In today’s fast-paced world, many people struggle with mental health crises such as depression and anxiety. Thankfully, technology has provided us with various tools to help manage and improve our mental well-being.
The Online Mental Health Reviews team is well-equipped to write about apps for mental health due to our extensive experience in researching a wide range of online mental health services, and our decade-plus of professional experience in various treatment centers.
In this listicle-themed blog post, we’ll offer our take on the top 7 best mental health apps designed to combat depression and anxiety, empowering you to take control of your mental health journey.
7 Mental Health Apps to Beat Back Depression and Anxiety
- Calm [https://www.calm.com/]: Calm is a meditation and sleep app designed to help users manage stress, and anxiety, and improve sleep quality. With a 4.8-star rating on the App Store from over 1.5 million ratings and numerous positive reviews on Trustpilot, users appreciate the app’s guided meditations, breathing exercises, and soothing sleep stories. Calm also offers masterclasses led by world-renowned experts, providing comprehensive mental health support.
- Headspace [https://www.headspace.com/]: Headspace focuses on mindfulness and meditation, offering expert-led sessions to improve mental well-being. With a 4.8-star rating on the App Store from over 900,000+ reviews, users commend the app for its personalized content, user-friendly interface, and extensive library of meditation sessions. Headspace also features Sleepcasts, helping users relax and fall asleep more easily.
- Talkspace [https://www.talkspace.com/]: Talkspace is an online therapy platform that connects users with licensed therapists for mental health support. With a 4.8 average rating from over 19,000 App Store reviews, Talkspace is praised for its accessibility, convenience, and professional therapist network. The platform offers various subscription plans to cater to different needs, making therapy more affordable and flexible. Most importantly, their insurance covers over 40 million Americans.
- BetterHelp [https://www.betterhelp.com/]: BetterHelp provides online counseling services, connecting users with licensed professionals for mental health support. With a 4.8 average rating from 100K+ reviews, users appreciate the platform’s flexibility in scheduling appointments, the quality of care provided by therapists, and the option to switch therapists if needed. BetterHelp also offers financial aid for eligible users, making therapy more accessible.
- Moodpath [https://mymoodpath.com/en/]: Moodpath is designed to help users track their mood and identify potential mental health issues. With a 4.7-star rating on the App Store from 29K+ reviews, users praise the app’s easy-to-use interface, helpful mood-tracking features, and daily questions that provide personalized insights and recommendations.
- Sanvello [https://www.sanvello.com/]: Sanvello is a self-help app focusing on anxiety, depression, and stress management. With a 4.5-star rating on the App Store, users commend its engaging activities, supportive community, and evidence-based techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Sanvello also offers premium features through in-app purchases for more comprehensive support.
- Happify [https://www.happify.com/]: Happify aims to improve emotional well-being by offering science-based games and activities to reduce stress and anxiety. With a 4.3-star rating on Trustpilot, users appreciate the app’s fun and interactive approach to mental health improvement. Happify also provides personalized tracks based on user goals, ensuring targeted support.
By exploring these top mental health apps for depression and anxiety, readers can find the most suitable option to support their emotional well-being, helping them develop healthier habits, reduce stress, and improve overall mental health.
Each app offers unique features and benefits, catering to different needs and preferences in the journey toward better mental health.
Best Free Mental Health Apps
What are the Benefits of Mental Health Apps?
Mental health apps can be a great way to help manage mental health issues.
- They provide users with tools and resources to help them cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
- Apps can also provide users with access to professional therapists or counselors, as well as self-guided activities and exercises to help improve their mental well-being.
- Some of the benefits of using mental health apps include improved moods, increased self-awareness, better communication skills, reduced stress levels, improved sleep quality, and increased motivation.
- Mental health apps can also be used as an alternative to traditional therapy sessions by providing users with access to professionals who can offer advice and guidance when needed.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t use mental health apps?
Mental health apps can be an excellent tool for managing mental health issues, but certain people should not use them.
- People with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder should not use these apps without consulting their doctor first.
- Additionally, those who are in crisis or have suicidal thoughts should not rely solely on an app and should seek professional help immediately.
- Furthermore, anyone under the age of 18 should not use mental health apps without parental consent.
- Finally, if you are taking medication for a mental health condition, it is important to consult your doctor before using any free mental health app as some may interfere with medications.
Most importantly, if you don’t believe or like using mental health apps, then do not use them!
Current meta-analysis research1 does not support significant beneficial effects of mental health apps unless you believe that the app work. Also known as the Placebo Effect!
Nonetheless, it does make sense for these apps to be a great complement to traditional treatment, such as behavior and thought tracking found within the CBT discipline.
Are Mental Health Apps Effective?
Mental health apps can be an effective tool to help manage mental health conditions and improve overall well-being – but they are not standalone. They are complements to regular treatment.
Some limited studies have found that people who use some mental health apps like Headspace report feeling more in control of their emotions, better able to cope with stress, and improved overall mental health.
However, according to meta-analysis research1, which examined randomized controlled trials of mental health interventions for mobile devices with close to 50,000 patients.
There is no “convincing evidence” that any mobile app intervention significantly improved outcomes related to people’s anxiety, depression, smoking or drinking, thoughts of suicide, or feelings of well-being.
Can Mental Health Apps Be a Substitute for In-Person Therapy?
Mental health apps can be a great supplement to in-person therapy but cannot replace it. Mental health apps are designed to help users improve their emotional well-being and become more mindful, but they do not provide the same level of support as an in-person therapist.
According to Healthline, apps can provide helpful tools such as guided meditations, mood tracking, and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, but they cannot offer personalized advice or feedback as a therapist can.
Additionally, many mental health apps may not be able to detect when a user is in crisis or needs additional support. For these reasons, mental health apps should be used as an adjunct to traditional in-person therapy rather than a substitute.
Best for Talk Therapy: BetterHelp
BetterHelp is a great option for those looking for talk therapy. It offers access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited therapists who are certified by their state’s board to provide treatment. BetterHelp provides professional, affordable, and personalized therapy in a convenient online format.
With over 30,000 trained, experienced, and accredited therapists available on the platform, you can find the right therapist for your needs. The app also makes it easy to access counseling from anywhere with its mobile app.
Best for Mindfulness: Headspace
Headspace is one of the best apps for mindfulness and meditation. It offers a wide range of features, from quality meditations to daily videos and sleep- and exercise-specific content. The free app also has thousands of hours of guided mindfulness exercises on topics like focus, stress management, anxiety relief, and more.
We bought, tested and reviewed Headspace and believe its fun interface and a vast library of content, Headspace is a great option for anyone looking to make mindfulness part of their daily routine. Additionally, its user-friendly design makes it non-intimidating for beginners.
Suicide Prevention Apps
Suicide prevention apps can be a great resource for those struggling with suicidal thoughts and feelings. These apps are designed to provide support, access to resources for depression, and tools to help people stay safe in crisis.
Popular suicide prevention apps, according to Suicide Prevention Alliance, include Virtual Hope Box, Suicide Safe, Suicide Safety Plan, Stay Alive, and more. Each app offers different features such as self-assessment tools, coping skills activities, safety plans, and more.
Additionally, many of these apps have been developed in collaboration with mental health professionals to ensure they are effective and reliable sources of support. With the help of these apps, those struggling with suicidal thoughts can find the help they need quickly and conveniently.
Top Addiction Apps
- Sober Grid [https://www.sobergrid.com/]: A social networking app designed for those in recovery, Sober Grid connects users with a supportive community and offers a 24/7 peer coaching feature for additional help. Users appreciate the app’s easy-to-use interface and uplifting environment.
- 12 Steps AA Companion [https://www.12step.org/apps/]: This app provides easy access to the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Big Book, daily reflections, and meeting schedules, facilitating a smooth recovery journey. Users praise its comprehensive resources and helpful tools for staying on track.
- I Am Sober [https://iamsober.com/]: I Am Sober is a sobriety-tracking app that helps users set goals, track progress, and build new habits while offering an encouraging community for support. The app receives positive reviews for its user-friendly design and inspiring success stories.
- Quit That! [https://quit-that.com/]: Quit That! is a simple, user-friendly app designed to help users track their sobriety and the money saved by quitting addictive behaviors. Users appreciate its straightforward approach and motivational features.
- rTribe [https://www.rtribe.org/]: rTribe is a recovery support app that connects users with licensed therapists and a community of peers, offering personalized guidance and daily check-ins to foster accountability. Users value the app’s professional support and caring community.
- RecoveryBox [https://recoveryboxapp.com/]: This app uses a color-coded system to help users track daily activities related to addiction recovery, promoting self-awareness and accountability. Users commend its intuitive design and helpful tracking features.
- Nomo [https://saynomo.com/]: Nomo is a sobriety-tracking app that offers encouragement through customizable milestone rewards, multiple clock tracking, and a supportive community. Users appreciate the app’s personalized approach and motivating features.
- Sobriety Counter [https://sobriety-counter.com/]: This app allows users to track their sobriety progress, set personal goals, and access motivational quotes and images to stay on track during recovery. Users find the app helpful in maintaining focus and celebrating achievements.
By exploring these top addiction recovery support apps, readers can choose the most suitable option to complement their recovery journey, helping them stay motivated, accountable, and connected to a supportive community.
Best for Depression: Talkspace
Talkspace is a great option for those looking for help with depression. Talkspace offers a variety of services to help people manage their depression, including online therapy, assessments, and resources. Through online therapy, users can connect with licensed therapists who specialize in treating depression and other mental health conditions.
The assessments offered by Talkspace are designed to help identify symptoms of depression and provide guidance on how to best manage them. Additionally, Talkspace provides resources such as blog posts and articles about depression that can be used to further educate oneself on the condition. With these tools, Talkspace can provide individuals with the support they need to effectively manage their depression.
Best for Stress Relief: Sanvello
Sanvello is a top-rated app for managing stress, anxiety, and depression. It offers on-demand help through guided meditations, mindfulness activities, and mood tracking. Sanvello is available on both the App Store and Google Play. It has been developed by positive psychology experts and framed by evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy interventions.
Additionally, Sanvello has a free 24/7 helpline that provides treatment referrals and information in English and Spanish. With all of these features combined, Sanvello is an excellent choice for those looking to manage their mental health.
Best for CBT: MoodKit
MoodKit is an excellent app for those looking to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to make changes in their lives. It offers over 200 evidence-based activities designed by clinical psychologists to help users improve their mood and identify and change unhealthy thinking patterns.
The four integrated tools included in the app are designed to help users engage in mood-enhancing activities, rate and chart their moods over time, and more. Additionally, MoodKit has been highly rated by users on the App Store and was named one of the best mental health apps of 2023 by VeryWellMind.com. With its comprehensive range of features, MoodKit is a great choice for anyone looking to use CBT principles to improve their mental health.
Best for Better Sleep: Calm
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for feeling rested and energized throughout the day. Fortunately, there are many ways to help improve your sleep quality and Calm can be an effective tool in doing so.
Calm is an app that provides guided meditations, breathing exercises, and relaxing music to help you relax and fall asleep faster. It also has stories and soundscapes to help you drift off into a peaceful slumber. Additionally, Calm offers Sleep Stories narrated by soothing voices that can help lull you into a deep sleep. With its variety of calming content, Calm can be a great resource for those looking to get better sleep each night.
Bipolar Disorder Apps
Living with bipolar disorder can be a challenge, but there are many apps available to help manage the condition. eMoods is one of the top-rated apps for bipolar disorder, and it provides users with a mood tracker that prompts them to track their highs and lows each day.
Other helpful apps include Worry Watch, MoodTools, PTSD Coach, MyLife Meditation, Sleep Cycle, Medisafe Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker, T2 Mood Tracker, and Mood Log. These apps provide features such as tracking moods and symptoms, providing reminders to take medications on time, and helping users relax and sleep better.
With these apps, people living with bipolar disorder can gain more control over their condition.
Best for Anxiety: Sanvello
Sanvello is one of the best apps for managing anxiety. It is based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness meditation, which have been proven to be effective in providing relief from mental health issues. Sanvello includes a variety of features such as guided meditations, mood tracking, goal setting, and coping techniques that can help users manage their stress and anxiety.
The app also offers personalized coaching sessions with licensed therapists who can provide additional support. Additionally, Sanvello’s self-assessment questionnaire gives users scores related to anxiety, stress, and depression so that they can track their progress over time.
With its comprehensive approach to mental health management, Sanvello is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an app to help them cope with anxiety.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a difficult condition to manage, but there are many mobile apps available that can help, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. PTSD Coach is a free and publicly available mobile app designed for those who have or may have posttraumatic stress disorder.
It provides users with education about PTSD, self-assessment tools, and coping strategies to help manage symptoms. Other apps such as Headspace, Calm, Stop Breathe Think, PTSD Coach Australia, Rootd, and myBivy also offer helpful resources for managing PTSD.
In the past few years, there has been an increase in the development of apps to help those living with schizophrenia.
WebMD lists several of these apps, which are designed to provide support and assistance for managing symptoms, tracking medication adherence, and providing resources for self-care.
- Some examples of these apps include Wellness Apps for Schizophrenia, Schizophrenia HealthStorylines, and MindFrame.
- Other apps such as FOCUS and PRIME have been found to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety associated with schizophrenia.
- Additionally, SloMo is a new app designed to help people with psychosis slow their thoughts while brain training apps can help improve memory for those living with schizophrenia.
Mindfulness and Meditation Apps to help with mental health
Mindfulness and meditation apps are becoming increasingly popular for helping with mental health. There are many different apps available, each offering a unique approach to mindfulness and meditation.
Some of the most popular mental health mobile apps now include Headspace, Calm, Smiling Mind, 10% Happier: Meditation, Simply Being Guided Meditation, Take A Break!, Omvana, Insight Timer, Balance: Meditation & Sleep, Breathe, Waking Up and The Mindfulness App.
- These apps provide users with guided meditations to help them relax and focus on their mental wellbeing.
- They also offer courses from experts around the world that can help users learn more about mindfulness and how to practice it in their daily lives.
- Additionally, many of these apps have features such as sleep tracking and reminders to help users stay on track with their mindfulness practice.
With so many options available, there is sure to be an app that fits your needs and helps you achieve better mental health.
Apps to Help With Mental Health Conclusion
With the increasing awareness of mental health issues, various apps have been developed to provide accessible and effective support for individuals dealing with depression and anxiety.
The 7 top mental health apps we listed above offer a range of services, from mindfulness exercises to professional therapy, empowering our readers to take control of their mental health journey and overcome the challenges they face.
Please leave a comment letting us know your comment or question! You may also tell us what mental health service, course, or online platform our team at Online Mental Health Reviews platform should review next! Finally, if you have discount codes be sure to post them so every reader can benefit!
- Mobile phone-based interventions for mental health: A systematic meta-review of 14 meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. Goldberg SB, Lam SU, Simonsson O, Torous J, Sun S (2022) Mobile phone-based interventions for mental health: A systematic meta-review of 14 meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. PLOS Digital Health 1(1): e0000002. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pdig.0000002
If You Are In Crisis
During a crisis, waiting for an online therapy session might not be the safest option. If immediate assistance is needed, please dial 911, particularly if there’s a risk of harming yourself or others. If you’re considering self-harm, call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 – they offer support 24/7.
Additionally, you can contact the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357). This helpline provides a free, confidential service that assists individuals with mental health or substance abuse issues in finding treatment and information, available 24/7, throughout the year.