In all honesty, when I used to think of mental wellness apps, I thought of a knock off virtual Dr. Phil who charged people $0.99 to get sub-par advice. However, this wasn't the case at all.

The Inspiration

It all started with my psychology professor assigning my class with the task to find and test beneficial mental health apps. And like I said before, I thought that these apps could provide very little to those searching to improve themselves. But, as I began to use one I realized that they can work. 

I decided an app called  Pacifica. This is a free app based upon creating effective coping skills to deal with anxiety, stress, and depression. All of which are major mental health issues that lots of college students face during their academic career. 

Getting Started with the App

When I first set up my account, it asked me to allow notifications. And at first I was hesitant allow notifications because I was afraid my phone would be spammed with messages. However, I decided if I was going to do this I needed to immerse myself into the app. And I'm totally glad I did.

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Madison Pessel

Pacifica sends you one daily reminder notification asking you how you are feeling and allows you to record what has been going on during the day. Then at the end of each week, it sends you a report about your overall feelings.

This part of the app really made me reflect more objectively on how I dealt with stress. I was able to see in these reports what was happening during my week that caused me to feel stressed. I actually started to notice a trend of certain days/ behaviors that caused me to feel more overwhelmed.

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Madison Pessel

Some Notable Features

Once I was equipped with the knowledge of my stress triggers, I began to explore the many free ideas of coping and relaxation the app has to offer. While many of the goal-setting and basic stress releasing activities were helpful, my favorite part of the app was the visualization activity. 

This audio activity has you record a positive affirmation and then  incorporates it into a deep breathing exercise. Not only did this activity help me relax but the positive self-talk made me feel better about conquering the day.

Another dope thing about this app is that there is an amazing community where you can connect with other users anonymously. Many people share inspirational quotes, coping techniques, what their thankful for, and just their general feelings. 

I found this part of the app really inspiring, all the individuals were so supportive and shared some really great bits of wisdom with one another about how to cope and improve overall mental wellness. 

Concluding thoughts about Pacifica

At the end of this project, I was dumbfounded on how much I noticed a change in my attitude and behavior towards my stress. I now am more aware of situations that cause me to feel uneasy or nervous and have some new effective tools to handle those situations.

I will definitely continue to use this app in the future and recommend it to anyone looking to improve their overall mental wellness.