By Dana Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Find tools, social support from strangers and therapist.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
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.
Products & Purchases
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.
Parents Need to Know
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
Based on 2 parent reviews
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What’s It About?
To use SANVELLO 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, Sanvello 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. Sanvello 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, Sanvello'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 Sanvello 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.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, Android
- Skills: Self-Direction: personal growth, Emotional Development: developing resilience, handling stress, identifying emotions, labeling feelings, self-awareness, Responsibility & Ethics: respect for others, Health & Fitness: meditation, mental health
- Pricing structure: Free to try ($8.99/mo.; $53.99/yr.; $199.99/lifetime)
- Release date: March 9, 2018
- Category: Health & Fitness
- Publisher: Pacifica Labs Inc.
- Version: 6.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later; Android varies with device
- Last updated: December 10, 2020
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