Improving Your Mood: How Technology Can Help Black Americans Address Mental Health Issues

By Tashi McQueen, African-American political writer,
Members of the American Legion report,

Today, the U.S. healthcare system is unaffordable for the average American without insurance. Other medical services to help prevent or manage mental health may be more out of reach.

Mental health can be debilitating if left unaddressed for a long time, and more immediate access to resources is essential for those suffering.

Blackfullness, Bloom: CBT Therapy & Journal, Exhale – BIWOC Well-Being and the Mood Notes – Mood Tracker and other mental health tracking mobile apps can help people address and manage mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and body dysmorphia at a low cost Even free.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy used to treat a variety of mental illnesses. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), CBT therapy typically involves changing behavioral patterns by facing fears rather than avoiding them. Use role-playing to prepare for potentially problematic interactions with others and provide guidance on how to calm the mind and relax the body.

The ultimate goal of CBT is for patients to be their own therapists, therefore, interventions include tracking the results of coping skills used outside of sessions as ‘homework’.

The Blackfullness app was developed by Sonia Russell and David Walker for Black people who want to take control of their mental health. (Photo by Blackfullness on Facebook)


The Blackfullness app is designed to promote overall health and reduce stress, especially for Black people.

Blackfullness is a virtual space created by Sonia Russell and David Walker to focus on the physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being of black people, as well as their overall mental health. They believe black people are unique and should have the resources to replicate that.

Minorities make up less than 10 percent of clinical trial enrollments, according to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that health care rarely takes into account the experiences of Black people, making health care less effective for people of color.

The app offers guided meditations, prayers, music and physical exercise. It’s an all-in-one service compared to personal sleep tracking and motivational quotes apps, which can be a hassle to manage.

The Blackfullness app has a 4.9 star rating. The app is free to download and use. Apple users require iOS 10.0 or later.

Bloom: CBT Therapy and Journal

The Bloom: CBT Therapy and Journal app is designed to help people improve themselves through CBT self-guided therapy.

Bloom has been around for three years and has touched 2.5 million people, according to CEO and co-founder Leon Mueller.

More than 2.5 million people have addressed their mental health issues by downloading the Bloom: CBT Therapy and Journal app, co-founded by Leon Mueller. Users learn cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques through pre-recorded videos. (Photo courtesy of Bloom: CBT on Facebook)

“While a session with a 1-1 therapist ranges from $75 to $400 for a session, Bloom’s annual price is a fraction of the cost,” Mueller told AFRO. “All classes are 5 to 15 minutes and teach you to do the therapy yourself.”

Users learn and practice CBT techniques through pre-recorded interactive video sessions.

Bloom is a 10-year mission with many expansions and partnerships planned, Mueller said.

The app has a 4.8-star rating on Apple’s software platform. It works with all Apple products with iOS 14.0 or later.

Exhale: BIWOC Health

Exhale is an emotional wellness app for Black, Indigenous, or Women of Color (BIWOC).

Exhale: BIWOC Well-Being is an app focused on improving the mental health of women who are Black, Indigenous, or color. The platform uses visual cues, breathing exercises, coaching, and daily affirmations to help improve mental health. (Photo via Exhale: BIWOC Well-Being on Google Play)

It is an easily accessible shelter for BIWOC. It aims to improve self-care, which is extremely important in the rapidly evolving digital and post-pandemic world.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the importance of significantly managing mental health when needs exceed resources and coping capacities. They focus on creating inner strength by encouraging investing in yourself with energy and love.

Features include: guided meditations, visual cues, breathing exercises, coaching and daily affirmations related to BIWOC staff.

Exhale is available on Apple iOS devices running version 12.0 or later, as well as Android phones. It is free to download and use. It has a 4.8-star rating on the Apple Store.

Mood Notes: Mood Tracker

One in 25 Americans suffers from a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder. Moodnotes is a CBT based journal and mood tracking app that helps people understand how to shift and develop better thought patterns in the present moment. Users select an emoji and take notes describing their current mood. The paid version of the app has unlimited entries and a “check thoughts” option to help buyers challenge negative thoughts.

Moodnotes: Mood Tracker is the perfect app to help with those pesky negative thoughts! This app provides CBT based diary and mood tracking. (Photo via Moodnotes: Mood Tracker on Facebook)

Moodnotes has a 4.7 star rating in the Apple App Store. The app is available for Apple users with iOS 13.0 or later.

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