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We pick some of the best apps to help you manage your mental wellness from anywhere you happen to be.

With so many apps on the market, it’s hard to know which ones are useful. This is especially true when it comes to apps intended to help you manage your mental wellness.

It can be cumbersome and frustrating to dig through such a large selection, choosing apps almost at random while looking for the best fit.

That’s why Psych Central created this list of our favorite mental health apps, from condition-specific programs to general mental wellness help.

A mental health app is any application that’s intended to help you manage or track symptoms of different mental health conditions. Some are designed to help people who have a specific condition, while others are more general in nature.

Still, while these apps definitely have value to them, that’s not to say that they’re intended to replace help from mental health professionals.

One 2019 study found that mental health apps have potential benefits, but they shouldn’t be used as a stand-in for traditional treatment. In fact, many apps on this list let you send updates to your therapist, keeping them in the loop on your progress.

Mental health apps aren’t just a novel idea. Their potential benefits have been the focus of study for a number of scientific research efforts.

One 2017 literature review noted that the effectiveness of app-based health interventions showed promise. In particular, of the studies reviewed, researchers noticed a significant decline in stress, anxiety, and depression among those who used these apps.

There were a lot of apps to choose from when we started our search for the top 10. To help narrow it down, we:

  • studied user reviews
  • searched for media mentions
  • dove into scientific research

We also took into account the specific needs that people with different conditions have. An app that’s great for depression, for example, may not be the best pick for someone experiencing anxiety. We made sure to highlight these kinds of details below.

Best for meditation: Calm

Price: $14.99/month, $69.99/year

Everyone could use a little peace now and again, even if you don’t live with anxiety. This is where Calm comes in.

Calm is unique from other meditation apps. It has plenty of traditional meditations but also leans on a pop-culture-influence. Relax to the sounds of painter Bob Ross’ brush strokes, Disney piano ballads, and even story time with Matthew McConaughey.

What we like

  • large library of guided meditations lasting between 3–25 minutes, so you can meditate as your schedule allows
  • Apple Health app integration for iPhone users

What to look out for

  • no Android equivalent to Apple Health integration

Get started with Calm.

Best for people of color: Shine

Price: $14.99 a month, $53.99 a year

People of color face unique mental health experiences. This is something that Shine’s creators set out to address when they decided to build an app aimed at helping POC and women.

Shine is important. Statistics show that only 1 in 3 Black people in the United States get the mental health services they need. While apps alone shouldn’t be used as a treatment strategy, Shine may fill in some gaps.

What we like

  • content geared toward underrepresented groups, including meditations on dealing with the Black experience in the United States
  • resources on how to cope with COVID-19 anxiety

What to look out for

  • some users report a buggy interface, especially on Android

Download Shine for iPhone or Android.

Best for deep breathing: BellyBio

Price: free with in-app purchases

BellyBio teaches a deep breathing technique to help you reduce anxiety and stress. It uses biofeedback to monitor your breathing and plays sounds reminiscent of waves at a beach.

This is a great tool for when you need to slow down and breathe. And the best part? It’s free!

What we like

  • chart your progress and gain more insight into how you’re breathing
  • multiple interactive music themes

What to look out for

  • one 2019 study did not recommend the app be used by people without deep breathing experience
  • not available on Android

Download BellyBio for iPhone.

Best for CBT: CBT Thought Diary

Price: free with in-app purchases

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a strategy for exploring unhelpful ways of thinking and patterns of behavior that contribute to psychological distress. It aims to teach you to recognize distorted thoughts and implement more effective coping strategies.

With this in mind, CBT Thought Diary provides a place for you to reflect on your mental wellness, track your moods, and more.

What we like

  • Apple Watch integration allows for simple, on-the-go mood tracking
  • simple, self-guided way for you to get started with CBT

What to look out for

  • password protection requires a paid upgrade
  • no equivalent to Apple Watch integration for Android users

Download CBT Thought Diary for iPhone or Android.

Best for bipolar disorder: eMoods

Price: $1.99/month, $9.99/year

Symptom and mood tracking is an important part of living with bipolar disorder. That’s why eMoods uses a simple, calendar-oriented layout to help people with bipolar disorder chart their emotions and get a wider, more holistic view of their mental wellness.

Privacy was a priority for the developers of eMoods. That’s why your information is stored locally on your device — nothing gets sent to the cloud unless you want it to.

What we like

  • optional, automated progress reports sent to your therapist or other mental health professionals
  • medication tracking gives you a good look at what is and isn’t working in your treatment plan

What to look out for

  • users say that there’s no option for multi-month reports, which some people might find useful

Download eMoods for iPhone or Android.

Best for DBT: DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach

Price: $4.99

Based on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan, DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach is a rich resource of self-help skills, reminders of the therapy principles, and coaching tools for coping.

Created by a therapist with years of experience in the practice, this app is not intended to replace a professional, but it helps people reinforce their treatment.

What we like

  • PDF report generation helps you document your progress
  • password protection

What to look out for

  • not available on Android

Download DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach for iPhone.

Best mood tracker: MoodKit

Price: $4.99

MoodKit is more than a mood tracker. The app comes loaded with more than 200 CBT-based activities meant to help redirect negative thoughts. You can even create your own activities for use with the app.

What we like

  • customizable mood journal
  • tailor suggested activities based on your preferences

What to look out for

  • not available on Android

Download MoodKit for iPhone.

Best for addiction recovery: Sober Grid

Price: free with in-app purchases

Sober Grid is an app-based social media platform geared toward people in recovery. Addiction can be hard to go through by yourself. Sober Grid is like having a sobriety network right in your pocket.

What we like

  • focus on privacy, with the option to stay anonymous
  • built-in recovery tracker and sobriety counter

What to look out for

  • some people report a buggy user interface

Download Sober Grid for iPhone or Android.

Best habit tracker: Fabulous

Price: $2.99/month, $35.99/year

Fabulous helps you build new, healthier routines. From getting more sleep and drinking more water, to setting time aside for self-affirmation, Fabulous is designed to keep you on track with your personal goals.

What we like

  • integrated coaching feature to help with exercise, weight loss, and more
  • 1-week free trial

What to look out for

  • some people report a clunky user experience

Download Fabulous for iPhone or Android.

Best for sleep: Relax Melodies

Price: free with ads, in-app purchases

This highly customizable sleep sounds app lets you mix and match nature sounds with new age music. For example, you can listen to birds in the rain while a piano softly plays in the background.

What we like

  • more than 400 meditations, sounds, and bedtime stories
  • library of breathing techniques and other sleep strategies

What to look out for

  • some users report losing some free content that can be recovered only by buying it

Download Relax Melodies for iPhone or Android.

Mental health apps are growing in popularity and efficacy. They can be valuable tools to help you manage your mental wellness — even if they’re not meant to replace traditional treatment.

There are countless mental health apps available, all of them of varying quality and popularity. We’ve assembled a list of apps that we feel have value to them, and we encourage you to check some of them out to see if they’re right for you.

Mental health apps aren’t a substitute for medication, professional counseling, or other forms of mental wellness management. They shouldn’t be considered a main form of treatment, but they can still be a valuable tool for maintaining mental wellness.