Best Mental Health Apps

These apps can help you tackle common issues such as stress and depression.

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Mental health apps are mobile apps designed to help users improve their emotional well-being, become more mindful, and address common mental health issues. Some mental health apps allow users to access online talk therapy or psychiatric care. Others may help you to begin a meditation practice, cope with stress and anxiety, or improve sleep quality. Available for iOS and/or Android users, mental health apps are typically designed to be used via smartphone or tablet.

The best mental health apps are affordable, user-friendly, and well-designed, with few technical glitches. Many of these apps have unique features that allow you to improve your overall wellness in enjoyable, accessible ways. High-quality therapy apps remove some of the usual barriers to mental health care, while mindfulness apps can help you achieve better focus and productivity. With so many available to choose from today, we sent our research team on a mission to find the best-of-the-best. Here’s what they found.

10 Best Mental Health and Therapy Apps of 2023

Best for Talk Therapy : BetterHelp

BetterHelp logo


Key Specs
  • Price: $60-$90/week, billed every 4 weeks
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Free trial: No
Why We Chose It 

With affordable pricing, a wide range of available therapists, and multiple communication options, BetterHelp is one of the most flexible, easy-to-use therapy subscription apps on the market.

Pros & Cons
  • Unlimited messaging with your therapist

  • Multiple therapy options, including live chat

  • All therapists are licensed

  • Financial aid available

  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • No medication management services

  • No psychiatric care


Founded in 2013, BetterHelp is one of the world’s largest and most popular online mental health care companies. The platform offers video, audio, chat, and messaging therapy via smartphone, tablet, or computer to people in all 50 states (and internationally, although most BetterHelp providers are in the U.S.). The BetterHelp therapy app is available at the Apple App and Google Play stores.

All of BetterHelp’s therapists are fully licensed, have a relevant master’s or doctoral degree, and have at least three years of experience and over 1,000 working hours. BetterHelp therapists help with many common mental health concerns, from grief and stress to relationships, anxiety, depression, trauma, and more. Some providers specialize in serving clients from the LGBTQ+ community.

The BetterHelp sign-up process is streamlined and straightforward. After answering a few questions about what you’re looking for, you’ll be matched with a therapist who meets your preferences. From there, you can schedule your first session in the app. This is also where you’ll meet with your therapist each week. 

BetterHelp offers more flexible communication options than many competitors, making it a good choice for people with busy or unpredictable schedules. A monthly BetterHelp subscription includes one talk therapy session per week via live video, audio, or chat, 24/7, unlimited in-app messaging with your therapist in a private “room.”

Plans & Pricing

BetterHelp doesn’t accept insurance. After you match with a BetterHelp therapist, you’ll be charged $60 to $90 weekly, billed every four weeks ($240 to $360 monthly). A monthly BetterHelp subscription includes one live therapy session each week, plus unlimited messaging with your therapist. 

Your exact price for therapy at BetterHelp will depend on your provider and location. Financial aid and sliding-scale prices are available on a limited basis for those who need it.

User Satisfaction

According to our user survey, most BetterHelp users thought the app was user-friendly and effective. Overall, 72% of users rated their experience with BetterHelp as very good or excellent.

Meanwhile, 81% of users reported that BetterHelp was an easy platform to use, and 84% said they appreciated the number of different types of therapy offered. Many customers reported that BetterHelp was a convenient service, with half of users sharing that it took them 10 minutes or less to sign up.

Best for Depression : Talkspace

Key Specs  
  • Price: Subscription plans billed monthly, quarterly, or biannually; $69 per week for messaging-only therapy, $99 per week for video + messaging therapy, $109 per week for video + messaging + workshops; $249 for an initial psychiatry session, followed by $125 per session
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Free trial: No
Why We Chose It

With a user-friendly interface, streamlined therapy scheduling process, and flexible subscription program, Talkspace’s app removes many of the typical barriers to online mental health care.

Pros & Cons
  • Provides individual, teen, couples, and sleep therapy via the app

  • Accepts insurance

  • Offers virtual psychiatry and medication management services

  • HIPAA-compliant

  • Live sessions only 30 minutes long

  • No group or family therapy

  • Prices not entirely clear before sign-up


Talkspace is our top pick for the best mental health apps of 2023 because of its comprehensive all-in-one platform, variety of therapy options, insurance coverage, and commitment to privacy. 

Founded by married couple Roni and Oren Frank in 2012, Talkspace offers online mental health care through a secure, HIPAA-compliant, and user-friendly app. The Talkspace app is available at the Google Play and Apple App stores and can be used on any device, including tablets, laptops, and smartphones.

Talkspace is one of the most versatile therapy apps on the market, with a wide range of available providers and specialties. You can choose between several different subscription options at a wide range of prices, from the less expensive messaging-only option to a plan that includes one weekly live video session along with unlimited messaging and weekly expert-led mental health workshops.

After completing a brief initial evaluation, you’ll be matched with a licensed Talkspace therapist and schedule your first session. The company’s clinicians are thoroughly vetted and background checked. Therapists at Talkspace provide unlimited messaging in your private therapy “room” five days a week, so you don’t have to worry about long wait times. If you need to switch therapists at any time, you can do so easily—no questions asked. 

In addition to talk therapy, Talkspace offers psychiatry and medication management services with a board-certified psychiatrist who is eligible to prescribe medication in your state. Other options include couples therapy, therapy for teens ages 13 to 17, and an eight-week, in-app insomnia program with a therapist trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I).

Plans & Pricing 

Talkspace offers the following therapy subscription plans, each with unique features: 

  • Messaging therapy: $69 per week
  • Messaging therapy and one live video session: $99 per week
  • Video session and messaging therapy plus weekly online workshops: $109 per week

You can choose to be billed by Talkspace on a monthly, quarterly, or biannual basis. Users who opt for a quarterly or biannual subscription can save 10% to 20% on their therapy costs, according to the Talkspace website. 

Initial evaluations through Talkspace Psychiatry cost $249. Then each follow-up session with a psychiatrist is $125. Bundle discounts are also available for users who want to schedule multiple follow-up sessions at a time. 

Talkspace accepts some insurance plans through certain employers and employee assistance programs (EAPs). The company doesn’t accept Medicare or Medicaid. You also have the option to have Talkspace submit your bills to HSA and FSA plan providers for partial reimbursement.

User Satisfaction  

Ninety-three percent of users said they would recommend Talkspace to a friend, and 97% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the selection of available therapists. Users were especially happy with the live chat therapy option, with 87% rating their experience with online chat as good to excellent.

Best for Mindfulness : Headspace



Key Specs
  • Price: Free to download; $12.99/month or $69.99/year for a premium subscription; $99.99/year for a family plan with up to 6 accounts; $9.99/month for verified students
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Free trial: Yes
Why We Chose It

Headspace is a visually gorgeous, user-friendly app with a wealth of available resources to help you practice mindfulness. The Headspace library includes soothing, themed meditations, as well as focus activities, movement and dance classes, audio sleepscapes, and more.

Pros & Cons
  • Large library of guided meditations

  • Kid-friendly meditation available

  • Offers discounted student and family plans

  • Free 7-day and 14-day trials

  • Free app features are limited

  • May be difficult to cancel a subscription before the free trial is over

  • Number of resources could be overwhelming for some


Since it was founded in 2010, Headspace has become one of the leading online platforms for mindfulness, meditation, and self-care. The app’s guided meditations can help you learn to live more in the present, even if you’re a complete beginner. 

Headspace’s massive library of guided meditations—from 3-minute “mental resets” to daily themed meditation and mindfulness exercises—helps you fit meditation into a busy day. If you’re new to meditation, don’t worry: There are plenty of videos and mini-courses to help you ease into a mindfulness practice. 

Although meditation is the backbone of Headspace’s offerings, the app also boasts features aimed at helping you cope with everyday challenges. For people with anxiety, Headspace’s targeted “SOS” sessions are designed to help you calm down in a troubling moment. Whether you’re dealing with grief, anger, or stress, you can find a session to fit your specific needs. Meanwhile, breathing, cardio, and movement exercises led by fitness experts can help you stay more present in your body while working from home. Headspace’s “sleepcasts” (ambient sounds paired with soothing narratives) are a favorite feature for many users.

Available for both iOS and Android users, the premium version of the Headspace app works on a subscription-based model. You’ll get a seven-day free trial with a monthly subscription and a 14-day free trial with an annual subscription. Discounted subscriptions are available for verified university students and families (whether or not they live in the same household).

Plans & Pricing

There is a limited free version of Headspace. To take advantage of all Headspace features, you can purchase a subscription for the following prices:

  • $12.99 per month (after 7-day free trial)
  • $69.99 per year (after 14-day free trial)
  • $99.99 per year for a family subscription with up to 6 accounts
  • $9.99 per month for verified students in certain countries

Headspace is also offered as a free mental health benefit by some employers.

User Satisfaction

User reviews suggest that Headspace customers are happy with the app’s many features, especially the soothing sleepcasts and the high production quality of the guided meditations. Many users credited Headspace with taking them from meditation newbies to passionate mindfulness advocates. However, some said they thought the annual subscription was a bit pricey.

Best for Stress Relief : Sanvello



Key Specs
  • Price: Free to download; premium subscriptions available at $8.99/month or $53.99/year 
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Free trial: No
Why We Chose It 

Sanvello offers a wide range of self-care resources based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The app’s library of tools includes guided meditation sessions, mood and health tracking features, and audio “Guided Journeys” that can help you build essential life skills and coping strategies.

Pros & Cons
  • Offers mood tracking, self-care tools, coaching, therapy, and peer support

  • Based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

  • Accepts insurance for therapy

  • Premium features available only with a paid subscription

  • Doesn’t offer therapy in all U.S. states

  • Therapy may be expensive without insurance coverage


Available on iOS and Android, Sanvello provides mindfulness and CBT-based, evidence-backed help for users in four key areas: self-care, peer support, coaching, and therapy. This model allows users to get help when they need it, no matter where they are on the mental wellness spectrum or how much support they could use at the moment.

Sanvello’s self-care tools are designed to help you cope with common stressors along your unique life path. With mood tracking, you can trace your patterns over time—including thoughts, habits, exercise, sleep, and emotions—to see where you could make healthy changes. 

Many Sanvello users rave about the app’s Guided Journeys, each of which is targeted toward building a different life skill over time (such as taking better control of your thoughts or feelings during stressful moments). If you’re hitting a rocky patch, the app can recommend coping strategies tailor-made for you to help you calm down or power through, whether you’re nervous about a looming exam, an upcoming flight, or a public speaking engagement. With weekly assessments, you can track your progress and identify potential areas for improvement. 

Along the way, Sanvello’s community board and live in-app classes can be a source of encouragement and motivation. If you need more personalized support, try connecting with one of the platform’s trained coaches to get one-on-one advice right away. In certain states, you can also meet with a licensed mental health clinician for live video therapy sessions.

Plans & Pricing

There is a free version of Sanvello, but you'll need a subscription to access most self-care features. A Sanvello subscription costs $8.99 per month or $53.99 per year. 

Prices for treatment with a licensed therapist through Sanvello vary widely based on your location and insurance coverage. According to the company’s website, an average initial therapy appointment costs $140, followed by $85 for each follow-up session. Sanvello accepts some insurance plans, including Cigna, Beacon Health Options, and Magellan Healthcare.

User Satisfaction

Most user reviews of Sanvello are positive, especially when it comes to the targeted Guided Journeys that the app is most known for. Many users said they were able to build essential life skills, such as test-taking strategies and self-confidence, with the help of the app’s self-care tools. Others appreciated the app’s simple, clean, user-friendly interface and affordability.

Best for Kids : Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Semame Street

Key Specs
  • Price: Free
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Free trial: No
Why We Chose It 

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame offers a fun, simple way for young children to learn about emotional resilience and problem-solving strategies. Kids will enjoy the colorful animation and interactive features, while parents may benefit from the app’s additional resources.

Pros & Cons
  • Free to use

  • Teaches emotional language, relaxation techniques, and problem-solving skills

  • Uses kid-friendly touch-screen technology

  • Bilingual (English and Spanish)

  • No closed captions

  • Some technical glitches (such as freezing) reported by users

  • Not as useful for older children


Developed as part of Sesame Street’s Little Children, Big Challenges initiative, Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame is aimed at helping children ages 3 to 5 (and their parents and caregivers) develop greater resilience and healthier strategies for coping with stress. The free bilingual app is available for download in the Google Play and Apple App stores for iPhone, iPad and Android. 

In the app, your child will interact with a friendly Sesame Street monster to help them deal with one of five common day-to-day challenges. The “Breathe with the Monster” activity will teach your child deep breathing exercises to help them feel better when faced with a tough situation. Parents can even record their own voices saying encouraging phrases that their child will hear as they complete activities.

For parents and caregivers, the app includes a number of free resources for teaching your child problem-solving skills and self-soothing strategies. There are additional materials available on the app’s free companion website, so you can continue to help your child on their mental wellness journey.

Plans & Pricing

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame is a free app.

User Satisfaction

In user reviews, many parents said their children were able to use Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame to build their emotional vocabulary and develop healthier coping skills when faced with “big feelings.” Many users said they appreciated the deep breathing exercises, which taught their children or students how to regulate their emotions in healthy ways during difficult moments. A few users said they had problems with the app freezing while loading, but others said these technical bugs had since been fixed.

Best for Addiction : I Am Sober

I am Sober Logo

I am Sober

Key Specs
  • Price: Free to use basic version; premium version available for $9.99/month, $27.49/6 months, or $39.99/year
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Free trial: No
Why We Chose It 

I Am Sober offers a variety of ways to track milestones on the road to recovery, from a sober day tracker to calculators that show you how much you’ve accomplished since becoming sober. With the premium version of the app, you can also cheer others on along their sober journey.

Pros & Cons
  • Multiple ways to track sobriety and recovery milestones

  • Can customize the app to fit your needs and experiences

  • Peer support available through virtual groups

  • Premium features only available with paid subscription

  • Subscription auto-renews unless auto-renewal is turned off 24 hours in advance

  • Can only post once a day without a paid subscription


There are countless sobriety counter apps available, but I Am Sober has a number of features that make it stand out from the competition. In comparison to other apps geared at people who are trying to quit using a substance, I Am Sober provides a tracker that allows you to see how long you’ve been sober—down to the second. 

Some of the app’s unique features include a withdrawal timeline and a space to take a daily sobriety pledge for personal accountability. You can also use a sobriety calculator to determine how much valuable time and money you’ve saved in recovery and a milestone tracker to help you see just how far you’ve come. 

I Am Sober is much more customizable and community-oriented than similar apps. You can add your own visual reminders of what’s at stake, like photos of loved ones or the reasons you decided to quit to help you stay motivated on your recovery journey. There’s also a space to share your story and track your progress with others in recovery. 

With the premium version of the app (I Am Sober Plus), you can unlock data backup, start an online recovery group, and access more specific peer support groups geared toward particular addictions and compulsions.

Plans & Pricing

The basic version of I Am Sober is free. The premium version, I Am Sober Plus, is available at the following prices:

  • $9.99 per month
  • $27.49 every 6 months
  • $39.99 per year

There are also in-app purchases for certain special features (such as “motivation packs”) available for $.99 each.

User Satisfaction

In user reviews, most I Am Sober users said they found the app encouraging and non-judgmental for people in recovery. Many customers liked the customizable features, such as the ability to upload personal photos and “mission statements,” as well as daily motivational quotes. Others noted that the community support from around the world was invaluable on their road to sobriety.

Best for CBT : MoodKit

MoodKit App logo


Key Specs
  • Price: $4.99
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Free trial: No
Why We Chose It 

Developed by clinical psychologists and rooted in CBT principles, MoodKit offers over 200 evidence-based activities to help you identify negative thought patterns, improve your mood, and build positive life skills. Features like a personalized journal and exportable mood tracking charts round out the app experience.

Pros & Cons
  • Includes over 200 CBT-based, mood-boosting activities

  • Can export mood charts and notes

  • Customizable journal with a variety of available templates

  • Integrates into your iOS calendar

  • Can be purchased for a low one-time fee

  • Not available to Android users

  • Not very visually engaging

  • Some technical bugs, according to some users


Available on the Apple App store for $4.99, MoodKit offers over 200 CBT-based exercises and activities to help you notice distorted thoughts, foster more self-awareness, and take positive actions to improve your quality of life. You can use MoodKit either on its own or, as many people do, to complement your ongoing work with a psychotherapist. 

With MoodKit’s Thought Checker feature, you can learn to identify negative thinking patterns and turn a distressing thought into a more positive one. The Activities feature helps you find productive ways to take charge of your life and improve your well-being, while the Mood Tracker allows you to chart your mood over time and note any patterns. The MoodKit Journal, where you can record and reflect on your daily thoughts and feelings, has a variety of pre-made templates to choose from, or you can make your own. 

You don’t have to worry about privacy, as MoodKit is Touch/Face ID, Airprint, and Security PIN enabled. MoodKit also integrates conveniently into your iOS calendar with built-in and customizable reminders. If you’re undergoing CBT with a therapist, you can export your notes, mood charts, and journal entries easily to help them track your progress.

Plans & Pricing

MoodKit is available for a one-time fee of $4.99. There are no other in-app purchases or subscription costs.

User Satisfaction

MoodKit users noted in reviews that the app helped them regulate their mood, identify cognitive distortions, and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Several users reported that the features were easy to use and navigate, even for people who didn’t use smartphone apps regularly. Some therapists asked their clients to use MoodKit in between therapy sessions to track their mood, behavior, and thinking patterns.

Best for Better Sleep : Calm

Calm Meditation App logo


Key Specs
  • Price: Free to download; Calm Premium available for $14.99/month, $69.99/year, or $399.99 for lifetime membership; Calm Premium Family Plan available for $99.99/year for up to 6 accounts; Calm for Students available for $8.99/year after a 3-month free trial through Amazon Prime
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Free trial: Yes
Why We Chose It 

Calm’s dreamy, gorgeous interface and sprawling library of resources—from guided meditations to grown-up bedtime stories—are designed specifically to help you get a better night’s sleep.

Pros & Cons
  • Library of sleep resources, including music, guided meditations, and soundscapes

  • Soothing bedtime stories read by celebrities

  • Discounted family and student plans

  • 7-day free trial of Calm Premium available

  • Premium version only available with paid subscription

  • Pricing varies by country

  • Accessibility issues reported by some visually impaired users


Often described as the number-one app for sleep, meditation and relaxation, Calm is one of the most popular apps on the market for people who have insomnia or poor-quality sleep. Calm is available for both iPhone and Android users around the world. 

A Calm Premium subscription gives you access to a wealth of resources that can help you achieve better sleep. Listen to bedtime stories narrated by celebrities like Matthew McConaughey and P!nk, exclusive soothing music tracks from the likes of Disney, and themed soundscapes that will send you to another world for some better shut-eye. Meanwhile, Calm’s visually stunning sleep scenes can serve as the backdrop as you drift off to slumber.

During the day, get grounded with Calm’s yoga, stretching, and dance classes and achieve greater mindfulness with a library of themed meditations. Along the way, you can track your progress with Daily Streaks and Mindful Minutes and participate in one- to three-week-long mindfulness programs.

With the free version of Calm, you can access a few limited features, such as timed meditations, sleep scenes, one bedtime story, and one breathing exercise. You can test out Calm Premium with a free seven-day trial before committing to a subscription. Family and student plans are available, which removes a barrier to access for some users.

Plans & Pricing

There’s a free version of the Calm app, but it doesn’t have very many features. To unlock most of Calm’s features, you’ll need one of the following Calm Premium subscriptions:

  • $14.99 per month
  • $69.99 per year
  • $399.99 for a lifetime membership
  • Calm Premium Family Plan: $99.99 per year for up to 6 accounts
  • Calm for Students: First 3 months free, then $8.99 per year for Amazon Prime students
User Satisfaction

In available reviews, most users raved about Calm, especially its soothing, beautiful aesthetic and engaging visuals. Many users appreciated Calm’s high-quality guided meditations and well-produced bedtime stories voiced by well-known, experienced voiceover actors. Some said they consistently relied on Calm to help them get a solid night of sleep. 

However, some blind and visually impaired users said they wished the app had more image descriptions and screen-reader-friendly features for better accessibility.

Best for Positive Thinking : Happify

Happify App logo


Key Specs
  • Price: Free version available; Happify Plus subscription available for $14.99/month, $139.99/year, or $449.99 for a lifetime membership
  • Platforms: iOS, Android 
  • Free trial: No
Why We Chose It 

Developed by therapists and powered by AI, Happify helps you relieve stress and think more positively in just a few minutes each day through fun, evidence-based games, and activities.

Pros & Cons
  • Wide variety of science-backed activities and games

  • Focused on preventing burnout and reaching individual goals

  • Fun to use

  • Subscription auto-renews unless you turn off the feature a day in advance

  • Free version is very limited

  • Subscriptions are relatively expensive in comparison to competitors


Rooted in the principles of positive psychology and mindfulness, Happify is geared toward helping users experience more positive emotions, boost productivity, and improve overall life satisfaction. 

Happify identifies where you need the most growth, such as building self-confidence, shutting down negative thinking patterns, or achieving greater career success, and provides you with targeted games and activities to complete in just a few minutes each day via smartphone, tablet, or computer. There are over 65 growth “tracks” to choose from, so you can find one to suit your specific goals.

You can complete Happify’s games, meditations, and exercises in short bursts of time on the go. It’s a good app to use if you’re looking for a productive way to boost your personal growth and well-being while you’re riding in the car, waiting in line at the store, or even in between sets at the gym.

With a Happify Plus subscription, you can unlock additional tracks, games, and activities, as well as a 20-page character report to help you identify more potential growth areas.

Plans & Prices

The basic version of Happify is free. Happify Plus, which comes with many more features, is available at the following subscription prices:

  • $14.99 per month
  • $139.99 per year 
  • $449.99 for a lifetime membership
User Satisfaction

Happify’s reviews are largely positive, with many users sharing that the app’s gamified approach to mental health helped them get “unstuck” when they were in a rut. Some users reported that Happify’s personalized features allowed them to get a bird’s-eye view of where they needed to grow and how they could reach their goals. Others liked that the games weren’t overly time-consuming, yet were still transformational.

However, a few Happify users thought the paid version of the app was a bit too expensive.

Best for Anxiety : Worry Watch

Worry Watch App Logo

Worry Watch 

Key Specs
  • Price: Free to download, followed by $2.99/month or $11.99/year
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Free trial: No
Why We Chose It 

Worry Watch is an affordable app that helps you track your anxiety over time. Features include a password-protected guided journal, positive affirmations, and visual charts that allow you to see which of your worries were unfounded.

Pros & Cons
  • Guided journal feature for anxiety self-care

  • Visual graphs help you learn from your worry patterns

  • Positive affirmations available with regular reminders

  • Available in 16 languages

  • Not available for Android

  • Not many additional features available

  • Interface isn’t particularly visually appealing


Available in the Apple App store only, Worry Watch aims to help people with anxiety identify their worry patterns and panic triggers. The app can help you track your anxious thought patterns over time so you can disrupt the “worry cycle.”

Worry Watch boasts four primary features: a guided anxiety journal, guided mood check-ins, guided coping techniques, and guided positive reinforcement. 

With the in-app journal, you can write down your everyday worries and challenges and reflect on better ways to confront them next time. By tracking your mood, you can develop greater self-awareness and learn about what triggers your negative emotions. The guided coping techniques can help you relax with breathing techniques and meditation, while the positive reinforcement section offers inspirational quotes and coping strategies. 

Worry Watch is free, but paying for the premium version unlocks additional features like iCloud data backup and privacy protection with password/Touch ID/Face ID. The premium version of Worry Watch also lets you set daily and weekly reminders, write unlimited journal entries, and get a more comprehensive view of your anxiety patterns across time with visual charts and graphs. This app is also a good option if you’re concerned about privacy and security: You can work offline and don’t need to sign up with any personal information.

Plans & Pricing

Worry Watch is free to download. To upgrade to the premium version, you’ll pay either $2.99 per month or $11.99 per year.

User Satisfaction

Many Worry Watch users said they found great anxiety relief while using the app. For example, users were able to let go of their worries more easily with the easy-to-use tracking feature. Others said they liked the app’s journal feature, as it allowed them to get their feelings out and relieve stress on-the-go without having to set aside a scheduled time each day for journaling.

Final Verdict

BetterHelp is our pick for talk therapy because of its versatility, flexibility, and comprehensive approach to mental health care. Its users can access talk therapy, psychiatric care, and medication management services through a user-friendly app in just a few taps. The platform also accepts insurance, making it easier for people with busy lifestyles and tight budgets to afford high-quality therapy.

Headspace could be a better fit for people who want to practice mindfulness techniques but don’t know how to get started. If you’d like to help your child to develop better strategies for dealing with stress, Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame could be a good choice.

Compare the Best Mental Health Apps

Company  Price  Platforms  Free Trial
BetterHelp Best for Talk Therapy $60-$90/week, billed every 4 weeks iOS, Android Yes
Talkspace Best for Depression $69 per week for messaging-only therapy, $99 per week for video + messaging therapy, $109 per week for video + messaging + workshops; $249 for an initial psychiatry session, followed by $125 per session iOS, Android No
Sanvello Best for Stress Relief Free to download; premium subscriptions available at $8.99/month or $53.99/year iOS, Android No
Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame Best for Kids  Free iOS, Android No
Headspace Best for Mindfulness Free to download; $12.99/month or $69.99/year for a premium subscription; $99.99/year for a family plan with up to 6 accounts; $9.99 for verified students iOS, Android No
I Am Sober Best for Addiction Free basic version; premium version available for $9.99/month, $27.49/6 months, or $39.99/year iOS, Android No
MoodKit Best for CBT $4.99 iOS No
Calm Best for Better Sleep Free to download; Calm Premium available for $14.99/month, $69.99/year, or $399.99 for lifetime membership; Calm Premium Family Plan available for $99.99/year for up to 6 accounts; Calm for Students available for $8.99/year after a 3-month free trial through Amazon Prime iOS, Android Yes
Happify Best for Positive Thinking Free version available; Happify Plus subscription available for $14.99/month, $139.99/year, or $449.99 for a lifetime membership iOS, Android No
Worry Watch Best for Anxiety Free to download, followed by $2.99/month or $11.99/year iOS No

Guide to Choosing the Best Mental Health Apps

What Types of Mental Health Apps Are Offered?

There are a variety of types of mental health apps designed to address specific needs. These include:

  • Meditation: Many mental health apps focus on mindfulness techniques, such as guided meditation and grounding exercises. If you’re not experienced in this area, look for apps with beginner-friendly meditation sessions.
  • Coping skills: Some mental health apps use games, activities, and online worksheets to help users develop important life skills, such as healthy ways to deal with stress and focus more intently while working or studying. 
  • Addiction: Are you in recovery or trying to get sober? Sobriety apps can help you track your progress and celebrate milestones.
  • Anxiety and depression: If you have anxiety or depression, talk therapy with a licensed provider through a therapy app may help to treat your symptoms or supplement your in-person therapy.
  • Sleep problems: Many people use mental health apps to help with sleep issues, such as insomnia and nightmares. Features like sleepscapes, guided visual imagery, audio narration (“bedtime stories for grown-ups”), soothing music, and nature sounds may help you fall asleep more easily.

Comparing Mental Health Apps

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing which mental health app is best for you. These factors include:

  • Price: If you’re concerned about your budget, there are many free and low-cost mental health apps available. Many apps work on a monthly subscription-based model, but you can often cut costs by purchasing a discounted annual subscription. Look for an app with a free trial if you’re not sure you want to commit to buying.
  • Topics discussed: Are you looking for help with mindfulness, stress relief, anxiety, or depression? Do you need online therapy or medication management services from a qualified professional? Each mental health app has different offerings.
  • Communication options: Some people benefit from live online therapy, such as live one-on-one video, audio, or chat sessions with a care provider. If you’re more accustomed to communicating through text or writing, look for a therapy app that offers unlimited messaging or text-based therapy.
  • Features: Are you looking for an app that includes games and fun activities? What about meditation sessions, sleepscapes, and movement classes? Or are you looking specifically for online therapy that could replace in-person therapy? Look for an app that matches your needs and goals.

Who Should Use a Mental Health App? 

Mental health apps can help you if you’re dealing with a common mental health challenge, such as depression, stress, anxiety, or grief. Mental health apps can also help you deal with day-to-day problems like insomnia, lack of focus, and procrastination. Some mental health apps are designed to help people who have recently gotten sober or want to get sober.

You might especially benefit from using an online therapy app if you:

  • Live in a remote area
  • Need to find a more affordable form of therapy
  • Have a busy schedule
  • Feel more comfortable communicating via text
  • Have a disability that makes face-to-face therapy less accessible

However, mental health apps aren’t for everyone. Mental health apps should generally not be used by people in active distress. A mental health app also might not be the best choice for you if you’ve been diagnosed with a severe mood disorder or schizophrenia or if you are experiencing psychosis.

What If I'm Having Thoughts of Harming Myself? 

If you or someone you know is in extreme distress, having thoughts of self-harm, or thinking about harming someone else, seek emergency medical help by calling 911 or 988 from anywhere in the U.S. 

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, here are some other resources that may help:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can Mental Health Apps Be a Substitute for In-Person Therapy?

    In some cases, a therapy app may be used as a substitute for in-person therapy. Some studies suggest that online talk therapy with an accredited therapist is just as effective as face-to-face therapy in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, mental health apps that don’t provide direct therapy—such as mindfulness-based and stress relief apps—should not be used as a substitute for therapy. Instead, they are most effective when used as a supplement to counseling.

  • How Much Do Mental Health Apps Cost?

    Some simple mental health apps, such as sobriety counter apps and apps that teach deep breathing techniques, are free to use. However, many apps offer a free basic version as well as a premium version with many additional features. A monthly subscription to a premium version of a mental health app often ranges from about $8.99 to $14.99 per month. For an app that offers talk therapy with a licensed therapist, typical subscription prices may range anywhere from $200 to $600 a month.

  • How Do Mental Health Apps Work?

    Mental health apps vary greatly in terms of function, design, purpose, and features. There are six main types of mental health apps, each aimed at helping in a particular area of mental wellness. These areas include:

    • Social support and community
    • Tracking symptoms of a mental health condition
    • Life skills training
    • Self-care
    • Improving thinking patterns
    • Collecting data about mood and other aspects of mental health

    Some mental health apps also offer online mental health care (such as talk therapy or psychiatric care) directly.

  • Are Mental Health Apps Effective?

    Research suggests that mental health apps are effective in treating the symptoms of certain conditions. For example, one 2022 systematic review found that using Headspace improved symptoms among people with depression in 75% of studies. However, the research on mental health apps is ongoing, and findings are mixed. About 40% of studies found that Calm and Headspace could help with concerns like anxiety, sleep, and stress.


To find the best mental health apps, our reviewers researched more than 50 apps for alleviating and managing mental health-related issues, including gathering and assessing internally collected user survey data. The apps were assessed based on whether they were developed via research-based programs and experts, were stable and regularly updated, offered live talk or text therapies, cost, the number of positive reviews on the Apple and Google Play app stores, cost, and any extra resources or activities offered.

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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  2. Greenwood H, Krzyzaniak N, Peiris R, et al. Telehealth versus face-to-face psychotherapy for less common mental health conditions: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JMIR Ment Health. 2022;9(3):e31780. doi:10.2196/31780

  3. Chandrashekar P. Do mental health mobile apps work: evidence and recommendations for designing high-efficacy mental health mobile apps. mHealth. 2018;4:6-6. doi:10.21037/mhealth.2018.03.02

  4. O’Daffer A, Colt SF, Wasil AR, Lau N. Efficacy and conflicts of interest in randomized controlled trials evaluating headspace and calm apps: systematic review. JMIR Ment Health. 2022;9(9):e40924. doi:10.2196/40924

By Laura Dorwart
Laura Dorwart is a health journalist with expertise in disability rights, mental health, and pregnancy-related conditions. She has written for publications like SELF, The New York Times, VICE, and The Guardian.

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April McCormick
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell. Her work has appeared in Time, Parents Magazine, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy,, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

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Simone Scully

Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

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