You may have heard how the internet and social media can affect our mental health, but the connotation is usually negative. While making sure we stay conscious of where our attention goes and what we consume is a good idea, we can also utilize the many resources technology offers to benefit and help us manage our mental health for the better. That’s right, there’s an app for that too. Read on for ideas on how to use the internet to manage mental health.

1. Take advantage of the internet to manage mental health

Taking advantage of the wealth of information available on the internet can be very empowering when it comes to looking for answers about managing mental health. Of course one should follow up on any self-diagnosis with a doctor or mental health professional, but there are plenty of reputable resources out there with good information. Informing yourself can also help you have better conversations about managing mental health with professionals who can best advise you. Being informed helps you be your own best advocate. Check out the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for a great resource on using internet to manage mental health.

2. Helpful online communities for understanding and support

It can be helpful to reduce the feeling of isolation that often comes with mental illness to connect and communicate with others who understand. Online support groups can offer both privacy and connection with others who have had similar experiences to help with healing. A good resource to find online support groups is PsychCentral, they have a database of internet-based mental health support groups and apps to choose from.

3. Apps and tools to establish healthy habits and routines

There are some really cool apps and tools available online to help support healthy habits and routines for managing mental health. Everything from meditation to breathwork, online therapy and support groups, habit and routine trackers, it’s actually really amazing what they’ve come up with. Journaling apps can help you process and cope with difficult emotions, online therapy apps can make working with a mental health professional more accessible, and apps can help you establish and be consistent with supportive practices like mindfulness and meditation.

There’s a lot of really great resources available online, and if you are currently working with a mental health professional it’s a good idea to ask them what online resources they might recommend for you too. Taking control of your health is empowering in itself, and can help you feel better. The internet isn’t meant to take the place of therapy, medication, or an in-person support system, but it can be an awesome resource to support overall health and wellness.