There has been a surge in the number of mental health applications accessible to smartphone users in recent years. These low-cost, or usually free, mental health applications provide a variety of tools that make therapeutic techniques more accessible and cost-effective.
While most of these applications lack peer-reviewed studies to back up their claims, health experts anticipate they will play a significant part in the development of mental health care by offering new options for the self-management of mental illness.
If you don’t have enough time or resources to handle your mental health issues, check out these apps for mental health.
Apps for Mental Health
Suicide Prevention Apps
Suicide is a significant cause of mortality in the United States, claiming over 45,000 lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While we are not claiming that apps can save lives on their own, they can be a great addition to counseling and mental health lifelines such as the National Suicide Prevention.
MY3 is a free app that helps people stay safe when having suicidal thoughts. It allows you to create your safety plan by recording your warning signals, identifying coping methods, and linking you to helpful resources to reach out to when you need them the most. A button at your fingertips connects you (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to licensed therapists from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as well as a 911 alert. In addition, you can designate three individuals to call if you have suicidal thoughts.
notOK is a free high-efficacy mental health mobile app for teenagers created by a struggling teenager (and her adolescent sibling). The software has a huge red button that may be triggered to notify close friends, family, and their support network that assistance is required. Users may add up to five trusted contacts to their support group, and when they press the digital panic button, a message with their current GPS position is delivered to those people. The message reads, “Hey, I’m not OK! Please contact me via phone, text, or come find me.”
General Mental Health Apps
Who isn’t having feelings right now, with the world in a state of chaos? Whatever your feeling is; stress, anger, anguish, depression; we could all use a little more help coping with it, right? These applications are like a small pocket therapy (not to be confused with genuine therapy) that provide accessible, easy-to-use (and sometimes entertaining) techniques to manage all mood over time, help you modify destructive thought patterns, and provide you practical tools to stay grounded when things get out of control.
What’s Up is a fantastic free app that employs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) techniques to help you manage depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues. Use the positive and negative habit tracker to keep good habits and break bad ones. We like the “Get Grounded” page, which has over 100 different questions to help you figure out what you’re experiencing, and the “Thinking Patterns” page, which trains you how to avoid negative inner dialogues. It’s worth a shot.
MoodKit is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and offers over 200 mood-improvement exercises to users. MoodKit, created by two clinical psychologists, teaches you how to modify your thinking and build self-awareness and good attitudes. The diary function allows you to practice self-care by meditating on your day, noting any troubling ideas, and writing how you overcome them. (
Download on iOS for $4.99
Addiction is a severe condition that affects far too many individuals, as the statistics show: Between 1999 and 2018, more than 750,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, according to the CDC, while an estimated 88,000 individuals died from alcohol-related causes per year. Addiction, however, is curable with the right therapy session and committed recovery programs.
While apps cannot replace in-person treatment plans, they may provide individuals in recovery with recovery tools in the palm of their hands to help track sobriety, monitor triggering behaviors, and provide immediate access to support. If you are suffering from an addiction and want assistance, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMSA) National Helpline.
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Twenty-Four Hours a Day, based on the best-selling book of the same name, provides 366 meditations from the book, making it simpler for those in recovery from addiction to focus on sobriety wherever they are.
Quit That! – Habit Tracker
Quit That! is fully free software that assists users in overcoming bad habits or addictions. It’s the ideal recovery tool for tracking and monitoring your success, whether you’re trying to quit drinking alcohol, smoking, or using drugs. Keep track of as many vices as you wish and see how long it’s been since you quit in minutes, hours, days, weeks, or years.
Download on iOS
Those who suffer from chronic anxiety know how it feels to have angst hanging around like a stage-five clinger. It’s the type of disease that, if left to its ways, maybe all-consuming for the 40 million individuals in the United States who suffer from anxiety disorders. However, if you learn how to go through all of your worries, anxiety can be managed. The best approach to handle anxiety is to get treatment from a mental health provider, but the following applications can help you along the road, such as reminding you to focus on your breathing to break a vicious thinking loop.
MindShift is one of the finest mental health applications for teenagers and young people suffering from anxiety. Mind Shift emphasizes the significance of altering how you think about anxiety rather than attempting to avoid uncomfortable sensations. Consider this app to be your cheerleader, pushing you to take responsibility for your life, deal with difficult emotions, and tackle difficult situations.
Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM)
If you’re interested in self-help but don’t want to meditate, SAM could be the right fit for you. The app encourages users to create their 24-hour anxiety toolbox, which enables them to track anxious thoughts and actions over time and learn 25 various self-help strategies. You may also utilize SAM’s “Social Cloud” function to connect with other users in an online community for further help in a secure manner.
CBT Thought Record Diary
Identifying negative and distorted thought patterns is at the heart of cognitive-behavioral therapy. CBT Thought Record Diary can be used to record unpleasant feelings, identify faults in your thinking, and reassess your thoughts. This is a fantastic tool for progressively altering your approach to anxiety-inducing circumstances as well as your thought habits in preparation for future scenarios.
Bipolar Disorder Apps
Bipolar disorder is characterized by polar opposite mood swings that range from extreme highs to extreme lows, as the name indicates. It’s a hereditary disorder that affects up to 5.7 million individuals. Although bipolar disorder is a severe mental health condition that needs medication and counseling, apps can help people with the disorder understand and monitor their moods, discover triggers, and determine the severity of their symptoms.
Contact the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), which provides online and in-person support groups for further information and assistance.
IMoodJournal is a combination of a personal diary and a mood tracking app that can be used to monitor everything from mood and symptoms to sleep, medicines, and energy patterns. You may analyze your everyday feelings using summary charts that show where your stress levels peak and fall if you keep track of these numerous elements.
eMoods are bipolar disorder-specific apps for mood tracking. Users may keep track of depressed and psychotic symptoms, as well as increased mood and irritability, throughout the day, and offer an estimate of the degree of their symptoms. Users may then track their mood changes on a color-coded monthly calendar and generate a monthly summary to pinpoint particular triggers and gain a better understanding of their mood swings.
Apps for Depression
When you’re depressed, life might feel like a huge pit of quicksand that pulls you down with no way out. Let’s just say it’s a depressing state of mind. It’s also one of the most prevalent mental illnesses, impacting around 350 million individuals worldwide. If depression is left untreated, it can persist for years, negatively impacting your quality of life. But there is some good news: it is curable.
The first step is to get treatment from a mental health expert during your symptoms of depression. There are also some fantastic apps for treatment that can do everything from helping to enhance your mood to connecting you with a qualified expert who can give digital psychiatry sessions. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you are suffering or in distress.
Talkspace Online Therapy
If you can’t afford to see a therapist, but you still want to talk to one; this is made possible via Talkspace. You may text a qualified expert as frequently as you need for as little as $65 per week and receive replies every day. They also have services for people and couples, so if your partner wants to learn how to assist you through your depression, they may do so by downloading the app.
Do you want to feel better? The Happify app is your quick road to a happy mood, with its psychologist-approved mood-training program. To combat negative thoughts, try a variety of entertaining games, exercise recommendations, thankfulness prompts, and more.
The goal of MoodTools is to help those who are suffering from clinical depression get back on track. With this free app, you may watch useful videos to improve your mood and behavior, document and analyze your thoughts using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy exercises (CBT) principles, create a suicide safety plan, and much more.
Eating Disorder Apps
For the millions of Americans who suffer from an eating disorder, thinking about food, weight, and body image is a daily fight. It can take up so much of their waking hours that it often interferes with daily activities. Call the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders on 630-577-1330 for treatment referrals, general issues, or assistance. While you’re recuperating, the applications listed below can help you develop a positive body image and a healthier relationship with food.
Recovery Record is an excellent tool for anyone who is recovering from an eating problem and wants to improve their body image. Use the app to keep track of your meals and how they make you feel, as well as to fill out surveys that will help you track your progress over time. Recovery Record, according to one user, is a “wonderful recovery tool” that “helps me keep to my meal plan, offers an avenue to vent about my food issues, and helps me stay intact with my body to work with it instead of against it.”
Rise Up and Recover
Rise Up and Recover is a one-of-a-kind app that allows you to not only monitor your meals and how you feel after eating them but also to record your progress into a PDF printout. When you sense the temptation to overeat or miss a meal and need fast coping methods, use the Rise and Recover app on your smartphone.
Unlike the other apps on our list, Lifesum is a one stop-shop for all things healthy. Lifesum allows you to establish personal objectives, such as eating healthier or increasing your daily steps. You may also add your information and let Lifesum produce a “Life Score” for you to receive a tailored health plan. Lifesum is a wonderful choice for anybody wanting to live a better lifestyle, with reminders to drink water and eat frequently throughout the day; but for individuals with eating disorders, this app may help you reframe how you feel about healthy habits.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Apps
Who’s never left home only to return because they’re afraid they left the iron, stove, or curling iron on? We’re all guilty. However, for someone suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), that anxiety might last all day, even after they’ve gone home to switch off their appliances. Repetitive, uncontrollable, intrusive, and illogical desires (compulsions) to undertake repetitive activities to ease the anxiety of the obsessions are symptoms of OCD, which affects 2.2 million adults.
Obsessions and compulsions come in a wide range of forms. OCD, on the other hand, can be effectively treated with a first-line treatment strategy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or medication. To alleviate anxiety daily, the following applications detect triggers, assist in navigating an episode of OCD when it occurs, and give simple strategies to flip negative thoughts around.
With the aid of OCD professionals and patients, nOCD was created to include two treatments: mindfulness and Exposure Response Prevention Treatment (ERPT). When an OCD episode occurs, you may receive instant, scientifically-backed counseling, complete weekly tests to measure the degree of your OCD and receive motivational guidance and support.
Download on iOS
Dealing with severe worry despite knowing your fears are unfounded can be one of the most challenging aspects of living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Worry Watch seeks to assist users in identifying worry triggers, noting patterns in their experiences, reflecting on when the consequences were benign, and changing their thought habits in the future. Consider it your password-protected worry diary.
Download for $3.99 on iOS
Post-Stressful Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disease caused by a traumatic incident that affects around 8 million individuals each year. Memories, flashbacks, extreme anxiety, and uncontrolled thinking about the incident are all possible mental health symptoms. PTSD may have a negative influence on everyday functioning if left untreated, which is why seeking treatment from a mental health professional is important.
Call the National Center for PTSD on 1-800-273-8255 for support if you are suffering from PTSD. The following applications can help people with PTSD manage anxiety and rage and locate support; however, they are not a replacement for treatment.
PTSD Coach, developed by the VA’s National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), includes everything from a PTSD self-assessment to support groups, positive mental, and anger control. What’s wonderful about this software is that you can personalize the tools to meet your requirements and tastes, and you can even connect your contacts, photos, and audio files.
Sometimes all you need to do is take a deep breath and assure yourself that everything is OK. Breathe2Relax was designed specifically for this purpose. This app, developed by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, is a stress-reduction tool that teaches users diaphragmatic breathing exercises. Breathe2Relax works by reducing the body’s “fight-or-flight” stress response, making it an excellent choice for those with PTSD.
The American Psychiatric Association does not rate mobile health applications for its members. Their app evaluation approach allows practitioners to make well-informed choices about whether or not an app is right for them and their patients.
These new digital tools are best used as a supplement to traditional therapy, for individuals who cannot afford to see a mental health expert; mental health apps may provide vital support and advice.