7 Best Mental Health Apps To Use Today [2023]

Best Mental Health Apps

Recent reports show that as many as 76% of Americans consider their mental health just as important as their physical health. In addition, at least 56% of US citizens are seeking help for mental issues at any point in time. Clearly, there’s a significant demand for effective systems, such as mental health apps, to serve the nation’s growing requirements.[1]

In this article, we review seven of the best options to help you decide which is right for you.

Why Use Mental Health Apps?

One of the primary reasons for using good mental health apps is the lack of access to in-person therapy or the long waiting times. Another problem is the often limited number of options available for therapy outside of larger cities.

Moreover, there is still a certain stigma attached to mental health that most of the best apps deal with. Software offers a discreet, often anonymous alternative as well as control over how and what people want to do with their mental health.

These days there are different mental health apps to cover everything from cultivating a healthier lifestyle to managing specific disorders and symptoms. Others again target a range of symptoms, from depression to bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and more.[2]

There are also apps for mental health professionals to enable them to streamline their processes to better serve their clients. Therapy apps that fall under this umbrella can make it easy for practitioners to deliver higher-quality and more effective treatments for improved results.

Mental health apps can be a convenient way to support your psychological and emotional wellbeing or to deliver treatment as a mental health provider.

In short, apps can be a convenient way to support your psychological and emotional wellbeing or to deliver treatment as a mental health provider.

7 Best Apps for Mental Health in 2023

It’s safe to say that in the future, apps that help with mental health will continue to play an increasingly important role in the provision of care.

There is even evidence suggesting that they hold significant potential to increase patient engagement, while positively influencing patients’ ability to self-manage symptoms. This, in turn, can lead to improved clinical outcomes.[3][4]

So, we reviewed the top mental health apps, of which here are some of the most valuable, helpful, and evidence-based alternatives to conventional therapy.

Overview: Best Mental Health Apps of 2023:

  • Best for Professional Treatment: Quenza
  • Best for stress and loneliness: Sanvello
  • Best for Teens and Students: Calm
  • Best for Journaling: MoodKit
  • Best for Depression: MoodTools
  • Best for Anxiety: SAM Self-Help Management for Anxiety
  • Best for Meditation: Headspace

Quenza – Best for Professionals



quenza logo navy blue and whiteAs one of the best mental health apps, Quenza gives practitioners all the tools they need to plan, deliver, and monitor e-therapy treatments for online psychotherapy. With its easy-to-use drag-and-drop, counselors, coaches, and therapists can deliver personalized interventions, quizzes, and treatments. Clients simply log in for free and they work through their plan according to their needs. 

  • A complete practice management software
  • Includes a library of evidence-based forms, templates, exercises, and activities
  • Fully-customizable treatment pathways
  • HIPAA-compliant platform
  • Secure client-therapist messaging
  • Client notifications and reminders
Price$1+ monthly
Good ForSolo practitioners, Coaches, Mental Health Providers
More infoQuenza

Sanvello – Best for Stress and Loneliness

sanvello app logo green white blackSanvello provides research-backed CBT and mindfulness tools alongside personalized goal trackers. Users also have access to a community board for extra support and connection which is a powerful way to beat loneliness.

It’s also one of the few mental health apps that take insurance, offering:

  • On-demand mental health management resources
  • Self-care tools, therapy, coaching, and community
  • Clinically validated techniques to help the user manage their moods and thoughts
  • Daily mood tracking, guided journeys, coping tools, meditations, and progress assessments
Good forPeople with stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma-related conditions
PriceFree (basic app) or $8.99/month and up (self-care portion)
More infoSanvello

Calm – Best for Teens & Students

calm app logo blue and whiteCalm is a visually appealing meditation and mindfulness app with a range of free meditation courses. All these are backed by neuroscience further supporting their mantra that mindfulness is science. More specifically, it has a kid’s section designed for teens and students as well as for children as young as 3.

The visuals and interactive use are particularly suited to help kids learn relaxation techniques in a way that works for them. Overall, it is one of the best services for a more relaxed user and was named Apple’s 2017 app of the year:

  • Guided meditations
  • Tools to help you sleep better
  • Exclusive music for focus, relaxation, and sleep
  • Video lessons on mindful movement and gentle stretching
  • Masterclass audio programs taught by experts
  • Nature scenes and sounds
Good forAnyone interested in meditation, mindfulness, and better sleep
Price$69.99/year or $399.99 (lifetime membership)
More infoCalm

Moodkit – Best for Journaling

moodkit app logo green background white briefcase iconMoodKit was developed by two clinical psychologists and make CBT tools accessible to all. Split into modules covering relationships, productivity, mood journal, and more, it is packed with tips for everyday life to overcome depression and negative thinking.

Furthermore, with its simple charts, users can track averages, daily ratings, and everything else a journal covers:

  • Includes over 200 mood improvement activities
  • Tailors recommended activities to your needs
  • Guidance to modify distressing thoughts
  • Mood rating and tracking over time
  • Custom journaling tool
  • iOS calendar integration and reminders
Good forAnyone who wants to boost their own mood
More infoMoodKit

Moodtools – Best for Depression

moodtools mental health app logo white chest This is one of the best mental health apps for depression providing useful information, assessments, videos, and more, to help users with their mental health.

The app specifically focuses on depression with its analysis of risk factors and psychological approaches to support treatment. It also offers a mood tracker based on Behavioral Activation Therapy with activities to uplift your mood:

  • Includes the PHQ-9 depression questionnaire to track symptoms over time
  • Features a thought diary that allows users to record and analyze their thoughts and feelings, and identify negative thinking or distorted thinking
  • Guides users in developing a safety plan
Good forAnyone struggling with feelings of sadness or depression
Price$4.99 per month or $29.99 per year
More infoMoodTools

SAM – Best for Anxiety

sam mental health app logo turquoise with cloudAs one of the best mental health apps for managing symptoms of anxiety, it is both simple and accessible. It provides users with instant support in the form of interactive pictures and techniques as well as longer-term support. This includes learning about unhelpful thoughts, self-care, and more. This science-based app is both a free non-profit and developed by the psychology department of the University of Bristol, UK: 

  • App that helps users understand and manage their anxiety
  • Offers monitoring of anxious thoughts and behaviors over time
  • Helps user manage their anxiety through self-help exercises and reflection
  • “Social cloud” feature allows users to share their experiences with the SAM community while protecting their identity
NameSAM: Self-Help for Anxiety Management
Good forPeople struggling with anxiety
More infoSAM: Self-Help for Anxiety Management

Headspace – Best for Meditation

headspace app logo small orange whiteHeadspace is one of the best-known apps for mindfulness and meditation. Designed by former UK-born Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, the app blends science with Buddhist teachings and techniques.

Headspace aims to help users develop the necessary mindset to reduce stress, improve sleep, and enhance their mood:

  • Hundreds of guided meditations
  • The basics course is a 10-day beginner’s journey, and it’s free
  • Short animated videos explaining meditation and mindfulness-related concepts
  • Daily words of wisdom to inspire you and set your day off on the right track
  • Sleepcasts and wind-downs to help you fall asleep or get back to sleep
Good forAnyone who would like to be more mindful
PriceFree (basics) or $12.99/month (access to all content)
More infoHeadspace

Compare the Top Mental Health Apps

We’ve collated the best apps in the table below so you can pick the right one for your needs.

Sometimes you also have to simply dive in and give things a go to truly appreciate the benefits.

AppBest forPlatforms Available Price Free Offerings 
QuenzaProfessionalsiOS, Android $1+ monthlyFree trial 
Sanvello Stress & loneliness iOS, Android Free (basic app) or $8.99/month and up (self-care portion)Basic access
Calm Teens & studentsiOS, Android $69.99/year or $399.99 (lifetime membership)Basic access
MoodkitJournalingiOS $4.99 one-offNothing 
MoodtoolsDepressioniOS, Android $4.99 per month or $29.99 per yearBasic access
SAMAnxiety iOS, Android FreeFree 
Headspace Meditation iOS, Android Free (basics) or $12.99/month (access to all content)First 7 or 14 days free when choosing monthly or annual subscription respectively 

How to Use Apps for Online Therapy

Evidence-based mental health apps can support counselors, coaches, and therapists with their back-end processes. They are also invaluable for connecting and engaging with clients on a regular basis.

With all the tools, exercises, and therapy worksheets available, clients can easily work in between sessions, especially when triggered or facing particularly challenging moments. Essentially, apps make therapy more experiential while empowering clients.

Moreover, journaling apps for mental health break down the barriers to self-reflection and inner exploration.

In this digital era, writing about or tracking moods and feelings can feel daunting, and yet, journaling is one of the most powerful tools for self-discovery that leads to wellbeing.

screenshot of Quenza mental health journal pathway
Customizing a pre-made journal pathway for clients in the Quenza mental health app.

Another major benefit of mental health apps is that they are accessible to anyone, anywhere. People with limited mobility or disabilities can now feel connected and supported at any time with the simple click of a button.

The key to using apps to health with mental health is to leverage the tools and exercises. For example, the wheel of life is a great exercise to get a sense of how balanced someone’s life is. It can also be adapted to explore values, strengths, needs, and ikigai.

screenshot of mental health professional designing assessment using Quenza app Wheel of Life tool
Mental health professionals can use Quenza’s customizable Wheel of Life assessment to design personalized coaching assessments for clients.

Mental health apps offer an experiential approach to exploring life and discovering inner strengths to better navigate challenges and improve overall wellbeing.

Is There a Free App for Professionals?

One of the best free mental health apps is SAM which is specifically designed to support anxiety symptoms. Nevertheless, it’s more geared toward clients rather than those in the mental health profession.

Quenza is the only one that offers free access to clients. As a professional, it gives you multiple streamlining options for your processes but also a way to design and customize your own client online treatments for anxiety.

Overall, Quenza enables a smoother and more personalized therapy or coaching journey while helping you engage clients for better results.

Using Mental Health Software with Teens: 8 Tips

One of the core foundations for working with teens and students is to be creative and relevant. So, counselors, coaches, and therapists need to be both modern in how they use online tools while also allowing their younger clients to be themselves.

The best mental health apps for teens combine experiential with interactive tools and fun visuals. As such, not only do these apps promote their independence but they encourage them to communicate and reflect.

Nevertheless, here are some tips to engage the apps in the right way.

1- Connect with emotions

Most apps have a journaling function and perhaps a separate tracking tool for moods, thoughts, and feelings. As a counselor or coach, you can use these tools to teach your younger clients the words for emotions and feelings.

As the apps are interactive and fun, teens can gradually expand their vocabulary of emotions. Consequently, they start connecting with and embracing those emotions.

2. Listen deeply

Every coach, counselor, and therapist knows to listen deeply. Nevertheless, it can be tough to put yourself in a teenager’s shoes.

So, what are they not telling you? Moreover, how can you leverage listening to show them they are in control and not in a “teacher knows best” rather than therapeutic relationship? In the end, it’s what they think that matters and the solutions they can come up with that will work for them.

3. Use their language

The benefit of mental health apps for students is that they provide a platform with a common language for everyone. As you work through the coaching tools and exercises with them through the app, use the same words.

With time, familiarity through the app will make therapy less abstract and essentially, more effective.

4. Acknowledge feelings

Most teenagers feel misunderstood but apps play a powerful role in acknowledging their feelings. They also normalize things for them so that they gradually don’t feel more alien.

In short, they don’t just trust your word for it, you’re opening them up to the world of feelings and discomfort. Life is painful and the apps can make that feel less terrifying because of how they present things through visuals, games, and exercises.

5. Body movement

Depending on your approach, you might already use somatic movement. Today, we have access to a plethora of research that shows that emotions can be moved through the body.

Some teenagers might feel awkward moving in front of their therapist but they can play around more freely with the right app. As they do, they’ll develop their own approach to what “moving emotions through the body” means for them.

6. Tell stories

We all respond to stories because of the emotional connection they create. Teenagers can also benefit from stories as they learn to access their memories to avoid bottling things up.

Again, the right mental health apps can give you a framework for some creative and insightful story creation.

Recommended: 7 Therapy Activities for Teens: Individual & Group Resources

7. Ask open questions

Again, any professional in the mental health industry knows the power of asking open questions. Nevertheless, we too are human with our biases.

So, some mental health apps can inspire you to freshen up your library of questions. Furthermore, teenagers can keep working on these questions in between sessions to build their own self-reflection skills.

8. Watch the nonverbal

It goes without saying that nonverbal communication is critical which you won’t necessarily get from an app. Nevertheless, be creative. Why not ask your younger clients to log what’s happening in their bodies as well as the matching mood?

Final Thoughts

While there are free apps for mental health, most need at least a one-off fee with the subscription model being the norm. How you then choose your preferred app from the list of the best mental health apps depends on your needs.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to providing great quality blended or virtual care but most apps offer at least a free trial to get you started. Either way, mental health apps enhance the client-provider relationship and make it easier for patients to continue with their treatment in between sessions.

The bottom line is that apps are the therapeutic tools of the future. If you want to offer your clients the most impactful tools for growth, healing, and self-development, you’ll want to start incorporating apps like these. Why not start your $1, 30-day trial of Quenza today?


  1. ^ Wood, P., Burwell, J., Rawlett, K., & Shandwick, W. (2018). New Study Reveals Lack of Access as Root Cause for Mental Health Crisis in America. Retrieved from: https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/press-releases/new-study-reveals-lack-of-access-as-root-cause-for-mental-health-crisis-in-america/
  2. ^ Luxton, D. D., McCann, R. A., Bush, N. E., Mishkind, M. C., & Reger, G. M. (2011). mHealth for mental health: Integrating smartphone technology in behavioral healthcare. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 42(6), 505.
  3. ^ Chandrashekar, P. (2018). Do mental health mobile apps work: evidence and recommendations for designing high-efficacy mental health mobile apps. Mhealth, 4(6).
  4. ^ Gilbody, S., Whitty, P., Grimshaw, J., & Thomas, R. (2003). Educational and organizational interventions to improve the management of depression in primary care: a systematic review. Jama, 289(23), 3145.

About the author

Courtney is currently working as a healthcare workforce researcher for the state of California and is a regular contributor to the Quenza blog. She has a passion for taking research findings and translating them into concise, actionable packages of information that anyone can understand and implement.

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