make a list, check it twice

Every Brilliant Thing is an HBO presentation that focuses on coping with the devastating effects of depression. This one-man show chronicles the story of a boy that begins to create a list of every wonderful thing in the world in an attempt to combat his mother’s depression.

Since periods of sadness or depression are part of being human, I feel everyone should create a list of their own, as a reminder of all they love in this world. You never know; it could help you someday.

Here is mine, so far:

  1. Doggie snuggles
  2. Songs that give you goosebumps
  3. Holding hands
  4. Hugging
  5. Cheesecake
  6. Sticky rice
  7. Naps
  8. Morning coffee
  9. The smell of coffee
  10. Bed time
  11. Listening to music while working
  12. Laughing

apps for mental health support

I feel fortunate to live in a time when there are so many resources for mental health support. There are lots of mobile apps that provide a simple, private means to monitor how you’re doing mentally. Although the sheer number of them can be overwhelming, I recommend seeking some out to see if they help you.

Here are a list of apps I’ve tried, with my thoughts:

  • Moodnotes ($4.99) – Definitely my favorite! Cognitive Behavioral Therapy app I use a few times a week to log how I’m feeling (journaling), select my emotions (positive and/or negative), and see what thinking traps I’m falling into.
  • Pacifica (free) – In addition to features like journaling, this app allows you to set & track goals, build a “Hope Board” of positive things, and follow guided meditations. Definitely worth a try.
  • Virtual Hope Box (free) – An app that provides a variety of support when you need it: distractions, inspirations, relaxation & coping tools. It received the 2014 Department of Defense Innovation Award for its unique application of technology in supporting behavioral health in service members and military families.
  • Headspace (free, to start) – “Brilliant things happen in calm minds.” Meditation is the focus of this app.  I didn’t get into this one, I believe because the free options were limited.
  • talkspace (subscription) – An online therapy tool, endorsed by 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps!