Your cell phone may be your best resource for the grief journey.

Posted on October 19, 2023 by Rev. Pam Reidy under educating for grief and loss
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For me, the secret to a happy life has always been to start each day with positivity. This includes a variety of practices including meditation, listening to music, feasting on poetry, performing a gratitude reflection and setting daily goals for my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Having discovered the perfect apps, it’s never been easier to follow my daily positivity discipline. Downloaded on my phone, the apps go everywhere with me, so whether I am waiting in a doctor’s office, traveling on a plane or sitting lakeside at sunrise, I am ready prepared. The app I use daily is RITUAL, which offers a collection of reflections, practices, and meditations by a wide variety of seasoned practitioners from poets to priests to psychologists.

What is an App and How Does it Work?

App is short for an “application” which is a software program that can be added to your phone, tablet or computer. Apps can help us be more productive, learn, or track information.  There are apps to help you reserve parking, order dinner, pray, learn a language or track your fitness level.  Many apps are directed toward improving our daily lives. Bereavement apps are designed to support a grieving person.

Google Play and the Apple store each offer Apps to help grieving individuals. Apps range in cost from free to expensive monthly subscription fees.  Be sure to check the cost before downloading.  There are many good free apps. Some advantages of using an app include:

  • Resources are located in a single place for you
  • Free chats and messaging may be included and helpful when you need someone without notice
  • Daily reminders are generated automatically
  • An app can help you stay consistent in addressing grief and loss
  • Customized support is often a feature
  • Information can be absorbed in small doses and when the user chooses

A few of my favorite bereavement apps include:

Grief Works  is a well-thought-out app that helps you navigate these feelings. The app is based on a book by Julia Samuel, who is a distinguished psychotherapist. A couple of the interactive tools you’ll be able to use include meditation and mindfulness guides as well as sleep and breathing exercises. One of the top features that users love about this app is the ability to write in your own personal journal

Ellie’s Way is an app that is full of amazing resources and gracious people who want to offer their support.

WYSA Imagine if you could have a little therapist by your side at all times. Well, you can! Wysa is an all-in-one app that can help you with anxiety, grief, and so much more. This app works as your happiness buddy, mood tracker, mindfulness coach, meditation guide, AI-powered chatbot, and overall close friend. The app gives you your own private space where you can keep track of your journey. Don’t worry if you need someone to talk to; simply start a chat with Wysa and get whatever is bothering you off your mind. Wysa gives you everything you need in the palm of your hands,  from sleep stories and sounds to self-care exercises about overcoming grief  and loneliness.

Grief Refuge helps you feel soothed and supported through grief, healing, and living your life from this point forward. It provides daily content to help you cope with death related loss and process grief-filled thoughts and emotions.

Ritual  is an app that partners with experts to create transformative wellbeing practices. The experts offer a series related to their expertise, such as Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer offers “The Poetic Path” and Olympic gold medalist, Stanford graduate, and mental health advocate Simone Manuel explores how we can build our sense of self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence in our daily lives and work. A particularly good series for grievers is How to foster self-kindness offered by Jamilla Reddy.

Apps are effective because you do not have to go anywhere special to use them, they are consistent, and the content is produced by professionals. If you have never used an app before and are intimidated by the idea of finding one, downloading it and becoming comfortable with its use, then my best advice is to find a young person to help get you set up. A grandchild, niece, nephew, a neighbor or young person in your church is only an ask away. The Holden Senior Center offers a monthly session with high schoolers that give free help with technology needs…this is a perfect place to get assistance finding, downloading and using an app.

Grief is hard work. When mourning the loss of a loved one, you deserve any help you can give yourself. Don’t be afraid to try something new.



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