• Top 10 Best Mental Health Apps in 2020 (Youper, SuperBetter, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Mental Health Apps in 2020 (Youper, SuperBetter, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Mental Health Apps in 2020 (Youper, SuperBetter, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Mental Health Apps in 2020 (Youper, SuperBetter, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Mental Health Apps in 2020 (Youper, SuperBetter, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Mental Health Apps in 2020 (Youper, SuperBetter, and More)

Feeling down? There are ways to get help. While therapy, counseling, and talking to friends can be a sufficient option for some, not everyone has access. That's where mental health apps can come in. They're available in all different formats to address a myriad of struggles you may be going through.


We took a dive into the world of mental health apps, from mood trackers to AI therapists to mindfulness meditation, and chose our top 10 apps for smartphones and tablets. Our number one pick is Sanvello by Sanvello Health: with it, you can set goals and track your mood or practice self-care through gratitude journaling and meditation. You can even connect with coaches and licensed therapists. Prefer a different approach? Check out the rest of the list!

  • Last updated: 09-16-2020
  • 274 views
Table of Contents

Why Should I Use a Mental Health App?

Why Should I Use a Mental Health App?

Are you dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression? You're not alone. In a year, about 40 million adults in the United States will be affected by an anxiety disorder and 17.3 million will experience a major depressive episode. 


And according to the American Institute of Stress, in 2017 a whopping 77% of adults reported that they regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress

Why Should I Use a Mental Health App?

While therapy can be beneficial for everyone regardless of their mental state, it can also be expensive. If you have a busy life, it can be hard to make time for regular appointments.


Even those who attend therapy may want other ways to access support and tools outside of their sessions. In these cases, a mental health app can be a great solution. 

Top 10 Best Mental Health Apps

Choosing a mental health app is similar to choosing a therapist - don't be afraid to keep trying until you find one that works for you! Think about what kinds of features you want (mood tracking and CBT-based techniques are two popular examples) and make sure that the app's design is soothing and easy to navigate.

1
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet, desktop
Best forOverall mental health, anxiety, depression
In-app purchases$1.99 unlimited tracking, $3.99-$8.99 monthly, $29.99-$53.99 annually, $199.99 lifetime
Key featuresMood tracker, goal setting, gratitude journal, meditation, CBT techniques, community, licensed therapists
2
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet, desktop
Best forOverall mental health, positivity
In-app purchases$11.99 monthly, $53.99 annually
Key featuresGratitude journal, meditation, motivation, community
3
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet, desktop
Best forOverall mental health
In-app purchases$9.99-$12.99 monthly, $44.99-$69.99 yearly
Key featuresAI chat, mood tracking, meditation, CBT techniques
4
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet
Best forOverall mental health, anxiety, depression
In-app purchases$9.99-$59.99 premium subscription
Key featuresMood tracker, goal setting, gratitude journal, meditation, breathing exercises, CBT techniques
5
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet
Best forOverall mental health, motivation
In-app purchasesNo
Key featuresGames, goal tracking
6
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet, desktop
Best forOverall mental health, chronic illness
In-app purchasesNo
Key featuresCommunity
7
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet
Best forOverall mental health, anxiety, depression
In-app purchases$4.49 monthly, $47.99 yearly
Key featuresMood tracker, meditation, CBT techniques
8
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet, desktop
Best forOverall mental health, positivity
In-app purchases$9.99-$449.99
Key featuresGoal tracking, meditation, CBT techniques
9
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet
Best forAnxiety, panic attacks
In-app purchases$6.99 monthly, $59.99 yearly, $139.99 lifetime
Key featuresMeditation, breathing exercises, visualizations, CBT techniques
10
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet, desktop
Best forTherapy
In-app purchasesStarting at $65.00 weekly
Key featuresLicensed therapists

Compare the Best Mental Health Apps

Image
1
Sanvello Health Sanvello 1

Sanvello Health

2
Shine Inc. Shine 1

Shine Inc.

3
Youper Inc. Youper 1

Youper Inc.

4
Roble Ridge Software Moodfit 1

Roble Ridge Software

5
SuperBetter LLC SuperBetter 1

SuperBetter LLC

6
Mighty Proud Media The Mighty 1

Mighty Proud Media

7
MindDoc Health Moodpath 1

MindDoc Health

8
Happify Happify 1

Happify

9
Simply Rooted Media Rootd 1

Simply Rooted Media

10
Groop Internet Platform Talkspace 1

Groop Internet Platform

Name

Sanvello

Shine

Youper

Moodfit

SuperBetter

The Mighty

Moodpath

Happify

Rootd

Talkspace

Features

A Comprehensive App for Managing Mental Health

A Mental Health App That Prioritizes Diversity and Inclusivity

Get by With a Little Help from AI

A Mood Tracking App With CBT-Based Tools

Gamify Self-Care to Motivate and Build Reslience

A Community for Health and Wellness Support

Use Reports to View Progress and Identify Patterns

An App That Improves Happiness With Games and Activities

Immediate Assistance for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

An App That Connects You With a Licensed Therapist

Price$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00
Compatible withSmartphone, tablet, desktopSmartphone, tablet, desktopSmartphone, tablet, desktopSmartphone, tabletSmartphone, tabletSmartphone, tablet, desktopSmartphone, tabletSmartphone, tablet, desktopSmartphone, tabletSmartphone, tablet, desktop
Best forOverall mental health, anxiety, depressionOverall mental health, positivityOverall mental healthOverall mental health, anxiety, depressionOverall mental health, motivationOverall mental health, chronic illnessOverall mental health, anxiety, depressionOverall mental health, positivityAnxiety, panic attacksTherapy
In-app purchases$1.99 unlimited tracking, $3.99-$8.99 monthly, $29.99-$53.99 annually, $199.99 lifetime$11.99 monthly, $53.99 annually$9.99-$12.99 monthly, $44.99-$69.99 yearly$9.99-$59.99 premium subscriptionNoNo$4.49 monthly, $47.99 yearly$9.99-$449.99$6.99 monthly, $59.99 yearly, $139.99 lifetimeStarting at $65.00 weekly
Key featuresMood tracker, goal setting, gratitude journal, meditation, CBT techniques, community, licensed therapistsGratitude journal, meditation, motivation, communityAI chat, mood tracking, meditation, CBT techniquesMood tracker, goal setting, gratitude journal, meditation, breathing exercises, CBT techniquesGames, goal trackingCommunityMood tracker, meditation, CBT techniquesGoal tracking, meditation, CBT techniquesMeditation, breathing exercises, visualizations, CBT techniquesLicensed therapists
Link

How to Choose a Mental Health App - Buying Guide

If you're already dealing with a difficult situation, the last thing you want to do is stress about which mental health app to download. Here are some important things to consider to help point you in the right direction.

Keep Your Mental Health Goals in Mind

Keep Your Mental Health Goals in Mind

Because there is such a wide range of mental health apps, it’s helpful to know ahead of time what your goals are. Maybe you want an app that helps support your overall well-being, which may include mood tracking, daily journaling, and prompts. 


Or perhaps you want an app where you can set a specific goal, like coping with stress, building self-confidence, or improving mindfulness, and then track your progress. If you struggle with a specific disorder like anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction, or disordered eating, there are often apps made specifically to support your recovery.


If you're looking for an app to complement in-person therapy, it can be helpful to find an app that offers robust reporting so that you can easily share a snapshot of your week with your therapist. In addition, it may be beneficial to ask your therapist for app recommendations and advice. 

Check That the App is Credible

Check That the App is Credible

Apps are still a new tool in the world of mental health, and not many comprehensive studies have been done on their effectiveness. In order to ensure that you’re picking an app that will help you, take some time to make sure that it’s backed by science.


Take a look at the creator of the app. Apps made by companies in the health and science industries are likely more credible than apps made by a single developer. Check out the app’s website as well to see if any studies have been done on its effectiveness.


The other thing to look for is an app that uses evidence-based techniques, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Decide What Features You Want

Every mental health app is different, but many of them have similar features. Deciding which features are important to you can help narrow down your options.

Mood Tracking Can Help You Manage Your Mental Health

Mood Tracking Can Help You Manage Your Mental Health

Many mental health apps contain a mood tracking component, where you input your mood at regular intervals. Tracking your mood can help you feel more connected to yourself, see patterns, and understand triggers. Apps will often allow you to set reminders to check in with yourself so you don't have to remember throughout the day.


Many apps offer the ability to track other factors alongside your mood like activities, medications, and other symptoms. This can help illuminate how your activities and habits affect how you feel. 

Practicing Gratitude Can Increase Happiness

Practicing Gratitude Can Increase Happiness

Gratitude is a simple act with a big impact, but it can be hard to remember to take time for it out of our busy days. Some mental health apps include a gratitude journal, where you can write down what you’re grateful for each day.


Practicing gratitude helps you focus on feelings of contentment and satisfaction, which can help reduce stress and improve happiness. If you keep a gratitude journal, it can be a helpful thing to look back on during especially hard times. 

Meditation Can Help Manage Stress

Meditation Can Help Manage Stress

Meditation is having a moment, and for good reason! There are many mental health benefits to meditation, including increasing self-awareness, reducing negative emotions, and improving attention. 


While there are apps dedicated solely to meditation, many mental health apps include some form of meditation as a tool to help improve your overall well-being. Some apps allow you to track your meditation, which can help keep you accountable. Other apps include guided meditations that you can listen to as part of your mindfulness practice.

Exercises and Techniques Can Help Improve Coping Skills

Exercises and Techniques Can Help Improve Coping Skills

In addition to meditation, many mental health apps help you learn coping skills to deal with difficult feelings like stress or anxiety. These can be structured as audio or visual lessons, games, or guided exercises. 


For example, an app could take you through a deep breathing exercise or body scan to help ground you when you’re feeling anxious. Another app might provide lessons on how to improve self-confidence or handle social anxiety.


Many mental health apps use techniques based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a common form of psychotherapy that focuses on modifying negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors by interrogating and uprooting irrational beliefs. Studies have shown that CBT does not have to be done in-person to be effective.

Consider a Conversational Approach

Consider a Conversational Approach

While some apps contain features to help you manage your own mental health, others allow you to connect with people for support. Some connect you with trained counselors and therapists you can talk to via text, phone, and video. Others have a community aspect where you can talk to other people and share your experiences.


A community aspect can be especially helpful if you’re experiencing an issue that not many people can relate to, like a chronic illness. It can also be helpful for people in marginalized groups, who may be seeking others with similar experiences.


There are also a couple of apps where you can chat with a bot about what you’re experiencing. These apps use artificial intelligence to understand your needs and suggest evidence-based strategies to help you. 

Choose an App You Enjoy Using

Choose an App You Enjoy Using

Design and user experience are important when choosing a mental health app. If you’re already feeling bad, the last thing you’ll want to do is figure out how to use a confusing or frustrating user interface. 


Many mental health apps have free versions, so take the time to try out a few to find the one you like best. It’s absolutely okay to judge an app by its aesthetics; after all, you want an app that you feel good using, and certain images and colors can contribute to your enjoyment.

Take Privacy and Data Security Seriously

Take Privacy and Data Security Seriously

While confidentiality is an important part of in-person counseling, things can get murkier when using a mental health app.


In addition to the information you input into the app itself, some mental health apps may integrate with other apps like your camera or health-tracking apps, giving them more access to your information.


Many privacy policies are written in dense and confusing language. At the very minimum, make sure the app at least has a privacy policy that explains how they use and share the information you give them. 

Remember That an App is Not a Replacement for Professional Help

Remember That an App is Not a Replacement for Professional Help

While mental health apps can be beneficial, they should not take the place of professional help from a licensed counselor or therapist. Because there are so many factors at play, diagnoses and treatment should only be done by a mental health professional, so be wary of any app that tries to diagnose you.


If you find that problems in your life are seriously interfering with your ability to function at work, with your family, or in your social life, then it may be time to seek professional help.

Seek out Other Mental Health Resources

Seek out Other Mental Health Resources

Sometimes an app isn't enough and that's okay. Here are some resources for further support and information.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

A free, confidential crisis hotline that provides emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, available 24/7.


Crisis Text Line - Text "HOME" to 741741

Available 24/7, they will connect you with a live counselor to provide support and information in any kind of crisis.


SAMHSA's Disaster Distress Helpline - Call 1-800-985-5990

A free, confidential 24/7, 365-day-a-year hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.


SAMHSA's National Helpline - Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

A free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance abuse disorders.

Learn More About Your Mental Health

Learn More About Your Mental Health

Taking charge of your mental health can be empowering. Check out our other recommendations for books and apps that can help you on your journey.

Summary

Whether you suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, or are just looking to improve your overall mental health, an app can be an effective and accessible tool. 


Mood tracking apps help identify triggers and patterns over time. Apps with a mindfulness aspect, like gratitude journaling or meditation, can help you feel more at peace. And some apps even connect you with other people, coaches, or therapists who can help you make sense of what you're going through and remind you that you're not alone.


Author: Melissa Jong


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