So I thought I'd share the apps, websites and YouTube channels that help me most when it comes to living life with intense emotions (in no particular order). Let's dive right in...
When I'm experiencing paranoia that people don't like me or have decided they want to cut me out of their life, quizzes can be the only thing that keep me from acting impulsively. Maybe it's my competitive nature and my love of miscellaneous knowledge, but whatever it is this site has prevented my crisis from escalating several times in the last month alone.
This is the most well-rounded YouTube channel I've ever found for doing yoga at home. Adrienne creates such a variety of videos, from beginner, to advance, fast-paced to more gentle styles. Her videos include yoga for beginners mind, yoga for grief, stress melt, yoga for a broken heart, chair yoga and much, much more.
Image credit Find What Feels Good
I did the month-long free trial of this meditation & sleep app and have never looked back. I use it every day- my favourites are the 'emergency calm' meditation and the sleep story about the Moroccan rose garden. My therapist uses it too, so it must be good!
It's Netflix for documentaries and art house films. If you haven't guessed, I'm a huge nerd and I'm interested in everything from modern art to the history of Japanese tea houses to the rights of Vietnamese nail salon workers in New York. Many libraries offer access to Kanopy free of charge. I watch Kanopy when I need a break from my life and to be reminded of others' realities.
Painted Nails (2016) directed by Dianne Griffin and Erica Jordan
Twitter has been my lifeline since the moment I got this diagnosis and was terrified of what it meant for me. It gave me a sense of belonging and taught me how to speak about my experiences. It's such an amazing community of people sharing their experiences of mental health conditions, tips & advocating for understanding and better care.
This one comes with a caveat because lately I've been looking at too many beauty accounts and they've left me feeling inadequate. However, with many illustrators and artists I follow, even a quick scroll makes me feel inspired & encouraged. One of my current fave accounts is @azhimova_anastasia.
Art by Anastasia Azhimova @azhimova_anastasia.
Audiobooks are one of the most effective ways I prevent rumination. It costs around £8 a month to use Audible, but there are many free audiobooks on YouTube and for download through apps. You won't be surprised to hear that Harry Potter is my firm favourite. If you're a fan, you might want to check out my post on Harry Potter and DBT.
I love Debbie Corso's site and her YouTube channel. When I was first diagnosed with this condition and felt completely isolated, I listened to her videos. She made with feel like there was *someone* who understood me when I felt like nobody did.
I can't get enough of water sounds! Not only do I find the sound of rain, streams and water relaxing, but they block out the noise of others talking and moving around the house. As I'm often hypervigilant to my surroundings and my startle reflex tends to go into overdrive, steady background noise is helpful. Rainy Mood is an app and a website that streams (no pun intended!) rain sounds.
Charlotte's blog posts are always thought-provoking and insightful. She shares her experience of bipolar disorder and mental distress without a sugarcoat, as well as her knowledge of policy, practice and research. Although Charlotte doesn't blog as often as she once did, she posts now and again and Purple Persuasion's archives are hugely valuable. Her Twitter @BipolarBlogger is also amazing.
Do you have go-to apps and websites for your mental health? What would make your top ten? Let me know on social media!