moany mouse

A lifestyle blog

Friday, 8 January 2016

Anxiety App Review - SAM

Images courtesy of the official SAM app

Self-help for Anxiety Management (SAM) by University of the West of England

Good day! Today I am bringing you my review of the above app. As you may know, anxiety has been a very real and constant part of my life for many years and when I came across the above app I  decided to download it and see if it could help me at all. I wanted to share my thoughts with you all. 

Description: SAM is an application to help you understand and manage anxiety. The app has been developed in collaboration with a research team from UWE, Bristol. SAM will help you to understand what causes your anxiety, monitor your anxious thoughts and behaviour over time and manage your anxiety through self help exercises and private reflection. 
Cost: free to download from the App Store and Google Play
Date I started using SAM: 4th December 2015

My thoughts

I really appreciate this app. When I first downloaded it I was almost put off my the sheer amount of information included within the app however when I took the time to sit and familiarise myself with the features I realised that I could really use this app to my advantage. SAM is very descriptive of what can trigger anxiety and worsen it, and the importance of self care (if you read my post about leaving 2015 behind, you will have noticed I am all for putting ourselves first in 2016).

Within the app there are exercises you can quickly access when you are in a panic to help ground & calm yourself down. These include breathing exercises, reading, visuals e.g. drawing & tapping and relaxation exercises. There is also a social cloud where you can share your experiences and connect with other users of the app. 

SAM provides a tracker that helps you to monitor your anxiety so that you can identify your triggers and trends, and there is a tool-kit that allows you to store your favourite exercises for quick access when you need them. 

My favourite aspects

The one element of this app that I utilised the most was the "Help for anxiety NOW" assistance. Within this there are four different activities that work to quickly take your mind away from your episode of anxiety and to subside your panic levels. Two of the four activities that worked for me in particular were Calm Breathing - breathing along with a visual aid, and Picture Peace - choosing a default picture or a picture from my phone and then using my finger to rub the screen and bring the picture into view. Calm Breathing helped clear my mind and bring my breathing back to a normal pace and Picture Peace allowed me to move my focus away from the situation and onto my phone, whilst physically busying myself. 

My least favourite aspects

Personally I didn't make a lot of use out of the Social Cloud. From what I was able to tell, the social forum isn't monitored which can lead to a large amount of worrying comments from other users, without any guarantee that these people are getting proper help. There is however an information page that refers you on to various helplines, and asks that you seek alternative sources of support and I can understand that monitoring the forum could be a full time job for someone. 

My rating out of 5

4.5. I absolutely cannot get over the amount of help & information provided within this app, and all for free! 

Would I recommend this app to others?

Yes, without a doubt.

Has anyone else used this app before? What did you think? Or are there any other apps that you would recommend?
I planned to keep this app on my phone for a month but have decided not to delete it and keep it to use in the future - a good result!

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  1. I'm going to download this. Is it entirely free? :)



    1. Yeah there wasn't any charges so everything I've covered was totally free! :) x

  2. Nice! Never thought about that kind of apps. I should check on my phone!
    Thanks for sharing :)

    1. No problem! The more ways for people to get support the better :) x

  3. I'd never heard of this app - thank you for the info. It's good that it's supported by evidence. I'll definitely download it - I've been struggling with anxiety for a while. Love bec @becinmonton

    1. Glad to be able to share - let me know how you find it! x

  4. I can't believe an app like this is free, I definitely need to check it out - it sounds pretty amazing!

    Jodie | Jodie Loue

  5. This app sounds really interesting :)

    Although I'm very much aware of what my triggers are, I've been struggling to find ways to help me when I feel like I'm about to have an anxiety attack. I've tried to do some breathing exercises but I can't seem to focus when I'm in the middle of freaking out. I like the sound of a visual aid to keep me focused on my breathing so I'm definitely going to give it a go.

    Thanks for sharing about it x

    1. My pleasure - if it can help then it's totally worth it. Let me know how you get on with it:) x

  6. I need to check this app out. It sounds like a really great one. Thank you for sharing! :)

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  7. Ive never heard of this app but it sounds like such a great idea xx

  8. Ooooo I'm definitely going to try this out

  9. My anxiety has been a lot better this year. I wish I'd had this app some months ago. I'm going to download it right now though, you never know when you will be needing it!

    Be | lovefrombe