Which apps are right for you?

Mobile apps are tools that can help us make informed decisions about our health. Many of us have used one of the hundreds of health and wellbeing apps available in online app stores. But how effective are these apps?

Vic Health looked at over 300 healthy living apps available for Apple® and Android™ devices between July and October 2018. Selected apps were reviewed to see if they were likely to help users change their behaviour and achieve a healthier lifestyle. As well as reviewing the potential effectiveness of apps, Vic Health have rated them out of 5. Read more about how apps were selected, reviewed and rated.

Please note regardless of the ratings obtained by each app using the research rating scales, VicHealth does not endorse any specific app.
(Excerpt above taken from Vic Health)


When choosing a health and wellbeing App some things to consider are:

  1. Make sure the app is enjoyable to use
    You will use an app more often if you find it enjoyable and engaging. It will also make it feel like less of a chore!
  1. Find an app that suits your needs
    There are many apps available so choose one that suits your needs. For instance, choose an app that’s suitable for your age, fitness levels or accessibility needs.
  1. Choose an app supported by someone you trust
    Not all apps have the same quality of information. Choose an app that is made or supported by an organisation that you trust.
  1. Use an app that supports what you already have
    Find an app you can incorporate with equipment you already have access to. For example, if you already have a fitness tracker device, exercise equipment or access to gym facilities (such as a swimming pool), pick an app that can be used in conjunction with these. You can always upgrade or change later.
  1. Make sure the app allows you to create and modify your own goals
    Setting yourself a goal will help you to build healthy habits and stick to them, such as doing more physical activity next week.
  1. Choose an app that lets you track your behaviour
    Keeping a record of your behaviour will help you change it! For example, you can choose an app that displays the times you go on walks, on what days and at what intensity. There are many apps that let you track your behaviour.
  1. Choose an app that shows you how to do an activity
    If you don’t know how to perform an activity, watching it being done will help you to get started.
  1. Use an app that allows you to share your progress with your friends, whether this is through social media or other users of the app community
    Having support from other people will help you achieve your goals.
  1. Find an app that has notifications
    Let the app remind you of when you had planned to go for a walk or eat a piece of fruit instead of that snack! This will help you build habits and stick to your plans.
  1. Choose an app that rewards you when you succeed
    Getting a reward for doing a specific activity will help reinforce it.  This could be as simple as praise and encouragement or your name appearing on a leader board.

VicHealth has launched the Healthy Living Apps Guide which reviews more than 300 smartphone apps for their effectiveness in helping people lead healthier lifestyles. These guidelines are to assist in finding the app that’s right for you.

For more information, visit the Healthy Living Apps Guide.




Stymie is Australia’s first anonymous online bullying alert system. We are empowering bystanders to speak up without fear by allowing bystanders to send anonymous notifications to their school, about someone who they believe is being bullied.

Stymie has been built to support existing student well-being/pastoral care frameworks and was built in consideration of the Australian Safe Schools Framework and the recommendations from the Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study.

eSafety Commissioner

The eSafety Commissioner (eSafety) is Australia’s national independent regulator for online safety.

eSafety provides a wide range of online safety programs and resources.



You probably have a lot going on right now. At times like these it can help to focus on the small everyday things that support your mental health.
Whether it’s 15 seconds or 5 minutes, try taking some time and space to focus on the things that make you smile. What’s your small step today?

Try their 7 tips for a healthy headspace:

Kids Helpine

Returning to normal after COVID-19
Check out our guide to supporting your child to go back to ‘normal’ after COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

Black Dog Institute

Black Dog Institute

Mental health resources and support tools that you can trust knowing that everything we produce is research-informed and recommended by professionals.



eheadspace is an online counselling website designed to provide support to young people aged 12-25 years through interactions with trained clinicians. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the service is free, anonymous and confidential. Visitors are able to chat online (1pm to 1am AEST) on the phone (10pm to 1pm) and via email. Service availability does vary over the 24-hour period.



MoodGym is an online interactive cognitive behaviour (CBT) and interpersonal based therapy program used as a preventative and self-help tool for young people experiencing mild to moderate levels of depression or anxiety. Developed by ANU, it empowers the user, through completion of five modules, with cognitively based strategies to better manage emotional distress. Recent research indicates MoodGym has been successful in decreasing depressive symptoms and preventing new cases of anxiety.



E-couch is an evidence-based online program offering various therapy styles for young people suffering anxiety, depression, grief and anger. Developed by the Australian National University, the site provides strategies and basic skills for managing symptoms along with current information on mood disorders.

Presented in a “youth friendly” and interactive manner featuring graphics and video, E-couch contains four toolkits or therapy choices based on CBT, IPT, physical activity and relaxation. The program is free but requires registration.

Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind is a mindfulness meditation website and app, developed by an Australian non-profit with support from ReachOut.com. It is “modern meditation for young people” featuring guided meditations with the objective of managing stress, increasing resilience and assisting in reducing mental health risks in later life. Different sets of meditations are targeted at different age demographics.

Bite back

Bite Back

BITE BACK is an online interactive positive psychology website for young people developed by the Black Dog Institute, a clinical, research and education institute specialising in mood disorders. Featuring easy to access language and layout, BITE BACK provides information on mental wellbeing through a variety of mediums, mood tracking tools and guided relaxation/mindfulness activities.



YoDAA is Victoria’s Youth Drug and Alcohol Advice service. Whether you are a young person, or someone concerned, YoDAA provides the simplest way to access the information and support that you need.

The Check In App

The Check-in app

The Check-in app was designed in consultation with young people to help take the fear out of having a conversation with a friend who might be struggling. This is often not an easy conversation to have.


Unwinding Anxiety

Unwinding Anxiety is a mental wellness app that aims to help the user control their anxiety. The app features daily exercises that the user can complete across 30 different modules (Full access to app = cost) Other features include video and audio recordings for each lesson and an online journal where users can collect, analyse and manage their progress.

quit genius

Quit Genius

Quit Genius is a health app that aims to help users quit smoking. This app provides a programme for users to complete, which is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The app features audio sessions; exercises; quizzes; reminder; and information about smoking. (Users can also pay to unlock premium features if you want to)

Head to health

Head to Health

Head to Health offers multiple ways of searching for digital mental health resources. Watch the video to find out more about how to use the website.


Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC)

Your experts in sexual health. Located in Melbourne, contributing innovation and excellence in public health, education, clinical care and research, locally and globally.

Postitive Choices

Positive Choices

Positive Choices is an online portal to help Australian schools and communities access accurate, up-to-date evidence based alcohol and other drug education resources.