Best Online Help for Depression

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Depression impacts a considerable number of people in the United States on a regular basis. About 16.1 million adults across the country are affected by major depressive disorder in a given year, making it one of the most common mental illnesses. It’s more often seen in young adults, and women are twice as likely to have experienced it than men, according to the CDC. Depression can impact your day-to-day life in significant ways, and addressing it can be challenging, especially if you’re short on time and money. However, online therapy has made treating depression much easier.

Online therapy services help people with depression access therapists and support groups via phone, video call, and text, all from the comfort of home. These services also may offer educational resources and self-guided programs that will help you develop coping skills to better manage your symptoms. Some people assume online therapy for depression won't be as effective as in-person therapy, but a review of more than 17 studies on the subject found it actually may be more effective at reducing the severity of symptoms.

In order to determine the best online therapy for depression, we compared a number of top telehealth companies. These are the ones that stood out.

Best Online Help for Depression of 2022

Why Trust Us We surveyed 100 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we conducted comprehensive research with a psychotherapist. Read our Full Methodology
33 Companies reviewed
3,497 Total users surveyed
300 Data points analyzed

Best Overall : Amwell

Verywell's Rating
3.9

Amwell Therapy Logo
  • Price: $109 to $129 per session or Copay
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Communication Options: Video Chat
Why We Chose It

You can choose a psychiatrist who specializes in depression and contact them practically anytime, day or night, weekday or weekend.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Psychiatrist bios online

  • Medication management

  • Accepts many insurance providers

Cons
  • Live video sessions only

  • No free consultations

  • Pay per session

Overview

When it comes to treating symptoms of depression, Amwell is well-outfitted with some of the most qualified help around. It has a whole host of therapists and psychiatrists available to help you anytime you need: You can connect with a therapist 24/7, 365 days a year. However, once you start working with a specific therapist and want to continue being treated by them, their availability may be somewhat more limited.

Amwell also has a regularly updated blog written by mental health experts on a wide variety of topics useful for those coping with depression. For those on social media, Amwell’s Twitter account is filled with mental health advice and information about upcoming webinars and supportive partnerships.

Amwell offers a wide range of therapy services, and its therapists treat a number of different types of depression, including bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder. It also has therapists ready and able to help manage acute symptoms with medication. However, the service is pay-per-session, which can get expensive if you don’t have insurance or if Amwell does not accept yours.

Best on a Budget : Peer Collective

Verywell's Rating
3.5

Peer Collective Logo
  • Price: $14-$28 per hour
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Communication Options: Audio, Messaging, Video Chat
Why We Chose It 

Peer Collective is one of the most accessible and affordable online mental health care options out there.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free 60-minute trial

  • Choose counselors from long list of matches

  • Easy to sign up and start sessions

Cons
  • Counselors are not licensed therapists

  • Insurance not accepted

  • No medication management services

Overview

A lot of online therapy services don’t accept insurance or are out of network, but Peer Collective is one of the few that’s trying to change that by offering affordable care without insurance.

Start by filling out Peer Collective’s brief questionnaire to access the counselors’ bios and select one who works for you. You then can live chat with that counselor for $14 for a 30-minute session or $28 for a 60-minute session. These counselors aren’t licensed therapists, but they do have experience with many different mental health issues, including depression.

You can schedule sessions with your counselor on live video at convenient times, and since you pay by session, you can reduce costs by cutting back on sessions anytime. The site also includes a number of blog posts about the potential benefits of using a counselor instead of a licensed therapist.

Best for Psychiatric : Doctor on Demand

Verywell's Rating
3.8

Doctors on Demand
  • Price: $129-$179 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Communication Options: Audio, Video Chat
Why We Chose It 

Doctors on Demand makes talk therapy and medication management easy to access whenever you need it.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Medication management

  • Services for both adults and children

  • Choose your therapist

Cons
  • Features can be overwhelming

  • Fewer therapists available compared to other services

  • Lack of customer service

Overview

Doctors on Demand makes signing up and connecting with a therapist easy, so you can start working on a treatment plan as soon as possible. You first take a two-minute assessment to see how you rank your depression and anxiety levels. After that, you’re directed to a list of therapists who can help. If you think you need medication, there’s a simple process to be evaluated by a psychiatrist and then get prescriptions filled and sent to your home.

Many accredited therapists with Doctors on Demand have experience helping people cope with several types of depression and symptoms. It also has a blog and social media presence supported by doctors who share advice and background on issues across the spectrum of health care.

You pay by the session, so you don’t have to stick to a regular schedule if you don’t want to. Doctors on Demand also accepts a number of insurance plans, so you might end up paying very little out of pocket. The site makes it relatively simple to see if your plan offers coverage and what your co-pay will be.

Best for LGBTQIA+ : The Trevor Project


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

The Trevor Project provides several avenues of LGBTQIA+ support, from crisis counseling to extensive educational materials to peer counseling.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Crisis counseling specific to LGBTQIA+ issues

  • Can connect by text, phone, or messenger

  • Vast resource of information

Cons
  • No medication management

  • Not good for ongoing therapy needs

Overview

According to the Trevor Project, those in the LGBTQIA+ community are nearly twice as likely to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression than cisgender, heterosexual youth. Additionally, they are four times as likely to have attempted suicide.

The Trevor Project claims to be the world’s largest crisis intervention organization and offers a support system to help LGBTQIA+ youth cope with challenging symptoms of depression like suicidal ideation. Anyone younger than 25 can call, text, or message its crisis counselors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you don’t feel ready to talk to a counselor, there is also has a wealth of educational resources on its website that help answer questions on everything from sexual orientation to navigating rejection from family members to mental health issues like depression. If you’re hoping to find a new peer support group, there’s TrevorSpace—an online, moderated community where you can chat with others who might be dealing with similar issues, get advice, and maybe even make new friends. You also can interact with peers and counselors on Trevor Project’s robust social platforms.

Best for Couples : Couples Therapy Inc

Verywell's Rating
3.5

Couples Therapy Inc. Review
  • Price: $159 to $250 per couples counseling session; $119 to $199 for couples coaching; $2,500 to $5,000+ per weekend intensive retreat
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Communication Options: Video Chat
Why We Chose It 

Couples Therapy Inc. has intensive retreat options available across the country to tackle deeper issues. It also has great educational resources. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Intensive program

  • Clinically proven success

  • Very experienced therapists

Cons
  • Retreats are expensive 

  • Not available in every state

  • Insurance not accepted

Overview

Couples counseling typically begins with partners addressing outward issues in their relationship, but deeper issues—including depression—might emerge as therapy continues. When that happens, partners need to work together to address the problem.

Couples Therapy Inc. offers intensive couples retreats in-person or online, or, if you’d prefer, you can sign up for more traditional online therapy sessions. If you’re not sure what will work best, you can take a quiz on the website that will guide you to what likely will work best for you and your partner.  

The company also has a regularly updated blog on its website that’s filled with relevant articles written by accredited therapists on important relationship issues like emotional intimacy and financial planning. One post, for example, addresses how you can support a partner who’s struggling with depression. Plus, it has a few self-guided programs you can follow to learn some relationship therapy basics.

Therapy sessions are run by therapists with more than 20 years of training in science-backed relationship therapy. You can read their bios ahead of time before moving forward with one. Before getting started, your chosen therapist will have you fill out an assessment about your relationship, and what you’re hoping to address.

Best for Substance Abuse : The Recovery Village


Recovery Village
  • Price: Depends on insurance
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
Why We Chose It 

Recovery Village is an easy-to-use service specifically designed to create treatment plans for those who struggle with substance abuse of any kind.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Medication management available

  • For all types of substance abuse

  • Partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment

Cons
  • Therapists not available 24/7

  • Can’t pick your therapist

  • Limited to certain states

Overview

Depression can go hand-in-hand with substance abuse, and addressing depressive symptoms is just one aspect of comprehensive treatment programs for substance abuse. Recovery Village offers many levels of treatment, including partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient services, offered through Recovery Village’s Nobu app. It treats all types of substance abuse, including alcohol, recreational and prescription drugs.

Recovery Village also treats a number of co-occurring mental health disorders through its app, including anxiety and depression. Its medical professionals can also help with medication management if that’s part of your recovery process. To start, you’ll have three sessions: a medical assessment, a clinical assessment with a licensed therapist, and financial counseling, where you can learn your insurance coverage options. If you decide to go ahead with online therapy, you’ll meet with the same therapist you’re initially matched with unless you’d prefer to change to someone else.

You can also peruse Recovery Village’s vast collection of educational resources online on various types of substance abuse anytime. Read recovery stories, use its sobriety calculator, and even participate in free online recovery meetings.

Recovery Village aims to make your treatment program flexible to fit your life as needed. However, more intensive levels of care, like partial hospitalization, are available if needed. You also can opt into group sessions with others coping with similar substance abuse issues. Support is available for specific groups like veterans, first responders, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Best for Peer Counseling : 7 Cups of Tea

Verywell's Rating
3.0

7 Cups
  • Price: $150 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Communication Options: Messaging
Why We Chose It 

7 Cups has both a free service where you can chat with volunteer listeners and an inexpensive online therapy service. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free messaging with volunteer listeners

  • Inexpensive therapy

  • Forums and private peer chat rooms

Cons
  • Listeners are not professional therapists

  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • No medication management

Overview

Talking with peers sometimes can be a good way to start addressing depression, which is why 7 Cups is such a helpful service. In existence since 2013, 7 Cups has trained volunteers it calls “active listeners” available to chat online 24/7 via its user-friendly app. Active listeners have to pass an online course to learn how to support users with empathy, understanding, and respect. There also are forums and private chat rooms available for users should they want to connect with others struggling with similar issues.

For people just dipping their toes into peer counseling for depression, 7 Cups has a comprehensive blog written by mental health experts that offers advice on things like boosting self-esteem and setting healthy boundaries with loved ones.

If you’re looking for more traditional therapy, 7 Cups has you covered there, too. You can chat online with an accredited, licensed therapist on an unlimited basis for just $150 a month. The platform is backed by a number of peer-reviewed publications, according to its website. However, if you’re hoping to have a live audio or video conversation with a therapist, this service is not for you.

Best for Finding a Therapist : Good Therapy


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

Good Therapy is a comprehensive directory of therapists, many of whom have expertise in treating depression.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy to use

  • Detailed therapist bios

  • Available nationally and internationally

Cons
  • Not a therapy sign-up tool

  • Limited professional guidance

Overview

Good Therapy is a free directory service that aims to give you as much background on therapists as possible so you can feel like you’re moving forward with the right person the first time around.

All you have to do is type in your zip code and whether you’re looking for in-person or telehealth sessions, and Good Therapy will give you a list of therapists with varying areas of expertise. And you don’t just get the bullet points; each therapist provides a bio detailing how they work and what areas they specialize in. You can can narrow your search by insurance, as well as by gender, type of therapy (like cognitive behavioral therapy or collaborative therapy), age group focus, languages spoken, and accessibility. Essentially, Good Therapy makes it incredibly easy to zero in on a therapist who fits all of your needs with relatively little legwork.

If you’re still not sure about how to proceed, Good Therapist has a number of blog posts with questions to ask yourself about what you’re looking for and how you feel therapy is progressing once you choose a therapist and get started.

Best for Free : CIMHS


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

CIMHS offers a free, self-paced program where you’ll learn cognitive and behavioral techniques to help you improve your mood on a daily basis.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Self-paced

  • Based on clinical psychology research

  • Easy to navigate

Cons
  • Lack of professional help

  • Few motivating features

  • No medication management

Overview

People living with depression sometimes don’t have the means to treat their symptoms effectively, either because they don’t have insurance or it’s otherwise cost-prohibitive. The Canadian Nonprofit Center for Interactive Mental Health (CIMHS) has a somewhat different approach that puts mental health treatment back into your hands.

It offers a free program called Bliss to help you develop coping skills for various common mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety. It’s based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) principles, which the American Psychological Association says is an effective method of treating depression. While it is a Canadian nonprofit, the service is available to everyone, no matter where they live.

Bliss consists of eight “interactive sessions” designed to target depression and depressive symptoms. Throughout the sessions, you learn coping skills and strategies for creating healthy changes as well as methods for tracking your mood and overall mental health weekly. You can work at your own pace and use the program tool in therapy if you decide you’d also like to pursue that course.

Best for Intersectional Communities : Ayana Therapy

Verywell's Rating
4.0

Ayana Therapy Review
  • Price: $140/single sessions or $290/monthly subscription
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No. Offers bills to submit to your insurer
  • Communication Options: Messaging, Video Chat
Why We Chose It 

Ayana Therapy aims to help provide mental health care for marginalized and intersectional communities.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Cost effective

  • Specializes in serving minority and intersectional communities

  • Bios of therapists on website

Cons
  • Insurance not accepted

  • Need to use app to text therapists

  • No medication management

Overview

According to the American Psychiatric Association, only about 30% of Black, indigenous peoples, people of color, and other marginalized communities received mental health services in 2015. And due to risk factors like racism, economic disparity, and food insecurity, their rate of suicide is higher, especially among black youth.  

Lack of access, along with other risk factors, can exacerbate symptoms of depression. To better serve minorities, Ayana Therapy provides more accessible online therapy with a pool of qualified, diverse professionals. There is an online blog that addresses potential mental health triggers like microaggressions, racial trauma, compassion fatigue, or the loss of feelings of empathy and compassion for others due to ongoing trauma. Interesting mental health facts are posted regularly on their social media pages, where you can also reach out for help. 

Ayana uses a simple questionnaire to match users with a therapist who fits their needs. Cost-wise, Ayana is average compared to similar companies, and you can either pay on a subscription basis or per session, which may be less expensive if you don’t need regular sessions. You can connect with your therapist from anywhere at any time, which may help you stick with therapy.

Compare the Best Online Help for Depression of 2022

Overall Rating Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Communication Options
Reset All
Amwell
3.9
Best Overall $109 to $129 per session or Copay Yes No Video Chat Sign Up Now
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Peer Collective
3.5
Best on a Budget $14-$28 per hour No No Audio, Messaging, Video Chat Sign Up Now
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Doctor on Demand
3.8
Best for Psychiatric $129-$179 per session Yes No Audio, Video Chat Sign Up Now
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The Trevor Project Best for LGBTQIA+ Free N/A No N/A Sign Up Now
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Couples Therapy Inc
3.5
Best for Couples $159 to $250 per couples counseling session; $119 to $199 for couples coaching; $2,500 to $5,000+ per weekend intensive retreat No No Video Chat Sign Up Now
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The Recovery Village Best for Substance Abuse Depends on insurance Yes No N/A Sign Up Now
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7 Cups of Tea
3.0
Best for Peer Counseling $150 per month No No Messaging Sign Up Now
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Good Therapy Best for Finding a Therapist Free N/A No N/A Sign Up Now
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CIMHS Best for Free Free N/A No N/A Sign Up Now
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Ayana Therapy
4.0
Best for Intersectional Communities $140/single sessions or $290/monthly subscription No. Offers bills to submit to your insurer No Messaging, Video Chat Sign Up Now
Hide, not for me

Final Verdict

All the organizations on this list will help you get care for depression, but due to Amwell's accessibility, quality of educational resources, affordability, and directory of qualified, accredited therapists, we ranked it as the best overall online therapy service for depression. Amwell’s therapists have ample experience treating numerous types of depression, and the service boasts accessibility at any time, day or night, holiday or weekend. The service also has a comprehensive blog written by mental health professionals. If you’re not happy with your therapist, Amwell makes it easy to switch. It also simplifies scheduling, paying for service, and using insurance, all via the app or online.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Online Help for Depression Work?

Online help for depression usually involves working with a therapist via your preferred communication method (video or audio call, messaging, or live chat) on a treatment plan you both agree to. For instance, you may work on bolstering your coping abilities and tracking your moods so you can better address symptoms on your own. You’ll essentially be doing the same sort of work you would do in more traditional, in-person therapy, but you’ll be at home or in the location of your choice.

How Much Does Online Help for Depression Cost?

The cost of online therapy for depression varies based on the service provider. Some online therapy services accept insurance, reducing the cost per session to a small copay. Some may accept health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) cards, or your insurance may reimburse you for some of the cost if the service provider is out of network. Others may be free or have reduced out-of-pocket costs because they don’t use licensed therapists.

How Can Online Help for Depression Benefit Mental Health?

As noted, online therapy for depression can benefit people’s overall mental health just as much as in-person therapy. It can give you tools to help you cope better with symptoms to help lessen the impact of depression on your day-to-day life. However, if you have severe depression and feel it isn’t being managed well via therapy and/or medication, you may need to try something more comprehensive, like in-patient treatment at a mental health center. Some mental health conditions, such as bipolar depression, respond best with in-person interventions.

Is Online Help for Depression Right for You?

Online assistance for depression can be a helpful service for many reasons. Depression can be debilitating and overwhelm your life; eliminating stressors like travel and exorbitant costs could make it an easier endeavor. Many online help services for depression also offer flexible scheduling and the ability to communicate with a therapist via messaging in case you’d prefer to ease your way into care before signing up for regular face-to-face sessions.

If you suffer from chronic depression, grief from a recent loss, or need help with medication management, numerous online services can help you manage all of that in one place. They have providers who are experienced in treating depression and can help you learn coping skills no matter what type of depression you may have.

Methodology

In order to come up with our recommended list of online help services for depression, we researched some of the highest-rated providers on the market. After testing their offerings and looking into their histories and reputations, 10 were selected that fit the specific categories outlined above. Services were evaluated based on a number of factors including affordability, quality of educational resources, social presence, accessibility, ease of use, qualification of counselors, and user reviews.

Edited by Brian Abbott
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.

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7 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. Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Anxiety and Depression.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevalence of Depression Among Adults Aged 20 and Over: United States, 2013–2016.

  3. Luo C, Sanger N, Singhal N, et al. A comparison of electronically-delivered and face to face cognitive behavioural therapies in depressive disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. EClinicalMedicine. 2020;24:100442. doi:10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100442

  4. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

  5. American Psychological Association. What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

  6. American Psychiatric Association. Mental Health Disparities: Diverse Populations.

  7. National Institute of Mental Health. Addressing the Crisis of Black Youth Suicide.