Apps that can Help You Support your Child’s Recovery

Happy woman using a tablet to check her social media accounts

Contributor: Leigh Bell, BA, writer for Eating Disorder Hope

Do you see the top of your children’s heads more than their faces as they stare at their phones to text, Instagram, Facebook, tweet, or Tumblr, etc.?

Did it take you awhile to learn the meaning of LOL (laughing out loud)? Or YGTI (You get the idea.)? You’re not alone. Smartphones and social media speak to this upcoming generation; and if your child is dealing with an eating disorder, you can use this language to help.

Several apps for smartphones and tablets are available for free to help you support (and even monitor) your child’s recovery from an eating disorder.

Apps that Can Help!

Recovery Record, free for iPhones and Androids, is probably the most popular among apps designed to support recovery from an eating disorder. The free app for Apple and Android allows users to log everything they eat and how they felt doing it.

All of this information is put into a simple chart to help users and their caregivers track trends and achievement. Treatment-team members, including moms and dads, can long in to see what’s going on and how to best support the user. The app also has a virtual support network where users can share (only if they wish to) their progress and encourage one another.

Rise Up and Recover, designed by a woman who recovered from an eating disorder, is another free app for iPhones and Androids to support people dealing with eating and exercise issues.

Users can log what they eat and how they feel, in general, and they can export this to a PDF to share with their treatment team or family members. Users can also schedule motivational reminders to pop up and keep them focused.

Young blonde woman using tablet while sitting on steps of TrocadTeenager Kirsten “Kissy” Hertog created The Kissy Project, a blog and app, while recovering from an eating disorder to motivate and support other teens seeking recovery. The free app for iPhones and Androids offers weekly appreciation tasks and “butterflies” as rewards, as well as motivational quotes, videos, and songs.

Recovery Box is $1.99 for all smartphones and is a general addiction recovery app that be customized for eating disorders. Users sum up the day using a stoplight system: green is recovery-positive behavior, yellow is doing so-so, and red is not-so-hot behavior. Pull up the calendar and see how one week or month looks.

The app provides a warning when a user loses track of goals, sends encouraging devotionals, and can even reach out to a sponsor or accountability partner (maybe mom or dad).

MindShift is an app designed specifically to help teens and young adults face and cope with anxiety. It aims to help users change the way they think about anxiety, which is rampant in the mind of eating disorders.

The app offers a “check-in” to assess the user’s anxiety (Racing heart? Tight chest?) and then provides a guided coping mechanism, like deep breathing. It’s free for both iPhones and Androids.

Finally, Happify, which has been featured in many news outlets, provides Cosmo-like quizzes, games, and activities meant to make users more aware of positive aspects of life.

The app’s creators, who claim it’s based on neurological research, say the brain can be changed to be more positive, and therefore, happier. The app is free to download iPhones and Androids but costs $13 a month or $70 a year.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Do you have a favorite app that has been helpful in support eating disorder recovery for you or your loved one? Which app and why?

Leigh BellAbout the Author: Leigh Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in Creative Writing and French from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is a published author, journalist with 15 years of experience, and a recipient of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. Leigh is recovered from a near-fatal, decade-long battle with anorexia and the mother of three young, rambunctious children.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 16, 2015
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About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.