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Taking care of your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical well-being. Just like exercising and eating well, supporting your mental health can help you feel your best. There are many ways to promote mental wellness, such as practicing mindfulness, journaling, or talking with a friend.

Mental health apps can also be valuable tools, offering activities and support to manage stress while helping you recognize patterns in your thoughts and feelings. They often include features like mood tracking, guided meditation, stress management techniques, and cognitive behavioral therapy exercises.

While these apps can be helpful, it’s important to use them as part of a broader mental health strategy that may include professional therapy or counseling when needed.

Let’s explore the benefits of mental health apps and how they can complement your overall mental health regimen.

Mental health apps are a simple way to work on your mental health.

Mental health apps aren’t designed to diagnose a condition or substitute care from a mental health professional.

Still, they can support your overall mental health. Apps are a convenient way to get extra support between therapy sessions or office visits, and they can offer continued support after graduating from therapy.

Mental health apps may provide activities, encouragement, and other techniques to practice daily. Many types are based on research and therapy techniques to provide evidence-based interventions.

Mental health apps aren’t for emergencies

If you’re currently in a mental health crisis, you can call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988, or call 911 or local emergency services.

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Best overall

Daylio Journal

  • Price: free to download, $4.99 per month for Premium
  • Free trial?: yes, 7-day free trial
  • Features: mood tracking, goal setting
  • Available on: Android and iOS devices
  • Why we chose it: This app allows users to easily track their moods and activities without the need for extensive typing or complex navigation.

Daylio is an app that helps you track your daily moods and activities easily. You don’t need to type anything; just select your mood and add what you’ve been doing. It’s like a diary that helps you understand your emotions and habits better.

You can set goals, see your progress over time, and even share your stats with friends. It’s simple to use and offers features like dark mode for night use, data export, and security options. However, some advanced features are only available in the premium version.


  • simple and intuitive interface
  • easy mood and activity tracking
  • offers goal-setting and progress tracking
  • no need for extensive writing
  • dark mode for nighttime use
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  • some advanced features require premium version
  • may not offer as many features as other similar apps
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Best for therapy


  • Price: $65+ per week for therapy
  • Free trial?: yes, 7-day free trial
  • Features: live video therapy, messaging
  • Available on: Android, iOS devices, and web
  • Why we chose it: Talkspace offers convenient access to licensed therapists via text, audio, video messaging, and live video sessions.

Talkspace is the most expensive option on this list, but it gives you direct access to a mental health professional. This online therapy option is likely a more affordable option than seeing a therapist in person, and you receive 24/7 access to support.

At any time, you can send your therapist a message in the Talkspace chat room. You also have the option to schedule live video sessions with your therapist.


  • work directly with a mental health professional
  • can change therapists
  • 24/7 access to treatment
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  • high cost
  • therapy techniques may be limited for some users
  • therapist may not be a good match
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Read our review of Talkspace.

Best for meditation


  • Price: $12.99 per month or $69.99 per year
  • Free trial?: yes, 14-day free trial
  • Features: guided meditations, sleep sounds, stress relief exercises, focused fitness programs
  • Available on: Android and iOS devices
  • Why we chose it: We selected Headspace for its effective meditation and mindfulness tools, mental health coaching, and therapy, all designed to cultivate life-changing habits for better mental health.

Headspace is a meditation app designed to help you live more mindfully. The app offers a wide range of meditations for beginners and experienced users that range from 3 to 20 minutes.

Meditation offers many benefits, including stress relief, anxiety management, self-awareness and attention span improvement, and even age-related memory loss reduction. So, it could be worth your while to give meditation a try.

In the app, you’ll find stand-alone meditations for when you need a break and longer courses focused on deeper education into mindfulness. Examples of courses include learning the basics of mindfulness, coping with cravings, dealing with distractions, and better sleep.


  • high user satisfaction
  • affordable monthly price
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  • exercises may get repetitive
  • not suitable for advanced meditators
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Read our review of Headspace.

Best for pre-crises


  • Price: free
  • Free trial?: no need
  • Features: peer support via trusted contacts, GPS location
  • Available on: Android and iOS devices
  • Why we chose it: The notOK App provides a unique way to get immediate support during tough times, relying on contacts you trust and know well.

The notOK app is a free, digital “panic button” designed to provide immediate support via text, phone call, or GPS location when you’re struggling to reach out. It simplifies the process of asking for help by notifying your trusted contacts and offering access to mental health resources like warmlines and Crisis Text Line.


  • provides immediate support with a simple tap
  • notifies trusted contacts or offers access to mental health resources
  • easy to use and discreet
  • no requirement for trusted contacts to download the app
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  • relies on trusted contacts’ availability and responsiveness
  • professional medical advice is still needed in emergencies
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Best for stress


  • Price: free with in-app purchases
  • Free trial?: no need
  • Features: customizable breathing exercises, stress and anxiety exercises
  • Available on: iOS devices and MacOS with Apple silicon chips
  • Why we chose it: iBreathe stands out for its simple yet effective approach to deep breathing exercises, providing a clean interface and customizable routines for stress, anxiety, and relaxation.

If you’re looking for a simple way to reduce stress, iBreathe is an easy-to-use app for breathing exercises. Deep breathing exercises may help reduce stress and anxiety.

The app is designed with one purpose: simple deep breathing exercises. There’s no clutter in the app to distract or overwhelm you.

Deep breathing exercises provide the best results when done daily, so you can set the app to remind you when it’s time to do your breathing exercises. After any extra stressful moment, you can open the app for a little stress relief.


  • free
  • easy to use
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  • only offers one feature, so some people may need to download accompanying apps
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Best for anxiety

MindShift CBT

  • Price: free
  • Free trial?: not applicable
  • Features: daily mood tracking, guided relaxation and mindfulness meditations, goal setting
  • Available on: Android and iOS devices
  • Why we chose it: MindShift CBT offers a range of tools and strategies to help users cope with worry, stress, and panic through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques.

The MindShift CBT app was created to provide anxiety relief using CBT tools to adjust thinking and behaviors. The app claims to help tackle worry, panic, perfectionism, social anxiety, and phobias.

Features include short meditations, thought journals, coping cards, and activities to face fears, change beliefs, and develop healthy habits.


  • free
  • designed specifically for anxiety
  • uses psychotherapy techniques
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  • limited number of entries per day
  • some users experience technical issues
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Best for substance use disorders

I Am Sober

  • Price: free; $9.99 per month for I am Sober Plus
  • Free trial?: not applicable
  • Features: sober day tracker, daily pledge tracker, milestone tracker, connection with a sober community
  • Available on: Android and iOS devices
  • Why we chose it: I Am Sober aids sobriety with features like visualizing sober days, tracking milestones, analyzing triggers, and connecting with a supportive community, helping users stay motivated and accountable.

The I Am Sober app is a useful tool for alcohol use disorders. It encourages you to identify triggers, recognize patterns, and develop healthy habits to meet your goals and achieve sobriety. It also offers a withdrawal timeline so you can learn what to expect.

You can use I Am Sober to make daily pledges, record sober days, and track milestones. Plus, you can connect to their community for support, encouragement, and motivation.


  • track sobriety and milestones
  • form healthy habits
  • community support
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  • not for severe alcohol addiction
  • tracking method needs improvement
  • app glitches
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Best for boosting your mood


  • Price: free version with limited access, paid subscription (Happify Plus) starts at $11.67/month for a yearly plan
  • Free trial?: not applicable
  • Features: Happify Plus offers unlimited access to 65+ tracks, unlimited access to games and meditations, 20-page character strength report, and progress tracking
  • Available on: Android and iOS devices
  • Why we chose it: Happify stands out for its science-based approach, developed by leading experts in positive psychology, mindfulness, and CBT. According to the Apple Store preview, 86% of users report feeling better about their lives in 2 months.

This app uses games to boost your mood. The activities were developed with positive psychology techniques and CBT interventions.

The app lets you choose games to help you in different areas, including:

  • coping with stress
  • fueling your career success
  • achieving mindfulness through meditation
  • conquering negative thoughts
  • building self-confidence

There are free and paid versions of Happify. The free version gives you access to some games and information.


  • easy to use
  • achievable goals
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  • some users say the deadlines provided by the app create more stress
  • paid version is pricey
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Best for eating disorders

Recovery Record

  • Price: free
  • Free trial?: not applicable
  • Features: meal tracker, progress charts, and affirmations
  • Available on: Android and iOS devices
  • Why we chose it: Recovery Record is a helpful tool for managing your journey to recovery from eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. It’s designed for self-help or to connect with your treatment team’s Recovery Record Clinician App.

Recovery Record is an excellent tool for anyone recovering from an eating disorder. The Recovery Record app can be linked to the Recovery Record Clinician App for eating disorder treatment professionals, which gives your treatment team the full picture so they can easily track your progress and help you achieve your goals.

Features include a food diary to track food, thoughts, and feelings during meals, daily affirmations, coping tactics, goal setting, and more.


  • free to use
  • links to your treatment team
  • more discreet than carrying a food journal
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  • some users experienced technical issues
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Best for OCD


  • Price: free to download but NOCD therapy is $110+ per session
  • Free trial?: no
  • Features: personalized OCD treatment plan, live video sessions with a therapist who specializes in exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, 24/7 messaging, connect with OCD community, support group
  • Available on: Android and iOS devices
  • Why we chose it: The NOCD app offers online OCD therapy with licensed therapists trained in ERP therapy, along with in-between session support and a community of peers, all within the app.

NOCD was designed to complement obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) treatment by combining mindfulness and exposure-response techniques. The app is backed by research and OCD specialists.

In the app, you can schedule live video therapy sessions with an OCD therapist and receive support between sessions. It’s a very simple process: Right from your device, you’re matched with a licensed OCD therapist in your state and can start your personalized OCD therapy plan via face-to-face video or by text.


  • handy for sudden episodes
  • strong user community
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  • high price
  • some users say the advice is too general
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Best for sleep


  • Price: free to download, $14.99+ per month for Premium
  • Free trial?: yes, 7-day free trial
  • Features: guided meditations, Sleep Stories narrated by celebrities, music library with exclusive tracks for relaxation
  • Available on: Android and iOS devices
  • Why we chose it: Calm is unique in its dedicated focus on promoting better sleep and relaxation, offering a variety of guided meditations, Sleep Stories, and soothing music to help you unwind and improve your sleep quality.

Calm is a mindfulness app that provides guided meditations, breathing techniques, and calming exercises. These practices may encourage relaxation, alleviate tension, and relieve stress. In turn, you may be able to fall asleep quickly and sleep deeply.

Calm offers a wide selection of story recordings in various categories, including travel, nature, and nonfiction. Some stories feature celebrity narrators. The app also has an extensive music library that includes soothing, ambient, and nature sounds.


  • tracks statistics
  • sleep music library
  • mood tracking
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  • expensive subscription cost
  • complaints of autorenewal and cancellation issues
  • poor customer service
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Read our review of Calm.

Best for drinking less alcohol


  • Price: free to download, $9.99+ per month for subscription
  • Free trial?: yes, 7-day free trial
  • Features: 120-day, evidence-based education program and progress tracking, a private community, meditations, and games
  • Available on: Android and iOS devices
  • Why we chose it: Reframe is an alcohol reduction app that uses neuroscience to help you change your drinking habits. It offers a comprehensive 160-day program, various tools like meditations, and personalized coaching for extra support.

Reframe provides strategies and resources that help people drink less alcohol or stop drinking. You can also use it if you want to take a break from drinking, examine your drinking habits, or figure out why you drink. The app helps you build healthy habits, which may benefit your mental health and overall well-being.

Reframe offers a 120-day behavior change program based on neuroscience and cognitive behavioral research. It includes tools to manage cravings and navigate feelings, such as meditations, reflective journaling, and mindfulness exercises.

You can also learn about the science of addiction, track your progress, and connect to a supportive community.


  • helps reduce or eliminate alcohol intake
  • create healthy habits
  • includes games and affirmations
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  • not for severe addictions
  • not for alcohol use disorder
  • no free version available
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AppFree version available?PriceFree trial?Apps available on
Daylioyesfree to download or $4.99 per month for Premiumyes, 7 daysAndroid and iOS
Talkspacenomonthly subscription with plans starting at $69 per weekyes, 7 daysAndroid, iOS, and web
notOKyesfreeAndroid and iOS
Headspaceno$12.99 per month or $69.99 per year yes, 14 daysAndroid and iOS
iBreatheyesfree with in-app purchasesiOS and MacOS with Apple silicon chips
MindShift CBTyesfreeAndroid and iOS
I Am Soberyes$9.99 per month or $39.99 per yearAndroid and iOS
Happifyyes$14.99 per month, $139.99 per year, or $449.99 for a lifetime subscriptionAndroid and iOS
Recovery RecordyesfreeAndroid and iOS
NOCDnovarious payment plans noAndroid and iOS
Calmno$69.99 per year or $399.99 lifetimeyes, 7 daysAndroid and iOS
Reframenostarting at $7.99 per month or $39.99 per year yes, 7 daysAndroid and iOS

Every product or service we recommend goes through Healthline’s rigorous vetting process. We factor in many aspects, like if the company promotes a healthy approach to well-being and adheres to industry best practices.

If our research finds all the green flags, we dig deeper into specific features about the service or product itself to recommend the best ones for you.

When choosing the best mental health apps, we considered the types of features available and if they were evidence-based. We also read dozens of customer reviews and considered the cost of the apps.

Mental health apps can be effective tools for managing symptoms and accessing support, especially when used alongside professional care.

A 2018 review of prior studies suggests mental health apps have the potential to improve both the monitoring and management of mental health conditions.

Further research from 2018 also suggests apps work because they’re easy to use, increase engagement in treatment plans, and make monitoring symptoms easier. These types of apps have soared in popularity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To choose the best mental health app for your needs, consider your goals and which types of services, exercises, and activities you prefer. Read online customer reviews that relate to satisfaction, effectiveness, and customer service.

Find out whether the app is compatible with Android and iOS. Decide how often you plan to use the app and how much you want to spend.

Keep in mind that the free versions of apps that offer a subscription option often lack key features.

There’s a lot of mental health support out there, including apps. However, mental health apps can only go so far. They’re not a replacement for receiving professional help or emergency situations.

If your mental health is interfering with your daily life and impairing your ability to function, it may be time to seek professional care.

Some signs you may need to talk with a mental health professional include:

  • prolonged stress or anxiety that never goes away
  • symptoms that become debilitating
  • frequent depression and loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • changes in eating habits or sleeping patterns
  • loss of interest in social interaction
  • thoughts of harming yourself or others
  • alcohol and substance misuse

Yes, mental health apps can be highly effective in helping people manage some mental health conditions.

However, these apps don’t replace mental health professionals. These apps may be most effective when used alongside work with a therapist.

Benefits of using mental health apps include:

  • convenience
  • mostly free or low cost
  • improved mood
  • better coping skills

Most mental health apps are designed using evidence-based psychotherapy techniques. Not all apps will be, but the apps included on this list were created using evidence-based techniques.

Anyone who is having difficulty managing an addiction or a serious mental health issue, including suicidal thoughts, should seek professional mental heath care instead of using a mental health app.

In these situations, getting in-person care is critical. This is because mental health apps are not intended to diagnose a condition or take the place of a mental health professional.

Consider reaching out to a healthcare professional, like a primary care doctor, for help starting mental health treatment.

If you’re in a crisis and need immediate support:

Several mental health apps are free or offer a free version.

The best free apps for mental health include:

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health.

Mental health apps make it easier to practice evidence-based therapy exercises from the comfort of wherever you are.

So, instead of scrolling through social media, consider trying a mental health app to better manage daily stress or mental health conditions.