Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety App Poster Image
Find tools, social support from strangers and therapist.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Identifying emotions, developing resilience, and handling stress for personal growth. 

Ease of Play

A lot of options (maybe too many for younger users), but overall very intuitive user interface and prompts.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Some content locked behind premium subscription (in-app purchase required). Some promotion on app ("How can my therapist use Pacifica?") is designed for users to share info about the app with their current therapist or help Pacifica users find a therapist.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety includes tools, activities, reflections, and groups to help users decrease anxiety and increase happiness. Through tools and techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and more, users can learn to manage feelings, handle stress, and reach out for help. There is a mental health professional on the development team and several more on the advisory board. Notifications give users daily reminders to check in with their feelings and record their mood on their app. If they're struggling with something, there are myriad options for self-help and community support. Many features on the app, such as the mood tracker, are free. Other features (including most guided meditations) require the premium subscription. There's also a paid option to work with a mental health professional: Users can connect with their own therapist (if they use the app) or find a licensed professional (identities and licenses are verified). Optional community groups connect users for support: All communication is text-based and user-moderated. Note that this type of app is not for a teen in acute crisis who is thinking about self-harm, and generally, apps designed for mental health purposes are best used in conjunction with a mental health professional and aren't a substitute for professional treatment. Also, as with any app that allows contact between your teen and strangers, parents will want to monitor and talk to kids about safe use. In light of sharing such personal information and offers to login via other social media accounts, it's important to read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written byEmmiiii August 7, 2018

AMAZING APP!!!

I have been using this app for a while now and it is amazing! It helps work out my problems that I have in my life and yes there is a community post but it is a... Continue reading

What's it about?

To use PACIFICA FOR STRESS & ANXIETY, first choose a theme based on a nature scene. Enter a nickname and your email address and create a password, or sign up with Facebook or Google (be aware that accessing the app using social media accounts may give it access to more personal information). Choose goals from the app's "What are your goals?" list and select a "good time to focus on yourself each day." Let the app know if you're working with a mental health professional, or choose to skip that question. From the results of these questions, Pacifica customizes the app for you. Track your mood daily and get suggestions about the activities in the "tools" based on your mood and goals. Post and read in the app's community forums. View your history. 

Is it any good?

There's a toolbox full of features on this anxiety and depression support app that may feel on-target or overwhelming, depending on the user, and it's important to be mindful of safety and privacy concerns. Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety is clearly a nice-looking app -- the scenes, colors, and icons are pretty. There are so many ways here for adults and teens to get new ideas, reflect, gain perspective, and get support, including by encouraging their own therapist to access the information that the user enters into the app or by finding a therapist. Some of the groups and threads in the community support area have substantive content, while others are pretty general and thin. It's worth noting that it may be possible that some people who are battling anxiety, stress, or depression may find this app just too overwhelming; the sheer number of choices may be too much for someone who's already overwhelmed. There are apps out there with more guidance and fewer choices -- and that just feel calmer for those needing something simple. It's important to note that this type of app is not for a teen in acute crisis who is thinking about self-harm, and it would be great for this type of app to state this up front. Also, as with any app that allows contact between your teen and strangers, parents will want to monitor and talk to kids about safe use. That said, Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety's free features are well worth a try, if for no other reason than to monitor moods, learn to embrace the language of emotion, and find like-minded people.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety can help teens track their moods, support a better frame of mind, and develop new, healthy habits. What are some ways to do this outside of the app as well?

  • Discuss with your teen how important it is for people to take an active role in their own mental health by developing healthy habits, such as sleep, identifying feelings, and reducing stress. What are some steps to take that might be helpful?

  • Use emotions-based vocabulary in your own daily conversations with your kid. Read Common Sense Media's How to Talk to Kids About Difficult Subjects.

App details

For kids who love health and meditation

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