9 Best Mental Health Apps to Improve Your Well-Being With a Tap

Whether you're looking to tackle burnout or get a good night sleep, these paid-for and free mental health apps can help.

Conditions like anxiety, depression, and worker burnout have been trending upward for years in the US. But while the price of traditional therapy deters many from taking action, mental health apps offer affordable and accessible ways for people to track and manage their emotional well-being.

Whether you want to meditate more, break bad habits, or talk it out with a professional – there’s an app out there that can help. The field is pretty saturated though, so we’ve compiled a list of the best solutions on the app stores based on their price point, customer reviews, and reliance on evidence-based therapies.

If you’re serious about making self-care a priority in 2023 read on to discover our top picks, or jump to a specific app using our links below:

1. Headspace: Best for Mindfulness 

  • Price: from $12.99 per month
  • App Store rating: 4.8/5
  • Google Play rating: 4.5/5

Headspace is an app that helps users manage their thoughts and feelings through guided meditations and mindfulness practices.

Its Headspace Library is home to 500+ podcasts, short videos, and exercise tutorial videos, and its content is broken down into useful categories too – providing targeted support for those looking to improve their general well-being, sleep, focus, energy, and more.

Headspace caters excellently to beginners and advanced users, and its daily courses are a useful way to make mindfulness a part of your routine. Headspace even offers a ‘Headspace for Work’ platform, which offers employees and their families access to coaching within 2 minutes and therapy and psychiatry services within 2 days.

The platform doesn’t offer a free version, however, making it less suitable for users on a tight budget. But there is a free seven-day trial.

Headspace app screenshots

Headspace app screenshots. Source: headspace.com

Headspace features

  • Over 40 themed meditation topics
  • Dozens of one-off mindfulness exercises
  • Headspace for Work package for employees
  • Headspace For Kids package for younger users
  • The Wake Up for starting your day
  • Focus Mode to help you stay focused throughout the day
  • Mindfulness videos
  • Hundreds of mindfulness articles

Headspace pricing

The app costs $12.99 per month when paid monthly, with a seven day free trial, or $69.99 per year for an annual subscription, with a 14-day free trial.

2. BetterHelp: Best for Digital Therapy

  • Price: from $240 per month
  • App Store rating: 4.8/5
  • Google Play rating: 4.6/5

You probably already recognize the service from your favorite YouTuber’s ad reads, but for those of you who aren’t familiar, BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that connects users to over 30,000 licensed therapists throughout the US.

Users that opt for its monthly subscription are able to send an unlimited number of messages to their counselor, and schedule a 30-minute weekly chat through whichever channel they’re most comfortable with: be it live message, phone, or video call. The app lets you choose your own therapist too, depending on your location, personal preferences, and which type of therapy you’d like to pursue.

Better Help app screenshots

Better Help app screenshots. Source: betterhelp.com

Costs for BetterHelp range anywhere between $60 to $90 a week, making its price point a lot steeper than other mental health apps in this list. However, with in-person therapy which can cost anywhere between $100 to $200 a session, the service is still heaps more affordable than traditional options.

BetterHelp features

  • Instant messaging with a professional therapist
  • Live phone sessions
  • Live video sessions
  • 20 live interactive weekly group seminars
  • Online journaling tools

BetterHelp pricing

BetterHelp’s standard package costs anywhere from $240 to $360 a month, depending on the user’s needs. However, if you’re eligible for financial aid you can receive the service at a discounted price.

3. Calm: Best for Sleep

  • Price: from $14.99 per month
  • App Store rating: 4.8/5
  • Google Play rating: 4.5/5

Calm is a meditation and mindfulness app designed to help users stress less and sleep more. Through its library of over a hundred calming meditations, soundscapes, stories, breathing exercises, and more, Calm offers versatile ways to relax the mind.

Just like Headspace, mindfulness lies at the heart of its practices. But contrary to our frontrunner, Calm is generally more geared toward relaxation and sleep than general meditation.

Calm app screenshots

Calm app screenshots. Source: calm.com

Calm relies on evidence-based solutions, and all of its practices are informed by research from its very own Calm Science team. And aside from its evidence-based practices, the app also offers a raft of unique features, like sleep stories narrated by big names like Matthew McConaughey and LeBron James.

If you’re after a corporate wellness solution for your business, the app also has a business offering, Calm Business, which has been designed to improve the general well-being, workplace engagement, and productivity of employees.

Calm features

  • Mindfulness lessons
  • Guided meditations
  • Sleep stories
  • Breathing exercises
  • Movement practices
  • Ambient soundscapes
  • Calm for Business package for employees

Calm pricing

Calm’s Premium plan costs $69.99 per year or $14.99 per month. Both options include access to a 7-day free trial.

4. YuLife: Best for Corporate Wellness

  • Price: from $14.99 per month
  • App Store rating: 4.8/5

If you’re looking for a corporate wellness app that’s been designed with employees in mind – YuLife is for you. YuLife is primarily a group insurance application, but also offers a range of health and well-being benefits with the ultimate aim of helping workers ‘live their best lives’.

For instance, YuLife’s employee-focused app encourages healthy habits by rewarding workers for taking walks and practicing meditation. Aside from these wellness rewards the app also provides health benefits to workers through its ‘YuDoctor’ and a confidential EAP service called ‘YuMatter’.

The YuLife app also clearly displays employee insurance benefits, including types of coverage and policy IDs for full transparency.

YuLife features

  • 24/7 GP access to employees
  • EAP service for employees
  • Wellbeing rewards
  • Life insurance options
  • Group income protection
  • Group critical illness support

YuLife pricing

Businesses need to reach out to YuLife for pricing information.

5. Sanvello: Best for CBT Therapy

  • Price: from $14.99 per month
  • App Store rating: 4.9/5
  • Google Play rating: 4.5/5

Sanvello is a versatile mental health app designed to aid a range of conditions including anxiety, depression, and stress. Guided by the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the app self-care package offers a wide variety of resources including guided meditations, journals, goal trackers, and community boards.

Sanvello app screenshots

Sanvello app screenshots. Source: sanvello.com

Aside from its self-care toolkit, Sanvello also connects its Premium users to mental health coaches experienced in the fields of healthcare, wellness, or mental health. The app also offers appointments with licensed therapists, but these services are charged on a per-meeting basis.

Sanvello features

  • Guided meditations
  • Journaling prompts
  • Community boards and peer support
  • Goal trackers
  • Coaching and therapy

Sanvello pricing

Sanvello’s self-care and peer support package costs $8.99 per month or $53.99 per year. If you opt for coaching services on top, this will cost you $50 per month.

Therapy sessions with licensed professionals are priced at $140 for initial appointments and $85 for follow-up appointments.

6. MoodKit: Best Budget Mood-Booster

  • Price: $4.99
  • App Store rating: 4/5

MoodKit is an app that harnesses CBT principles to improve the mood and overall well-being of its users. The app was developed by two clinical psychologists and offers more than 200 activities tailored to the specific goals of its users.

MoodKit mental health app

MoodKit app screenshots. Source: apps.apple.com

The app is broken down into four main sections: Activities, Thoughts, Mood, and Journal. Each section has a number of different tasks users can complete to further their goals, on a timeline that suits them.

Applications of MoodKit are diverse: the app can be used to work on a wide range of practices including physical fitness, time management, mindfulness, social skills, and nutrition. The app is user-friendly and intuitive to use, and at $4.99 is a great wallet-friendly alternative to other general mental health apps like Calm and Sanvello.

Unfortunately, MoodKit is only available as an iOS app making it inaccessible to Android users.

MoodKit features

  • Mood tracker
  • Thought checker
  • Journaling
  • Sharable notes
  • Guided meditations
  • Productivity tools

MoodKit pricing

MoodKit costs $4.99 for lifelong support and doesn’t charge extra for in-app purchases. This makes it much more reasonably priced than other mental health apps on our list.

7. MindShift CBT: Best for Tackling Teen Anxiety

  • Price: Free
  • Google Play Rating: 3.8/5 

MindShift is a free mental health app targeted at tackling specific types of anxiety. Developed by The Anxiety Disorders Association of British Columbia, MindShift is primarily targeted towards adolescents and uses CBT in a similar way to Sanvello and Moodkit.

The app lets you track your mood with Daily Check-Ins, encourages healthy thought behaviors with its Journal feature, and lets you access positive affirmations with its Coping Cards. MindShift offers nine different meditation recordings too, helping users combat fears around specific situations like public speaking and text anxiety.

Screenshots of Mindshift app. Source: Mindshift.com

Mental health awareness is also at the heart of MindShift’s strategy. The app offers a wealth of educational articles about common anxiety triggers and coping mechanisms. MindShift doesn’t include any video or audio content like Headspace, but given it’s free price tag this shouldn’t come as a major surprise.

MindShift CBT features

  • Guided meditations
  • Educational articles and resources
  • Daily affirmations
  • Thought journal
  • Daily check-ins
  • Anxiety questionnaire to pinpoint problem areas

MindShift CBT pricing

MindShift is completely free to use.

8. I Am Sober: Best for Quitting Alcohol

  • Price from: Free
  • App Store rating: 4.9/5
  • Google Play Rating: 4.8/5 

I Am Sober is an addiction support app designed to help users build new habits. The app caters to a wide range of addictions – including sex, drugs, and alcohol – and is able to be customized to fit each users personal sobriety journey.

I Am Sober lets users track their sobriety down to the minute, stay inspired with personalized motivation packs, and track progress with customizable metrics like calories or money saved. The app also lets users connect to other members through its “Community” tab – providing them with additional avenues of support.

I Am Sober app screenshots

I Am Sober app screenshots. Source: iamsober.com

I Am Sober even boasts an integration with the digital therapy platform Better Help, although this service does come at a premium.

I Am Sober features

  • Granular sobriety tracker
  • Community message boards
  • Progress tracker
  • Motivational packs
  • Integration with Better Help

I Am Sober pricing

I Am Sober offers a generous ad-free plan that doesn’t cost a dime. However, if you want to unlock additional workbook activities, motivational packages, and challenges you’ll have to pay extra for I Am Sober’s Plus Subscription, at $9.99 per month or $119.88 per annum.

9. Happify: Best for Lowering Stress

  • Price from: Free
  • App Store rating: 4.5/5
  • Google Play Rating: 3.5/5 

Happify is a user-friendly mental health app that lets users improve their general wellbeing through the applications of CBT and positive psychology.

After asking you to complete a self assessment, Happify works out which areas of life you most require support. The app then administers exercises based on these goals, relating to a range of different categories including health, relationships, work and money, mindfulness and personal growth.

Screenshots of Happify app. Source happify.com

The app offers three to four activities each day, which take around ten minutes each to complete. These activities are fun and engaging, but lack a clear overarching structure, making it hard for users to gauge their process.

All in all, Happify is an user-friendly and visually stimulating app for people new to CBT. However, if you’re looking for a versatile mental health solution with clear practical applications, we’d recommend choosing an app like Sanvello instead.

Happify features

  • Guided meditations
  • Focused self-development activities
  • Thought journals
  • Educational tracks
  • Mental health webinars

Happify pricing

Happify offers a quality free version with access to 18 of the 100+ learning “Tracks”, limited guided meditations, and a variety of in-app games and activities.

Happify also offers a Plus plan with unlimited access to learning “Tracks”, guided meditations and findings from your “Happiness Index”, costing $14.99 per month or $139.99 per annum. Happiness Plus can also be purchased for life for a one time fee of $449.95.

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Written by:
Isobel O'Sullivan (BSc) is a senior writer at Tech.co with over four years of experience covering business and technology news. Since studying Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also worked as a freelance tech researcher. Isobel’s always up to date with the topics in employment and data security and has a specialist focus on POS and VoIP systems.
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