Tag Archives: Recovery

Wellness: 22 Apps You’ll Love Pt. II

What’s In Your Phone?

Even before I started my recovery journey in 2016, I have been something of an app ‘collector.’  From meditation apps, nutritional apps, to the surprisingly great apps the Veterans Administration has created–no, you don’t have to be a Veteran to use them, there is no shortage of apps on my phone.

Some of the apps are free, others require either a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription.  When it comes to investing in yourself, don’t be cheap! 

Many of the apps are well worth the money.  Whether you are struggling with mental health issues, in the throes of recovery, want to be more present, or just want to better your life, these apps can help in a variety of ways. Especially if you are like me:  introverted to a fault, likes to do things his own way and on his own terms.

Pocket Rehab – is a community for those struggling from addiction and alcoholism. The Pocket Rehab community has the ability to communicate on a public forum. The users also have access to the most important feature of Pocket Rehab, the My Lifeline button. My Lifeline allows for immediate access to other users that are available to help.

Sanvello – with over 3.4 million users, this app is one of the most popular apps for stress, anxiety, and depression. Based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Mindfulness, get all of the support you need to help improve your mental health—on your terms. From self-care and peer support to working with trained coaches and therapists, Sanvello is your place to feel better. Sanvello gives you clinically proven techniques based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and whatever else you may be going through.

Serenity – is all about meditation! Guided meditations allows you to learn a variety of meditation and mindfulness techniques that aims to bring a sense of peace, calm, and happiness to your life. Learn the basics with the free, easy to follow 7 day audio course. Gain the skills required to make mindful meditation a part of the rest of your life. Its Foundations section helps you to expand your skills and learn about mindfulness, it also has Sleep Guides, Stress Relief, Quick Meditations, and Daily Meditations.

Sober Grid – is a large online community dedicated to, you guessed it, sobriety! It connects you instantly to sober people nearby and around the world. Remain completely anonymous or choose what you want to share! It has a cool “Find sober people near you” feature, showing you other users in your given location. You can chat with others and send private messages, post messages, photos, and videos to share with your community, personalize your profile with photos, interests, save favorite sober buddies and see who visits your profile, and even has a sobriety calculator to keep track of how many days sober you’ve achieved.

What’s Up? – is a fantastic free app utilizing some of the best CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) methods to help you cope with Depression, Anxiety, Anger, Stress and more! With a beautiful, modern design, simple heading and easy-to-follow methods, you can get to what helps you the most in seconds! Some features included are: 12 common negative thinking patterns and simple methods to overcome them, a thought diary, a positive and negative habit tracker, and online forum, and lots more. Well worth a look.

Woebot – is an app that deals with anxiety, depression, & mindfulness. Winner of the 2019 Google Play Award for Stand-out Well-Being app, your friendly self-care expert Woebot can help you: think through situations with step-by-step guidance from Woebot using tools from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), learn about yourself with intelligent mood tracking, and master skills to reduce stress and live happier through over 100+ evidence-based stories from their clinical team. Woebot is your very own coach who chats with you and offers insights and skills to help you grow into your best self.

Wysa – imagine a mood tracker, mindfulness coach, anxiety helper, and mood-boosting buddy, all rolled into one. Wysa, your happiness buddy is that friendly and caring chatbot. Wysa is packed with daily spiritual meditation that improves mental health and is also a perfect way to bond over family meditation. Always there for you when you need someone to talk to, Wysa helps you keep track of your mood with friendly chats and helps fight stress and anxiety with its proven techniques and calming meditation and mindfulness audios. One of my favorite, intuitive AI helper apps.

VA Launchpad – The Veterans Administration has created dozens of apps to help Veterans and Service members alike, all easily accessible via this app. And the good news? This app also allows Veterans and Service members take an active part in their VA treatment. About 11 of them can be used by anyone, and are worthy of their own post. The apps cover a myriad of mental health and wellness subjects: weight loss, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, PTSD, quitting smoking, insomnia, anger management, couples, and even one for the current COVID crisis. I’ll be doing a separate post to feature all of these great apps.

Check out WELLNESS: 22 APPS YOU’LL LOVE PT. I. If you use an app that you think is particularly good, let me know about it in the comments. I can add it to a later post.

Recovery Today: Issue #2

Recovery Today Magazine is an enjoyable read. Chock full of hope. 6 years of issues will be brought online, using the cool new flip-book program. It reads just like a magazine should read. Jump on in.

Wellness: 10 Minute Meditation With Deepak

Take ten minutes out of your day, and follow Deepak Chopra’s guided meditation to restore balance and harmony to your inner space.  You’ll be glad you did.  I love me some Deepak!

Wellness: 22 Apps You’ll Love Pt. I

What’s In Your Phone?

Even before I started my recovery journey in 2016, I have been something of an app ‘collector.’  From meditation apps, nutritional apps, to the surprisingly great apps the Veterans Administration has created–no, you don’t have to be a Veteran to use them, there is no shortage of apps on my phone.

In this 2 part series, I’m going to introduce you to 22 of the best apps, in alphabetical order, that I have found.  Some of the apps are free, others require either a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription.  When it comes to investing in yourself, don’t be cheap! 

Many of the apps are well worth the money.  Whether you are struggling with mental health issues, in the throes of recovery, want to be more present, or just want to better your life, these apps can help in a variety of ways. Especially if you are like me:  introverted to a fault, likes to do things his own way and on his own terms.

24 Hours Free – features all 366 daily meditations from the classic best-selling meditation book for people in recovery from addiction, this app is an ideal companion for helping you keep the stress and anxiety at bay. I have used this app for the section of my blog, titled A.A. Today. Twenty-Four Hours a Day makes it easy to focus on your recovery wherever you are. Practicing the Twelve Steps has never been more accessible.

365 Gratitude – is a science-based gratitude journal that makes self-care fun! Receive a new personal gratitude prompt every day with stories that teach life-changing lessons to deal with difficult emotions, cultivate positivity, self-love and more. Experience lower stress, less anxiety and enhanced well-being with daily exercises, guided meditations and science-based courses. And you are never alone – lean into the expertise of their community with 500,000+ self-care enthusiasts to learn new ways to cultivate optimism.

Calm – An app for meditation and sleep. Join the millions experiencing lower stress, less anxiety, and more restful sleep with our guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, masterclasses, and relaxing music. Calm is the perfect mindfulness app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users.

CBT Companion – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been shown to be extremely effective in dealing with a host of personal issues, such as Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Stress, OCD, PTSD, to name a few. You can learn and practice CBT skills using video lessons. The lessons and exercises have fun illustrations, making it a bit more enjoyable learning. You can track your progress, with intuitive summaries to gain insights. This app also has over 500 meditations.

Daylio – is a very versatile app, and you can turn it in whatever you need to track. This is one of my favorite apps, as you can do so much with it. Your fitness goal pal. Your mental health coach. Your food log. Your gratitude diary. Mood tracker. Exercise, meditate, eat, and be grateful. Take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Good self-care is a key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.

Loseit – I got in the best shape of my life using this nutritional powerhouse. It’s is a calorie counter & food diary diet app that helps you stick to your diet and achieve weight loss that fits! Simply download the app, set your goals and track your diet, food and exercises to lose weight. Easily track macro, carb and calorie intake. It has an incredible library of foods, or You can simply scan food labels for easy entry, it has tons of restaurant dietary information. I hate the word diet, but this really does help you gain control of what you eat. Try it for a day, you’ll be shocked how many calories you are really ingesting.

Meditation & Relaxation Music – I’ve had this app on my phone for at least 15-20 years. This app lets you click on various calming and relaxing sounds to create your own tracks. From gongs, to songbirds, to the ocean, I’ve used it hundreds of times to meditate and to fall asleep to. Take a break in your day to relax and breathe. With the meditation timer and reminder, you can time your session and ensure that the music you created stops on its own.

Mindfulness Coach – With audio exercises, a self-guided training program, and resources to support practice, this app helps you to practice mindfulness. The app provides a gradual, self-guided training program designed to help you understand and adopt a simple mindfulness practice. It has a great library of information, goal-setting and tracking, customizable reminders, and access to other support and crisis resources. Best of all, it’s free and doesn’t require add-on purchases.

Moodpath – Do you struggle with some of your thoughts and emotions? Are you looking for ways to improve your emotional well-being? Well, Moodpath is your personalized mental health companion and supports you in phases of stress, depression, and anxiety. Take a break from negative thoughts and overwhelming emotions. You can also receive helpful and supportive insights to understand patterns and triggers. I used Moodpath as a mood tracker and a journal. It helped me to keep close watch over my thought and emotions; we know how things can suddenly go very sideways, right?

My Spiritual Toolkit – is a simple set of tools that make it convenient and easy for you and other members of AA / Alcoholics Anonymous work steps 10 and 11 on a daily basis to keep you from relapsing back into active alcoholism. It’s got a sobriety calendar that you can share, a daily quote from AA literature, a spot check inventory, nightly inventory and a journal to keep you in perpetual growth within Steps 10 and 11.

Got an app that you swear by? Share it with me by commenting on this post, and I will be sure to add it to my next post on 22 Apps I Know You’ll Love Pt. 2

Principles of Purpose: Introduction

According to Webster’s Dictionary, principles are “fundamental truths or propositions that serve as the foundation for a system of beliefs, or behaviors; rules or beliefs governing one’s personal behavior.”  I believe that principles are instilled in childhood, shaped and tested in youth, and mastered in adulthood.  Ideally, that is.  But what happens when, as a child, you don’t have sufficient role models to teach you these principles? 

What happens, when your childhood is fraught with trauma, the majority of your teenage years are spent locked away, and 30 years of your adulthood is spent abusing alcohol and drugs?  To put it simply:  what happens is your principles end up being either completely absent, hastily and vaguely pasted into existence, or ignored entirely; often with disastrous results.  I’m speaking of myself, of course.  Which is part of my outline for a book idea I have been kicking around now, tentatively titled Principles of Purpose:  A Guide to Living Wisely.

Before I illustrate the concept, what is purpose?  According to Webster’s Dictionary, purpose can be “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists,  a person’s sense of resolve or determination or  a particular requirement or consideration.”  For example, you want to buy a new car, but you need a large down payment. 

Simple enough:  you save money weekly, until you have enough for the down payment.  The action = saving money, the reason (purpose) = to have enough down payment to buy a car.  Obviously this is simplified, for the purpose–ha,ha–of illustrating the basic concept.  But oh, how the waters become muddied when you try to assimilate principles with purpose, in order to live life wisely.

So Principles of Purpose:  A Guide to Living Wisely, delves much deeper than a simple act of causality (I need to save money, so I can buy a car), illustrated with examples throughout my own life, I want to share with you 30 principles that have had a dramatic impact on my life.  Whether they were actually applied, ignored, or unknown to me principles that, had they been instilled in me at a young age, would likely have prevented a lot of the chaos and hell my life ended up being.  Principles that, once I learned them (however late in life), my life improved exponentially.  Principles that most likely will seem obvious to you, even familiar as ones you practice religiously.  Not all of us have been so lucky.  Not all of us got the memo.

You see, having gotten out of the starting block so poorly unprepared for a deep and abiding understanding of the kinds of principles that one needs to be successful in life, my teenage years were spent making up my own principles.  Needless to say, those principles were really just knee-jerk reactions to the new world I was part of.  A world in which I was free to express myself. 

Finally free of my childhood oppressors, I was ill-equipped for dealing with the emotions that would come to the surface and articulate themselves in many unhealthy ways.  Impulsivity ruled the day.  Once in college, alcohol took the driver’s seat and informed the way for just about 35 years.  However, there were some principles that served me well.

In Principles of Purpose, I have the benefit of hindsight and it is indeed 20/20.  Look, I’m not saying I was completely ignorant of important principles that could have helped me navigate my way out of the trauma and chaos of my youth.  Because I had no reference points, much of my life from 12-27 was spent on chaos.  What I am saying is that, through recovery I gained incredible insights into my behaviors and ways of thinking that often derailed my efforts to live my life more wisely.  I hope that, in using my own life to illustrate the principles, those of you who have also struggled with “normalcy” can benefit in some way. And those of you who have not, at least will find some entertainment value along the way.

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