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The 10 Best Mental Health Apps - Taking Care Of Yourself Made Easy

Edward Neeman Published: June 14, 2018 Updated: September 20, 2018

Mobile apps

About one-fifth of teenagers and adults in the United States have some form of mental illness each year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. While some mental health experts do not recommend seeking help online only, there has been a surge in the research and development of mental health apps that can help you improve your emotional and mental wellbeing. These apps can also make therapy portable and more accessible. Apps can help you boost your mental health with a variety of methods like meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or by providing a support network.
The following are the best mental health apps to try, including a number of evidence-based mental health apps reviewed by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and other organizations.

1. AnxietyCoach

Anxiety Coach by the Mayo Clinic is one of the best mental health apps for easing anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). The organization reviewed this app with a 5/5 for research evidence for treatment and 4/5 for ease of use and effectiveness. The app works by walking you through your feared activities and helping you master them without worry. It also allows you to self-test for the severity of your anxiety, makes a custom plan, tracks your anxiety, and check your progress toward your goals.

2. 7 Cups

7 Cups is a community-based form of online therapy and support aimed primarily at depression and anxiety. It’s also one of several evidence-based mental health apps that focuses on emotional support. 7 Cups has more than 230,000 licensed therapists and trained listeners in 140 languages who can speak anonymously with you day or night. You can search for listeners based on their specialty or experience like a breakup, eating disorder, bullying, depression, and different types of mental health disorders.

According to 7 Cups, 90% of people report feeling better after talking to a listener and 97% have a positive view of their listener. This is one of the best mental health apps if you feel a lack of emotional support in your life or you find it helpful to talk about your feelings.

3. SuperBetter

SuperBetter is a unique game with a goal of improving your resilience, or your ability to remain optimistic and motivated through obstacles. This is one of the few evidence-based mental health apps that has actually been studied in a randomized controlled study. According to the study, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, people who played SuperBetter for one month reported improvements in mood, anxiety, and depression with a higher belief in achieving personal goals. The study concluded that mental health apps like SuperBetter may serve a role in treating depression.

4. Talkspace

Talkspace is similar to 7 Cups with confidential counseling and support. This app offers a convenient and affordable way to manage chronic mental illness, relationship problems, depression, and more. The app includes a free consultation with a Matching Agent. Once you become a member, you get access to a secure chat room to discuss your concerns with a private counselor.

Talkspace isn’t free, but counseling with a licensed therapist through the app costs much less than traditional therapy. While mental health services must be covered by your insurance, Talkspace can still be more affordable. While therapy There are several monthly subscription levels starting at $49 per week for unlimited video, text, and audio messages with your therapist, who responds to messages once a day. This is one of the best mental health apps if you want the benefits of traditional therapy without face-to-face meeting and the ability to share your thoughts and feelings whenever you need to.

5. Happify

Happify is one of several free evidence-based mental health apps, but it’s unique in its techniques. Happify uses evidence-based techniques and interventions in mindfulness, psychology, and CBT to help you get past unhealthy habits and make new habits. The app is designed to build resilience and reduce stress and anxiety by gaining control of your thought patterns. It uses games and activities to help you reduce negativity in your life with an emotional well-being calculated as a happiness score you can improve.

Happify is the result of almost $9 million in early funding. According to Happify, 86% of users report feeling better about their lives after 6 to 8 weeks. Because it’s free, it’s one of the best mental health apps to see if mindfulness and CBT can help you.

6. Calm

Calm is one of many mental health apps with a focus on meditation. This app was named Apple's App of the Year in 2017 and it's designed to improve sleep and boost your emotional well-being by focusing on four areas of meditation, sleep, relaxation, and breathing. Try the breathing programs and nature sounds to soothe your mind after a stressful day.

7. MoodTune

If you like game-based mental health apps, MoodTune is a good choice. This app, based on 10 years of research, uses task-based tricks to help you reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. The primary downside to MoodTune is it requires playing recognition-based games that take about 30 minutes each and can't be paused. The app is also costly at $90, although you may find it helpful.

8. Moodnotes

Moodnotes is one of the best iPhone mental health apps if you enjoy journaling. This app works like a mood diary and journal to help you express your feelings and improve your thought processes through positive psychology. Tracking your mood and feelings can help you recognize traps in the way you think. The app also offers helpful perspectives and suggestions to guide you through the process.

9. Code Blue

This is one of a handful of mental health apps aimed at teenagers and young adults. With Code Blue, you can choose contacts in your phone to serve as your support group. With a couple taps, the app will send an alert to members of your support group that you need help. Your friends can then call or text you. The app will also share your location so members can come see you in person. This is one of the few mental health apps that was started through crowdfunding to include the features that teens are looking for. It was also designed based on input from youth mental health groups in the US, UK, and New Zealand.

10. Lantern

This is one of the highest-cost paid mental health apps, but it can also be one of the most powerful. Lantern is a mobile and web-based platform that combines expert advice with cognitive behavioral therapy. You begin with an assessment test to determine your weaknesses and strengths in social, sleep, mood, anxiety, and body. You will then get daily exercises customized to your assessment results. Lantern is one of the best mental health apps because it also pairs you with a professional coach trained in CBT to give you feedback and advice. The app requires a subscription starting at $33 per month. Jump to top