If you suffer from stress, anxiety, or depression, the first thing to know is that you’re not alone. The second thing to know is that there are plenty of services and tools that can help—apps among them. Below, you’ll find a list of the best mental health apps out there so you can start feeling better asap.
The Best Mental Health Apps to Help You Prioritize Your Well-Being
Before we get going, we should remind you that these apps aren’t a magic solution. If you’re struggling with mental health issues, reach out to a therapist or your healthcare provider. They can provide you with a combination of tools and techniques to help you manage your symptoms and get on the road to better health.
That being said, these apps are seriously valuable tools that can accompany other methods of treatment to get you in the best shape possible. Some provide an outlet for stress, some teach you ways to manage anxiety, others even help you gather insights on your moods and symptoms that you can take to a healthcare professional.
So take a deep breath and let’s take a look at the best mental health apps available right now.
7 of the Best Mental Health Apps
Here are the seven best mental health apps out there. Just a note: We did our best to feature free apps, though there are some that you’ll need to upgrade for full functionality. We’ll draw your attention to it when that’s the case. Let’s get going.
MindShift’s design is simple, elegant, and — best of all — intuitive. That means you can hit the ground running and start tracking your anxiety levels from the get-go. Alongside its anxiety journal, MindShift offers some other great features, like an area for setting goals and a small but well-designed suite of anxiety-management tools.
For example, you can tune in to the “Chill Zone” for a short guided meditation, draw on some “Coping Cards” to readjust your thinking, or carry out a “Belief Experiment” to test out whether your beliefs are holding you back without reason. Extra good news: These features and more are available for free.
In the realm of the best mental health apps, Cove is unique—and frankly pretty addictive. It works like this: When you’re feeling anxious, crack open the app and use it to create some music. Simple.
Now, don’t worry if you’re not Beethoven. You actually don’t need any kind of music knowledge to use the app. The design is highly visual, so all you need to do is tap the screen to add melody notes and rhythms, then swipe to change the instrumentation. What you’ll end up with is an eerie, ambient soundtrack that’s an expression of your mood. Save it, add some journal notes, and see how you feel.
Cove was created in collaboration with clinicians and was funded and tested by the UK’s National Health Service.
If you feel like you’d put more trust in an app that partners with universities to conduct clinical studies, you should take a look at Moodpath. Developed in consultation with qualified therapists and doctors, this app guides you through a two-week psychological assessment, which you can use to track your progress or even share with a mental health professional.
Moodpath also puts a bunch of tools at your disposal, like audio recordings, meditations, and courses on various topics. In a nutshell, it uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help you “sleep better, stress less and improve your overall emotional well-being.”
Price: Free for basic version; premium plans starting from $4.49 per month
Can happiness be delivered by an app? The short answer is no—it’s just not that simple. But while magic solutions might not exist, practical ones do. And mental health apps like Happify can make a difference to those suffering from depression or anxiety.
Happify helps you to identify thought patterns, track emotions, and build positive habits that can lead you to a happier mindset. It’s not the easiest app to navigate because it has a lot of features, but it is based on science. It uses positive psychology research and cognitive behavioral therapy and has some handy tools, games, and activities that make fun work of reducing your stress levels.
Price: Free; premium plans starting from $14.99.
What do gratitude journaling, mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, thought recording, and emotional expression have in common? They’re all proven ways to boost your mood, and they’re all included as activities in this app.
Moodfit makes our list of best mental health apps because it uses cognitive behavioral therapy and positive psychology to provide support for depression, stress, and anxiety. While it’s not the most beautifully-designed app on the list, it’s easy to use and, best of all, free.
Youper is a little different from other mental health apps in that it’s based on an AI chatbot interface. If you’re worried that an AI won’t be strong in the empathy department, don’t be: Youper is surprisingly smart, supportive, and sensitive, not to mention well-informed.
Youper’s name is a portmanteau of You and Super, aka Super-You, the version of yourself you most want to be. It was co-founded by a clinical psychiatrist, a behavioral scientist and designer, and a computer scientist, which explains how it manages to blend human and technical elements so well.
A few of its key benefits? It tracks your emotions and collects useful insights into what triggers each one, screens and monitors your mental health, and is easy and intuitive to use.
Price: Free with upgrade to premium version for additional features
We’ll say it straight up: This app is not particularly beautiful. But it makes our list of the best mental health apps because it’s simple, effective, and completely free.
Developed by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, this app instructs you on using deep, diaphragmatic breathing for stress and anxiety management. Follow the guided timer to inhale and exhale, and track how much stress you feel before and after each session.
The thing we like about this app is that it does just one thing and does it well. So if you’re after a free, accessible tool to help you learn this proven anxiety-busting breathing technique, then Breathe2Relax is worth a look.
How To Use These Mental Health Apps
As we’ve said above, these mental health apps aren’t a substitute for professional support and/or qualified medical advice. If your symptoms are severe, you may like to use the apps under the supervision of your doctor or counselor. If you’re simply looking for a way to lower your stress levels or feel generally happier, it may be enough to just test them out and find what works for you.
Just remember to seek professional help if you need it. Here are a few resources that may be useful:
Your turn: Have you tried any mental health apps? Which ones worked for you?
For more helpful tools to boost your mood and crush your stress, check out these happiness apps.