Top Apps that Support Positive Mental Health for Children and Teens

By AASLMay 30, 2019

As May, and mental health awareness month, comes to a close we tried out many available mental health apps and compiled a list of our twenty favorite low-cost (or free) apps that support positive mental health for children and teens.

            Mental health goes beyond the absence of mental illness. Positive mental health is essential to function and be successful in everyday life. For children, teens, and young adults this means handling emotions and adapting to everyday challenges to succeed in school and extra-curricular activities, peer and adult interactions, and necessary activities of daily living (self-care). The following apps help to promote positive mental health and well being, and are broken down by cost, age range, and descriptions below, with accompanying links to the Apple iTunes store. Discover an app or two that can help your child, or yourself, take steps toward fostering positive mental health today and moving forward!

1. App: Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame 

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/breathe-think-do-with-sesame/id721853597?mt=8

Cost: Free

Age Range: 2-5 years old

Description: This is a great resource app to help teach your child self-regulation skills, including breathing strategies, problem solving ideas, tools to gain self-control, and develop task persistence by helping a “Sesame Street monster friend” stay calm and work through everyday challenges.

2. App: Smiling Mind

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smiling-mind/id560442518?mt=8

Cost: Free

Age Range: 7-18 years old

Description: This is a mindfulness and meditation app developed by educational specialists and psychologists that has fantastic resources for a wide range of age groups, including exercises, tools, and activities to address various daily challenges and emotional obstacles. One particular star attribute of this app is that there are no extra “in-app” purchases needed; all of the content is available for free, including strategies to use in the classroom.  

3. App: Breathing Zone

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/breathing-zone/id369838631

Cost: $3.99

Age Range: 4+ years old

Description: This guided breathing exercise app is extremely easy to use; all you have to do is follow the guide. Fantastic tool for therapeutic breathing to regulate emotions and arousal!

4. App: Super Stretch Yoga

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/super-stretch-yoga/id456113661?mt=8

Cost: Free

Age Range: All ages, but mostly geared towards younger children 4-9 year olds

Description: This is an interactive yoga app with 12 different poses to help regulate your child through movement and breath control. All of the poses are free and the graphics are very engaging and easy to follow.

5.App: Cosmic Kids Yoga

App: Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cosmic-kids/id1401503306?mt=8

Cost: Free

Age Range: 3-10 years old

Description: This fun yoga and mindfulness app is packed with over 50 engaging video “adventures” and ties in new and relevant themes that will speak to kids with all different interests (including Frozen, Moana, Minecraft, Wizard of Oz, and so much more). There are all types of exercises and activities to help assist in body regulation, increasing or decreasing arousal, and building awareness of our bodies, our mind-body connection, and the space around us.

6. App: Autism Emotion

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/autism-emotion/id550027186?mt=8

Cost: Free

Age Range: 4+ years old

Description:  This app fosters emotional insight by providing music and photos to teach emotions (happy, sad, proud, calm) to children struggling to identify their feelings, specifically targeting the autism population. This app is very simple and easy to use!

7. App: Model Me Going Places 2

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/model-me-going-places-2/id375669988?mt=8

Cost: Free

Age Range: 4+ years old

Description: This app is great social and emotional learning tool. The visual teaching tool is designed to help children prepare in advance and learn to navigate potentially challenging community settings by decreasing anxiety and modeling expected behaviors in each environment. Each location contains a photo slideshow and there are six social narratives included in the free version. This is a nice tool to use before planning a visit to a new place, such as a doctor’s office!

8. Ap: Calm  

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calm-meditation-to-relax-focus-sleep-better/id571800810?mt=8

Cost: Free

Age Range: 4+ years old

Description: This is an excellent meditation app designed to help achieve better sleep, reduced anxiety and stress, and overall relaxation. The app uses guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing programs, stretching exercises, and relaxing music. It is great for users of all different experience levels with meditation, and the sessions are available in varying lengths from 3-25 minutes so you can select an activity that fits the needs of your schedule and routines.

9. App: DreamyKid

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dreamykid-meditation-app-just-for-kids/id1161307071?mt=8

Cost: Free

Age Range: Children & Teens

Description: This app offers meditations, guided visualizations and positive affirmations to improve focus, relaxation, and mood. There is also an option for add-on programs tailored to sleep difficulties, coping with schoolwork, sports-preparation, coping with ADD/ADHD, and more, though they do cost a fee.

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