Emotional Health

Apps for Eating Disorder Recovery and Mindfulness

January 10, 2018   /
Author: 
Alex Lewis, RD, LD

It takes a large treatment team and a wide array of support to help yourself or a loved one with an eating disorder (ED). Fortunately, in today’s tech savvy world, there are also plenty of mobile applications that have been developed to join in on the fight against an ED. Not only are there apps marketed specifically towards recovery, mindful eating and mindfulness-based apps can help those fighting an ED as well as those who are not. 

Below you will find the mobile app name as well as: platform, price, summary of the app, practical tips for use in recovery, and target audience. Apps are organized by category and in alphabetical order. 

 

Eating Disorder Recovery

Body Beautiful
Platform: Apple
Price: $0.99
Summary: “Body Beautiful helps you cultivate a positive self-image and encourage true beauty with inspirational quotes, media articles, videos and tools.”
Practical tips for use: Try out the “photo stamp” section, which allows you to imprint inspiring messages on your personal photos. 
Most useful for: Children, teenagers, and young adults

Do I Have an Eating Disorder?
Platform: Apple
Price: Free
Summary: The eating disorder evaluation questionnaire (EDE_Q) is an empirically validated measure of disordered eating. Clinicians use EDE_Q to evaluate the scope and severity of client eating problems, and it is used in research to understand population eating disorder trends. This is the first, and only, free iPhone app that lets you complete this quick, 15-minute questionnaire from the privacy of your mobile phone.”
Practical tips for use: After getting your results of the screening, discuss the results with your health-care provider.
Most useful for: Someone who suspects they may have disordered eating or an eating disorder or is in the early stages of seeking help. 

iCounselor: Eating Disorder
Platform: Apple
Price: $0.99
Summary: “You first rate the frequency and intensity of the eating disorder thoughts on a color-coded scale of 0 (none) to 10 (continual, very difficult to resist). You move on to the first set of skills, where you will select one of ten ways to change your thoughts. After utilizing one of the thought changers, you proceed to selecting one method for making lifestyle changes for promoting your recovery.”
Practical tips for use: Use this app to learn about common thinking errors and cognitive distortions that can occur when you have an eating disorder. 
Most useful for: Anyone in recovery

Kissy Project
Platform: Apple, Android
Price: Free
Summary: “The Kissy Project app is a pro-recovery app for teenagers with an eating disorder. This app is a tool to create a positive mindset, to believe in yourself, and to discover your inner-strength. Kirsten Hertog created The Kissy Project while suffering from anorexia Nervosa and binge eating disorder to share her journey and motivate other teenagers to believe in recovery.”
Practical tips for use: Read the inspirational recovery quote section often as it changes each day. 
Most useful for: Children, teenagers, and young adults

Recovery Record
Platform: Apple, Android
Price: Free
Summary: “With Recovery Record you can: keep a record of meals, thoughts and feelings, access beautiful reflection images and affirmations, customize log questions, meal plans, coping tactics and recovery goals, view charts that highlight insights, trends and progress, set personalized reminder schedules and alarm tones, complete questionnaires to track your progress, and receive in-the-moment feedback and messages from your treatment team.
Practical tips for use: You can easily communicate with your treatment team in the app; save paper and journals by discretely record your thoughts and feelings in the app.
Most useful for: Anyone in recovery

Recovery Box
Platform: Apple
Price: $1.99
Summary: “Breaking habits requires knowing why we do what we do, when do we do it, and coming up with a plan to break the habits. Recovery Box has all the tools needed to help with addiction recovery. Green lights = way to go activities; yellow lights = warning light events; red lights = acting out. Keep track of your daily activities using this simple light system and email/text directly from Recovery Box to your sponsor, accountability partner, or counselor.”
Practical tips for use: Share your warning system with your treatment team, who will help to pinpoint patterns in your behaviors. 
Most useful for: Anyone in recovery

Rise Up + Recover
Platform: Apple, Android
Price: Free
Summary: “At Recovery Warriors, our mission is to create empowering tools that will help you succeed! With the Rise Up + Recover app you can: log your meals, emotions, and behaviors from the privacy of your mobile phone, export PDF summaries of your meal log and check-in to share with your treatment team, set custom reminders to inspire you to keep moving forward, reassured that your personal information is protected behind a pass-code, and share motivational and inspirational quotes, images, and affirmations.”
Practical tips for use: Use ConnectED to find nearby eating disorder health professionals. 
Most useful for: Anyone in recovery

Mindful Eating

Am I Hungry?® Virtual Coach
Platform: Apple, Android
Price: $2.99
Summary: “The Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Virtual Coach was designed to help you end futile restrictive dieting and resolve mindless and emotional eating. Designed and developed by founder Michelle May, MD, this app will guide you through the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Cycle. It is a powerful tool for making more mindful decisions so you are in charge of every decision without having to resort to rules and restrictions. Whenever you feel like eating, simply click I want to eat and the app will guide you through the process step by step.”
Practical tips for use: Let the app guide you through the hunger scale to determine if you are truly hungry. 
Most useful for: Anyone struggling with binge eating or who has trouble tapping into natural hunger cues

Before I Eat – A Moment in the Zone
Platform: Apple, Android
Price: $0.99
Summary: “Before I Eat helps you manage food cravings and eating urges as they occur. With over 100 minutes of high quality audio and specialty tools, you can quickly build a customized plan that's a virtual panic button at your fingertips to use whenever an urge strikes.”
Practical tips for use: Utilize the HALT-B section, which walks you through what you are feeling in the moment (hungry, angry, lonely, tired, bored) and how to get through these feelings without turning to food. 
Most useful for: Anyone struggling with binge eating and/or emotional eating

In the Moment – Mindful Eating
Platform: Apple, Android
Price: $1.99
Summary: “Let this light-hearted app help guide you to better spontaneous food choices when hunger hits and quick options are needed. Practice healthy coping skills when emotional states make decision-making more difficult. Your interactions with In The Moment will help you identify the nature of your immediate need and support healthier responses to emotional challenges with food and life.”
Practical tips for use: Use the decision trees to determine what kind of exercise you need to do/read in the app, which will maximize the app’s effectiveness for you personally. 
Most useful for: Anyone struggling with binge eating and/or emotional eating

 

Mindfulness

Calm
Platform: Apple
Price: Free
Summary: “Our program teaches the basics of mindfulness meditation. By breaking down the meditation techniques into 7 steps, it is easier to learn how to perform advanced techniques like breathing and attaining the correct posture.”
Practical tips for use: Do the “7 days of calm” introductory program to get started. 
Most useful for: Mindfulness beginners

Headspace
Platform: Apple, Android
Price: Free
Summary: “Headspace is meditation made simple. Install today to learn meditation and mindfulness in just 10 minutes a day.”
Practical tips for use: Utilize the buddy system built into the app to encourage your friends to be more mindful. 
Most useful for: Mindfulness beginners who are short on time

Stop, Breath & Think
Platform: Apple, Android
Price: Free
Summary: “The Stop, Breathe & Think app is a free mindfulness, meditation, and compassion-building tool that is simple, fun, and easy to use. Check in to how you are thinking and feeling, and select emotions that guide you to recommended meditations.”
Practical tips for use: Use before and after meal times, when anxiety may be high
Most useful for: Anyone

 

Review date: 3/30/16