Sometimes you need a hand with your mental health. Whether you’re feeling stressed, tired or depressed, there should never be shame in getting help when needed. While talking face-to-face with a trained professional can work for many people, not everyone will feel comfortable opening up to someone.
This is where mental health apps can come in handy. It should be known that mental health apps won’t replace traditional methods of help such as psychology and therapy (at least at this point), but they can offer a great starting point from which you can improve your mental health, and point you in the right direction when you need it.
These are some of the best mental health apps currently available.
- Free tier available
- Extra features are available with a subscription, $16.49/month or $65.99/year
Moodfit is an app that helps you track your mood and gives you tools to address and overcome negative emotions and improve your mental state.
When you first open the app, you’ll be presented with a questionnaire, which uses your answers to help determine the severity of your symptoms and will then provide articles and audio pieces which help you understand what you’re experiencing.
Moodfit’s emotion tracking feature allows you to better understand what affects your mood and how it affects it, with common factors relating to sleep, diet or exercise. Moodfit then helps you start forming healthy routines in your life, which in turn can boost your mental health.
While the app is free, subscriptions for the premium service run at $16.49/month or $65.99/yearly.
- Free tier available
- Premium features need a subscription, $5.99/month or $55.99/year
Sanvello is another great mental health app to add to your toolkit. Sanvello offers therapy, coaching and self-help tools and claims to help treat mild to moderate anxiety and depression through cognitive behavioural therapy.
Similar to Moodfit, the Sanvello mental health app lets you track your daily mood, along with other daily happenings such as sleep, exercise and caffeine intake.
One of the best features of Sanvello is the community, which is a safe space where you can connect and anonymously talk with other users to share advice, ask questions, etc.
The basic app is free, but you have to pay for the premium version, which will set you back $5.99/month or $55.99/year.
- Limited free features available
- A subscription costs $19.99/month or $149.99/year
One of the most well-known apps that can help with your mental health is Headspace. Headspace is a little different from the first two apps mentioned on this list, as it is based on meditation. Meditation has been found to help with anxiety reduction and stress relief, and improve concentration and sleep, just to name a few of the benefits.
The meditation sessions within the Headspace app last anywhere from 3 to 20 minutes, and you have a choice of guided meditations or calming and relaxing music you can self-meditate to.
Headspace helps you learn mindfulness and meditation skills, and you’ll find that even using the app for just a few minutes per day, you’ll start to see the benefits of meditation and why so many people encourage it. Headspace claims that ten days of use can increase happiness by up to 16%.
The app is another subscription-based one and is a little more expensive, costing $19.99/monthly or $149.99/yearly.
- 2017 iPhone App of the Year
- $23.49/month or $79.99/year
Named by Apple as the 2017 iPhone App of the Year, Calm is widely regarded as one of the best mental health apps available. Similar to Headspace, it provides people struggling with stress and anxiety with guided meditations and relaxing music but also has sleep stories and breathing programs.
While mediation isn’t going to be an out-and-out cure for all your mental health struggles, it can help with a more relaxed and reasonable mindset, can relieve stress and tension and improve sleep quality.
Calm offers a wide selection of story recordings (sometimes with celebrity narrators) in different categories, such as nature, travel and non-fiction. With meditation sessions ranging from 3 minutes to over an hour, Calm is suitable for both beginners and experienced meditators.
Calm will set you back $23.49/monthly or $79.99/yearly.
Groov (by Mentemia)
- Completely free
Groov is a mental health app that aims to coach mental well-being and teach users how to control their anxiety. The app uses medically proven techniques and makes them interactive with engaging tasks for users.
The Groov app can help users recognise the sources of their stress and anxiety and offer techniques and methods to alleviate these problems. It also allows you to track your daily moods like Moodfit and Sanvello.
As if it couldn’t get better, Groov is free and accessible to all Australians, which is impressive considering how good it is.
- Completely free
The Check-in app has been designed by the Australian mental health organisation, Beyond Blue, in collaboration with Two Bulls.
It offers a slightly different take on what should constitute a mental health app, as it is aimed at those trying to help others with their mental health. The Check-in is basically an app for people who want to check in with a friend but aren’t sure how to do it or is worried they might make it worse.
It’s a very easy app to use, as it takes you through a four-step process to help ready yourself to have a potentially life-saving conversation with a loved one. The Check-in also gives you advice about how you can help others once you’ve had the chat, and how to look after your own mental well-being.
As a bonus, the app also provides links to a range of online and phone services for young people in Australia.
- Therapy plan pricing is dependent on where you live and the availability of therapists in your area
- No lock-in contract
For those who need someone to talk to, Talkspace is an app that helps you match with a licensed therapist who you can then message, call or video call at your own convenience.
Although it’s based in the US, Talkspace’s therapists are available to anyone with an internet connection. Talkspace guarantees their therapists will get back to you at least once a day, five days a week.
Another subscription-based mental health app, it offers three different tiers of subscription – Plus, Premium or Ultimate, the last two of which allow for 30-minute live sessions each month.
- Subscription-based service
- 1 week free for new users
Another great app for those looking for meditation services is Soul Alive. Founded by Australian meditation and wellness expert, Luke McLeod, Soul Alive aims to bridge the gap between teacher and user, by offering live guided meditation sessions hosted by Luke and his team of trained professionals. Luke is also on hand to support anyone struggling with the meditation process, as he wants to encourage as many people as possible to practice meditation, due to its numerous benefits.