Online Therapeutic Chat Alternatives

Medically reviewed by Arianna Williams, LPC, CCTP
Updated May 14, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide, substance use, or abuse which could be triggering to the reader.
Support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Have you been wondering about the effectiveness of all the online therapy chat sites or chat therapy sessions that have emerged in recent years? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people have been trying these sites for emotional support when facing mental health concerns or other life challenges. Below, we’ll explore some of the most popular online therapeutic chat sites where you can connect with new people for a random cam chat or video chat alternative like online messaging.

While this is only a short list, below are some useful websites and chat rooms you can visit if you're looking for chat therapy from licensed professionals. These first three suggestions are online platforms that use trained volunteer listeners to support users and provide mental health services.

Have questions about online therapeutic chat alternatives?

6 options for a chat alternative online

(Disclaimer: None of these websites are guaranteed to provide you with therapeutic benefits or give you a positive chat experience. The person you connect with may not be a qualified therapist equipped to handle your situation, and there is always a possibility that someone will respond poorly or negatively to your chat.)

  1. Vibrant Emotional Health

Vibrant is a service that connects you with one of several different hotlines so that you can chat with a mental health professional when you’re experiencing complex emotional challenges and need mental health support. If you or someone you know is experiencing addiction, substance use, or psychological distress, Vibrant can put you in touch with a professional who can give you advice, and, if necessary, refer you to a doctor, specialist, or therapist’s office for further treatment. According to the Vibrant website, 2.5 million people a year are provided assistance through its services.

  1. iPrevail

iPrevail is an online platform that connects users to trained peer volunteers for basic support. Unlike other sites, iPrevail allows minors to connect with volunteer members as long as they have consent from a parent or guardian. In addition to chat support, iPrevail offers a support community and the option to take a basic health exercise test that provides users with personalized online therapy programs based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

  1. IMAlive

IMAlive is an online chat resource that is part of the Kristin Brooks Hope Center, a nonprofit organization with an emphasis on spreading awareness and providing education about suicide* prevention. IMAlive consists of trained and certified volunteers who can handle crisis situations, including suicidal ideation, violence-related trauma, and family conflict.

If you are experiencing trauma, support is available. Please see our Get Help Now page for more resources.

The volunteers on the following platforms are not trained. These are not online therapy platforms and should not be substituted for professional support. Practice caution when using these services.

Random chat alternatives without random video chat

Sometimes you may feel like talking through your struggles but not discussing details with your friends. Choosing from a chat alternative online allows you to chat with strangers in order to get things off your chest. When participating in a random chat, use discernment in what details you discuss with other online users.

  1. BlahTherapy

BlahTherapy is a completely free basic chat service that can best be described as an alternative to Omegle, the random webcam chat site. Listeners on this platform don’t tend to have formal training but act instead as a friend who allows you to vent. For people who want to discuss minor concerns, this site may be sufficient. For people who may be experiencing more serious challenges, one of the sites mentioned in the previous section may be more suitable. However, BlahTherapy does offer a $25 pay-as-you-go plan for individuals who prefer to speak to or search for licensed therapists rather than random people who have volunteered.

  1. MellowTalk 

Founded in 2017, MellowTalk is a website that was "built on the kindness of strangers." Like BlahTherapy, MellowTalk is a site that allows a listener and user to connect with each other as a cam chat alternative. This website also features a reward system for talkers and listeners. Talkers can give thanks and other rewards to listeners who help improve the community. They can also give the listeners feedback. MellowTalk is a free chat service, but it's not necessarily recommended for people who need the assistance of a mental health professional.

  1. Huddle

Unlike many of the other options on this list, Huddle is a free iOS application that allows you to join groups, post videos about experiences, and chat with other users in your groups for peer support, with no strings attached. Some of the groups that you can join include:

  • LGBTQIA groups
  • Anxiety groups
  • Depression groups
  • Eating disorder groups
  • Addiction groups
  1. The Comfort Spot

The Comfort Spot is a website designed by the creators of the Quiet Place Project, and it connects users going through similar real life situations. Although it's more of a community than a chat room, people can still chat about mental health topics. If you enjoy this website, you may also enjoy some of the other resources offered by the creators of the Quiet Place Project.

  1. HopeNet 360

HopeNet 360 is another online chat website that connects users with spiritual coaches to improve mental well-being. It also employs crisis counselors to speak to people over the phone. This website is available for everyone over the age of 13 and is filled with caring volunteers available for phone calls. However, the site operators encourage anyone feeling suicidal to call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or talk to one of the crisis counselors over the phone instead of connecting with a random stranger. 

  1. Chatnow

Chatnow is a chat resource that gives people the opportunity to receive advice from Christian volunteers. The volunteers base much of their advice on the Bible and advise on a wide range of mental health and substance use concerns. Still, the website states that its volunteers are not equipped to treat mental illness and that visitors should seek help from professional mental health services if they're experiencing something beyond their volunteer's scope.

Connect with others

If you're feeling alone, connecting with others for support via messaging or random video chat can be helpful. However, the list above does not include online therapy platforms that offer online therapy with licensed professional therapists. 

There is evidence supporting the utilization of online platforms for virtual therapy when helping people confront complex concerns related to mental health, including those related to loneliness.

For example, in a study published in Behavior Therapy, researchers looked at the effectiveness of online therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in particular, when treating symptoms of loneliness. Treatment was an 8-week online CBT program. CBT is a widely accepted form of treatment that can help individuals reframe negative thought patterns that are underlying problematic behaviors and feelings, such as those related to solitude or the need for connection. After treatment through online therapy, participants reported significantly reduced feelings of loneliness, in addition to a decrease in social anxiety and an increase in overall quality of life. These findings are in line with those of similar studies that have found online therapy to be an effective method of helping individuals cope with a range of mental health challenges including personality disorders and eating disorders.

Online therapy through phone, messaging, and video chat

If you are looking for more support than a volunteer can provide, online counseling may be a better fit for you. With online counseling through BetterHelp, you can connect with online therapists via video chat, phone, or in-app messaging for your therapy session. Also, you have the option of participating in therapy without using your real name —you simply select a “nickname” when you sign up, and your contact information will remain unknown, if you prefer. For online video sessions, you simply need a space and an internet connection, which allows you to cam chat from almost anywhere that you are comfortable using our intuitive interface.

BetterHelp is a subscription-based online therapy platform with therapy plans available on a per-week, per-month, or as-needed basis based on your needs and a therapist’s availability. Through BetterHelp, you are able to search through a wide range of experienced licensed therapists to find one that you work well with. While BetterHelp is not a free online therapy service, financial assistance or aid may be available, and your insurance plan may cover some or all of the costs. The affordable online therapy through BetterHelp includes couples’ relationship counseling and therapy, online relational therapy sessions, and more. 

Through video chatting, phone calls, and online messaging, a licensed counselor or online therapist can guide you on the path to improved mental health without you ever having to step foot into an in-person therapy office. You also can switch therapists anytime so that you can find the consistent support for your specific needs. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people who have sought help.

Have questions about online therapeutic chat alternatives?

Therapist reviews

"Absolutely brilliant! He helped me out of a pretty dark place and was nothing but helpful! For men who are looking for a counselor who understands what it is like to be a man in today's world with a family, with kids and responsibilities, job, etc., I was extremely impressed with his ability to get down to it and understand what I was talking about. He's great at getting to the root of the issue too. No need to slog through 8,000 words to find out what point he's trying to make. He has a knack for asking exactly the right question in about 2-3 sentences. If you're looking for a counselor who isn't the typical counselor, he's your guy!"

"Dr. Norton has helped me tremendously with my self confidence and self-kindness. She responds in a very timely manner and is always sweet and professional. I've been living under a fog of depression for several years and working with her has lifted that heaviness. While I still have problems, living without that gloom hanging over me has been amazing. I feel more confident about solving whatever problem comes my way. She has equipped me with tools to take care of myself better than before and I will carry these lessons throughout my life. Thank you, Dr. Norton!"


Whatever challenges you’re experiencing at the moment, you don’t have to face them alone. There are plenty of ways to get help online. Whether you want professional help or the thrill lies with just having someone to listen, you can reach out when you're experiencing difficult emotions. Mental health concerns can be challenging to manage by yourself, but they can be manageable with the right support. Take the first step today.

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