Hey guys, sorry for the slight absence again, life has been seriously mental. Anyway, I’ve had the great pleasure of being able to test the Thrive app which helps with mental health. I struggle with Anxiety, PTSD and SAD so this time of year can be especially tough. I was delighted to have this chance, as I’m always looking for new ways to help with my difficulties, and I’ve tried quite a few that haven’t always worked for me.

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Upon opening the app I was greeted by a cute little being, who was my guide. I was happy to see that they’d made the setting little islands, and that they were my islands. It’s a very calm and happy place to look at, and it really gave me the feeling of being away from my problems. One of the first things I did when I opened the app was tell it how I was feeling that day by using a slider, which had the sun at one end and a cloud at the other, it was nice as I didn’t have to pick anything exact, the slider gave me the full width to select how I felt at that moment. Once I’d done that I would be taken through questions as to why I felt that way, things that I either felt good or bad about. I found there was loads of choices, and I could always find something close to my reasons for not quite feeling myself. At the end of this it would give me a reading on how my depression and anxiety were, some days it would be pretty bad, but others there were none present at all. This was something the app did every day, it would also give me suggestions of things I could do to brighten my mood, or help with my anxiety and stress. More often than not it suggested a walk, which is actually one of my favourite things to do, and something I advocate everyone to do daily, but it’s quite easy for me to forget to, or get bogged down with day to day stresses and procrastinate over it. I found with the app reminding me to I would actually follow my advice and get outside, without putting it to the bottom of my list.

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While exploring the app I found loads of lovely features to help with the day to day coping of anxiety, stress and depression. My favourite had to be the deep muscle relaxation. It was something that was quite simple, but incredibly effective and it definitely helped me to relax more. I found it really useful before sleep, I would drift off better and have less nightmares, also waking up with less tension than I had the day before. Another thing I adored was the message in a bottle, it’s an absolutely lovely feature I used quite a few times. You can pick a name for yourself using different given words, so you would remain anonymous, and then pick one of the positive messages to send to others using the app, and it would wash up on the shore of their island. I’m an absolute lover of words so this was something that suited me down to the ground. I would get really happy finding a bottle at my island, and would be instantly uplifted with the message it contained. It made quite a few of my days brighter, I also loved sending them out and knowing I’d done the same for someone else.

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There are other great features as well like a zen game, it has no real challenge or competitive nature to it, it’s just something to do to take your mind away from reality for a bit. My biggest bug bear with this was only that you got starred on how well you did, or that’s what it felt like to me, and this didn’t help me greatly, as I started stressing slightly over what I wasn’t doing correctly and how I could get better. I found I didn’t play it that much because of this. There is also a zen garden on this part of the island as well, which is an idea I love. You could make your own happy place looking however you wanted it with pools of water, shells and drawing in the sand. I personally would have liked more foliage, as I got bored quite quickly, this could just be that I find more calm and happiness in forests and greenery than beaches though, I do get that it keeps with the island theme by having it with sand and such, but maybe a couple of mini palm trees or soemthing would have helped, but I am awkward sometimes haha.

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Another feature I found to be of great use was the information the app held about various mental health issues. It gives you a detailed description of various forms of mental health and steps you can take to help, and it is always suggesting that if you’re worried or feeling a certain way you should seek medical or professional help. I think it’s great that an app can give us a lot of direct and correct information that the internet sometimes over embellishes, and can make us start thinking the worst. I also love that it doesn’t try to replace the help we can find with healthcare professionals, it wants to work with them, and has the users best interests at heart.

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My time using Thrive has been great, it has certainly helped me, and I have to say I’m feeling quite a bit brighter and more confident in myself having used it for a month now. Of course we all have our bad days, but steps forward are steps forward and they can make all the difference in the world, even if they feel small sometimes. Will I keep using it? Yeah, I think I will. It’s been one of the most useful things I’ve tried and one of the only ones I’ve kept up with, as I can be terribly forgetful with things like that. It is definitely something I’d reccommend to anyone who struggles day to day and might sometimes need a boost, or at least somewhere they can retreat to if needed.

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If you’re interested in giving Thrive a go please feel free to use my code which will entitle you to one month free in November 2017; FSFNOV302017

Have you used an app to help with your daily struggles? Or are you also a Thrive user? Let me know in the comments! xx

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