Finch: Mental Health App Review


I wouldn’t normally review an app, but this one is different. Finch has been helping me make an unbelievable number of changes in my life and my way of thinking, all for the better. If you’re looking for an app to keep you on track and encourage you to think positively and get things done, Finch is for you.

A small disclaimer: I will only be reviewing the free features. There is an option to upgrade to “plus,” but it mostly provides extra flexibility for the features that are already included in the free version to help personalize your experience more.

The app features a small bird (a finch) that you “take care of” by completing goals. As a chronic procrastinator, this app is a blessing. I’m not very good at making to-do lists, but Finch makes it easy. You can choose from suggested goals or make your own. You can set one-time goals or goals that repeat daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. As you complete these goals, your bird earns “energy,” which you can use to send your bird on an adventure. When it comes back, you’ll be able to give it advice, which builds its personality and influences its future adventures.

If your bird has already earned all the energy that it can and has gone on the day’s journey, you will start earning rainbow stones instead, which you can exchange for adorable clothing and customization options in the shop.

My Finch Home Screen displaying my bird, a menu with some small icons on the bottom, and my goals.

You can also go on “journeys.” These provide you with many suggested goals as well as the option to make your own goals that fall into a certain category, such as “power up with better sleep” or even “just survive the day.” You can add as many or as little goals to a journey as you want, and you can even create your own!

A “Where are you going on your journey?” message, followed by options such as “connect with my community” and “build my confidence.”

Journeys are one of my favorite features. The pre-organized journeys available are:

  • Show care for others
  • Build my confidence
  • Connect with my community
  • Cultivate work-life harmony
  • Start moving, get healthy
  • Feel calm and mindful
  • Strengthen my connection with myself
  • So fresh, so clean
  • Appreciate the moments in life
  • Stay connected with friends
  • Power up with better sleep
  • Spend quality time with family
  • Nourish my body
  • Just survive the day
  • Take time for personal joys
  • Tidy space, tidy mind
  • Feel more adventurous
  • Greet the day

In my humble opinion, the very best feature in this app is the “reflections” feature. Reflections have prompts for small journal entries that you complete on your phone. You can reflect on pretty much anything, and if you can’t find the prompt for you, you can do a free-form reflection. You can also reflect after completing a goal, as well as use a reflection to explain why you skipped one. The best part about reflections is that the app automatically tags the names of people, places, emotions, and activities that you write about, and it creates a page for that person, place, emotion, or activity that shows how it has impacted you. On these pages, you can see all of your reflections about them, suggested goals involving them, an option to change the category that they’re in (pet, family, partner, leisure activity, work, etc.), and a small chart depicting which days you had positive reflections about them and which days you had negative reflections about them. Manually tagging things to create pages for them is also an option.

Some reflection prompts

A feature that I don’t use much but that could be helpful for those looking to track their progress is the “quizzes” tab. Here, you can take quick quizzes that evaluate your level of anxiety, depression, or body appreciation.

quizzes about depression, anxiety, and body appreciation

Then we have the breathing exercises. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of free breathing exercises, but there are enough to cover the basics, such as calm breathing, anxiety breathing, and night breathing. Luckily, you can find breathing exercises all over the internet, so this isn’t something exclusive to Finch. I do love the way that Finch structures the breathing exercises, though. Rather than just being visual, they have vibrations too, so you can close your eyes while doing them.

Like the breathing exercises, there is much less free content than paid content in the movement tab, but there are some good stretches in there. These are a great way to gently start your day or wind down at night.

The movement tab, showing the options to do morning stretches, wind-down stretches, standing stretches, or couch exercise.

Soundscape options are very generous, whether you prefer the sounds of rushing water or the comforting ambiance of home. My favorite is Japanese Temple Rain under “Rain Soundscapes.”

the soundscapes tab, with options to listen to boat sounds, shop ambiance sounds, travel sounds, rain sounds, forest sounds, water sounds, or home sounds.

One feature that this app has that always makes me smile is the “acts of kindness.” You can choose from a long list of kind things to do and add them to your goals for the day. The suggested goals are always changing, so you will never run out of kind things to do!

The acts of kindness tab, showing goals such as “leave an encouraging message on someone’s car” and “pick up a piece of trash outside.”

Finally, I want to talk about the “SOS” feature. If you aren’t doing well, you can go to this tab and find a variety of exercises meant to calm you down when you are feeling high levels of stress. Every single one of the activities here are free. I appreciate the thought that went into this feature, especially because if you log your mood as low, it automatically pops up at the top of your screen in case you need to use it. As someone who gets disoriented under extreme stress, this is very helpful. Rather than navigating an entire app full of content and activities, I can see exactly what I need right in front of me as soon as I might need it.

The SOS tab, showing many grounding exercises and reflections meant to help with panic

And that concludes my review! If you read this far, thank you so much. If you have this app, let me know in the comments what you think of it. If you don’t have this app and decide to get it, let me know what your first impressions are! It may not be for everyone, but it has helped me immensely.

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