We’ve put together a list of helpful apps which may provide some of the tools and support you need if you’re feeling lonely.
Currently, there is much discussion and debate about how helpful technology can be when it comes to tackling loneliness. For instance, research studies can be confusing as they attempt to establish the positive and negative effects of social media use on our sense and feelings around the connection we have with others. Questions are being asked over the extent to which living in a digital world can either help or hinder a sense of social isolation.
We all feel lonely at times
It is also widely recognised we can all feel lonely at times, regardless of our relationship status – whether we live alone, are single, married, part of a couple, or with children. Studies identify loneliness as a feeling where people may feel a lack of social connection and isolation to what is around us and where our relationship status or living circumstances are not necessarily a precursor or the sole reason for feeling lonely.
Feeling lonely is a very personal experience
We’ve come to understand, feeling lonely is a very personal experience, where finding solutions or some relief is just as individual as finding our ideal diet or exercise routine. We talked about caring of our mental health with a similar approach in our article Social Prescribing For Health And Wellness, where medical practitioners are looking for common mental health and wellbeing solutions within our communities.
Technology offers tools to help tackle loneliness
Our list below includes apps endeavouring to connect people and tackle loneliness which may serve to help in their own small way. Or perhaps more appropriately, offers part of the solution to a loneliness epidemic which is increasingly recognised as requiring a multi-dimensional approach.
Taking small steps to tackle feelings of loneliness
While it is advisable to see your doctor if you’re experiencing extreme feelings of loneliness, perhaps for many of us who feel lonely from time to time, the impetus is really on us to find solutions that work for us individually. It means taking small steps, acting on addressing our feelings, knowing what might help and the steps we are prepared to take.
What may work for some may not work for others. But one thing we can all do is seek opportunities amongst our friends and family, within our communities and also online, for tools or actions which may be helpful in relieving and tackling feelings of loneliness.
Knowing of tech-based tools to tackle loneliness is reassuring
At the very least, the list below may serve to show some of the technology-based solutions geared towards tackling loneliness. Being in the knowledge solutions are both sought after and available, in itself, may be comforting and reassuring to know. By no matter of means is technology alone the panacea to loneliness. But what the digital arena may help us to do, is find our own unique set of combined, actionable solutions on and offline.
HELPFUL APPS FOR TIMES WHEN YOU ARE FEELING LONELY
Here, we link to each website where you can find out more and follow links to downloads. Some are free mobile apps to download but others are also web and subscription based.
Whether you’re going through tough times or just need someone to speak to TalkLife knows life can be incredibly tough for everyone. TalkLife is a peer support platform and is designed to be a safe space. At TalkLife you can find someone to talk to about the struggles you share. It’s a platform where you can work through life together and talk about anything from mental health, depression, a break up to school or work.
Replika was founded on the idea to create a personal AI that would help you express and witness yourself by offering a helpful conversation. It’s a space where you can safely share your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences, memories, dreams – your “private perceptual world.”
Replika is your personal companion for mental wellness. It’s an artificial intelligence chatbot that you can message and talk to in a mobile app or on their website. If you’re feeling down, or anxious, or you just need someone to talk to, your Replika is there for you 24/7.
Panion is a social platform based on common interests that helps you meet like-minded people who share your passions. Whether you’ve moved to a new city, are travelling solo, discovered a new hobby, or just want to make a new friend, Panion offers a space to discover, chat and meet with people.
Happy is there for the moments you may need some support. Some moments are life changing – becoming a parent, moving to a new city, or losing a loved one. Others are part of everyday life- feeling discouraged at work, frustrated with a spouse, or simply feeling self-critical.
At Happy, you select the topics you want to chat about and you will then be matched with a Provider who has been highly rated and trained to give you the empathy and encouragement you deserve. Happy gives you a space to speak openly, anonymously and for as long as you’d like.
Talkspace makes online therapy available and affordable for all. Their mission is to provide more people with convenient access to licensed therapists who can help those in need to live a happier and healthier life.
Predictable is designed for people who are literate but have lost the ability to speak. Possibly due to cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease, laryngectomy, stroke, apraxia or brain injury.
You start by typing on Predictable and it will predict what you want to say and read out the sentence for you – it gives a voice to people who don’t have one. Predictable is a multi-award winning app and the market leader in its category. It’s also available in 10 different languages.
Mindings is a limited private social network project where initially, you have to write to them if you’re interested in joining. They offer a social connection and telecare solution where socially and tech-shy people can connect with their families, friends and communities providing reassurance that their loved one is okay. The private network enables family, friends and carers to share pictures, texts and a daily calendar on a digital picture frame in the home of a loved one. It’s been described as “Facebook, for the technology-shy!”.
Whether moving to a new city or just looking for a change of scene, meeting new people can be as hard as it is fun. They’ve found a way to connect people through music. Tastebuds connects you with people nearby who have a common music taste with you. All you have to do is share your favourite music and songs to start meeting new people.
Whether you’re new in town or travelling solo, PartyWith (formerly ‘Party with a Local’) is an app connecting people who want to party. With the app, you can connect and meet new people to grab drinks, find parties nearby, make friends at festivals, and discover local nightlife experiences.
A mobile app developed to help you practise your gratitude skills and find more joy, beauty and comfort in simple, everyday moments. Happier helps you stay more present and positive throughout the day. The app includes an on-the-go gratitude journal, bite-sized expert-led courses and a supportive Happier community. They call it a ‘smile in your pocket’.
An absorbing obstacle based game requiring time and patience to succeed, it just may offer a much-needed distraction when you’re feeling lonely because it can be so compelling. With over 200 million downloads so far, Color Switch was one the fastest games to download on the App Store and was the number one game in over 150 countries.
The Hey!Vina app is a social network for women. From taking you on a new adventure to finding your place in a new town or hooking you up with your next job, to introducing you to the love of your life or talking through a tough time; Vina says we all get by with a little help from our friends. Hey! VINA empowers women to choose community over competition and to tap into the power of a supportive global community of awesome women.
Launching soon, Remarkable Lives will be a private social network. A place to celebrate the life stories of older people and share memories with those who matter most.
Peanut is an app for mothers. They make it easy to connect and learn from like-minded women because they say with more women in your life, the better it becomes. You can connect with mamas like you, near you, chat and create meetups and share experiences across meaningful topics.
Happify is web-based training bringing you effective tools and programs to help you take control of your feelings and thoughts. Their proven techniques are developed by leading scientists and experts who’ve been studying evidence-based interventions in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioural therapy for decades.