Twelve years ago when I began meditating my life was a long series of manic episodes, crushing depressions and frequent hospitalizations. Since establishing a daily meditation practice I have been stable, successful and without the need to ever check into a psychiatric facility.
I still take the medicine my doctor prescribes. Meditation is an additional therapy that helps me to smooth out the severity of episodes and to notice when an episode may be beginning. Then I'm able to implement an intervention I've worked out in advance and head off a debilitating event.
Much is promised by people touting mindfulness, and often for too little effort. But undertaken seriously and with effort, a regular meditation practice will benefit most people who stick to it. Sitting is not always pleasant - some difficult thoughts can come up and may be hard to shake. But when combined with medication and talk therapy, meditation is a powerful tool to live positively with the challenges of mental illness.
You don't need apps or guided meditations. Your time is best spent focusing on your breath and encountering, and letting go of, your thought and sensing deeply into your body. Just notice the things you think and the feelings you experience. To learn how to begin click here.