Best Mental Health Apps

Find peace of mind from your smartphone or tablet

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Looking for mental health services can be intimidating, especially in a technology-driven world that offers so many options. However, if you’ve wanted to address a mental health issue, but have been nervous about doing so in-person, the remote options available truly rival the more traditional, IRL mental health services. Many of these options are accessible via intuitive apps that are designed to streamline your mental health journey and take most of the guesswork out of finding the expert attention you’ve been seeking. 

Most of these apps allow you to access their features at any time, search for therapists and treatments while remaining anonymous, and offer a number of ways to stay engaged, like daily reminders, feelings trackers, and abundant learning material. While not all of these mental health apps are meant to supplement a licensed therapist, they can be great tools to help you manage your mental health concerns and treatments. Here we rounded up the best mental health apps.

The Best Mental Health Apps of 2021

Best Mental Health Apps
Best Mental Health Apps

Best Overall : Moodfit


Moodfit

 Moodfit

Why We Chose It: We chose Moodfit because it’s a free app that helps you track your moods and gives you exercises to help address negative emotions. 

Pros
  • Adaptable based on your goals

  • Ability to track daily progress

  • Visual insights with actionable exercises

  • Daily reminders to keep you on track

  • Customizable based on your needs and goals

Cons
  • Lacks access to professional help

  • May lead to self-diagnose

  • Some advanced features have additional costs

  • Tracking moods can be time-consuming

  • Lack of progress may cause feelings of frustration

Available on GooglePlay, Moodfit is a free mental health app whose tools and insight are meant to “shape up” your mood. Similar to the way you might decide to get into physical shape, this app is meant to help you get into mental shape.

Whether you’re looking to better understand your feelings, or you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or high levels of stress, Moodfit is designed to help you feel better.

Here's the gist of how it works: There’s a questionnaire that will help you determine the severity of the symptoms, as well as many articles and audio files that can help you better understand what you’re experiencing.

Moodfit also allows you to track your moods. Over time, you’ll better understand what types of things affect your feelings—like sleep, medication, and exercise. The app offers actionable insights into what affects your mood and provides strategies for feeling better.

There’s a cognitive behavioral therapy portion of the app which can teach you how to dispute overly negative thoughts. There’s a thought record that provides strategies for modifying irrational thoughts so you can learn how to think differently. 

You’ll also learn new skills, like gratitude and mindfulness, in just a few minutes per day. 

You can even use the app to create and test your own experiments. For example, if you suspect a certain food (like gluten) may be affecting your mood, the app allows you to track that.

The app also helps you understand your medications and therapy better. It assists in identifying what treatment strategies are working best so you can gain a better understanding of how to improve your symptoms.

Cost: Free

Best for Learning Coping Skills : MoodMission


Mood Mission

 Mood Mission

Why We Chose It:  We selected MoodMission because it’s research-backed and gives you missions to help improve your mood and mental health skills. 

Pros
  • Developed by mental health professionals

  • Supported by randomized-controlled trials

  • In-app rewards to increase motivation

  • Mood-boosting activities when you are low or anxious

  • Evidence-based CBT activities for depression and anxiety

Cons
  • Initial questionnaire can be overwhelming

  • Options are limited to pre-selected "missions"

  • Does not include access to professional help

  • Requires regular use for increased personalization

  • Some of the activity options may be time-consuming or difficult

MoodMission is an app that is meant to help people who are dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression. The app recommends “missions” based on how the user is feeling.

Monash University is conducting research on the app and how it affects users. To help them gather data, users are asked to complete six surveys (that take about five minutes each) before unlocking the app. Survey questions cover topics such as emotions and general well-being.

Each “mission” is an activity meant to improve your mood or skills. Missions may include things such as:

  • Emotion-based activities like breathing exercises
  • Behavior-based activities like learning how to knit, crochet, or sew
  • Physical activities such as push-ups
  • Thought-based activities such as learning how to reframe negative thoughts

Simply select how you’re feeling (such as anxious, depressed or neither) and then identify how distressing your emotions are. Choose from a list of options to best identify the problem you’re experiencing, such as “I can’t stop thinking about something,” or “I can’t quite put my finger on it.”

Based on your responses, the app suggests five different missions. Each mission contains objections and an explanation of how the activity may help. 

You can then choose to accept a mission. After completing the mission, rate how distressed you feel.

There’s a mission log that shows all completed missions and you’ll be assigned ranks as you progress through the app. The goal is to identify simple but effective strategies for boosting your mood. 

Cost: $5

Best for Therapy : Talkspace

Verywell's Rating
4.5

Talkspace

 Talkspace

Why We Chose It: Talkspace stood out because it connects you to a wide network of mental health professionals and is well-known across the board.

Cost: Varies based on plans, but starts at about $65 for unlimited messaging therapy.

Pros
  • Ability to talk to a licensed mental health professional

  • Therapists can diagnose and treat different conditions

  • Good range of available price options

  • Numerous ways to communicate with your therapist

  • Conversations are private and secure

Cons
  • More expensive than some other apps

  • Not appropriate for severe mental health issues

  • Limited range of therapeutic approaches

  • Therapist communication styles may not suit your needs

  • Therapist evaluation surveys can be aggravating

Talkspace connects you with a licensed mental health professional so you can receive therapy from your digital devices (computer, tablet, or smartphone). All of the therapists at Talkspace have over 3,000 hours of clinical experience and they’ve been carefully trained to provide online therapy.

Therapists often have specific training in areas such as cognitive behavioral therapy, existential-humanistic approaches, dialectical behavioral therapy, psychodynamic, and mindfulness. 

For $65, you can get unlimited messaging therapy with your therapist. You can send text, video, and audio messages to your therapist whenever you’d like and you’ll get a response one to two times per day five days per week. If you’d like to have a live conversation, you can request to schedule a video chat. For $260 per month, you’ll get unlimited messaging plus one live session with your therapist each month. They also offer a one-week free trial.

All conversations carry over from one device to another and the app uses banking-grade encryption to keep your dialogue safe and confidential.

Best for Stress Relief : Sanvello


Sanvello

 Sanvello

Why We Chose It: We loved Sanvello because it provides cognitive behavioral therapy tools to help treat mild to moderate anxiety and depression. 

Pros
  • Effectiveness backed by research

  • Costs may be covered by health insurance

  • Provides different options based on your needs

  • Allows you to connect with peers who understand what you're going through

  • Ability to access a licensed therapist when you need more support

Cons
  • May not be appropriate for severe mental health conditions

  • Requires a monthly subscription to access advanced features

  • Premium add-on features such as coaching and psychotherapy can be pricey if not covered by insurance

  • Lack of clarity on the credentials of "coaches"

  • Therapy option is not available in all states

Sanvello’s mission to “help people build the life skills they need, anytime, anywhere, in any way they choose.” It provides clinically validated techniques for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. 

In a randomized study of 500 adults with mild to moderate anxiety and depression, the tools offered by Sanvello were shown to decrease symptoms. The effects lasted even after participants stopped using the app.

Sanvello provides users with cognitive behavioral therapy tools. They teach mindfulness skills and provide mood and health tracking tools that can be used to improve mental and physical health. 

When you download Sanvello, you’ll be asked to track your mood on a daily basis. The app provides simple questions that help you label your emotions and identify patterns in your mood.

There are also guided journeys that may help you feel more in control of your life. The app will also help you build lifelong skills that can help you build confidence and feel better. There are also a variety of tools that can help you cope with specific issues, such as public speaking, test-taking, and morning dread. 

The app provides progress assessments that can help you track where you are and set goals for the future.

There’s also a community that allows you to connect with another anonymously. Share advice, ask questions, or talk to others who understand what you’re going through.

Sanvello is available on Google Play and in the App store. There’s a free version of the app. The premium version is $8.99 a month. The premium version grants full access to all of the in-app digital self-care content, such as the Guided journeys and meditations.

Cost: Basic version: Free, Premium: $9

Best for Meditation : Calm


Calm

Calm

Why We Chose It:  Calm stood out because it offers flexible programs and exercises that help manage anxiety.

Pros
  • App offers more individual exercises

  • Less structured

  • Calming sounds in background

  • Simple to follow

Cons
  • Need a subscription

  • App isn’t the most intuitive

Cost: Calm offers a 7-day free trial with an annual membership for around $70. Or, if you want meditations for life, you can pay about $400 for indefinite access to the app.

Best Fun App : Happify


Happify

 Happify 

Why We Chose It: Happify made our list because of its science-backed games that help you reduce stress, build resilience, and overcome negative thoughts. 

Pros
  • Great activity integration focusing on a variety of individualized goals

  • Different tracks that focus on specific areas of life

  • Developed by experts including therapists and coaches

  • Helps you better understand your moods and emotions

  • Encourages you to feel more present and live in the moment

Cons
  • Many options are only available if you purchase the premium option

  • The free version offers limited options

  • More expensive than many other mental health apps

  • The challenges and deadlines can be stress-inducing

If you’re looking for a fun app that will keep you engaged while also boosting your mood, Happify might be your best choice.

Happify is all about playing games. But every game is a science-based activity meant to reduce stress, build resilience, and overcome negative thoughts. 

The activities were developed by positive psychology experts who are familiar with evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy interventions.

While the ultimate goal is to make you happier, the app lets you decide which track you’d like to work on. Here are some of the track options: 

  • Coping better with stress
  • Fueling your career success
  • Achieving mindfulness through meditation
  • Conquering negative thoughts
  • Building self-confidence

The free version of Happify gets you access to some of the information. For full access, you’ll need to purchase a plan. Plans start at $14.99 a month.

The creators of the app report that 86% of people who use the Happify app report feeling better about their lives in two months. 

You can access the activities and games on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. The games only take a few minutes to complete and creators want users to know “small slices of time can make big-time changes.”

Cost: Plans start at about $15 per month

Best for Depression : Depression CBT Self-Help Guide


Depression CBT Self-Help Guide

 Depression CBT Self-Help Guide

Why We Chose It: Depression CBT Self-Help Guide offers CBT-based guides, exercises, and tools to help you manage your depression symptoms.

Pros
  • Teaches simple activities that are easy-to-do

  • Promotes calm with activities and audio elements

  • Offers feedback on symptom severity

  • Contains lots of mental health information

  • Free access to all content and activities

Cons
  • Only available on Android devices

  • Lacks information about the components of CBT

  • Some users may struggle to identify negative thoughts and emotions

  • May lead people to self-diagnose

  • No access to professional help or guidance

The Depression CBT Self-Help Guide provides education on depression and the best strategies for managing the symptoms. It encourages you to engage in self-care behaviors that can improve your mood. 

When you download the app, you’ll be able to complete a questionnaire that helps you identify the severity of your depression.

It provides basic information about depression and how to live well with depression. It addresses many of the common symptoms of depression, including the physical symptoms—such as low energy and sleep disturbances—which can be important factors to address if you want to feel better.

The app is based on cognitive behavioral therapy which has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression. You’ll learn simple relaxation strategies for reducing stress and you’ll discover how to change your thinking so you can reframe the thoughts that fuel your depression. 

The app contains:

  • A screening test to monitor the severity of depressed mood
  • Articles about clinical depression and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Thought diary to learn how to challenge stressful thinking
  • Emotion training audio to learn to access calming emotions
  • Relaxation audio to learn deep relaxation
  • Fifty suggestions from CBT with a tracking feature 

The app is completely free of charge. Unlike other apps that require you to pay to get full access to all content, you’ll be granted complete access when you download it. 

The app is only available on Android devices, however.

Cost: Free

Best for BIPOC : Shine


Shine App

Courtesy of Shine 

Why We Chose It: We chose Shine because it helps empower BIPOC people by offering community support and tools that address BIPOC-specific mental health issues.

Pros
  • Access to a peer community for additional support

  • Empowering tools and activities for self-improvement

  • Topics focused on BIPOC mental health

  • Calming tools for crisis moments

  • Activities based on empirical research

Cons
  • Not designed for more serious mental health conditions

  • No access to professional support

  • Requires purchase to access many premium features

  • Challenge activities can sometimes be stress-inducing

Shine is a female-focused, self-care app that aims to help users "rest, heal and grow through difficulty." Its focus is self-improvement, and it delivers motivational messages through text and audio. And, Shine also offers an inclusive community so you can connect with other members at any time.

Topics addressed include stress, anxiety, burnout, acceptance, creativity, productivity, mindfulness, forgiveness, and work frustrations. The app provides meditations, a gratitude journal, and a daily mood tracker.

The app creators report their tools are science-backed so you know that the information they’re giving you really works to help you feel better.

Shine's audio files are short so you can listen to them while you’re brushing your teeth or drinking your morning coffee, and the files are also organized in a way that can help you reach for whatever kind of help you need in an instant.

For example, if you’re feeling anxious, you might reach for a meditation that can help you right now. Or, if you’re struggling to feel good, you might start a 7-day challenge that boosts your mood.

For about $54 per year, a premium subscription provides access to audio talks and challenges, as well as the ability to save favorite texts and listen offline. You can also pay by the month and you may cancel at any time.

With visually appealing content, short audio clips, and hundreds of meditations, you’re sure to find something that helps you feel better fast.

Cost: $65 a year

Best for Bipolar Disorder : eMoods


eMoods

eMoods

Why We Chose It: This is a dynamic mood tracking app that sends reports to your doctor, so you don’t have to remember to track all of your symptoms.

Pros
  • Detailed mood tracker

  • Medication tracker

  • Printable/emailable reports

  • Charts to track progress

Cons
  • Premium versions can get expensive

  • In-app purchases

People with bipolar disorder can grapple with a wide spectrum of moods on any given day, so having an app that allows you room to be detailed and varied when tracking feelings and symptoms can be quite useful. EMoods not only does that, but helps you track your medications, too, so you and your medical team can see if a treatment plan is working or needs to be tweaked.

Users love that eMoods allows you to go back and adjust moods on certain days if you remember something down the line. It also lets you see how your symptoms change over time. But perhaps the most useful feature is that the app will share your mood tracking with your doctors if you want it to so you don’t have to rely on your memory to report how you’ve been feeling over a period of time. 

There are three plan options: The Basic version with mood tracking and reports is free; Enhanced costs roughly $50 per year, and Pro is approximately $100 per year.

Cost:  Basic version with mood tracking and reports is free. Enhanced is around $50 per year, Pro is about $100 per year.

Best for Symptom Tracking : Bearable


Bearable

Bearable

Why We Chose It: Bearable helps explain symptoms and makes data shareable with medical professionals.

Pros
  • Can integrate with Apple Health Kit

  • Journal, symptom tracker and medication reminders

  • Backed by scientific review

  • Driven by community input

  • Tracks sleep, medication, exercise and food among other things

Cons
  • Android users can’t track data as efficiently as iPhone users

  • Can crash from time to time

  • Reminders sometimes don’t work

Tracking moods and mental illness symptoms can be a pain, especially if yours change frequently. Bearable simplifies that process better than most mental health apps with its uncluttered design. You don’t even have to type in your symptoms because Bearable gives you a list to choose from. And its abilities don't stop there: You can also track medications, sleep, exercise, food intake, and social interactions in the app. You can even hook it up to your Apple Health Kit if you have an iPhone. 

Bearable also shows you how certain activities impact your mood over time by displaying the activity and impact in handy charts. You can send these charts to your doctors if you so choose so they can better track your patterns, and help you decide whether a treatment plan is working or needs to be adjusted. Users love how intuitive and customizable Bearable is, and often rely on it in therapy sessions when their memory evades them. 

While the Basic version of the app is free, a premium subscription is about $5 per month (roughly $28 per year).

Cost: Basic version is free, monthly premium subscription is $4.49 and annual subscription is $27.99

Best for ADHD : Todoist


Todoist

Todoist

Why We Chose It: We chose this app because it’s a stellar organizing tool that can help people with ADHD stay focused.

Pros
  • Organizes tasks any way you like

  • Reminders

  • Share tasks

  • Set up recurring tasks

Cons
  • Optimal space and features costs money

  • Shared projects sometimes don’t sync

People with ADHD can have a difficult time staying on task, especially when they’re juggling lots of different tasks, like so many of us do today. Todoist is an app designed to help you get all of your tasks in one place, organize them, and set reminders for yourself to help you get your tasks done when they need to be done.

You can organize tasks by type, in order of importance or in whatever way makes the most sense for you. Todoist also lets you color code tasks to help streamline your to-do lists. You can set up recurring tasks, repeated reminders and even set different levels of priority for each task. It’s also easy to share tasks with family members, friends or co-workers. This tool may help people with ADHD, or really anyone with a lot to do, refocus their mind on the task at hand rather than get overwhelmed by tasks piling up. 

While the Basic version is free, a Pro subscription costs about $3 per month.

Cost: Basic version is free. Pro is $3 per month.

Best for PTSD : PTSD Coach


PTSD Coach

PTSD Coach

Why We Chose It: We chose PTSD Coach because it’s a military-designed app with a number of resources for people living with PTSD.

Pros
  • Educational information

  • Connects you with resources

  • Self-care assessments

  • Tools to help manage daily symptoms

  • Desktop and app version

Cons
  • Somewhat basic

  • Geared towards veterans

Living with PTSD can be debilitating and isolating at times, especially if you’ve had trouble accessing treatment or support groups. PTSD Coach aims to help those with PTSD bridge that gap and get the help they need. The app is free and available in a number of different languages. It was created for people in the military, but anyone with PTSD can download it or use the online version. 

Both the app and website offer lots of tools to help you mitigate PTSD symptoms, change destructive behaviors, and practice self-care. The app can also track your symptoms and progress, and help you get professional support should you need it. It even provides calming sounds and landscapes to help combat stressful or panicked moments. The best part? It’s free.

Cost: Free

Final Verdict

All of these mental health apps were designed to help make addressing the mental health issues you may be grappling with easier. Whether you’re hoping to be matched with a great therapist, learn more about how mental health issues manifest or get into the habit of monitoring your habits and feelings, there is a genuinely useful app for that. And while there is no singular app that can address every mental health issue out there, we believe Moodfit offers the most support without any financial commitment. 

Moodfit is a super intuitive app that helps you track your moods and gives you CBT-based activities to address negative emotions and teach you to think differently. It’s a simple tool that might help you regain some control over how you feel. While it doesn’t connect you to a therapist, it does offer articles and audio files that provide insight into common mental health issues you might be dealing with, and steps you can take to treat them outside of the app.

Compare Providers

Best Mental Health Apps  Cost Features
Moodfit
Best Overall
Free  Mood tracker to encourage better thought patterns
MoodMission
Best for Learning Coping Skills
$5 for app Missions to help improve your mood and mental health skills
Talkspace
Best for Therapy
Varies based on plans, but starts at $65 for unlimited messaging therapy. Therapist connector
Sanvello
Best for Stress Relief
Basic version: Free, Premium: $9  CBT Tools for Anxiety and Depression
Calm
Best for Meditation
$70; or $400 for indefinite access to the app Meditation guides for all levels
Happify
Best Fun App
Starts at $15 per month  Science-backed mental health games
Depression CBT Self-Help Guide
Best for Depression
Free CBT guides and tools to combat depression
Shine
Best for BIPOC
$65 per year Support for BIPOC-specific mental health issues
eMoods
Best for Bipolar Disorder
Basic version with mood tracking and reports is free. Enhanced is $50 per year, Pro is $100 per year Comprehensive mood tracker
Bearable
Best for Symptom Tracking
Basic version is free, monthly premium subscription is $5, annual subscription is $28 Sends tracker reports to your doctors 
Todoist
Best for ADHD
Basic version is free. Pro is $3 per month. Interactive to-do lists 
PTSD Coach
Best for PTSD
Free Tools to change behavior

FAQs

What Are Mental Health Apps?

Mental health apps are tools that can be accessed via your smartphone or mobile device that focus on improving different aspects of mental health and well-being. Such tools may focus on a range of areas related to wellness including relaxation, stress management, and sleep. They may also offer self-help tools, therapeutic activities, and access to treatment delivered by licensed mental health professionals.

What Are the Benefits of Mental Health Apps?

Mental health apps have a range of potential benefits that make them appealing to many people. Some key benefits include:

  • Accessibility: Because mental health apps are convenient and accessible, they can be a great resource for people who may struggle to access other options. 
  • Anonymity: Most mental health apps have measures that allow people to find information and access treatment in a way that is private and secure.
  • Convenience: You can access these tools anywhere and at any time, making them a great option for busy people who are always on the go.
  • Engagement: These apps can be an engaging and even fun way to learn about mental health and improve well-being. People are often able to set their own daily reminders, so regular notifications help them to stay engaged. 

Research also suggests that mental health apps have a great deal of potential, both as treatment tools and as supplements to traditional therapy.

How Can I Monitor My Anxiety?

One important feature that many mental health apps offer is the ability to monitor your anxiety. Such apps may offer informational resources to help you identify times when you are feeling anxious, and then have a quick way to record your mood and the events that preceded those feelings of anxiety. 

Monitoring and recording your feelings of anxiety can help you learn to recognize the triggers that often contribute to such feelings. Once you recognize these signs, you'll be better able to manage the situations that cause you anxiety and practice relaxation strategies that can help you regain equilibrium.

How Can I Track My Mood Changes?

Moods can fluctuate considerably, but mental health apps allow users to track daily changes in their moods quickly and efficiently. Perhaps most helpfully, such tools often incorporate journaling tools that also allow users to keep track of the events, situations, or thoughts that played a role in the onset of a specific mood.

Such tools can not only be helpful for seeing what factors affect your mood, but they can also help you look for patterns in your moods and emotions over time. You may notice that your mood tends to be lower or higher at certain times. By understanding these patterns, you can incorporate lifestyle changes or treatments into your life in order to boost your mood in both the short- and long-term.

One study looked at the type of mood-tracking features offered by many mental health apps. Many apps focus on the collection and reflection on moods but don't do enough to help people take the next steps to actually change their moods. One way to overcome this is to look for apps that are action-oriented or to incorporate other apps designed to promote preparation and action.

Seek Help Now

If you are having a personal crisis and need to talk to someone immediately, visit our national helpline database.

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Article Sources
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