Research shows that 90% of users of mental health apps reported increased confidence, motivation, intention, and attitudes about their mental and emotional health.1
When you’re looking for the best mental health apps that can help you meet your challenges, don’t use mental health apps that make outrageous claims. It’s best to use mental health apps that come from reputable sources. It’s better to choose mental health apps that make believable, doable claims.
Also, make sure that the mental health apps are based on evidence-based methods, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), for example. It’s best to avoid mental health apps that use unproven methods.
Lots of people in the United States can benefit from the best mental health apps in their daily lives. While mental health apps aren’t replacements for traditional mental health treatment, they can be a gateway or a supplement for treatment.
More than 43 million Americans experience mental illness in a given year
1 in 5 Americans experience a mental illness in their lifetime
10 million Americans (1 in 25) live with a serious mental illness
Mental illness by type in the United States:
2.4 million Americans have schizophrenia
6.1 million Americans have bipolar disorder
16 million Americans are experiencing major depression
42 million Americans are dealing with anxiety disorders
10.2 million people have a co-occuring mental health and addiction disorder
Mental health apps can help people with psychological and behavioral disorders gain control over their emotional and mental health.
Here are the top ten mental health apps you can download, in no particular order.
Calm is a mental health app that can help you relax, meditate and fall asleep easier.
This mental health app has guided meditation session in different durations so you can choose the best length.
Focus: Original music designed to help you focus, relax, or sleep
Mindfulness at work or in school
Calm for kids
Calming anxiety: Relaxing breathing exercises
Stress management: Unguided timed, or open-ended meditation
Sleep: 100+ adult bedtime stories guaranteed to help you sleep
Love and kindness
Each day, a new 10-minute Daily Calm program is added that helps you ease into the new day or relax before bedtime.
Beginner to advanced user levels with 7- to 21-day programs available.
Calm Masterclasses taught by world-famous experts that can help you change your life.
More than 30 tranquil nature sounds and scenes you can use while meditating, doing yoga, or falling asleep.
If you are looking for one of the best mental health apps for meditation, this could be the one for you.
Moodpath is one of the mental health apps that you can customize to help you manage anxiety, depression, and stress. Moodpath has three main features:
It is an assessment tool that aids in tracking your physical and emotional well-being. You answer questions each day. The app summarizes the data for a bi-weekly summary report. You can share reports with mental health professionals.
Use Moodpath to track your mood and to journal. The app also provides a snapshot of your emotional states each day. This feedback enables you to reflect on your emotional well-being throughout the day. The app gives you support for further understanding of your patterns and triggers.
Moodpath teaches you how to let go of negative thought patterns and overwhelming emotions with exercises based on CBT. Everyday mindfulness, sleep improvement, stress management, and self-compassion exercises are also available.
If you are looking for one of the best mental health apps that help you follow your progress and teach you skills, this app could suit your needs.
Lack of sleep can lead to many mental and physical health problems. CBT-i uses cognitive behavioral techniques to improve your sleep habits. The app provides a structured program that can be used with therapists at CBT sessions. The app can also be used alone.
Cbt-I Coach is based on the therapy manual, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Veterans.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a popular form of therapy in the treatment of mental health disorders. DBT is used to treat substance use (SUDs) and personality disorders. DBT focuses on practicing skills that help users control the intensity of their reactions in emotional situations. DBT is a method for teaching skills that help you maintain an emotional balance, and this app helps you stay on that track.
28 DBT skills that have descriptive reminders, skill examples and a calendar, all set against beautiful graphics.
A handy daily reminder you can set up for specific times to do DBT skills.
Statistics based on 1, 7, 28 or all days. If you are in DBT classes, stats can be used to track your progress based on your class schedule.
Full Version Users: Can send PDF files with stats + notes via email or printer. Email your therapist/counselor stats in an easy to read and print format.
You can add custom tracking data.
You can evaluate anxiety and depression using a modified K10 test.
You can also monitor target behaviors and your responses to them.
If you are recovering from substance abuse or need help managing your reactions to stressors, this would be one of the best mental health apps for you.
Youper is one of the best mental health apps billed as an Emotional Health Assistant. You can monitor and improve your emotional health via talks based on therapy techniques or mindfulness.
Emotional insights on many mental health issues
Reports you can easily share
Quick, convenient conversations that can improve your day
AI: Youper uses artificial intelligence (AI) that was created by doctors and scientists. It uses therapeutic techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, and meditation during these talks.
This is one of the best mental health apps if you learn best with a conversational format.
Sober Time helps you stay motivated and inspired. It’s a mental health app that tracks sobriety down to the second and updates in real-time. The clock ticks up the seconds, minutes, hours and days. There are more than 10 unique ways to display your progress with individual and community features.
Track your relapses
Add helpful notes to relapse incidents
See how much money you’ve saved
Share your progress
Daily inspirational messages
Ability to set realistic, achievable goals for yourself
Each goal is tracked and you’ll get a notification when you’ve reached one
Community forum where you can read or discuss anything related to sobriety, such as addiction, milestones, issues, and problems related to substance abuse.
Learn from others who have experiences to share.
Share your own story.
This is one of the best mental health apps if you are still struggling with sobriety. It can help build you up and give achievable goals even when you are having relapses.
LetGOH is a mental health app that focuses on issues that fit well into the 12-step recovery model. The app provides inventory tools, sponsorship aids, and meditations to help users reduce or quit their addictions.
LetGOH is suitable for people with addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, food and co-dependency. LetGOH includes inventory lists for the 10th and 11th steps as well as daily tracking of progress and meditations.
If you are in a 12-step program, this will be one of the best mental health apps for you.
Innerhour offers 6 self-help courses on:
Happiness: How to experience happiness in your life
Anger: How to channel your anger
Stress: How to manage stress
Depression: How to make small changes to beat depression
Sleep: How to develop sound sleep habits
Take an assessment to see what you need to work on. The app creates a 28-day customized plan for you.
You’ll learn new skills through simple, interesting activities.
Goal setting and tracking.
If you have several areas to improve on and you like structured programs, this might be one of the best mental health apps for you.
Rootd is a mental health app meant for people who suffer from debilitating panic attacks and anxiety. One use of Rootd is to turn to the app when panic or anxiety starts. The panic button feature helps users through their anxiety or panic using breathing tools and stress management exercises.
Guided body scans and visualizations
Emergency Contact feature to connect with a friendly voice of your loved one or a nearby help center right from the app.
This could be one of the most helpful mental health apps if you suffer from sudden and strong panic attacks. It can help you calm down quickly and get you out of the danger zone.
The UP! app is an automated mood diary that tracks and alerts you to your unique warning signs of depression and mania. The app has a daily journal feature to easily track your emotions and habits. You can manage, monitor and analyze signs of borderline personality disorder, depression and bipolar disorder.
The Up! app was designed for people with bipolar disorder (1 and 2) to monitor and analyze their symptoms
The app was evolved to where it can help people using CBT for the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and PTSD
You can upload your mood diary and state of mental health reports to your therapist in PDF format
Pride Counseling: one of the mental health apps built around acceptance and accessibility. Pride Counseling is an online counseling platform for the LGBTQ+ community.
Get help with common and uncommon gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues that aren’t specifically dealt with by other mental health apps.
Live chat or video call with a specialist, all online.
Schedule meetings with your therapist at a time that works best for you.
For Me, free: Is part of a growing list of mental health apps developed for and young people aged up to 19, helping them access advice and support on a huge selection of mental health and wellbeing issues.
Many self-help articles and videos on subjects ranging from body issues, exam stress, emotions, school life and relationships to bullying, mental health issues and self-harm.
There are also message boards where children can talk to others about what’s on their mind.
If they need more support, the app will connect them to a counselor who will talk to them by phone, email or one-to-one chat.
Digipill: is one of the best mental health apps that help in getting better sleep. It helps explore the mind with can help you:
Become more creative
Get over a traumatic experience
Grief Support Network App: is one of the mental health apps that focuses on local connections by creating a free proximity-based social network connecting & supporting people grieving. This mental health app:
Enables you to see and connect with others grieving near you.
Allows you to chat with others who are grieving.
Provides a list and links to some of the latest research, studies, and news on grief.
myPlan app: is part of a group of mental health apps that are designed to help women determine if a relationship is unsafe.
It was created in conjunction with researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
It uses 20 years of research with female-identified survivors of relationship abuse.
It is accessible through a discreet and confidential smartphone app.
Wellframe: is in a group of mental health apps that help you feel in control of your health by connecting you to care on your phone or tablet.
You can send a private message at any time to your care team – it’s as easy as texting, but more secure than texting or other mental health apps.
Your care team will create a personal daily checklist for you with helpful articles, videos, and things to do.
The more tasks you check off, the more your care team can customize your program for you. Set reminders to help remember your medications and appointments, and track your steps and progress over time. You’ll learn what to expect and feel better supported as you go.
FOCUS On The Go!: FOCUS stands for Families Overcoming Under Stress, and this is one of the mental health apps that aim to teach resilience to the entire family.
Develop five essential skills: problem-solving, goal-setting, communication, emotional regulation, and managing trauma and stress
The VA provides veterans with an approved list of mental health apps. The list can be found at https://mobile.va.gov/appstore/mental-health
WellTrack: is part of a group of mental health apps designed to help students understand their mental health and to provide them with the help they need right now.
Wellness assessment to understand and track their levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Online tools that use aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Short online lessons to make it easier to learn how to improve their mental health.
Recovery Record: is the smart companion for managing your journey to recovery from eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. This mental health app lets you:
Celebrate wins with rewards
Personalize your journey
Use at any time and stage of recovery
With mental health apps, improving your mental and emotional well-being and staying motivated doesn’t have to stop when the therapy session is over. Besides our Top 10 Picks for the best mental health apps, you can find many of the other mental health apps simply by searching the app store for your device(s).
Mental health apps can be great supplements to the behavioral health sessions you go to. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are all good fits for mental health apps. These mental health apps are also companions that can be there for you anytime, day or night, when you’re feeling stressed out, isolated or vulnerable.
Many mental health apps use a data-driven approach to help users track and improve their mental health. Other mental health apps offer treatment options for symptoms right on the spot. Digital sensors that pick up even the smallest physiological changes may soon make it possible for our apps to know what’s going on with us before we do.
Mental health apps reduce the overwhelming volume of material on mental health into a digital app that is tailored for you. Mental health apps are not meant to replace therapy, but rather to supplement it. If you or a loved one are experiencing mental health issues, you can talk with your doctor. A mental health provider, such as a counselor or treatment center, can also be a good place to seek help.
To make sure it is clear, I state again that Mental Health Apps Aren’t a Substitute for Counseling.
Where to Find the Top 10 Mental Health Apps:
Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.
Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.
Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.