Most people know they can exercise, eat well, sleep, and stay hydrated to take care of their physical health. But it’s less common for people to pay attention to their mental health. Just like your physical health, support for your mental health helps you feel your best.

There are great ways to nurture and care for the state of your mental health. Some of these include practicing mindfulness and meditation, seeing a therapist, journaling, talking with a friend, lighting some candles and reading a book, or simply taking a nap.

Many mental health apps can give you tools, activities, and support to help you manage your stress. There are apps available to help with general mental health concerns and specific conditions.

This article covers the 13 best mental health apps for 2023.

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.

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 background research brings in all 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.

Best overall

MoodKit

  • iPhone rating: 4.3/5
  • Price: $4.99
  • Best for: tracking moods, creating positive thought patterns, reducing stress

MoodKit was developed by two clinical psychologists and is based on the principles and techniques used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It offers over 200 activities designed to boost your mood and help change negative thinking.

Included is a journal feature to help you track your mood, negative thoughts, and how you manage stress.

Best for therapy

Talkspace

  • iPhone rating: 4.3/5
  • Price: monthly subscription with plans starting at $69 per week
  • Best for: therapy

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.

Read our review of Talkspace.

Best for meditation

Headspace

  • iPhone rating: 4.8/5
  • Price: $12.99 per month or $69.99 per year
  • Best for: learning to meditate, developing concentration, and improving sleep

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 control, 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.

Read our review of Headspace.

Best for suicide awareness

Better Stop Suicide

  • Android rating: 4.3/5
  • Price: free
  • Best for: suicide awareness, positive thinking

The Better Stop Suicide app is designed with psychological techniques to help people who are having suicidal thoughts by encouraging their minds to slow, calm down, and think rationally. However, if you’re ever in an emergency situation and feel out of control, the best thing you can do is call a suicide hotline or 911.

In the app, you can listen to calming audio files written by mental health professionals, record audio messages for yourself, find audio for falling asleep, and save important contacts for when you need them quickly.

The app can help you learn how to examine the intrusive thoughts you are having. This can help you to not automatically accept all thoughts as truth or fact.

Once you learn how to challenge thoughts, you can decide how you want to proceed with the facts of a situation. This may prevent the tendency to engage in emotion-based behavior, which can at times not be based on factual information.

Best for stress

iBreathe

  • iPhone rating: 4.9/5
  • Price: free
  • Best for: stress, breathing techniques

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.

Best for anxiety

MindShift CBT

  • iPhone rating: 4.2/5
  • Price: free
  • Best for: anxiety

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.

Best for addiction

Quit That!

  • iPhone rating: 4.4/5
  • Price: free
  • Best for: addiction

Quit That! helps people tackle habits and addiction. The app helps you track habits to quit smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs, or even consuming caffeine.

But, if you’re dealing with more serious addictions, you should seek out medical or professional help. Treatment options a specialist might explore include residential treatment (rehab), therapy, medication, or support groups.

With this app, you can track as many habits as you want, and you can also see how long it’s been since you quit and how much money quitting has saved you.

Best for boosting your mood

Happify

  • iPhone rating: 4.5/5
  • Price: free version, or $14.99 per month, $139.99 per year, or $449.99 lifetime for full access
  • Best for: boosting your mood

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.

Best for eating disorders

Recovery Record

  • iPhone rating: 4.9/5
  • Price: free
  • Best for: eating disorders

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.

Best for OCD

NOCD

  • iPhone rating: 4.8/5
  • Price: Get started with a free call for the NOCD program. There are different payment plans and the app accepts over 30 types of insurance (total cost of the program isn’t clearly stated on the website).
  • Best for: OCD

NOCD was designed to assist in 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’ll be 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.

Best for sleep

Calm

  • iPhone rating: 4.8/5
  • Price: $69.99 per year or $399.99 for a lifetime subscription
  • Best for: improving sleep, regulating emotions, and practicing meditation

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.

Read our review of Calm.

Best for drinking less alcohol

Reframe

  • iPhone rating: 4.8/5
  • Price: starting at $7.99 per month or $39.99 per year
  • Best for: reducing alcohol intake

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.

Best for quitting alcohol

I Am Sober

  • iPhone rating: 4.9/5
  • Price: free version, or $9.99 per month or $39.99 per year
  • Best for: quitting alcohol

The I Am Sober app is a useful tool for quitting alcohol. It encourages you to identify triggers, recognize patterns, and develop healthy habits to meet your goals and achieve sobriety. It 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.

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