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41 Mental Health Apps That Can Make Life a Little Easier



Confession: I’m a bit fanatical when it comes to mental health apps. I download them indiscriminately and often, secretly hoping with each download that this one will be the one to fix my life and my brain. Of course, that’s a lot of pressure to put on an app and an unrealistic goal in general (I’m not broken and don’t need to be fixed!), but still. I love to problem-solve and explore new methods of self-care, and mental health apps help me do just that.

Having a variety of self-care tools at your disposal is helpful even when we aren’t in a global pandemic, but adding to your mental health toolkit might be even more important these days—particularly if you’re currently lacking connection, routine, or in-person mental health support.

While these are not a replacement for professional care, there are tons of genuinely helpful mental health apps out there to match a variety of problems, disorders, goals, and more. Below, find a mix of personal recs, reviewer favorites, and expert-approved apps meant to manage and support your mental health. (Heads up: I divided the apps based on what each is best known for, but there’s some overlap, especially among the more multifunctional mental health apps. But you get the idea!)

Self-help and therapy skills apps

Whether or not you go to therapy, you can never have too many evidence-based tools for managing your mental health. These apps aim to make therapeutic coping skills more accessible by drawing on different types of therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT, a type of CBT focused on distress tolerance and emotion regulation), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT, a type of therapy that uses mindfulness and behavior-change strategies to help you better accept and work with your tough emotions), and more. Some support specific disorders, while others aim to help anyone feeling depressed, anxious, or stressed right now.

  1. Happify: Meant to address stress and increase happiness, Happify is full of daily quizzes, games, and activities. You can choose one or more “tracks” to tailor your experience, including goals like conquering negative thoughts, building self-confidence, and achieving career success. (iOS and Google Play, free or $15/month for premium)
  2. MoodMission: MoodMission is like a Choose Your Own Adventure for feeling better. Specifically built for low moods and anxiety, it asks you a series of questions about how you’re feeling and presents you with a unique list of five “missions” to choose from in the moment. As a bonus, your results are more unique to you the more you use it—after you complete a mission, you rate how you feel so MoodMission can learn what does and doesn’t work for you. (iOS, $8 and Google Play, $6)
  3. Woebot: This cute little A.I. chatbot will coach you through a hard time via chat by asking you what’s up and offering CBT-based tips and exercises for you to try. Whether you’re in an anxious thought spiral or just feeling like crap, Woebot will guide you step by step until you feel better. (iOS and Google Play, free)
  4. MoodTools: Whether you have a depressive disorder or are dealing with a depressed mood, you can use the CBT-based activities in MoodTools to feel a little better. It also includes space for a safety plan if you deal with suicidal ideation. (iOS and Google Play, free, or $5/month or $30/year for premium)
  5. What’s Up: This app has a bunch of tools based on CBT and ACT to help you feel less anxious, stressed, angry, and more. Plus, you can connect with other users via the app’s built-in forum. (iOS and Google Play, free)
  6. MoodKit: Not only is MoodKit filled with activity suggestions for improving your mood, but it also allows you to schedule them so you can make a habit out of practicing self-care and feel better in the long run. (iOS, $5)
  7. PTSD Coach: Created by the National Center for PTSD, this app is for anyone who has or could have post-traumatic stress disorder, whether they’re currently in treatment or not. Some of its features include educational material, therapeutic tools, and info on professional care and support. (iOS and Google Play, free)
  8. DBT Coach: Whether you have an illness like borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, an eating disorder, or depression or are just dealing with a lot of emotions right now, this app makes DBT skills accessible through videos and animations. (iOS and Google Play, $12/month)
  9. Rootd: If you’ve ever felt the need to hit a big fat panic button during an anxiety or panic attack, Rootd is for you. It provides, quite literally, that virtual panic button. Hit it, answer a few questions, and Rootd will guide you through. (iOS and Google Play, free, or $7/month or $60/year for premium)
  10. MindShift: On top of teaching you CBT skills to tackle negative thought patterns (such as guided “experiments” to help you challenge anxious thoughts), MindShift also has tools for setting goals and forming habits. Oh, and my personal favorite: exercises for battling perfectionism. (iOS and Google Play, free)
  11. SuperBetter: If traditional mental health apps tend to bore you, SuperBetter might be able to keep your interest. It gamifies mental health skill-building and self-care, teaching you to be more resilient through a series of superhero-themed missions and challenges. (iOS and Google Play, free)
  12. Happyfeed: Therapists often recommend gratitude journaling for better mental well-being. If you’ve had a hard time picking up the habit, try Happyfeed. On top of recording daily things you’re grateful for, you can upload pictures and memories to go with it. When you need a pick-me-up, shake your phone to access your “Happiness Jar” and you’ll be able to see a random day from the past. (iOS and Google Play, $4/month or $40/year)
  13. Reflectly: On top of encouraging a regular journaling practice, this self-care app uses positive psychology, mindfulness, and CBT to teach you how to reduce stress, develop gratitude, and gain perspective in life. It also doubles as a mood tracker, thanks to the A.I.-generated journaling prompts that collect info on how you’re doing. (iOS and Google Play, $10/month or $60/year)

Mindfulness, meditation, and breath work apps

Technically, mindfulness and meditation are therapeutic tools too, but they deserve a section of their own. Experts often recommend apps for beginners who have no idea where to start with meditation because they provide guided instruction to show you exactly what to do and help you stay accountable. The apps below are some of the most popular meditation and mindfulness apps on the market, with a few underrated favorites thrown in there too.

Source: Self


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