Self-Help Exercises for Dealing with COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people are struggling with worry and anxiety.

Anxiety Management Workshop Video

Check out this online video that one of our staff Counselors, Jo Christian, LPC-MHSP, created. This 40 minute video will teach you:

  • why we experience anxiety
  • help you identify unhelpful thinking styles
  • teach you how to combat them
  • provide suggestions for self-care

Tips for Staying Mentally and Emotionally Healthy

Self-Care During Social Distancing


Created by Caroline Xiong, MTSU Community and Public Health Major

Here are some other tips to help you stay mentally & emotionally healthy while at the same time protecting everyone’s physical health through social distancing:

  • Stay connected while social distancing. Call or message people. Try out Netflix Party or a multiplayer game. Remember, we are all in this together. Be sure you are having contact with another human on a daily basis. We love our pets, but we need human interaction too. Create a routine. This will be especially helpful for the remainder of the semester. Pick a time to wake up and get up, and then take a shower (another tip: maintain hygiene! We will all feel better…) Go on a daily walk, have a 2 pm cup of tea. Keep regular mealtimes and identify when you are going to be studying and when you are going to be playing.
  • Play. Find ways to have fun. Find joy or humor every day. If you are struggling with being creative, you can cheat and watch a funny movie. Some of the late-night comedians have free “at home” versions of their shows on YouTube.
  • Cut back on your media intake. This includes social media and news sources. You do not need to know about it the instant something happens. Identify when media intake is on your schedule and get updated only during that time. Also, please pay attention to the tone of your media intake. Some of our media outlets stroke anxiety and some of our media outlets are more calming and reassuring. Choose wisely.
  • Exercise. Move that body. Try it. We promise you’ll feel a little better. If you’re not the exercising type, all good. Be creative. Go for a nature walk, ride a skateboard, make up new dance moves. Just move your body.
  • Go outside. Weather permitting, this will be your best pick-me-up all day. Pay attention to your thinking patterns. If you’re not able to gain perspective or to find the positive, remember that MTSU Counseling Services is available and happy to help you out with that. Which brings me to the next tip….
  • Know your resources and use them. Really, your MTSU community wants to wrap its big blue arms around you and support you. If you need help, ask someone. If you don’t know where to start, ask your favorite person to talk to on campus and they will direct you to the right person. And, we in Counseling Services are happy to help you navigate those resources too.
  • Finally, practice kindness and patience. Information is changing daily and often we don’t know what is coming next - and that is okay. We are all in this together and we will make it through. Most of us are doing our work in brand new ways. Practice patience and kindness with your parents FaceTiming you and with your professor learning to use Zoom. Practice patience with a younger sibling who is finished with their schoolwork in two hours flat. Most importantly, practice kindness and patience with yourself.

Online Resources Available to Everyone

Anxiety & Stress

  • MindShift CBT – Anxiety Canada
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: Will check in to see how you are doing. Includes tools to help with healthy thinking, calming coping skills, taking action. Includes guided meditations and quick coping skills when needing quick relief.
  • FearTools - Anxiety Aid
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: Has you complete an anxiety assessment (GAD-7) to assess intensity of symptoms. Includes thought diary to challenge and reframe unhelpful thoughts, includes videos for guided meditations, soothing sounds, and TED talks. Also has breathing exercises, anxiety hierarchy, etc.
  • Breathe2Relax
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: This is a portable stress management tool that provides information on how stress affects the body and instructions/exercises to help with learning diaphragmatic breathing to increase mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management. Can be used with Apple Watch to measure heart rate through the breathing exercises.
  • Sanity & Self: Stress Relief
    • Cost: 7-day free trial then $9.99/month. Free to download and some free tools available.
    • Description: Focus on women but anyone can use it. Includes audio sessions on anxiety, stress, self-love, dating, breakups, restful sleep, yoga, etc. Provides self-care recommendations with self-discovery journal and mood tracker. Some interventions on here are completely free but get access to premium content with subscription.
  • Stop Panic and Anxiety (Android only)
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: Offers self-help methods to control panic and anxiety. This focuses on the fear of having a panic attack and the fear of the sensations when having a panic attack. Includes relaxation audios, panic assistance audio to coach through panic attacks, anxiety cognitive diary to learn more about challenging fearful thinking. Password protection is available.


  • MoodTools – for depression
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: Has you complete depression assessment (PHQ-9) to assess intensity of symptoms. Includes videos for guided meditations, soothing sounds, and TED talks. Has you practice analyzing and reframing your thoughts through a thought diary and will suggest activities and logs mood before/after the activity. Also has a safety plan feature with crisis numbers.
  • Depression CBT Self-Help Guide (Android only)
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: Contains depression assessment, articles about depression and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Includes diary and emotion training to assist with calming moods.
    • Password protection available.

General Health

Mental Health Tools

  • TAO
    • Cost: Free. Currently free to everyone due to COVID-19. However, free to all MTSU students overall when you sign up using your mtmail.
    • Description: This a free web and app-based online self-help therapy resource that focuses on providing support and resources to increase resiliency, stress management, decrease anxiety/depression, increase mindfulness and more.
  • Remente - Self Improvement
    • Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
    • Description: This a personal development app that includes a day planner with daily to-dos along with long-term goals, actions, and asks. It also provides a life assessment tool to give you an overview of your focus in life along with other tools to help you balance your life.
  • Total Brain
    • Cost: Free trial.
    • This is an interactive website that focuses on self-improvement by providing brain insight training to help the user to increase positive habits.
  • Elevate
    • Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
    • Description: Brain training program to improve focus, speaking abilities, processing speeds, math skills, and more. 35+ games, performance tracking, personalized daily workouts.
  • Daylio Journal
    • Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
    • Description: Keep a private journal without having to type a single word. Pick your mood and add activities that you have done during the day. You can also add notes. Once the app has collected enough data, it will format it to help you understand your habits better.
  • SuperBetter
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: Makes coping skills into a game. When you complete a suggested coping skill (i.e., hug yourself, contacting another person) then you get power ups. You can also “battle” bad guys (i.e., the self-critic, the lazy exercise robbers).
  • Happify
    • Cost: Free-version and subscription version ($14.99/month).
    • Description: Personalized tools based on goals. For example, building self-confidence, coping better with stress, conquering negative thoughts, etc. Includes games and meditations, personalized character strength report, and track progress.
  • Youper
    • Cost: Free with in-app purchases
    • Description: Track mood, monitor emotional health, personalized meditations, quick conversations with AI which are then turned into a journal for you to review, tools to help with sleep
  • CBT Tools for Healthy Living, Self-Help Mood Diary (Android Only)
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: Includes the following tools: cognitive diary, inspire diary, cognitive styles test and your happiness assessment, healthy activities log, mood log, points log, and links to relaxation and assistance audios.
  • Fabulous
    • Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
    • Description: This app takes a holistic approach to motivate users to be more productive and have higher energy. App has you complete a quiz on sleep, exercise, meditation, focus, and motivation to create goals and then gives challenges based on the quiz to motivate you to reach your goals.
  • MindDoc (in-app purchases)
    • Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
    • Description: Has you answer questions about physical and emotional health. Has tools to help you reflect on your thoughts and emotions, includes exercises in mindfulness, depression, rumination, self-confidence, emotions, and sleep


  • Headspace
    • Cost: Free for 2 weeks. $12.99 per month after free trial (auto-enrolled). They have a student plan at $9.99 per year (
    • Description: Focuses on meditation for starting your morning, anxiety, stress, breathing, relaxing, sleeping, mindful fitness, etc. Includes guided exercises and videos.
  • Calm
    • Cost: Free for basic app. Monthly fee for premium content.
    • Description: Includes guided meditation that focuses on calming anxiety, managing stress, increasing gratitude, self-esteem, etc. Posts new daily 10-minute meditation guides. Sleep stories to help with falling asleep more effectively.
    • They have also created a blog with free content:
  • Prana Breath: Calm & Meditate
    • Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
    • Description: Simply designed app that offers 7-15 minute meditation, mindfulness, and breathing patterns with the possibility to personalize your own pattern, and reminders to help you remain consistent.
  • Balance: Meditation (iPhone/iPad only)
    • Cost: Free but has subscriptions of $11.99/month or $49.99/year.
    • Description: Creates a personalized meditation program based on questions that you answer concerning your meditation experience, goals, and preferences.
  • BetterSleep: Sleep Sounds
    • Cost: 7-day free trial; then $59.99/year
    • Description: Allows you to pick and mix 100+ sounds, includes brainwaves, music and guided meditation to help increase relaxation and improve sleep.
  • Insight Timer
    • Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
    • Description: Thousands of guided meditations, thousands of music tracks and ambient sounds to calm the mind, focus, and sleep better. Includes thousands of discussion groups and community features.
  • Guided Mind
    • Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
    • Description: Has 40+ free meditations and 14 free nature soundscapes. With payment, you can access 400+ meditations along with instrumental tracks.

Online Peer, Group, & AI Support

  • Woebot
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: This is an automated conversational agent (chatbot) who helps to monitor your mood and increase knowledge of yourself. Woebot will ask you about how you’re feeling and what is going on in your life along with talking to you about mental health and wellness.
  • 7 Cups
    • Cost: Free (in-app purchases that includes subscription options)
    • Description: This app provides anonymous emotional support and counseling from training active listeners (not a licensed therapist). Easy to use text chat. Includes ability to have 1-1 chat with a listener, calm yourself with 300 free mindful exercises, simple activities to boost mood and chat/community forums on various topics (mood disorders, foster care support, addiction, etc.)
  • Vent
    • Cost: Free (subscription version with 7-day free trial, $2.99/month after trial)
    • Description: Connects you to a supportive, positive, and understanding community to allow you to share your feelings with people all around the world. You can also make friends and chat privately without sharing your personal contact information.
  • Therapeer: Peer Emotional Support
    • Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
    • Description: You can provide emotional support as a “Peer.” This can help you feel better by knowing that you helped someone else in need. You can also create a support room and the app will match you with a “Therapeer” who has struggled with a similar experience as you.
  • Wysa
    • Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
    • Description: This app is a friendly and caring chatbot that will guide you through daily meditations, check-in about your mood, and help you to fight stress and anxiety.

Online Therapy

  • BetterHelp
    • Cost: paid subscription for online telehealth
  • NOCD
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: Created by people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, this app offers live video-based OCD therapy and in-between session support. This will match you with a licensed OCD therapist in your state and start OCD therapy via video, text, etc. Other tools include self-assessment, creating hierarchy of fears, list triggers, and access to open forums.
  • Talk Space Online Therapy
    • Cost: Subscription, starts at $196/month (website). Check for special offer codes for a discount.
    • Description: This is a website that connects you to a licensed online therapist from your state that you can contact through video chats and messaging on either your phone or computer. You will first complete a survey that will match you to the appropriate counselor.


  • PTSD Coach
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: This app provides psychoeducation about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder along with information about professional care, a self-assessment for PTSD, ways to find support, and tools to help with managing the stressors of life with PTSD. Tools include relaxation skills, positive self-talk, anger management, etc.


  • Rise Up + Recover (Disordered Eating Recovery)
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: This app focuses on assisting those struggling with food, dieting, exercise, and body image. The following tools are included: log meals, emotions, and behaviors, set custom reminders to inspire you, password protection, share motivational quotes and images, access resources to build recovery, and find support and professional treatment nearby.
  • Twenty-Four Hours a Day (Addiction Recovery)
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: Featuring 366 daily meditation from the book, “Twenty-Four Hours a Day” to help you focus on your sobriety wherever you are. This app provides daily messages that you can share with others or favorite for yourself to review later. Also provides meditations


  • Calm Harm (Self-Harm)
    • Cost: Free
    • Description: This app gives you a range of activities to help manage the urge to self-harm You can choose between four categories of tasks: distract, comfort, express yourself, release, and breathe. This app also offers password protection and personalization

:  Self-help apps are for educational and skill building purposes and are not a substitute for treatment of any mental/psychiatric disorders. For those who have been diagnosed or are being treated for a mental health condition, please consult with your health care professional to ensure these apps are appropriate for your treatment. Like all forms of online information, the content and quality of these apps may change over time. Free apps may include in-app purchases in order to use all available features. Further, please use discretion when using apps that ask for personal information.


Counseling Services

KUC 326-S
(615) 898-2670

Office Hours:
8:00am - 4:30pm
Monday - Friday

For after-hour emergencies call Mobile Crisis: 1-800-704-2651. Or go to the nearest emergency room.