Best Online Help for Depression

Brightside is the best online help for depression

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With depression affecting 21 million adults in the United States, it's important to consider accessibility factors when thinking of mental health care. Some individuals with depression cannot access traditional, in-person therapy due to a limited number of local providers, difficulty traveling, physical illness, or disability, as well as cost. 

Online therapy and therapist directories provide an alternative to traditional, in-person talk therapy. Online therapy companies offer access to a therapist via live chat, phone call, or video call. Some platforms also offer asynchronous messaging between users and therapists. To help you find the best online services, we researched 55 different online therapy companies and 25 online therapy directories, and surveyed 105 users of each company and 180 users of each directory. Based on this information, we compiled a list of the best online help for depression.

Best Online Help for Depression of 2023

Why Trust Us
55
Companies reviewed
5,775
Total users surveyed
350
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 105 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we tested the services ourselves, conducted comprehensive data collection research, and evaluated our results with the help of three licensed therapists.

Best Overall : Brightside


  • Price: $95-$349
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Brightside specializes in providing quality telehealth therapy and medication management for those suffering from depression. We are especially impressed with its competitive pricing and quality of care.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Has three different plans to choose from

  • Offers quality therapists and psychiatrists

  • High user satisfaction rating

Cons
  • Sessions are short

  • Can't choose your own provider

  • Not the best for long-term care

Overview 

Brightside offers quality teletherapy and psychiatric services with a strong emphasis on data-driven results. It was founded in 2017 by Brad Kittredge, who formerly served as a 23andMe executive; Mimi Winsberg, MD, who served a stint as Facebook’s in-house psychiatrist; and Jeremy Barth, a former chief technology officer at WellnessFX. The company is backed by experts in the mental health care field. It has a unique focus on depression and anxiety, though it also boasts the ability to treat bipolar II, OCD, phobias, and seasonal affective disorder. 

Brightside offers individual teletherapy and virtual psychiatry services for adults in all 50 states. Something to keep in mind is that its sessions are short. The first therapy session is 45 minutes long with all subsequent sessions lasting about 30 minutes. Psychiatry appointments are just 15 minutes long. Brightside makes up for the brevity of its sessions by offering virtual cognitive behavioral therapy lessons with every subscription plan available. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy recommended for depression that focuses on shifting maladaptive thoughts and coping patterns. 

Brightside says that 86% of users feel better within 12 weeks. While we appreciate its data-driven approach, it is worth noting that healing can be a long-term process and these statistics may feel discouraging to some.

Plans & Pricing 

Weekly online therapy sessions and access to the cognitive behavioral therapy lessons cost $299 per month. The medication management plan features monthly check-ins with a psychiatrist and access to the cognitive behavioral therapy lessons. A plan that combines medication management and weekly therapy costs $349 a month. 

Brightside is in-network with Cigna, Aetna, Optum/UnitedHealthcare, Anthem CA, and Allegiance. Payments can also be made using a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA).

User Satisfaction  

Generally, users are highly pleased with Brightside, with 90% of customers surveyed giving the platform a rating of good, very good, or excellent. Seventy-nine percent of users stated their provider met most or all of their therapeutic needs, and 86% gave the qualifications of Brightside therapists an overall positive rating.

Best on a Budget : Open Path Collective


Why We Chose It

Open Path Collective connects users with therapists offering affordable sliding scale rates.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Providers offer sliding scales

  • High user satisfaction

  • Displays therapists’ availability

Cons
  • Does not accept insurance

  • Requires a one-time membership fee

Overview

Open Path Collective is a therapist directory, founded in 2012, that provides users with a list of clinicians who offer sliding scale rates. The directory’s low-cost therapy options provide greater accessibility to therapy seekers on a budget. Open Path Collective requires providers to have a graduate degree in counseling, psychology, or a related field, so a variety of mental health professionals are listed in the directory.

While the directory does not specialize in one mental health diagnosis, 49% of users surveyed said they sought services on Open Path Collective for depression.

Plans & Pricing

Therapists listed in the directory agree to offer a sliding scale rate, ranging from $40 to 70 for each individual therapy session and $40 to 80 for couples or family therapy sessions. Open Path Collective seeks to provide affordable therapy for the underinsured, uninsured, or others with a low socioeconomic status; therefore, its providers do not accept insurance plans.

It is important to note users must pay a lifetime membership fee of $65 to access the affordable session costs.

User Satisfaction

Of the users we surveyed, 90% rated Open Path Collective as good or very good. Eighty-one percent of users said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the variety of providers, and 61% said they were very likely to still be using the provider they found on Open Path Collective six months from now.

Best for Psychiatric : Talkiatry


  • Price: Depends on your insurance
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes. BCBS, Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Tricare, Medicare, and others
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Talkiatry provides quality virtual psychiatry and therapy to children and adults experiencing depression, as well as ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, insomnia, OCD, and PTSD. It has a unique model where its providers work exclusively with those who are seeking to use their in-network benefits.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Perfect for those with multiple diagnoses

  • Offers services for children and adolescents

  • Accepts a wide range of insurance plans

Cons
  • Only available to people who have insurance

  • Cannot find out pricing prior to sign-up

  • Can only see a Talkiatry therapist if you’re seeing a Talkiatry psychiatrist

Overview 

Talkiatry was founded in 2020 by Georgia Gaveras, MD, and Robert Krayn. Dr. Gaveras is a triple board-certified psychiatrist who served an impressive 18-year tenure in the New York hospital system, and Krayn was formerly a vice president and senior analyst at an investment management firm. After Krayn survived a home invasion and sought psychiatric care, he was taken aback by how inaccessible quality psychiatry services were due to cost and a lack of in-network providers. The two found common ground in their dissatisfaction with the current limitations of the psychiatric system and a hope that they could create change, and the result was Talkiatry. 

This company is unique in that it only provides services to those with insurance plans, so it isn’t the best for those who are uninsured or don’t have coverage for outpatient mental health treatment. It isn’t possible to access pricing prior to signing up, since it is dependent upon Talkiatry accepting your insurance plan and your plan’s unique benefits. Talkiatry provides psychiatry and therapy services to children and adults with depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, insomnia, OCD, and PTSD. The variety of conditions treated makes it an excellent option for those who have multiple diagnoses, such as depression and anxiety or depression and OCD.

Plans & Pricing 

All service fees are dependent upon the insurance plan of the client. There are multiple factors to consider. First, the insurance plan needs to be one Talkiatry accepts. Second, it has to offer outpatient mental health benefits. Beyond that, there may be coverage limitations due to a high deductible that therapy seekers need to meet. Finally, the fee for each service will depend on any applicable copays. 

Talkiatry is in-network with major insurers including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, Medicare, Oscar, and UnitedHealthcare.

User Satisfaction  

Talkiatry has a fantastic user rating, with 95% of clients we surveyed giving it an overall positive rating. Another 91% were impressed with the qualifications of Talkiatry providers, citing them as good, very good, or excellent. Diversity is another celebrated aspect of this virtual platform—89% of users were satisfied with the diversity of Talkiatry providers.

Best for LGBTQIA+ : National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network


Why We Chose It

The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network is a diverse directory that highlights LGBTQ+ therapists of color, simplifying the process of receiving culturally inclusive care for therapy seekers with depression.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Specialized focus on BIPOC LGBTQ+ communities

  • Wide variety of therapists featured

  • Impressive range of services offered

Cons
  • Website isn’t user-friendly

  • Therapist bios can be short

  • Few search filters

Overview

Founded in 2016, the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) aims to make mental health care more accessible to queer and trans people of color. It achieves this mission by offering a directory of mental health practitioners that offer therapy, including treatment for depression, for individuals, children and adolescents, couples, and groups, in addition to medication management and clinical supervision for rising therapists. Aside from the directory, it also features a mental health fund. Those who are struggling to afford therapy can apply to receive $100 towards six therapy sessions. 

To search for a provider in the directory, you’ll begin by typing in your location to the search bar. From there, providers in your area will populate the web page. From there, you can filter your search further, but the filters are a bit limiting. You can filter your search to find therapists currently accepting new clients, offering telehealth, that have a sliding scale/low fee, or are closer to your home. Unfortunately, you cannot filter by insurance, price range, language, or specialty. You'll have to click on each therapist's profile and read their bio to find out if they treat depression. 

Despite these limitations, 84% of users surveyed gave the directory a positive rating.

Plans & Pricing

Since this is a therapy directory, provider fees vary by therapist, though some therapists on the directory list their rates, accepted insurance plans, and payment options in their bio. There is no fee to search for a therapist.

User Satisfaction

Of the users we surveyed, 42% used the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network directory to find a therapist with a culture or identity similar to theirs. Seventy-four percent of users stated they found the experience of finding a therapist that met their needs to be either easy or very easy. Another 68% of users said they were able to find a therapist that met all of their needs, while 31% stated they had to compromise on some of their needs when selecting a provider.

Best for Couples : ReGain


  • Price: $240-$360+ per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

ReGain offers virtual therapy for individuals and couples who are looking to strengthen their relationships. It is an excellent option for couples where one or both parties are experiencing depression and need extra support, thanks to its roster of licensed therapists who are trained to treat a variety of issues.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • All therapists are licensed

  • Can message therapist between sessions

  • Easy to switch therapists

Cons
  • Bills on a monthly basis

  • Does not accept insurance

  • Sessions are short

Overview

ReGain is a virtual couples therapy platform owned by BetterHelp. Founded in 2016, it prioritizes making couples therapy convenient and affordable by offering virtual sessions for $60 to $90 a week. It provides care in all 50 states and has over 12,000 licensed therapists nationwide. What we find especially unique about ReGain is that it offers both individual and couples therapy. In the case of individual therapy, the focus will still be strengthening the relationship and an individual can later have their partner join them for couples therapy through the platform. 

When navigating depression, it isn’t uncommon to feel the toll in your relationship. Sex, emotional intimacy, and daily life together can suddenly feel shaken up when one or both parties is dealing with the effects of depression. Receiving couples therapy can help a relationship weather the storm. Plus, ReGain makes the process super simple by matching you with a therapist that you can change at any time with the click of a button.

Plans & Pricing

The platform offers weekly sessions for $60 to $90 a week. The exact price depends on your location and the availability of therapists in your area, and you will be billed on a monthly basis. This plan offers one weekly session; the first session is 45 minutes long and all subsequent sessions are just 30 minutes. 

ReGain is not in-network with any insurance providers.

User Satisfaction

ReGain users are generally satisfied with their experience using the platform—77% of users gave it a rating of good, very good, or excellent. Eighty percent of users stated their ReGain therapist met most, if not all, of their needs. Sixty-two percent of ReGain clients surveyed stated they found the process of finding a therapist through the platform easy or very easy, and another 24% stated the process was neither easy nor difficult.

Best for Substance Use : Monument


  • Price: $0 to $249 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Group Therapy, Medication Management, Peer Support
Why We Chose It

Monument provides therapy, peer support, and psychiatry services to individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder, including those also dealing with depression.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Can access licensed professionals

  • Provides free chat forums and peer support groups

  • High user satisfaction

  • Accepts insurance

Cons
  • Therapy and medication management not available in all 50 states

  • Focus is on alcohol addiction

  • Only prescribes two medications

Overview 

Founded in 2020, Monument seeks to provide alcohol use treatment to individuals who cannot afford or access inpatient and outpatient centers in person. The comorbidity between alcoholism and depression is high: Those experiencing alcohol dependence are 3.7 times more likely to also have a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. This underscores why it is so it is important to treat the deeper issues of depression when looking at substance use.

Monument provides physician appointments and individual therapy services, as well as medication management for users at a monthly subscription price. That being said, Monument only prescribes disulfiram or naltrexone, which specifically treat alcohol use disorder.

Plans & Pricing 

Multiple subscription plans are available to access Monument services. The most affordable plan, Physician Care, costs $9.99 per month, plus a $45 initial fee. The plan includes one physician appointment each month plus unlimited messaging with your physician. Monument physicians can prescribe medication to help you reduce or stop your drinking. This plan also includes unlimited therapist-moderated support groups, plus the option to schedule extra appointments with your doctor for $45 each.

The second plan, Total Care (Biweekly), includes everything in the Physician Care plan plus biweekly 45-minute therapy sessions. It costs $35 per week, for a total of $140 per month. 

The Total Care (Weekly) plan includes everything in the Physician Care plan plus weekly 45-minute therapy sessions. This plan costs $58 per week ($232 per month). 

Insurance coverage varies by state, but includes major plans like Optum, Cigna, Blue Shield, Aetna, Anthem, Medicaid, and Medicare.

User Satisfaction  

Monument maintains high levels of customer satisfaction. Seventy-eight percent of Monument users surveyed rated the company as excellent, very good, or good. Forty-two percent of users said they are likely or very likely to be seeing their same therapist within 12 months from now.

Best for Peer Counseling : Peer Collective


  • Price: $14-$28 per hour
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
Why We Chose It 

Peer Collective provides affordable peer support for those struggling with depression.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free first session

  • Rigorous vetting process for peer counselors

  • Low cost per session

Cons
  • Peer counselors are not licensed professionals

  • Not beneficial for those with severe depression

  • No medication management

Overview

Users looking for affordable emotional support for their depression might consider Peer Collective, a platform that focuses on peer-to-peer counseling. Its peer counselors complete a vetting process to ensure they are providing quality support. However, it is important to note that peer counselors are not licensed mental health professionals, and peer counseling is not an appropriate substitute for mental health care from a licensed provider. While the peer counselors aren’t licensed professionals, Peer Collective does require each counselor to have experience and training in a variety of mental health struggles, including mild to moderate depression. 

The company allows you to pay by session, so you can choose the frequency of sessions and adjust it based on your budget. Users can decide whether to chat online with their peer counselor for 30 minutes or one hour. Users can also access Peer Collective’s informational blog to receive additional, free education on mental health topics.

Plans & Pricing 

Thirty-minute sessions cost $14 each while hour-long sessions are $28 each. The company provides immediate refunds should users not be satisfied with their sessions. Since these are peer support sessions and not formal therapy, Peer Collective is not in-network with any insurance providers and is unable to provide a superbill for reimbursement.

User Satisfaction  

While this was not a company whose users we surveyed, many people highlight the straightforward setup and affordable prices in customer reviews for Peer Collective. Users understand they are signing up to speak with peer counselors rather than licensed mental health professionals, and reap the benefits of its affordability and accessibility.

Best for Finding a Therapist : TherapyDen


Why We Chose It

TherapyDen allows therapy seekers to personalize their search results to find the right match in a therapist who can treat depression.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Wide variety of search options

  • Inclusive for all

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Does not specify therapist’s availability

  • Not the largest therapist directory out there

  • Website layout is crowded

Overview

Founded in 2017, TherapyDen is a fast-growing therapist directory with a strong social justice mission: “to be as inclusive and representative as possible.” The company’s expansive search filters include specialty (such as depression), therapeutic methods, insurance plans, price ranges, and whether or not the therapist offers free consultations. TherapyDen also allows users to filter results based on the language, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation of the therapist, helping therapy become more comfortable for members of marginalized populations.

With the large range of inclusive search filters, users are sure to find the right match for their needs. Forty-five percent of users surveyed stated they sought a therapist on TherapyDen to cope with their depression.

Plans & Pricing

The directory is free to use for therapy seekers. Users can adjust their search results based on price range and accepted insurance plans. However, cost per session and insurance coverage varies based on the therapist.

User Satisfaction

Although the directory is newer, user satisfaction with TherapyDen is high. Of the users we surveyed, 80% rated TherapyDen as very good or good. Many approved of the directory’s mission statement, with 70% rating it as good or very good. However, despite its strong social justice ethos, 12% of users surveyed said they hope to see more therapists from a background/culture similar to theirs.

Best for Free : 7 Cups


  • Price: $150 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
Why We Chose It 

7 Cups offers a free peer-to-peer chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as affordable individual online therapy. Both peer “listeners” and mental health professionals at 7 Cups are well-versed in symptoms of depression.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free peer-to-peer chat

  • Available 24/7

  • Affordable option for online therapy

Cons
  • Chat does not involve licensed professionals

  • Does not accept insurance

  • No medication management

Overview

7 Cups began in 2013, providing a free online chat for users led by volunteer “listeners.” The chat is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which makes it highly accessible to those struggling with low mood or depression. There are also forums and private chat rooms available to help you connect with peers facing the same mental health struggle. 7 Cups is available via app or web browser.

Adults and teenagers can use 7 Cups to boost their mental well-being. It provides a community for people who understand the nuances of depression and other mental health issues.

Plans & Pricing

The forums, private chat rooms, and online volunteer chat are free to use. If you want traditional therapy, 7 Cups offers an online chat option with a licensed mental health professional for $150 per month.

User Satisfaction

We did not survey users of this company, but there is a pattern of positive customer reviews for 7 Cups, with users praising the company’s ease of functionality as well as efficient mental health support.

Best for Black Communities : Therapy For Black Girls


Why We Chose It

Some individuals may find having a therapist who shares their racial identity is essential for their healing journey through depression. Therapy for Black Girls offers a directory of providers who identify as Black women.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Focuses on therapy for the Black community

  • Features a podcast and online community

  • Therapists available in all 50 states

Cons
  • Search filters are limited

  • Only features women-identifying therapists

  • Providers are not required to list their fees in their bio

Overview

After noticing the demand among Black women seeking a provider who shares their racial identity, Joy Harden Bradford, PhD, created the Therapy for Black Girls directory in 2016. It came about just two years after she created a blog by the same title. Along the way, she also launched a Therapy for Black Girls podcast that explores mental health and self-care while centering the experience of Black women. If you’re a Black man or non-binary person that is open to seeing a Black woman for therapy, don’t be put off by the name of this directory—you can certainly use this as a resource to find your next therapist, and many specialize in depression treatment.

To use the directory, you just enter your city, state, or ZIP code into the search navigation. From there, you will see a list of providers in your area. You can further filter your search by selecting the desired therapist specialty (such as depression), your insurance plan, the state you’re licensed in, and if you’re seeking someone who prescribes medication. We’d love to see the ability to filter based on fee and the requirement that all providers list their fee range on their bio.

Plans & Pricing

It is free to find a therapist through the Therapy for Black Girls directory. Therapist fees vary based on provider, as do the insurance plans accepted.

User Satisfaction

Therapy for Black Girls has great user ratings, with 91% of users surveyed giving it a positive rating of very good or good. Forty-seven percent of clients surveyed used this directory to find a therapist that treats depression and 80% of all users were satisfied with the therapists presented in the directory.

Best Directory : Good Therapy


  • Price: Free
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: N/A
Why We Chose It

GoodTherapy is a large, reputable therapist directory with a variety of providers specializing in depression.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Large number of providers listed

  • Detailed therapist bios

  • Helpful search filters

Cons
  • Can be overwhelming

  • Does not provide online therapy on the website

Overview

Headquartered in Denver, GoodTherapy is one of the largest therapist directories. Since its founding in 2007, GoodTherapy has grown to serve all 50 U.S. states as well as 25 additional countries. Users can input their ZIP code and adjust search results based on the filters provided. These filters include the therapists’ specialties (including depression), treatment orientations, gender of the therapist, and accessibility features of the office, as well as whether or not the therapist offers a free consultation or sliding scale option.

GoodTherapy also has a substantial amount of informational content on its blog, such as posts titled What Is Self-Help in Mental Health? and What Is Smiling Depression?.

Plans & Pricing

GoodTherapy is free to use for therapy seekers. Users can adjust their search results based on price range and accepted insurance plans. However, cost per session and insurance coverage vary byb therapist. GoodTherapy also allows users to filter their results according to which therapists offer sliding scale options or free initial consultations.

User Satisfaction

The directory stood out among competitors in our user results. Of the 180 individuals we surveyed who used GoodTherapy, 62% said the therapist qualifications were very good. Furthermore, 95% of users rated the directory overall as good or very good.

Best With Insurance : Teladoc


  • Price: $0-$299
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Teladoc is in-network with a wide range of insurance plans, making virtual treatment for depression all the more accessible.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Accepts insurance

  • Can choose your own therapist

  • Accepts some Medicare and Medicaid plans

Cons
  • Have to sign up to see if your insurance is accepted

  • Cannot view therapists until after sign-up

  • Website can be confusing

Overview

Teladoc is a telehealth company that offers general medical care, wellness support, and mental health care. You’ll notice that its website feels much more clinical than some of the other companies featured due to its broad medical focus. Don’t be deterred by this—Teladoc offers quality care for individuals and couples seeking talk therapy and medication management that is in-network with a range of insurance companies. 

Teladoc features therapists who specialize in treating depression. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to view therapists until after you sign up for services. Additionally, you can’t see if your insurance plan is covered until you sign up. If your insurance isn’t accepted, sessions start at $99 per visit and can cost as much as $299 for a psychiatry intake session.

Plans & Pricing

If using insurance to fund your treatment, your fee per session will vary based on your insurance coverage. If paying out of pocket, therapy sessions begin at $99. Psychiatry intake sessions can cost up to $299, with follow-up sessions costing $119. 

However, Teladoc is in-network with over 60 insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare, and even some Medicare and Medicaid plans, making the likelihood of Teladoc accepting your insurance quite high.

User Satisfaction

Teladoc has an excellent user rating, with 97% of users describing it as good, very good, or excellent. Half of Teladoc users surveyed stated finding a provider that accepts insurance was a key priority in their search, and 80% of users stated they found a provider that met most or all of their needs. Another win: 94% of Teladoc users were pleased with their therapist’s qualifications.

Compare the Best Online Help for Depression of 2023

Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Brightside Best Overall $95-$349 Yes Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Open Path Collective Best on a Budget N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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Talkiatry Best for Psychiatric Depends on your insurance Yes. BCBS, Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Tricare, Medicare, and others Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Video Chat Learn More
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National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network Best for LGBTQIA+ N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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ReGain Best for Couples $240-$360+ per month No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Monument Best for Substance Use $0 to $249 per month Yes Yes Group Therapy, Medication Management, Peer Support Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Peer Collective Best for Peer Counseling $14-$28 per hour No No N/A Audio, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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TherapyDen Best for Finding a Therapist N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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7 Cups Best for Free $150 per month No No N/A Messaging Learn More
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Therapy For Black Girls Best for Black Communities N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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Good Therapy Best Directory Free N/A No N/A N/A Learn More
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Teladoc Best With Insurance $0-$299 Yes No Psychiatry Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Final Verdict

Every company and directory selected for this list excels in helping those experiencing depression access online mental health services. While we find each of our selections impressive, Brightside stands out due to the provider qualifications, accessible price point, and ability to combine psychotherapy and psychiatry services into an integrated care plan. Founded by mental health experts and backed by excellent user ratings, we are confident Brightside can provide the quality mental health care you need in your journey of navigating depression. Looking for something more affordable? 7 Cups offers online therapy for $150 a month and peer support for free.

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Help for Depression

What Types of Online Depression Help Are Offered?

There are a variety of types of depression counseling based on the needs of an individual. These options include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Support groups
  • Family therapy
  • Peer-to-peer support

It's important to consider what type of therapy you are looking for as well as what other diagnoses or sociocultural factors influence you, such as being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, being a person of color, living with disabilities, or other intersectionality elements.

Comparing Online Counseling for Depression

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing which online counseling is best. These include:

  • Price 
  • Insurance coverage
  • Type of therapy (individual, couples, family, peer)
  • Scheduling (how flexible is it? How often can you schedule a session? Can you make an appointment through a scheduling platform or do you need to go through your provider?)
  • Platforms (chat system, text messaging, phone call, video call, etc.)
  • Ease of switching between therapists

Who Is Online Therapy for Depression For?

It’s important to consider whether online depression counseling is the right choice for you. Online counseling has many benefits, such as widespread accessibility, eliminating the need to travel, and flexible scheduling. It can be a good alternative to in-person services for individuals who are dealing with a recent life transition, mild to moderate depressive symptoms, or chronic depression. Online medication management is also helpful for those who want to continue taking an antidepressant but need a more flexible and affordable option.

Online therapy and online psychiatry services are not for people in crisis or diagnosed with a severe mood disorder or schizophrenia, or for those experiencing psychosis.

What If I'm Having Thoughts of Harming Myself? 

The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, 988, is available for individuals to call if they are struggling with suicidal ideation or self-harming behaviors. The Lifeline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741741.

If you are having thoughts of harming yourself and online crisis resources are not helping, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Online Depression Counseling Cost?

The cost of online therapy for depression varies based on the provider. When deciding on an online platform or directory, it is important to consider whether your provider accepts insurance or HSA or FSA cards. Some providers offer sliding scale rates based on income, while others can work with you to provide superbills for insurance reimbursement.

How Does Online Help for Depression Work?

Online help for depression involves speaking with a therapist via video, audio, messaging, or live chat. Often, these communication methods range in cost. You and your therapist will address coping skills, depressive symptoms, and mood changes based on a schedule you decide. Online therapy provides the same treatment as in-person therapy, but it can be more accessible for individuals who need a flexible schedule or lower costs per session.

How Can Online Depression Counseling Benefit Mental Health?

Online therapy for depression can benefit your mental health by providing you emotional support as well as coping mechanisms to access, decreasing the overall impact of depressive symptoms on your day-to-day routine. For some individuals, online therapy and medication management can drastically improve mental health. For others, such as those diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, in-person services are a better option.

Methodology

To curate this list of the best online help for depression, we researched, tested, and surveyed 105 users of 55 online therapy providers and 180 users of 25 online therapy directories. During the vetting process, we gave special attention to the online providers that prioritized inclusion, easy access to therapy, and affordability, whether through accepting insurance, sliding scale fees, or offering low-cost subscription plans. We also looked for providers that were available nationwide, were HIPAA compliant, and covered a range of services, including medication management and specialty therapies.

Woman researching on laptop

Verywell Mind / Design 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.
  1. National Institute of Mental Health. Major depression

  2. Chand SP, Kuckel DP, Huecker MR. Cognitive behavior therapy. StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

  3. McHugh RK, Weiss RD. Alcohol use disorder and depressive disorders. Alcohol Res. 2019;40(1):arcr.v40.1.01. doi:10.35946/arcr.v40.1.01

By Riley Blanton
For over six years, Riley Blanton has written stories about mental health, women’s rights, as well as pregnancy and postpartum. She is passionate about maternal mental health and founded the site, Postpartum Brain, to educate and encourage people about perinatal mental health. Riley’s articles are published in verticals like Healthline, Motherly, and more. Read more of her work on perinatal mental health here.

Edited by
Hannah Owens
Hannah Owens

Hannah Owens is the Mental Health/General Health Editor for performance marketing at Verywell. She is a licensed social worker with clinical experience in community mental health.

Learn about our editorial process
and
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

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.

Learn about our editorial process