The 7 Best Mental Health Apps of 2019

Find peace of mind from your smartphone or tablet

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Moodfit

“Whether you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or high levels of stress, Moodfit is designed to help you feel better.”

Best for Learning Coping Skills: MoodMission

“MoodMission recommends ‘missions’ based on how the user is feeling and each mission can improve mood and coping skills.”

Best Therapy App: Talkspace

“Talkspace connects you with a licensed mental health professional so you can receive therapy from your digital devices.”

Best for Stress Relief: Sanvello

“Sanvello teaches mindfulness skills and provides mood and health tracking tools that can be used to improve mental and physical health.” 

Best for Meditation: Headspace

“Headspace was started by Andy Puddicombe, a Buddhist monk whose made it his mission to teach meditation and mindfulness to as many people as possible.” 

Best Fun App: Happify

“Happify provides science-based activities and games that are meant to reduce stress, build resilience, and overcome negative thoughts.” 

Best for Depression: Depression CBT Self-Help Guide

“The Depression CBT Self-Help Guide provides education on depression and the best strategies for managing the symptoms. ”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Moodfit

Moodfit mental health app

Moodfit

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.

Best for Learning Coping Skills: MoodMission

Mood Mission Mental Health App

Mood Mission

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. 

Best for Therapy: Talkspace

Talkspace Mental Health App

Talkspace

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 $79 a week, you’ll get unlimited messaging plus one live session with your therapist each month. For $99 a week, you can get unlimited messaging plus four live sessions each month. 

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 mental health app

Sanvello

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.

Best for Meditation: Headspace

Headspace mental health app

Headspace

Started by Andy Puddicombe, a Buddhist monk whose meditation training took him around the world, Headspace is a meditation app that can help you learn how to live mindfully. Each day offers a bite-sized guided meditation to millions of users in more than 190 countries.

There are a variety of themed sessions on everything from stress and sleep to focus and anxiety. And there are event SOS exercises you can do in the event of an emotional crisis.

You can get a free 10-day trial to Headspace by downloading the app. The initial sessions walk you through the essential steps of meditation. A calm voice guides you through the fundamentals, such as “noticing how your body feels,” and “breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth.”

After the initial trial, Headspace costs $12.99 per month. You can also purchase lifetime access for $399.99.

Best Fun App: Happify

Happify mental health app

Happify 

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 $11.67 a month.

The creators of the app report that 86 percent 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.”

Best for Depression: Depression CBT Self-Help Guide

Depression CBT Self-Help Guide

 Depression CBT Self-Help Guide

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.

Was this page helpful?