The 10 Best Therapy and Counseling Apps for Mental Health Aid
Mental health has increasingly come into focus as an essential part of your overall well-being. More people are taking the steps to seek the help they need to cope with anxiety, depression, and other disorders.
If you need help managing your mental health, but can’t see a therapist in person, there are various apps that you can turn to for guidance. From online therapy apps that link you to remote counselors to free mental health apps that help you manage symptoms, here are 10 of the best mental health apps to choose from.
Of course, if you already have a therapist and can’t see them in person, there are also video calling apps to use for remote counseling.
This app is for: People who want to see a licensed counselor or therapist remotely
Areas of focus: Depression, anxiety, relationship counseling, counseling for LGBT individuals, grief, eating disorders
BetterHelp is a paid service that matches users with counselors who specialize in their areas of concern. After answering a few questions about your mental health needs, the app will link you to a qualified and licensed counselor. You can even specify preferences for counselors, such as gender and age, so that you’re matched with someone you’re comfortable with.
A few benefits of the app include the ability to switch counselors if you are unhappy with your current one, as well as specifying the communication types you prefer (such as text, phone, or video).
The app requires a weekly subscription fee, ranging from $40 to $70. The exact price is determined by numerous factors, such as your whether you receive a low income or if you have a disability.
Download: BetterHelp for Android | iOS (Free download, subscription required)
2. MindShift CBT
This app is for: People who need a free mental health app for anxiety
Areas of focus: Anxiety, panic attacks
MindShift CBT is a completely free mental health app from the Anxiety Canada Association. It uses a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach to help you cope with anxiety symptoms.
The app includes a variety of tools and the ability to monitor your progress over time. These tools include mood tracking, belief experiments, coping cards, and more.
You can also set goals for yourself, such as expanding your comfort zone and tackling a challenge.
Download: Mindshift CBT for Android | iOS (Free)
This app is for: People dealing with stress, anxiety, and/or depression
Areas of focus: Depression and anxiety
Sanvello is a comprehensive app that helps users cope with depression and anxiety by using various tools to dismantle thought traps and false beliefs. The app has a variety of ways to offer help, including guided meditation, mood tracking, health habit tracking, and CBT-based exercises.
The basic version of the app is free, with a premium subscription available.
Download: Sanvello for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)
4. Clear Fear
This app is for: People who need help managing anxiety
Areas of focus: Anxiety
Clear Fear is a free app to help you cope with anxiety and phobias. While it is recommended for those between 11 and 19 years old, it’s usable for anyone who wants to find out more about their anxiety.
The app includes a variety of resources, such as information on anxiety types and self-monitoring tools. You can also set up a “Grit Box,” which is a set of affirmations and reminders to help you when you feel defeated.
The safety net tool provides a list of activities you’ve set for yourself when your anxiety is overwhelming, as well as people you can contact when distressed.
Download: Clear Fear for Android | iOS (Free)
This app is for: People who want to practice mindfulness and meditation
Areas of focus: Mindfulness, guided meditation, stress, insomnia
Headspace is a mindfulness and meditation app aimed at helping users deal with stress, insomnia, and anxiety. It isn’t strictly aimed at people dealing with mental health issues and disorders. Rather, it’s about mental well-being in general.
That said, guided meditation can be useful in dealing with certain symptoms of anxiety and depression, such as insomnia.
If meditation helps you with your symptoms, Headspace can be a useful tool. The app offers a certain number of free meditations, with additional options available with a subscription.
Download: Headspace on Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)
This app is for: People with depression
Areas of focus: Depression and anxiety
If you’re just getting started on your journey of coping with depression, Moodpath is a useful tool that offers insight and self-monitoring tools. The app asks you questions about your mood and thought patterns and delivers an assessment every two weeks.
In turn, your doctor or therapist can then use these assessments to help you decide on the right course of treatment. This tracking can also help you figure out potential triggers and understand patterns that emerge over time.
The app also includes a variety of free courses that help you understand depression, its causes, and how it affects the body and thought patterns over time.
Download: Moodpath for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)
This app is for: People who have panic attacks or panic disorder
Areas of focus: Managing and preventing panic attacks
Rootd is a mental health app that helps you deal with a very specific symptom of anxiety: panic attacks. Rather than focusing on anxiety in general, Rootd focuses on short-term and long-term relief from panic attacks and coping with panic disorder.
The app provides information on panic attacks and why they happen. It also includes the Rootr tool, which you can use when you sense the start of a panic attack.
Other tools include breathing and meditation exercises to help you cope with the anxiety that leads to panic attacks. The app includes its basic tools and information for free, but requires a subscription for further lessons.
Download: Rootd on Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)
This app is for: People who want a place to chat and vent with peers about mental health
Areas of focus: A broad range of mental health disorders and major life events
Therapeer is a peer emotional support app that lets you talk to others who have experience with mental health disorders and topics. You can sign up to receive support or give support to others.
Within the app, you’re able to join “rooms” to offer others advice on issues they’re facing. You can also set up your own room to ask for support. Therapeer offers support for a wide range of mental health issues, matching you with peers who’ve had similar experiences.
However, the app does not include access to therapists and thus isn’t a substitute for professional help. Rather, it provides a place to discuss your challenges and receive support from peers.
Download: Therapeer for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
This app is for: People with OCD who want to connect with a community and therapists
Areas of focus: Obsessive-compulsive disorder and its various subtypes
NOCD is a free app for people with OCD that aims to connect you with a community, specialized therapists, and management tools.
A major benefit of the app is that it doesn’t just focus on the disorder in general, but its subtypes. This means that it tailors advice and suggestions according to the specific symptoms and compulsions that you are struggling with.
The app includes a community feed, helping you know you’re not alone in dealing with the disorder. Meanwhile, you can also schedule a free call with a therapist to help tailor your exercises and treatment plan.
Download: NOCD for Android | iOS (Free)
10. Calm Harm
This app is for: People who feel the urge to harm themselves
Areas of focus: Self-harm
The urge to self-harm is a symptom that can occur across a variety of mental health disorders, and it’s something many people struggle to talk about. Calm Harm provides users a way to cope with these urges without judgment.
The app uses the concept of “riding the wave”—providing you with activities and exercises until the urge passes. These include suggestions on how to release the anxiety or frustration causing the urges, providing comfort, distraction, and other ways to cope with the tension.
Calm Harm doesn’t treat the underlying cause of the urges, but provides a way to cope with the overwhelming feelings that lead to self-harm.
Download: Calm Harm for Android | iOS (Free)
Is It Time to Speak With a Professional?
If you have the access and means to set up professional one-on-one mental health care, that remains the best option. However, these apps can help you cope with symptoms or find remote therapists when you aren’t able to access in-person counseling.
Looking for more apps to help you cope? Have a look at some apps to help manage depression and change your mood, as well as apps for positivity and managing your mental health.
Image Credit: chuanpis/Shutterstock
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