If your child deals with high levels of stress and anxiety or other mental health challenges, you know how tough it can be. As a parent, you want to do everything possible to help them. To give you some additional tools in your arsenal, we’ve scoured the internet for five of the top mindfulness, meditation, and mental health apps that are great for tweens and teens.
Apps were only selected if they met the following criteria:
Disclaimer: There’s no substitute for professional help. If you think your child is experiencing mental health problems, please consult a professional.
Insight Timer offers a customizable meditation experience for your tween or teen. It has almost 70,000 guided meditations which can be personalized by adding ambient sound to the background. Users can select meditations of different lengths and pick their own sound to ring them out of the session. There are even virtual, real-time meditation events where users can join others from around the world.
It also offers guided breathwork and yoga, both of which are great for mindfulness and overall mental health. And because sleep is so beneficial for your kid’s mood, they can also use Insight Timer’s sleep sounds and stories.
Smiling Mind is an Australian meditation and mindfulness app designed by psychologists and educators. It has meditations geared for different ages and settings. Younger children can select the kids category, while tweens and teens will like the youth options. There’s even a section with meditations geared toward families. And the instructor’s Australian accents are an added bonus.
Tellmi is an anonymous peer support app for young people. Originally developed for the National Health System in the UK, it was proven effective through an independent study by University College London.
Users can share their experiences and get peer support. Plus, users are grouped by age, so you know your kids are only messaging with their peers. All chats are monitored by real humans and vetted before being posted. And in-house counselors are available to step in if there's an issue that requires professional support.
Calm is an award-winning app designed to help with stress, anxiety, sleep, and focus. It offers a suite of tools including mindful movement lessons, music to help with focus, and expert-led classes on a variety of topics from meditation to stress management.
Because consistency is key in developing new habits, your child can set up notifications to help remind them to meditate and stay on track. Users can select their current mood to receive a personalized plan for the day.
Headspace was one of the first meditation apps to splash onto the scene, and its popularity has held ever since. Since its inception, Headspace has expanded from guided meditation to include a variety of other resources, including short videos on topics like loneliness and stress and soundscapes to help with sleep.
All the meditations are led by experienced instructors and are relatively short (most are between 10-20 minutes), which is great for the teenage attention span! Your kid can also elect to get meditation reminders and daily words of wisdom.
Mindfulness, meditation, and mental health apps can help teach your child important coping skills to manage their stress, anxiety, and even difficulty sleeping. As with any app, it’s important to talk to your child about how to use it. It may even be helpful to try a few mindfulness exercises together — after all, we could all use a little less stress in our lives.