What Are The Best Therapy Apps?

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated May 24, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention substance use-related topics that could be triggering to the reader. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use, contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Support is available 24/7. Please see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

If you've been contemplating therapy but are seeking alternatives to in-person sessions, you're not alone. Millions share your concerns, and there are numerous options such as mobile apps for mental health care. The best online therapy apps provide the support you need, with features like live sessions, video calls, and professional counselors ready to help you cope with various challenges

Online therapy apps on your phone or tablet allow you to talk to licensed professionals who can provide the help you need. The best mental health apps offer convenience, allowing you to connect with a therapist from the comfort of your home, or anywhere with an internet connection.

Whatever you're experiencing or need to vent, therapy can be a potent ally in enhancing your well-being. You don't need mental health issues to consult a therapist. Therapy can assist in building coping skills, practicing mindfulness, and managing day-to-day life challenges. It empowers you to live the life you desire, cultivate better habits, and boost your overall mental health.

A man in a white button-down shirt leans back against a leather sofa smiling and talking on the phone.
Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Finding the right therapist can be difficult - let us help

Mental health care through therapy apps

The best mental health apps, such as the BetterHelp therapy app, enable you to engage in mental health treatment and virtual sessions from anywhere globally. Utilizing a therapy app can assist in stress relief and alleviating anxiety related to mental health challenges and other life issues. Research demonstrates that online therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy, and various therapy types are available online. For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with clinical psychologists can help with a wide array of mental health conditions and empower you to overcome negative thoughts, learn self-care, and enhance self-confidence.

Forms of support 

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, whether through therapy apps or in-person, can be invaluable in supporting mental health. Therapy can help you find healthy ways to challenge negative thought patterns, introducing helpful coping strategies and alleviating symptoms. 

For those who are grappling with mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorder or depression, therapy can help you navigate changing emotions and symptoms. 

Interventions introduced in therapy, such as meditation practice, can help with anxiety management and stress reduction while addressing negative thinking patterns.

Community support can also aid recovery for various conditions, including substance use disorder (sometimes referred to as substance abuse), by allowing people to mutually discuss experiences and support their journeys. In addition to peer support, the integration of apps that foster well-being and help track symptoms can be a tool in promoting mental health. 

There are several forms of online mental health care, including some of the best mental health apps for online therapy. Online therapy platforms allow participants to meet with a therapist and utilize helpful mental health tools remotely. Below are a few of the formats of therapy you might find on free and paid mental health apps.

Therapy services through text: In-app messaging

Text messaging therapy allows you messaging to chat with a therapist through text, 24 hours a day. You can also view messages and notes from previous sessions, which makes it easier to recall and retain advice.

In-depth mental health conversations may require a little more time for the therapist to respond. Messages sent using your mental health app are available for you to check at your convenience. With most platforms, the therapist responds at least once a day, so you can get the help you need. Additionally, video sessions can be scheduled for a more personal and interactive experience.

Therapy through phone: Phone call sessions

Phone sessions, also known as voice therapy, arrange calls with a therapist via your telephone and a compatible app. Depending on the type of therapy recommended in your treatment plan, you may be able to combine phone and text sessions or even opt for a video call. 

Over-the-phone therapy may be especially helpful if you're experiencing a mental health crisis. Also, some therapists may use voice messages to communicate, which may be more encouraging than text messages when you’re experiencing something challenging.

Therapy through video chat: Zoom and other alternatives

Live video sessions are a feature of therapy apps that connect participants with an online therapy provider virtually—without having to commute to a therapist’s office. Video chatting allows you to get the closest possible experience to an in-person session. With videoconferencing, you can practice mindfulness, learn coping strategies, and speak with a therapist in real-time as long as your connection is reliable, or you could have trouble with the app freezing. The best mental health apps with a desktop feature usually run more smoothly. Video chat sessions, also known as video therapy, also work well for relationship counseling, couple's therapy, marriage counseling, sessions that involve other family members, and even guided meditation sessions.

Best therapy apps

Many of the best mental health apps are available for download on mobile devices. Finding the best online therapy app for you depends on why you need remote therapy, pricing, and features. 

Some apps may accept insurance, offer financial aid, or have paid subscription options billed monthly. You can contact your provider to find out whether your insurance coverage can reimburse online therapy fees. Additionally, online therapy fees are often covered by employee assistance programs. Be sure to compare free app options and per-session costs to find the most suitable mental health app choice for your needs. 

Below are some of the best mental health apps for frequent messaging with therapists and other mental health care providers.

BetterHelp online therapy

BetterHelp matches individuals experiencing common mental health problems with a licensed therapist. This is one of the best-known online mental health platforms for addressing mental health concerns. Signing up is easy, typically taking just a few minutes. And through desktop and mobile communication, BetterHelp provides numerous options for receiving mental health support. BetterHelp has a roster of more than 30,000 licensed therapists, and its highly-rated therapy app offers quick help for common mental health concerns. 

Regain relationship online therapy

Regain is another popular site that offers mental health services via an online therapy app. What makes Regain different for a therapy app is its focus on providing couples with counseling. Regain works with people experiencing concerns with marriages, long-term relationships, friendships, and family. 

Like BetterHelp, Regain employs licensed professionals. Regain allows you to talk one-on-one or together with your partner through the therapy app or via desktop. Sometimes, both individual therapy and couple therapy are needed to improve a relationship. Regain may be a good fit for couples who are ready for an alternative to traditional therapy and are interested in trying a therapy app. Couples can use the platform to begin healing their relationship from the comfort of their own home. With Regain, couples can work with a therapist via phone, videoconferencing, or in-app messaging.

Talkspace online therapy

Talkspace is an online therapy app that operates very much like BetterHelp.com. The Talkspace app provides online mental health services and runs familiar ad campaigns featuring celebrities like Michael Phelps. Similar to BetterHelp, or the Calm app, it offers a matching service with thousands of therapists to provide mental health services and support.

Talkspace focuses on its app to provide services, but it may not have all the desktop features that BetterHelp offers to make attending video mental health sessions easier for clients. However, the lack of a desktop option may not be a problem for someone seeking help solely through their mobile device.

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Breakthrough online therapy

This platform comes with two advantages: scheduling and billing. Users can view available appointments and schedules immediately, which may be particularly beneficial for those with busy schedules. Also, although most mental health apps are out-of-pocket expenses for users, some health insurance plans cover Breakthrough. However, Breakthrough may be expensive for users whose health insurance plans do not cover its services.

Best online teen therapy

The teenage years often include unique challenges, such as finding a sense of identity in this world, figuring out what career to pursue, and navigating hormonal changes and peer conflict. TeenCounseling offers online therapy from a therapist or behavioral health counselor licensed to work with teenagers. Adult family can send TeenCounseling invites to their teenagers living with challenges like depression, anxiety, substance use, and other challenges.

three students walk with backpacks on, male in the middle with hands around the shoulders. best online therapy and counseling services. find the best therapy online

Finding the right therapist can be difficult - let us help

Mental health apps 

In addition to therapy apps, some wellness apps can be helpful in promoting positive emotions when they are backed by evidence-based approaches, such as positive psychology. Apps based on fostering positive psychological resources such as gratitude and compassion have been linked with increasing a sense of well-being. 

Many apps offer a limited free version to try out its content. Calm, for example, offers timed meditations, breathing exercises, and one of its sleep stories. The latter contains soothing music and relaxing stories to help you fall asleep. Its mood-tracking capability allows you to "check-in" on your specific moods and receive tailored tips and reminders. It also incorporates the classic "Feeling Wheel" developed by Dr. Gloria Willcox, which is intended to help you process emotions by both recognizing and communicating nuanced feelings.

Finding an app recommended by a therapist 

Can mental health apps be effective for a more serious mental health condition? According to the Psychiatric Times, research suggests that apps have the "potential to increase reach to and even quality of care," prompting many mental health professionals to integrate them into their care. 

Apps may support emotional well-being by helping to track one's mental health journey, symptoms, and progress. However, the article also noted that it's important for a mental health professional to evaluate mental health apps effective suitability for each individual client. While smartphone apps can support mental well-being in between therapy sessions, consulting with a clinical psychologist or other therapist will ensure that the chosen app is appropriate for your needs. 

Which counseling app is best for you?

The best therapy app or mental health app for you depends on your needs and schedule. Do you want a desktop therapy option or only a mobile app? Some of these therapy apps are broad in what they cover, while others have a specific focus. You may want to try several of them via free trials, if available, to find the right fit. It’s important to note that many online therapy apps do not provide medication management services. If you’re looking for a professional who can prescribe medication, consider talking to your primary care doctor or a similar provider about your options. 

Getting help online

As mental healthcare has expanded into different channels thanks to advances in technology, therapy apps that provide a user-friendly interface have become a large and growing field of options for millions of people. The online therapy services described here are useful, but by no means exhaustive. More information is available through many reputable sources, such as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

If you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or some other mental health challenge, you don’t have to face it alone. With BetterHelp, you can be matched with a therapist with experience helping people with your specific concerns. You can communicate with them via phone or videoconference at a time that works for you. You can also message them via in-app messaging, and they’ll get back to you as soon as they can. 

Below are some reviews of people who have spoken with BetterHelp therapists.

"Lauren is a wonderful therapist! This is my first time using online therapy and she has made me feel so comfortable and confident about this process. We use a mixture of chat and phone calls which works great for me. She is so easy to talk to, understanding, and supportive. I feel very thankful to have been matched with her."


Regardless of what you’re going through, there is a therapy app out there designed to provide the support you need. You can choose from the modality that works best for you, whether texting or videoconferencing. Take the first step to getting help and reach out to BetterHelp today.

Explore mental health and healing in therapy
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet started