionally, you can change your theme to your liking to a certain extent. You can mix and match white, black, grey, and blue. However, if you choose to donate to them, you can unlock additional themes so you can customize it further.
I like that this app is easy to use, the interface is easy to navigate. Visually, it’s clean and not overwhelming, which is great if you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety. It’s simple look and vernacular also helps if you’re in the deep depths of depression. It’s good for those times when you don’t have the patience or the will to read much or fight with a bunch of links.
I appreciate the way they have their forum set up. They don’t include things like how many views your post has gotten or anything like that. This way you won’t compare yourself to others who post in the forum. I think this is awesome because I know, for myself, I compare myself to others constantly.
All. The. Time.
This set up helps to shut down those unhelpful thoughts. It prevents my knee-jerk reaction of comparison from happening in the first place.
I think my favourite thing about this app is that the Helpful Website links. They will take you to websites that are specific to your country. Most importantly, it includes a link that will connect you with a suicide hotline in your country.
As of right now the following countries are included:
There is also an option for Other. So if your country isn’t listed here you can still get information, but it won’t provide you with any resources from your country.
While overall I like the app, there are two features in particular that I find unhelpful.
Under the Help Right Now section is something called Stay In Today. It’s simply an image with arrows from the past and future pointing to the present with feelings associated with each one. Whenever I look at this diagram, I find that it does nothing for me. It doesn’t matter what my mood is like, whether I’m stable, hypomanic, or depressed, it doesn’t seem to improve anything for me.
The second feature I find unhelpful is something called the Catastrophe Scale. It’s a scale of 1 to 10 that allows you to rate how bad you’re feeling. Now, if I’m feeling stable mood-wise or feeling only a little depressed, I know that my problems will get better or I can solve them, so I wouldn’t bother looking at this scale to begin with.
Conversely, if I look at the scale while severely depressed I feel worse. I know that this isn’t what it’s supposed to do. However, it’s hard to feel better when I’m at a 10 and I see the words, “Everything had fallen apart and it feels like it’s all your fault.” It only seems to cement even further that everything does indeed suck and I’m the absolute worst. And then my negative thoughts smugly say, “I told you so.”
Now, all that said, I understand that different things work for different people. While these two features don’t help me, they could help you and the features that I enjoy might feel pointless to you. Luckily, this app offers enough options that I believe everyone can find one thing that might help.
This app has helped me quite a bit, especially in terms of guiding me through grounding exercises. When I’m in distress, I have trouble remembering how to do certain exercises. Even if I remember, sometimes the ones I remember aren’t helping. So to have a guide feels invaluable during those scary moments.
Through this app, I’ve found a lot of useful information that helps me to understand my feelings more fully and how to overcome them. Sometimes I don’t find new information necessarily, but I find good reminders when I need them.
If you want a mental health app, but feel overwhelmed by all the choices out there, this one is a good place to start.
Have you used What’s Up before? If so, what are your thoughts? Or if you use a different app, which one do you use?
P.S. I know I’ve been doing a lot of reviews lately, but this will be the last one for a while. Promise.
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