Mental health is increasingly becoming a focus as an important part of your overall well-being. More and more people are taking steps to seek the help they need with anxiety, depression, and other disorders.
If you need help managing your mental health but can’t see a therapist in person, there are apps you can turn to for guidance. From online therapy apps that connect you with a remote counselor to free mental health apps that help you manage your symptoms, here are 10 of the best mental health apps to choose from.
This app is for: People who want to see a licensed counselor or therapist remotely
Focus area: Depression, anxiety, relationship counseling, counseling for LGBT individuals, grief, eating disorders
BetterHelp is a paid service that matches users with counselors who specialize in their area of concern. After answering a few questions about your mental health needs, the app will put you in touch with a qualified and licensed counselor. You can even define preferences for counselors, such as gender and age, so you match up with someone you like.
Some of the benefits of this app include the ability to switch advisors if you’re not happy with the current one, as well as specifying the type of communication you prefer (such as text, phone, or video).
The app requires a weekly subscription fee, ranging from $40 to $70. The exact price is determined by many factors, such as whether you receive a low income or a disability.
This app is for: People who need free mental health apps for anxiety
Focus area: Anxiety, panic attacks
MindShift CBT is a completely free mental health app from the Anxiety Canada Association. It uses a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach to help you cope with symptoms of anxiety.
The app includes a variety of tools and the ability to monitor your progress over time. These tools include mood tracking, belief experiments, coping cards, and more.
You can also set goals for yourself, such as expanding your comfort zone and overcoming challenges.
This app is for: People dealing with stress, anxiety, and/or depression
Focus area: Depression and anxiety
Sanvello is a comprehensive application that helps users overcome depression and anxiety by using a variety of tools to dismantle the traps of wrong thinking and beliefs. The app has a variety of ways to offer help, including guided meditation, mood tracking, health habit tracking, and CBT-based exercises.
The basic version of the app is free, with a premium subscription available.
This app is for: People who need help managing anxiety
Focus area: Worry
Clear Fear is a free app to help you deal with anxiety and phobias. While it is recommended for those between the ages of 11 and 19, it can be used for anyone who wants to know more about their anxiety.
The app includes a variety of resources, such as information on types of anxiety and self-monitoring tools. You can also set up a “Grit Box,” which is a set of affirmations and reminders to help you when you feel defeated.
The safety net tool provides a list of activities that you have set for yourself when your anxiety is overwhelming, as well as people you can turn to when you are stressed.
This app is for: People who want to practice mindfulness and meditation
Focus area: Mindfulness, guided meditation, stress, insomnia
Headspace is a mindfulness and meditation app that aims to help users deal with stress, insomnia, and anxiety. It’s not entirely aimed at people dealing with mental health issues and disorders. Instead, it’s about mental well-being in general.
That said, guided meditation can be beneficial in dealing with certain symptoms of anxiety and depression, such as insomnia.
If meditation is helping you with your symptoms, Headspace can be a useful tool. The app offers a number of free meditations, with additional options available with a subscription.
This app is for: People with depression
Focus area: Depression and anxiety
If you’re just starting your journey through depression, Moodpath is a useful tool that offers insight and self-monitoring tools. The app asks questions about your mood and mindset and provides an assessment every two weeks.
In turn, your doctor or therapist can then use this assessment to help you decide on the appropriate treatment. This tracking can also help you identify potential triggers and understand patterns that emerge over time.
The app also includes free courses that help you understand depression, its causes, and how it affects your body and mindset over time.
This app is for: People who have panic attacks or panic disorder
Focus area: Manage and prevent panic attacks
Rootd is a mental health app that helps you deal with a very specific symptom of anxiety: panic attacks. Rather than focusing on anxiety in general, Rootd focuses on short- and long-term relief from panic attacks and coping with panic disorder.
This app provides information about panic attacks and why they occur. It also includes a Rootr tool, which you can use when you feel the start of a panic attack.
Other tools include breathing exercises and meditation to help you deal with the anxiety that leads to panic attacks. The app includes the basic tools and information for free, but requires a subscription for further lessons.
This app is for: People who want a place to chat and vent with their peers about mental health
Focus area: Various mental health disorders and major life events
Therapeer is a peer emotional support app that lets you talk to others who have experience with mental health disorders and topics. You can register to receive support or provide support to others.
Within the app, you can join “rooms” to offer advice to others about the problems they are having. You can also set up your own room for support. Therapeers offer support for a variety of mental health issues, matching you with peers who have had similar experiences.
However, this app does not include access to a therapist and is therefore not a substitute for professional help. Instead, it provides a place to discuss your challenges and receive peer support.
This app is for: People with OCD who want to connect with the community and therapists
Focus area: Obsessive-compulsive disorder and its various subtypes
NOCD is a free app for people with OCD that aims to connect you with the community, specialized therapists, and management tools.
The main benefit of this app is that it focuses not only on disorders in general, but their subtypes. This means that it adapts suggestions and advice according to the specific symptoms and compulsions you are struggling with.
The app includes a community feed, helping you know you’re not alone in dealing with the annoyance. Meanwhile, you can also schedule a free call with a therapist to help customize your exercise and treatment plan.
This app is for: People who feel the urge to hurt themselves
Focus area: Self-injury
The urge to self-harm is a symptom that can occur in a variety of mental health disorders, and it’s something many people struggle to talk about. Calm Harm provides users with a way to overcome this urge without judgment.
This app uses the concept of “riding the waves” giving you activities and exercises until the push passes. This includes advice on how to let go of the anxiety or frustration that causes the urge, provide comfort, distraction, and other ways to deal with tension.
Calm Harm does not treat the underlying cause of the urge, but provides a way to deal with overwhelming feelings that are leading to self-harm.
Is It Time To Speak With A Professional
If you have access and the means to arrange one-on-one professional mental health care, it is still the best option. However, these apps can help you manage your symptoms or find a remote therapist when you can’t access live counselling.