Whether you aim to have a better night sleep, improve your diet, calm your mind or be more active, there are many mobile apps available to provide guidance, tools and motivation to support your goals.
Where to start?
The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) has developed a very helpful The Health Living Apps Guide which you can use to search a database of over 300 apps to help find a resource that best suits your needs. Categories include healthy eating, physical activity and sport, tobacco prevention, alcohol harm prevention and mental wellbeing.
Head to Health is a collaboration between the Australian Department of Health, the community and the mental health sector. Through this website you can access over 500 digital resources to support your wellbeing and mental health.
You can also find information, stories, tips and strategies to inspire you to achieve your all round personal best through Beyond Blue's personal best resource page.
The Black Dog Institute also has an excellent range of online tools and mobile apps developed and tested through research trials that you can access for no cost through their digital tools and apps page.
Here some helpful links and ideas of the type of apps available to help you get started:
Examples of apps for mental health
Sometimes referred to as mental or emotional fitness, resilience is about your capacity to deal with life's challenges and stressful situations.
Based on SMART (Self Management and Resilience Training), the High Res website and the companion app is like your virtual gym, a place for you to practice techniques that will help keep you resilient.
This app from The Black Dog Institute will guide you through a 30 day mental fitness challenge which features a range of simple engaging daily activities to help reduce and manage stress, improve sleep, connect better with friends and deal with difficult situations.
Is a personal online self help tool for people who have been feeling down, stressed or anxious or simply want to build good mental health. It delivers proven psychological techniques used by psychologists to help you recognise unhelpful thoughts, feeling and behaviours and gain the skills to manage them.
A guided meditation app developed by psychologists and educators designed to help bring mental health and wellness into users lives. It has meditation programs suited for all ages.
Reach Out is a free online mental health service for young people and their parents which is accessed by more than 2 million people in Australia each year. The organisation provides tools and apps page has a large range of reviewed health and wellbeing mobile apps.
Examples of apps for physical health
According to the Sleep Health Foundation recent surveys demonstrate that four out of 10 Australian adults report insufficient sleep on a daily or several-days-a-week basis. Inadequate sleep can result from poor sleep habits through choice or pressure from work, family or other demands, or from clinical sleep disorders.
This app tracks and analyses your sleep patterns. Choose your wake-up time, and the app will gently stir you from your slumber during your lightest phase of sleep to ensure that you wake up feeling rested,refreshed, and ready for the day ahead.
Other apps include DigiPill, SleepTime and Recolor, with descriptions provided on Medical News Today.
There is very strong evidence regarding the role of physical activity in supporting mental health and wellbeing. It allows you to set goals, track progress, connect with the 41 million other users across a range of physical activities, including running, riding, hiking and walking.
Designed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, helps you keep track of your drinking over time to understand the impact it has on your health in both the short and long term. The app calculates a wellbeing score based on a theoretical blood alcohol concentration.
Although apps may have the potential to encourage better health, it's always good practice to assess the accuracy and appropriateness of information provided and their privacy and security settings. Always consult your health professional to discuss your personal health and wellbeing.