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BodyMatters recommends: Apps to support your eating disorder recovery

By Madalyn Oliver

From meal logging to goal setting, applications (apps) available on smartphones can provide those suffering from eating disorders with invaluable tools to support recovery. Many apps are available for free, whilst others charge a one time fee to purchase them. Here at BodyMatters we often use apps with our clients to provide them with easily accessible and instant support to assist with a number of aspects of their recovery including (but not limited to) meal logging, relaxation, sleep, mindfulness and journalling. We have compiled a list for you below of some of the most common apps we use.

A1Recovery Record

Free; Android and iOS

Recovery record is a fully customizable app dependent upon your own individual and specific eating disorder treatment and recovery goals. It allows you to keep a record of meals as well as any co-occurring thoughts and feelings. Each meal logged is rewarded with a virtual puzzle piece, which when completed allows you to earn hidden rewards. In addition, the app gives you access to reflections and affirmations, the ability to customise log questions, coping skills and meal plans and enables you to view charts that highlight insights, trends and progress. Importantly, you can also link in with your treatment team (e.g. therapist and dietitian) so that they can keep track of your logs in real time.

 

A2Rise Up and Recover

Free; Android and iOS

Rise Up and Recover is a convenient and user friendly app which gives users the ability to log meals, complete a “check-in”, and browse coping skills. The app is automatically set up to track three meals and three snacks a day. However, there is the option to add others, if needed. Users are rewarded with an inspiring recovery quote or picture for each meal or snack logged. In addition, Rise Up and Recover has the ability to export meal logs and send them as a PDF to your treatment team (e.g. therapist and dietitian).

 

A3iCouch CBT

$4.49; iOS

iCouch CBT allows you access to the support of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy anywhere you are in the form of an app.  iCouch CBT uses a clear, step-by-step approach to lead you through the CBT process. Following a negative event, users can record their thoughts and emotions before being asked to rethink a new thought and re-evaluate their emotions. Users also have the ability to save the “situation” and then email it to themselves or anyone else in their support network and/or treatment team.

 

A4ReachOut Breathe

Free; iOS

ReachOut Breathe allows you to reduce the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety by assisting you to slow down your breathing and heart rate, increasing feelings of calmness in your body.  ReachOut Breathe uses simple visuals to control breathing and measures your heart rate in real time using the camera on your phone.
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ReachOut WorryTime

Free; Android and iOS

Telling yourself to stop worrying rarely works. However, you can interrupt this repetitive worrying by giving yourself permission to worry later, for a set period of time. ReachOut WorryTime allows you to record a worrying thought on the app when it pops up and then go back to your day knowing you can return to it later. You can customise your settings to suit your schedule and choose a time in the day and a length of time that works for you. WorryTime will send an alert when it’s time to think about what has been worrying you. WorryTime may also be a helpful way to track what you have been worrying about by noticing patterns and reoccurring themes.

 

A6MindShift

Free; Android and iOS

MindShift is an app designed for teenagers and young adults. The app provides strategies to help you relax, develop healthy thinking styles and take steps to give you more control over your stress and worry.  MindShift provides strategies to deal with everyday anxiety, as well as more specific tools to tackle test anxiety, perfectionism, social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry, panic, and conflict.

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Smiling Mind

Free; Android and iOS

Smiling Mind is an app that makes mindfulness meditation easily accessible anytime, anywhere. The app guides you through a series of simple and short meditation exercises to train you to become more aware of your breath and your senses, to enable you to bring mindfulness into your everyday life.

 

owlMy Sleep Button

Free; Android and iOS

My Sleep Button is an app designed to help you fall asleep and/or to return to sleep.  It simply requires the user to touch the “put me to sleep” button, close their eyes, and then imagine the objects or scenes that are read to them.

 

 

Please note that apps should not be used as an alternative to your treatment team but rather they should be used to compliment your current treatment. Further, the list of apps above has been selected based on our own professional experience here at BodyMatters and is certainly not exhaustive!

Have you found any phone apps that have been helpful in your recovery? Comment below and share your experiences.

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