Mental wellness app downloads soar under lockdown

A plastic brain on a metal stand

New research from Sensor Tower has found that the world’s top English-language mental wellness apps saw two million more downloads in April, while countries were under lockdown, compared to January. The figures were expected as more people were forced to stay home and contend with social isolation which can take a toll on their mental health.

Calm and Headspace, both meditation apps, topped the rankings when it came to global, U.S., and U.K. download figures. Calm amassed 3.9 million downloads while Headspace was downloaded 1.5 million times. Other popular apps included Meditopia, Fabulous, Reflectly, and Daylio. Interestingly, most of the apps are meditation-based and don't specialise in other mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

In total, the apps were downloaded almost 10 million times in April, which was up 24.2% compared to January. Sensor Tower reported that from the top 10 apps, eight of those saw bigger monthly installs in April compared to January and most of them saw an increase in new downloads month-over-month in March and April.

With the U.K. and other countries now beginning to ease their lockdowns, more people have the opportunity to go out and socialise with friends and family even though group-size and location restrictions still apply. This easing of the lockdowns could see people’s mental state return to pre-lockdown levels if they’d begun to suffer under lockdown. This, in turn, could see people stop using these meditation apps. It’ll be interesting to watch how people’s use of these apps evolves over time.

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