The Best Mental Health Apps For Depression And Anxiety

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated May 1, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

In today’s technological era, people 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 mental health professionals is important. It can be beneficial to consult with your primary care doctor about any mental health symptoms you might be experiencing before using any of these apps.

Can mental health apps be helpful? Many mental health apps educate patients on managing their symptoms and promoting calm. Most mental health apps offer services geared toward helping individuals through specific mental health concerns.  

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. However, the most effective mental health apps can be helpful tools for coping when you’re on the go and need a little support. It can be beneficial to understand all of the available information on 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.
  • Seek out 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.

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. 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 most effective mental health apps for depression, anxiety and beyond

Learn more about alternative resources for mental health


Happify is an app that seeks to help with relieving stress and managing anxiety. This app can aid in building resilience and strengthening coping skills through the use of games and other activities. It is science-based, and users can plan their goals. This app is available for both Android devices and iOS.

PTSD Coach

This app is designed for people who have or may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many people associate PTSD with veterans, but anyone can experience traumatic events and develop PTSD.

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

This app offers tools for users to track and manage their symptoms. Apart from these tools and trackers, it can also help 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 for free on both Android and iOS devices.


TogetherAll is an app offering support networks and live therapy in the UK and Canada. Users can talk about their mental health concerns in a forum setting, similar to support groups. Users can also take self-assessment tests. TogetherAll is a paid app, but it is considered affordable, and some users may qualify to use it for free, like certain government employees or people who may have access to the app through their employers. Apart from allowing users to connect, TogetherAll provides support from licensed therapists. This app is available on 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. It’s suitable for people who are unfamiliar with meditation practice, as it’s designed for beginners. This app can be ideal for people who are experiencing anxiety, depression, and stress, or who are seeking career success through mindfulness. Basic courses on meditation are available for free, although you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription for premium features after completing a seven-day free trial. 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. The app has a basic limited free version or a paid 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. It is available for both Android and iOS devices.



If you need a new hobby, Recolor is your app. Recolor offers adult-friendly coloring. Coloring is considered a therapeutic technique that can help with calming the mind. With Recolor, you can set your coloring difficulty level, making it accessible for both beginners and advanced users. This app is free and available for both iOS and Android devices. 


IntelliCare is a suite of different apps and guided tools that have been clinically proven to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. They work through validated therapy techniques to help people cope with negative thinking patterns and promote healthy habits of gratitude and positivity. IntelliCare also provides users with statistical information on their 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 concerns. It offers meditation lessons that focus on most aspects of a 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. The app accommodates users with busy schedules by providing them with shorter sessions. It's available on both Android and iOS devices.

Recovery Record

Recovery Record is an app 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 to join you on the app so they can help you in recovery. This app also allows users to journal about their emotions and their recovery process. Progress can also be tracked through this app via questionnaires. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices.

Learn more about alternative resources for mental health


Numerous recent studies indicate that therapy administered through mental health apps or online platforms can be useful for people coping with anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, and 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 on symptoms of depression and anxiety. The report notes that these modalities can offer easy access to therapy, particularly due to the proliferation of smartphones, and that there is evidence that mobile therapy apps can successfully reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Researchers mention that these apps often include many useful aspects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) tools. CBT is a widely accepted form of mental health treatment that helps individuals reframe negative thought patterns that can lead to unwanted actions or feelings.

Online or smartphone-enabled therapy sessions can help you work through complicated emotions. You can check out the BetterHelp application in both the iOS and Android app stores, where you can sign up for therapy with a licensed counselor who can provide you with unique and personalized support through whatever difficulties you may be facing. You can detail your preferences and specific concerns you’d like to work on, and BetterHelp will match you with a therapist you can work with remotely by phone, chat, or live video therapy sessions. Note 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.

Therapist reviews

“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 apps effective for providing you with some extra support. If you are experiencing serious symptoms of depression, anxiety, substance use, or other disorders, you should seek help from a licensed professional through a therapy app like BetterHelp.

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