Anxiety is an extremely common but nonetheless extremely disruptive experience. Dealing with anxiety can mean sleepless nights, missed opportunities, feeling sick, and full-blown panic attacks that can keep you from feeling like your full self.

Therapy with a professional is often a huge help, but knowing you’re armed with the tools to confront, dissolve, or embrace your anxious thoughts and feelings can be the bit of empowerment you need in between sessions.

To get started on managing your anxiety, check out our top apps for 2019:

iPhone rating: 4.9 stars

Android rating: 4.5 stars

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Headspace is a cutely designed guided meditation app and so much more. With targeted meditations led by a former monk on sleep, happiness, productivity, mindful use of technology, and dozens of other topics, Headspace can help bring balance and peace across all aspects of daily life. A consistent mindfulness practice with Headspace can help you develop better focus, decrease your stress, and become less reactive to your anxiety triggers. Use the app to track your time in mindfulness training and invite friends to join in with you.

iPhone rating: 4.6 stars

Android rating: 4.1 stars

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Downloading Rootd means you can work on improving your panic and anxious mood while supporting a female-led app. In addition to mindfulness exercises and step-by-step guides to tactics such as deep breathing, the app features an emergency contact button that makes it simple to call a loved one or hotline when you’re in distress. The Personal Stats Page is another source of encouragement, as it tracks the number of panic attacks you’ve overcome and the number of in-app lessons you’ve completed.

iPhone rating: 3.3 stars

Android rating: 4.3 stars

Price: $1.99

Acupressure is the art of relieving pain and tension through pressure point massage, a practice with roots in Chinese medicine dating back over 2,000 years. Because it uses your fingertips, it’s safe to do on yourself or others. This app is an illustrated guide to locating the pressure points that can help relieve many symptoms of anxiety, such as muscle tension, headache, and indigestion. Search for your symptom and the app will direct you to the pressure points you can target for relief.

Android rating: 4.4 stars

Price: Free

Panic attacks can be intense. This self-help app reminds you of your strengths and ability to cope when panic is triggered. A diary within the app is built to help you notice and challenge the thinking that leads to panic. The app also features audio content and reading that empowers you with the cognitive behavioral therapy-based techniques that can help shut panic attacks down. Panic Assistance audio is your voice of reason mid-panic attack, while the Emotional Training track helps you reconfigure your thoughts and associations to bring more calm into your life.

iPhone rating: 4.7 stars

Android rating: 4.1 stars

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Sleep has a huge impact on your mood and emotional regulation. Make the most of it with the Sleep Time app, a sleep analysis app complete with a toolbox full of gentle soundscapes, an alarm clock, and wake-up algorithm. Just by placing your phone on your bed, you can track your sleep time and cycles. When used consistently, the app’s automated analysis charts make it easy to notice trends in when you get the most restful sleep and what tends to keep you up.

iPhone rating: 4.8 stars

Android rating: 4.5 stars

Price: $1.99

Meditation is a practice recommended by many therapists for its stress-relieving benefits. This app walks you through meditations that focus on the breath, the body, and deep relaxation. Depending on your practice, you can choose from a 5-, 13-, or 24-minute session. No prior experience is necessary, as the audio meditations walk you through step by step. Plus, extra reading will teach you more about meditation and how to bring about the best results.

iPhone rating: 4.8 stars

Android rating: 4.5 stars

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Sleep, meditation, and relaxation are in your hands with Calm, another popular mindfulness app. These guided meditations are perfect for complete novices through seasoned practitioners, and you have your pick when it comes to how long you can dedicate to the app each day. Sleep is important for managing stress, but it’s also one of the first things to become problematic when you’re anxious. In addition to an assortment of daily meditations, Calm features nature sounds and sleep stories — yes, an effective concept taken from childhood — to help lull you into relaxed sleep.

iPhone rating: 4.8 stars

Android rating: 4.4 stars

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Stop, Breathe, and Think is your daily mindfulness app that also prompts you to input how you’re feeling. Select your mood when you open the app and it will suggest the meditations, yoga sequences, or acupressure that could serve you best in that moment, from deep breathing exercises to body scans to visualizations. The check-in feature also allows you to track your moods and progress, so you can examine what you feel most and focus on taming or understanding those anxieties better.

iPhone rating: 4.8 stars

Android rating: 4.5 stars

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Colorfy is an adult coloring book brought into the digital realm. With a selection of images and mandalas to choose from, or the option to upload your own sketches to color, you can spend hours in a flow state or focused meditation through this app. Pouring your attention into the beautiful designs can distract from your anxious thoughts and help calm you down. Self-critique is out the window, too, as the simple click-to-fill function of the app means you’ll never stray outside the lines.

iPhone rating: 4.8 stars

Android rating: 4.7 stars

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Dare to face your fears, whether you’re dealing with anxiety, panic, worry, or insomnia. The Dare app can walk you through audio recordings to help you sit comfortably with your anxiety rather than avoiding it, a tactic that can just make anxiety worse. On-screen guides give you something to focus on while you breathe deeply, and plenty of additional helpful content is available behind the subscription.

Android rating: 4.3 stars

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Racing thoughts and ruminations are hallmarks of anxiety, but you can slow down, breathe deeply, and clear your thoughts with the gentle sounds and sights of nature in this app. From thunder and rain to crackling fires to bird sounds and more, there’s something for everyone. Set the app timer to listen while you gently drift off to sleep, or set one of the tracks as your morning alarm so you can start your day with something less anxiety-inducing than the standard beeping.

If you want to nominate an app for this list, email us at nominations@healthline.com.


Amanda Doyle is a Boston-based healthcare editor, former dance fitness instructor, and previous neuroscience researcher. She’s passionate about equity, kindness, conscious language, and destigmatizing the human experience.