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8 mental health tools that fit in your pocket and won't break the bank

Technology has made is easier to talk, shop, bank ... just about everything. What about getting care?

Mental health stigma is an unfortunate thing. It makes it so much harder to take care of yourself when you're having a moment (or a long moment) of struggle because you feel like you have to hide.

Problem: I just need some help chilling out.



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There's a ton of research supporting how meditation is super good for your mind and body. Have you caught the mindfulness bug but you're not sure where to start? There are some great apps that can help you get started with just a few minutes a day. Some options are completely free, some are have a one-time fee, some have both free and paid features.

Problem: I want to be more aware of how I'm feeling.


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It's easy to go about our day just riding the emotional wave. But having more awareness of our feelings and the contexts in which we feel them makes it so much easier for us to live happier healthier lives. Downloading a mood-tracking app to the little gadget in your back pocket can make that so much easier. The best mood-tracking apps remind you to take note of your moods as well as what is affecting them.

Problem: I need some help managing my moods.

If you're dealing with a specific issue like anxiety (like I do), a specialized app like Pacifica might be really be helpful. Its features were developed with cognitive behavioral therapy in mind so it's very good at helping me reframe my thoughts when I'm feeling negative emotions.

Problem: I want a therapist, but I can't do the appointments.

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Many therapists offer sessions over webcam (they usually cost the same as in-person), but you may still find it unaffordable or difficult to block off the necessary time. Companies like BetterHelp and Talkspace are making therapy easier and cheaper to get by giving you in a private, secure chat room with your therapist. You pay a subscription fee to have unlimited access to your chatroom via your computer, tablet, or phone.

Problem: I want a live therapist, but I don't even know where to start.

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Even if you're sure that the thing you need is some one-on-one face time, trying to find a provider can seem intimidating. Psychology Today's Find a Therapist tool to the rescue! You can search by your location then refine by whatever facets are important to you including insurance, specialty, and treatment orientation. A list of pictures and bios will tell you everything you want to know about the providers you have left. It's completely free. You don't have to sign up for anything.

As we all work to get rid of stigma, it's good to know there are some great solutions that let anyone, anywhere get care.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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