Best Mental Health Apps

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Looking for mental health services can be intimidating, especially in a technology-driven world that offers endless options. However, if you want to address a mental health issue but have been nervous about doing so in person, the remote options available can rival more traditional IRL mental health services. Many of these options are accessible via intuitive apps 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 its 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 materials. 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 2022

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. 

Cost: Free

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 and the Apple App Store, Moodfit is a free mental health app with tools and insight meant to “shape up” your mood. Similar to how 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 experiencing anxiety, depression, or high levels of stress, Moodfit is designed to help you feel better. 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 that can teach you how to dispute overly negative thoughts and a thought record that provides strategies for modifying irrational thoughts to 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 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 better understand how to improve your symptoms.

Best for Therapy : BetterHelp


Verywell Mind readers get 20% off their first month of membership to Betterhelp (includes Teen, Pride, Faithful and Regain).

Why We Chose It: BetterHelp’s therapists offer online therapy and counseling services via messaging, audio, and video chat.

Cost: Varies from $240 to $600, based on location and therapist availability, billed every four weeks

Pros
  • Communicate via audio, video, and messaging

  • Send unlimited messages to your therapist

  • Available on the App Store and Google Play

  • High user satisfaction

Cons
  • Session lengths vary by therapist

  • Only one subscription plan available

  • No medication management available

  • No free trials or consultations

Since 2013, BetterHelp’s providers have provided therapy and counseling to people who need a convenient and affordable way to improve their mental health. The online and app-based platform provides therapy and counseling services with thousands of licensed therapists. You can contact your care team and attend sessions through audio, video, and text messaging using the online portal or the app (available for iOS and Android).

All BetterHelp therapists are fully trained and accredited, and their bios are easily accessible on the site. This lets you learn more about each provider before you choose one to work with. And because there are so many providers available, chances are that you'll find someone who can help you with depression, stress, poor self-esteem, anger, relationship problems, or other issues.

Weekly live audio and video sessions paired with unlimited messaging to your therapist give you access to valuable mental health resources when you need them the most.

The price of a monthly membership ranges from $240 to $600.

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. 

Cost: $4.99 on iOS and $5.99 on Android

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 preselected "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 meant to help people 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, and 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. 

Best for Stress Relief : Sanvello


Sanvello

 Sanvello

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

Cost: Basic version: Free; Premium: $8.99

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 is 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 (formerly known as Pacifica) were shown to decrease symptoms. The effects lasted even after participants stopped using the app.

When you download Sanvello, you’ll be asked to track your mood daily. The app provides simple questions that help you label your emotions and identify patterns in your mood. Sanvello provides users with cognitive behavioral therapy tools. These teach mindfulness skills and provide mood and health tracking tools that you can use to improve mental and physical health. 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. In addition, you'll find 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 others anonymously where you can 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, and the premium version is $8.99 a month. The premium version grants full access to all in-app digital self-care content, such as guided journeys and meditations.

Best for Meditation : Calm


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

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

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

Calm makes meditation easier by offering a number of audio classes and programs covering getting better sleep, breathing exercises, relaxation, and mindful movements. It also offers a number of relaxing sounds and music that you can play while you meditate or try to nod off to sleep.

Unlike some other meditation apps, though, Calm is geared towards beginners and people experienced in meditation. The app is easy to use and provides lots of helpful information on learning how to meditate and destress, no matter where you are in your journey. Plus, the app offers a seven-day free trial, so you can test it out before committing.

Sessions range in length to suit your schedule, with some as short as three minutes and others as long as an hour.

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. 

Cost: Plans start at $14.99 per month.

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 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, such as:

  • 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 which starts at $14.99 a month. 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."

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

Best for Depression : 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.

Cost: Free (but only available on Android devices)

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 it. 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 is 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. 

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.

Cost: $65 a year

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 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. 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. With visually appealing content, short audio clips, and hundreds of meditations, you’re sure to find something that helps 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 to 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 seven-day challenge that boosts your mood.

For about $65 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.

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.

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

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 when tracking feelings and symptoms can be quite useful. eMoods does that and 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. 

Best for Symptom Tracking : Bearable


Bearable

Bearable

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

Cost: The basic version is free, a monthly premium subscription is $4.49, and annual subscription is $27.99.

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 frustrating, 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 when their memory evades them in therapy sessions. 

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.

Cost: Basic version is free; Pro is $3 per month; Business is $5 per month

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 difficulty staying on task, especially when they’re juggling lots of different things, 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, repeat reminders, and even 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 minds on the task at hand rather than get overwhelmed by tasks piling up. 

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.

Cost: Free

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.

Final Verdict

These mental health apps were designed to make it easier to address the mental health issues you may be grappling with. 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
BetterHelp Best for Therapy $240 to $600, billed every four weeks Convenient video, audio, and text therapy
MoodMission Best for Learning Coping Skills $4.99 on iOS; $5.99 on Android Missions to help improve your mood and mental health skills
Sanvello Best for Stress Relief Basic version: free; Premium: $8.99  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 $14.99 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 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 $4.49; annual subscription is $27.99 Sends tracker reports to your doctors 
Todoist Best for ADHD Basic version is free; Pro is $3 per month; Business is $5 per month Interactive to-do lists 
PTSD Coach Best for PTSD Free Tools to change behavior

Frequently Asked Questions

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 Should I Look For in a Mental Health App?

When looking at a mental health app, it’s important to take into account factors such as the services offered, data collection policies, ease of use, and cost. Credible companies will cite reliable studies and other research that backs up the claims they make about the effectiveness of their services. 

There are some important ethical, privacy, and legal issues to consider when deciding whether or not to use a specific mental health app. While online therapy platforms generally comply with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)—which aims to protect sensitive health data—not all mental health apps do. If you’re going to divulge personal information to an app or service, make sure you look into the company’s privacy policy and terms and conditions.

How Do I Choose the Right Mental Health App for Me?

When evaluating a mental health app, consider what type of app you’re looking for, the level of support you require, and the price you can afford. 

Are you interested in an app that primarily provides content and resources for you to access at your own pace, or do you need more personalized help? If so, the more self-guided apps may not be enough on their own—look for an app that lets you communicate with a qualified professional. 


Do you have a specific mental health condition that you’re hoping to treat, or are you looking for more general help with self-care or establishing new habits? How much time do you want to commit to using the app, and which features (e.g., mood tracking, meditation, journal prompts, or time management) would be most impactful for your well-being? 

Finally, consider your budget. Some apps require an ongoing subscription, while others can be bought for a one-time cost. Still others may offer multiple pricing options, potentially making the service accessible to more people. When in doubt, many apps offer a free trial that will allow you to experiment with what works best for you. 

Are Mental Health Apps Effective?

While mental health apps generally aren't a substitute for therapy, several studies have found that internet-based CBT for anxiety and depression is about as effective as in-person treatment. Additional research is needed to determine how effective the techniques are for more serious mental illnesses.

What Are the Benefits of Mental Health Apps?

Mental health apps have a range of potential benefits that make them appealing to many people, such as:

  • Accessibility: Because mental health apps are convenient, 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 anxious feelings. 

Monitoring and recording your feelings of anxiety can help you learn to recognize the triggers that often contribute to them. 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 helpful, these tools often incorporate journaling that also allows 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 help you see what factors affect your mood, but they can also enable you to look for patterns in your moods and emotions over time. You may notice that your mood tends to be lower or higher. By understanding these patterns, you can incorporate lifestyle changes or treatments into your life to boost your short and long-term mood.


One study looked at the type of mood-tracking features offered by many mental health apps and found that 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 (or 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.

The Best Mental Health Apps of 2022

Verywell / Designed by Amelia Manley

Article Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

Additional reporting by
Ally Hirschlag
Allison "Ally" Hirschlag

Ally is a senior editor for Verywell, who covers topics in the health, wellness, and lifestyle spaces. She has written for The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

Learn about our editorial process
Updated by
Ally Hirschlag
Allison "Ally" Hirschlag

Ally is a senior editor for Verywell, who covers topics in the health, wellness, and lifestyle spaces. She has written for The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

Learn about our editorial process