We are fortunate that in today’s era of technology, we have access to a wide array of mental health and therapy apps for treating mental health conditions. Even with the many mental health apps available today, seeking appropriate support and therapy from appropriate mental health professionals is important. It's always a good idea to consult with your primary care doctor about any mental health symptoms you might be experiencing before using any of these apps.
These apps are not meant to replace professional help—but simply to give you tips, guidance, or distractions to help you cope with certain symptoms. A doctor or mental health provider can provide more thorough treatment so that you can address the root of the problem. The best mental health apps, however, can be great tools for coping when you’re on the go and need a little support. Read on for information on the apps that aim to improve mental health.
What To Look For In A Mental Health App
When searching for mental health smartphone apps to support your wellness journey, it's important to consider different factors. Research suggests that selecting apps grounded in evidence-based approaches, such as positive psychology, can lead to better outcomes. It's also important to look at the app's pricing structure, which may include in-app purchases or therapy subscriptions for advanced features. By researching the features that you prefer, you can ensure that you choose a mental health app that is reliable and valuable for your well-being.
Another aspect of choosing the best mental health app is to look for apps whose product manufacturers have addressed safety and health claims in a responsible manner. Be cautious about apps that make exaggerated or unsubstantiated claims about their effectiveness. Remember that while mental health apps can be effective tools in managing your mental health, they should not replace the guidance of a qualified mental health professional.
The Best Mental Health Apps For Depression, Anxiety & Beyond
Happify is an app that helps with relieving stress and managing anxiety. This app can help users build resilience and strengthen coping skills with the use of games and other activities. It is science-based, and users can plan their goals using this app. This app is available for both Android devices and iOS.
This app is designed for those who have or may have post-traumatic stress disorder. Many people associate PTSD with veterans, but anyone can endure traumatic events and develop PTSD.
This app offers tools for users to track their symptoms, and it also helps them with managing symptoms. Apart from these useful tools and trackers, it also helps the user with locating the nearest treatment programs. In cases of emergencies, it can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline quickly. This app is only available in the USA, and it can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices and is a free app.
TogetherAll is an app offering support networks and live therapy in the UK and Canada. Users can talk about their mental health issues, similar to support groups. Users can also take self-assessment tests. This is a paid app, but it’s also affordable, and some users may qualify for free, like those who are certain government employees or whose employers have enabled free use of the app. Apart from it allowing users to connect, it also provides discussion boards, and support from licensed therapists is provided. With this app, you will never feel as though you’re alone in whatever you might be living with. This app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
The Calm app offers guided meditation that may help bring stress relief and joy to your daily life, helping you overcome negative thoughts and relieve stress. It’s suitable for people who are unfamiliar with meditation practice, as it’s designed for beginners. This app is ideal for people that are experiencing anxiety, depression, and stress or are looking for career success through mindfulness. Basic courses on meditation are available for free, although you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription for premium features. You can sign up for a seven-day free trial of premium features. Calm is available on both Android and iOS devices.
Sanvello offers clinically validated techniques and support to help with the relief of anxiety and depression symptoms, among other mental health challenges. It also provides resources, self-care tools, and community support for promoting mental wellness. There’s a basic or limited free version or a monthly subscription that offers more features. It’s available on the App Store and Google Play.
Breathe2Relax is an app that’s specifically designed for stress management. The app shows how stress can affect the body and teaches therapeutic breathing exercises. It focuses on a technique called diaphragmatic breathing through various deep breathing exercises and techniques. It is available for both Android and iOS devices.
Need a new hobby? Then Recolor is the perfect app for that. Recolor is an adult-friendly coloring app. Coloring is also another therapeutic technique that will help with calming the mind. You can set the difficulty also, which makes it perfect for both beginners and advanced users. This app is free, and it is available for both iOS and Android devices and is great if you are focusing on improving mental health care.
IntelliCare is a suite of different apps and guided tools that have been clinically proven to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. It works through validated therapy techniques to help people cope with negative thinking patterns and promote healthy habits in gratitude and positivity. IntelliCare also provides you with statistics on your progress. You can download this app on both Android and iOS devices.
Headspace has become a popular meditation app. It has many benefits, and it can help with multiple issues. It offers meditation lessons that focus on most aspects of the user’s personal life, such as relationships, wellness, and performance. It has hundreds of themed sessions—even insomnia sessions that may include other features like nature sounds. Even busy individuals can benefit from this app, as it accommodates users with busy schedules by providing them with shorter sessions. It's available for both Android and iOS devices.
Recovery Record is an app that’s geared toward people who are living with and recovering from eating disorders. It offers meal plans and meal logs, and you can invite your chosen medical and mental health professionals so they can help you in recovery. This app also allows users to journal their way through their recovery and feelings. Progress can also be tracked through this app via questionnaires. This app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Numerous recent studies are showing that the practice of online therapy administered through mental health apps or online platforms can be useful for those experiencing issues with anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, and several other mental health concerns. In a study published in Current Psychiatry Reports—a peer-reviewed medical journal—researchers examined the effects of mobile therapy apps for symptoms of depression and anxiety. The report notes that these modalities offer easier use, particularly due to the proliferation of smartphones, and that there is evidence that shows that mobile apps can successfully reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Researchers mention that these apps often include many useful aspects of cognitive-behavioral therapy tools (CBT), which is a widely accepted form of treatment that helps individuals reframe negative thought patterns that may be underlying unwanted actions or feelings.
Online or smartphone-enabled therapy sessions can help you work through complicated emotions arising out of mental health issues. You can check out the BetterHelp application available on both iOS and Android app stores, where you can sign up for therapy with a licensed counselor who will provide you with unique and personalized support through whatever difficulties you may be facing. You’ll fill out your preferences and specific issues you’d like to work on, and BetterHelp will match you with a therapist you’ll work with remotely—by phone, chat, or live video therapy sessions.
One thing to note is that, currently, BetterHelp does not provide therapy for children, so if you're a parent looking for a therapist for your child, more research is required. A licensed mental health professional from BetterHelp can guide you on the path to improved mental health and help you work through mental illness if you have one or multiple mental health disorders. Read below for counselor reviews from those who have sought help through the BetterHelp app in the past.
“I love the BetterHelp app because it allowed me to put in the specifics of what I was looking for in a therapist as well as what I needed from my therapist. Beverly was the first profile I reviewed and it matched perfectly. She has helped me get through short-term concerns as well as long-term problems even when I didn’t have counseling sessions because she gave me so much knowledge I was able to continue practicing the skills that she had taught me when I was not able to have sessions regularly. I’m excited to begin regular sessions again and I’m happy that she is available for me.”
“John is a great listener and engages well across all tools available via the application. He’s responsive to email and text messages and makes the most of any face-to-face/zoom type sessions. I found his techniques very helpful in working through family issues. Highly recommend John as a counselor. Demonstrates keen insight and empathy.”
Whatever your challenges might be (physical, mental, or overall health), there’s likely an app designed to help. Remember, a mental health app is not meant to be a substitute for a healthcare provider. However, you may find mental health effective for providing you with some extra support.
If you are experiencing serious symptoms of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or other disorders, you should seek a licensed professional. The best therapy apps, such as BetterHelp, provide a platform to be connected with a qualified mental health professional.
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