What are the best iPhone apps for dealing with stress, depression and anxiety?

Mental health, unfortunately, is one of the biggest challenges faced by humanity. According to the World Health Organisation, a staggering 615 million people currently suffer from at least one mental or neurological condition. And depression and anxiety are, by far, the most common conditions.

Depression is rapidly becoming one of the world's biggest health crises, and it's putting massive strain on our healthcare systems. Often, institutions just don't have the time and resources to be able to cope with this level of demand.

While treatment and support services do exist within institutions such as the NHS, there are still some people who won't attempt to get the support they should be getting. In fact, Counselling Directory says only 230 of every 300 people diagnosed with a mental health condition will seek support from their GP.

Could there be another solution here? Almost certainly, and it comes in the form of mobile technology. There are now a new wave of apps and software capable of helping people with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. In this article we explore the best stress- and anxiety-busting apps for iOS devices.

Read next: Best iPhone sleep apps | Best iPhone fitness apps

Best iPhone apps for beating stress & anxiety: Recolor

When you're feeling stressed, there's nothing better than grabbing some paper and pencils to doodle. Although you may never become the next Da Vinci, it's a soothing process and can help ease your mind. Recolor, which doesn't cost a penny to download, brings this experience to the iPhone.

It's a colouring book app and sports images such as mandalas and animals. What's cool is that it's been designed based on complexity, so you can start off easy and build your way up. Another great thing here is that all the colours are fresh and not overpowering, meaning you have a way to relax after a hectic day.

Best stress apps for iPhone: Recolor

Best iPhone apps for beating stress & anxiety: Buddhify

Meditation is one of the best ways to ease stress and anxiety, and with Buddhify, you can become a pro at it. The app has been designed to teach you mindfulness-filled meditation routines on the go and to help you increase your wellbeing, both physical and mental.

You get 11 hours of custom meditation routines to choose from, all covering 15 parts of a typical day. They've been tailored to work in scenarios such as travelling, being online, going to sleep and taking a work break.

There are more than 80 tracks to choose from, lasting from 5 to 30 minutes. Other features include a timer, a check-in system to see how you're getting on and progress reports. It costs £3.99 to buy outright, and you don't have to pay a monthly fee.

Best stress apps for iPhone: Buddhify

Best iPhone apps for beating stress & anxiety: Sleep Genius

Not getting enough sleep every night can also cause stress and anxiety. The fact is, if you wake up in the morning with low energy levels, it's likely that you'll struggle to get through the day. Luckily, there are plenty of apps out there to help you get shut-eye.

Sleep Genius is one of the most popular sleep apps you can get on the iPhone. Costing £3.99, the app offers a scientifically proven sound program to ensure you get plenty of sleep. It uses a variety of algorithms to help you sleep faster, longer and deeper.

These sounds play before you go to bed and in all the important stages of the sleep cycle, and you're then woken up by a refreshing alarm. The latter lasts for five minutes in the morning and aims to ensure you're fresh for the day ahead.

Best stress apps for iPhone: Sleep Genius

Best iPhone apps for beating stress & anxiety: Relax Lite

When you have so many things to do at once, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and negative. And if you don't take a break now and again, you can easily burn out. Relax Lite promotes relaxation as a remedy for dealing with depression.

The app provides guided breathing exercises that use calming music to help you feel relaxed and full of energy. They last for around eight minutes and use distinct cues in each breathing phase. That way, you can use the programs at your pace.

According to the creators of the app, it can improve focus and anxiety, lower blood pressure and heart rate, aid stamina and fitness, work as a sleep tool and help in pain management. While it's free to download, there are optional in-app purchases offering additional features such as longer relaxation exercises.

Best stress apps for iPhone: Relax Lite

Best iPhone apps for beating stress & anxiety: Stress Check

Depression is clearly a growing problem, and there are common symptoms, but it's not always easy to tell just how badly it affects you on a daily basis. Some interesting apps offer to assess your challenges as well as help you overcome them.

Stress Check is an excellent example. Free to download on iOS and developed by a team of clinical psychologists, it provides you with questions about your symptoms and a score that describes your current level of stress.

Once you've been given a score, you can then try and change things in your life. To help with this, there's a set of descriptions and recommendations on the type of things you can do to get your score lower. For a premium, you can get access to expert yoga videos and exercises.

Best iPhone stress apps: Stress Check

Best iPhone apps for beating stress & anxiety: Trello

Life is full of challenges. Not only do you have to deal with countless pressures at work, but you may also have a ton of things to do at home - be it paying the bills, doing the chores or looking after children. Keeping on top of things really does pay off.

To-do lists can help, but you don't want to carry them around with you. Instead, it's worth downloading a project management app such as Trello. It may sound a bit businessy, but there are actually some handy tools to help you in everyday life. For instance, you can create task lists and track them, and you can add others too.

Best stress apps for iPhone: Trello

Best iPhone apps for beating stress & anxiety: Acupressure: Heal Yourself

If you were to talk to your GP about treating depression and anxiety, they may suggest Acupressure as a possible remedy. This process aims to use your body's pressure points to ease tension and stress. Now you can do this on your iPhone.

Acupressure: Heal Yourself, an app that costs £1.49, lets you locate your pressure and self-massage points so you can do acupressure from the comfort of your own home. The app uses detailed illustrations of more than 90 point combinations, and it guides you throughout the process.

Best stress apps for iPhone: Acupressure