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Looking for online help for your depression? We’ve rounded up the 12 best resources to assist various unique needs.

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If you’re looking for helpful resources for depression, you’re not alone. Depression is very common.

The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a tripling of depression in the United States in the early months of 2020, with the rate rising from 8.5% to 27.8%. By late 2021, the rate of depression had climbed to 32.8%, or 1 in 3 U.S. adults.

Research shows that telehealth, or online health services, can ease many of the challenges of providing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. It can help clients and therapists alike avoid physical contact and minimize the risk of COVID transmission.

But teletherapy and online support may also have benefits when there’s no pandemic going on.

As the world continues to become increasingly digital, one of the most accessible ways to receive help for depression is online.

Suicide prevention

Online resources like the ones in this article generally can’t provide help in a crisis (though many services list helpful resources, such as phone numbers to national and international crisis hotlines).

If you need help right now:

If you want to jump directly to the sections for each resource, you can click the links below.

We’ve listed the 12 best online resources for depression. Some are for a specific demographic, such as

  • teens
  • the LGBTQIA+ community
  • recent parents

Some are focused on treatment styles, such as:

We’ve also included varied platforms, including:

  • websites
  • apps
  • podcasts
  • hotlines
  • a chat bot

Depending on the platform, you can engage by:

  • reading
  • listening
  • chatting
  • real-time phone or video calls

When choosing what services and products to include, we considered the following criteria:

  • Cost. We looked for resources that are on the more affordable end.
  • Reviews. We looked into what users are saying about each resource and why they liked it.
  • Reputation. We considered how well-known a resource is and what kinds of ratings it has received.
  • Uniqueness. We chose resources that all offer something different from one another so that all needs can be met.
  • Vetting. All services have been vetted to ensure that they meet Psych Central’s medical, editorial, and business standards.

Best overall

BetterHelp

  • Price: $60-$90 a week (billed every 4 weeks), $240-$360 a month

BetterHelp is a subscription-based therapy platform available via its website and app, which is free to download. While it doesn’t accept insurance, there may be ways to make this service more affordable. Also, customers can cancel their subscriptions at any time.

BetterHelp is the largest online therapy provider in the world. Its primary focus is to connect individuals wanting online therapy with compatible licensed therapists.

The main benefit of BetterHelp is that it offers a range of therapy formats, including:

  • video calls
  • phone calls
  • text messaging

Participants can message an unlimited amount with their therapist. Also, switching therapists is easy to do at any time.

BetterHelp is also one of the most affordable therapy options available.

Why we chose it

  • accessible wherever there is Internet through computer, tablet, or smartphone
  • addresses various mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and stress
  • easy to use even if you aren’t technically skilled

What we like

  • various therapy formats, including live chat, phone, video call, 24/7 messaging
  • scheduling live sessions available through your client portal
  • access in the United States and the United Kingdom

What to look out for

  • not covered by insurance
  • does not affiliate with psychiatrists or medical doctors, so there are no diagnoses or medication prescriptions
  • therapist-matching rather than choosing a therapist, although you can switch therapists later
  • available to people 18 years or older

If you’d like to learn more about BetterHelp, consider reading our in-depth review.

Best for chatting

Talkspace

  • Price: $230–$396 a month

Talkspace has three subscriptions options. The cheapest option doesn’t offer live sessions but provides unlimited text, video, and audio messaging in which your therapist will respond to you daily Monday through Friday.

The more expensive packages provide either 1 live 30-minute session a month or 4 live 30-minute sessions a month. The app is free to download.

Talkspace provides therapy for individuals, couples, and teens and an option for psychiatry assistance to receive prescriptions for medication.

After a brief assessment during the sign-up process, you’ll be matched with three therapists from which you can choose. You can switch therapists at any point for no extra cost.

Talkspace is likely the best online therapy platform for those looking to message a licensed therapist at any point in the day.

Why we chose it

  • ease in connecting with a licensed therapist by live video, chat, or phone
  • availability of both therapy and medication management

What we like

  • available to teens
  • possibility to receive medication prescriptions through a psychiatrist
  • ability to choose a therapist out of three options
  • accepts some insurance plans

What to look out for

  • only higher-priced plans include live sessions
  • not covered by Medicare or Medicaid
  • exact pricing not viewable until sign-up

If you’d like to learn more about Talkspace, consider reading our in-depth review.

Best for community

Sanvello

  • Price:
    • Basic plan: free (app is free to download)
    • Self-care plan: $8.99 a month or $53.99 a year
    • Classes and 1:1 coaching: $50 a month $350 a year
    • Therapy: about $140 for initial appointment and $85 on average for follow-ups
    • Subscription fees covered by some health insurance plans

The Sanvello app and website offer help with depression, stress, and anxiety through a combination of:

  • self-care
  • community support
  • coaching
  • therapy

Sanvello helps you manage mental health by learning and practicing CBT. You’ll find guided meditations, journals, and short courses to help you develop useful CBT skills. You can share your experience and get help from others in the community hub.

Sanvello has a free version and several levels of premium subscriptions. It also offers access to licensed therapists via video in some parts of the United States. This option is in the highest premium plan and is restricted to specific insurance plans. Self-pay for therapy is not available.

Many of the reviewers find the community the most helpful aspect of the app. It’s supportive, helpful, and never bullying.

Why we chose it

  • has judgment-free advice and inspiration from other community members
  • can ask questions and provide comments on a wide range of topics
  • has interactive articles and courses to help you understand difficult topics

What we like

  • has a judgment-free community hub where you can get help and provide support
  • is a good beginning place to learn mindfulness and CBT
  • has a good collection of meditations, learning courses, and mood-tracking tools in a single app

What to look out for

  • collects and shares data, so be sure to review privacy options
  • busy interface that is sometimes difficult to navigate
  • Sanvello therapists not yet available in all parts of the United States

Best for LGBTQIA+

Pride Counseling

  • Price: $60–$90 a week (billed every 4 weeks), $240–$360 a month, app free to download

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly younger folks, are disproportionately affected by mental health. This reality was made even more evident during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For instance, the Trevor Project revealed that as many as 59% of LGBTQ youth and 66% of trans and nonbinary youth reported depression symptoms during the pandemic, compared with 29% of straight/cisgender youth.

Because the LGBTQIA+ community tends to face mental health issues more frequently than most straight, cisgender folks, BetterHelp created Pride Counseling specifically to help the LGBTQIA+ community access therapy.

Pride Counseling is a subsidiary of BetterHelp. It’s an online therapy provider that matches clients with licensed therapists and provides unlimited messaging and live online therapies sessions. Its therapists specialize in the LGBTQIA+ community. It is accessible via website or app.

You’ll be matched with a therapist after an initial assessment but can switch to a different counselor at any point. Plus, you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Why we chose it

  • welcomes people from any gender, orientation, or identity
  • guarantees confidentiality and encrypts all messages between you and your therapist
  • therapists are licensed psychologists, therapists, or social workers

What we like

  • specialized care for the LGBTQIA+ community
  • various therapy formats, including messaging, phone, video, and chat
  • available in the United States and United Kingdom

What to look out for

  • doesn’t accept insurance
  • therapists can’t diagnose conditions or prescribe medication
  • therapist-matching rather than choosing a therapist
  • available to people 18 years or older

Best for teens

Teen Counseling

  • Price: $60–$90 a week (billed every 4 weeks), $240–$360 a month; app free to download

Although some online platforms like Talkspace offer services for teens, Teen Counseling is an online therapy provider specializing solely in teen counseling.

Like Pride Counseling, Teen Counseling is a subsidiary of BetterHelp. As with BetterHelp, clients can switch therapists or cancel their subscription at any time.

According to the Teen Counseling website, it has more than 11,000 licensed therapists trained in working with teens. What’s unique about Teen Counseling is that the therapist will have private sessions with the parents and the teen. Each session is private unless safety concerns arise.

Why we chose it

  • specializes exclusively in teen counseling
  • parents discuss child’s issues and situation with the therapist first, then must give approval before child is connected
  • child use an app on their telephone to communicate with the therapist

What we like

  • specialized service for teens ages 13–19 years
  • therapy formats include messaging, phone, video, and chat
  • possibility to switch therapists and cancel at any point
  • available in the United States and United Kingdom

What to look out for

  • therapist-matching rather than choosing a therapist
  • doesn’t accept insurance
  • parent or legal guardian has to sign up first and invite the teen
  • therapists can’t diagnose conditions or prescribe medication

Best for postpartum depression

Postpartum Support International

  • Price: Free

Postpartum Support International (PSI) offers a variety of services, all free of charge.

It’s an online educational platform to spread awareness about postpartum depression and to assist parents who are experiencing it. PSI works to support parents of any gender.

Although many think only mothers can experience postpartum depression, in reality, many fathers face postpartum depression as well.

The stats paint a clear picture. Approximately 10% to 15% of women experience postpartum depression after delivery, with 25% to 50% of these experiencing symptoms for more than 6 months. About 8% to 10% of men will experience some form of postpartum depression in the first 3 months as well.

Why we chose it

PSI offers a wide range of services for recent parents, including:

  • a helpline
  • online support groups
  • local support group information
  • peer mentor programs
  • online chat forums with postpartum experts

What we like

  • offers a variety of services, all free of charge
  • resources in English, Spanish, German, French, and Hebrew
  • offers helplines via phone or text in English and Spanish
  • advocates for legislation and research for perinatal mental health

What to look out for

  • not an online therapy platform
  • support group meeting times are listed in Pacific Time

Best for cognitive behavioral therapy

Online-Therapy.com

  • Price: $39.95–$79.95 a week

Online-Therapy.com offers three subscription packages. Plus, the first month is 20% off, and customers can change packages or cancel at any time. It does not have an app.

Online-Therapy.com is a more action-focused platform than other online therapy providers, such as BetterHelp or Talkspace.

For instance, Online-Therapy.com not only offers therapy sessions and messaging with a therapist, but also:

The focus of this platform is less on live therapy sessions and more on activities inspired by CBT. However, if you’re interested in 30-minute live sessions with a licensed therapist as well, you can choose one of the higher-tier packages that include this service.

Why we chose it

  • good CBT introduction
  • licensed therapist availability in paid version
  • offers variety of tools for learning and practice

What we like

  • resources in addition to therapy
  • allows for anonymity
  • subscriptions can be put on hold if needed

What to look out for

  • live therapy sessions only included in more expensive subscription packages
  • lowest tier package includes only daily therapist replies Monday through Friday
  • doesn’t accept insurance
  • therapist-matching rather than choosing a therapist
  • available to people 18 years or older

Best chatbot

Wysa

  • Price:
    • Free app
    • Premium versions range from $99 a year (or in-app intro $59 offer) for access to library of sleep stories, meditations, and therapeutic exercises; to $99 a week (intro in-app offer of $79), which gives you four live text sessions with a qualified therapist, unlimited messaging support at other times, and library access

Wysa is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot app that uses empathetic listening and CBT techniques to help you feel heard. It’s designed to help you talk things through, with a cute penguin bot who listens and asks the right questions to help you along.

Professional human support is also available in the premium version. Wysa keeps your communications encrypted and private, and you don’t have to use your real name or email address.

There is quite a lot of content in the free version, including unlimited chats with the bot and related materials that it refers you to.

Wysa learns from your input, so its responses are progressively tailored to you. Reviewers say they often use the app as a coping mechanism in between real-life therapy appointments. The most popular feature is the cute animated penguin who worms its way into even a skeptical heart to make you feel happier and not alone.

Why we chose it

  • available instantly 24/7 when your other mental health channels may not be available
  • can serve as a bridge between your regular therapy appointments
  • meditations, mindfulness tools, calming exercises, plus a personal therapist available in premium plans

What we like

  • no registration or login required, start chatting using a random username and no email
  • videos, articles, exercises, and mindfulness techniques suggested by bot for you
  • easily navigable interface

What to look out for

  • bot sometimes prone to loops and misunderstandings
  • not a substitute for depression therapy, best used as a support tool
  • designed for use by adults over age 18, or children over age 13 with parental supervision
  • not designed for use in a mental health crisis

Best for care with medical prescriptions

Lemonaid

  • Price: $95 a month for depression and anxiety services; otherwise, $25 consultation fee; app free to download

Lemonaid is a national telehealth service that prescribes medication for various health issues. After answering an online form on your health history and speaking directly with a medical professional, clients will receive a medical prescription and have their medication delivered in the mail.

Lemonaid typically charges a $25 consultation fee, which covers an evaluation by a doctor or nurse practitioner and a prescription. The cost of the medication itself is separate.

Once you receive your prescription, you can opt for delivery, which Lemonaid will provide for free, or you can choose to have your prescription sent to your local pharmacy.

However, depression and anxiety services are a fixed monthly fee that covers consultations and medicines prescribed and shipped through Lemonaid.

If you’re interested in receiving medical prescriptions without having to leave your home, Lemonaid could be a good option for you.

Why we chose it

  • offers consultations and medication you can access from your home
  • handles a variety of medical conditions, so they understand if you have coexisting conditions with your depression
  • fixed monthly fee for depression and anxiety services

What we like

  • mail-order pharmacy (delivery typically within 2–3 days in discreet packaging)
  • telehealth service with access to doctors and nurse practitioners
  • available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

What to look out for

  • not an online therapy platform
  • anxiety and depression service available to people between the ages of 25–60 years
  • consultation not covered by insurance
  • medication is billed in addition to your subscription plan

Best for insurance coverage

Cerebral

  • Price: three subscription plans (app free to download)
    • Medication and Care Counseling: $85/month
    • Therapy: $259/month
    • Medication and Therapy: $325/month

Cerebral is an online provider of care and medications exclusively for mental health conditions. It currently operates in 33 states and is expanding to others.

It offers video, phone, or text appointments and follow-ups with licensed medication providers and therapists. It also has care counselors who help you with behavioral health techniques and coping mechanisms. Services are available on its website and app.

It’s one of the few online care-and-medication providers that accept insurance. Most other providers require you to submit your claims to your healthcare professional. You can also do that with Cerebral if your healthcare professional is not in Cerebral’s network.

So far, Cerebral accepts only a few of the bigger healthcare professionals and is working to expand its network. One big advantage for older clients is that it accepts Medicare in some states. Hardly any other online providers accept Medicare.

Cerebral offers three subscription options (some available only in certain states). It treats various mental health conditions, including:

Why we chose it

  • accepts insurance, including Medicare and a handful of other healthcare providers
  • has its own mail-order pharmacy and delivers medications either to you or a local pharmacy
  • is designed for long-term treatment of a wide range of mental health conditions

What we like

  • uses licensed, trained professionals with graduate degrees from accredited institutions as prescribers and therapists
  • uses mindfulness, meditation, and breathing exercises in combination with a treatment and medication plan
  • provides prescriptions only after prescriber determines a need for medication, a diagnosis, and a treatment plan

What to look out for

Best podcast

The SelfWork Podcast

  • Price: free

This is a podcast by Dr. Margaret Rutherford, a psychologist in private practice for 25 years and author of the book “Perfectly Hidden Depression.” She highlights what she calls “hidden depression,” or hiding depression by high performance or perfectionism.

She invites you to email her or record a message on her website with any questions you have or situations you need help with. She says she reads every one! She then structures her podcast around messages she has received.

Why we chose it

  • discusses depression from unusual angles sometimes hidden from therapists
  • hosted by a trained psychological professional

What we like

  • host is available for personal interaction via comments, personal stories, and questions, and she answers
  • has 2 million downloads
  • features diverse voices and issues

What to look out for

  • focus is on hidden depression
  • covers a varied mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief

Best crisis hotline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 (TALK)

  • Price: Free

You don’t need to be considering suicide to call this hotline. Anyone in a mental crisis can call and get help. A trained counselor will answer (yes, a real person), listen to your issues, and get you connected with the help you need.

Alternatively, you can get help via the Lifeline Chat service. You’ll fill out a brief pre-chat survey and then you’ll be connected to a counselor.

The counselors on both the telephone and chat lines are available 24/7. Anyone who is experiencing depression, going through a hard time, just needs to talk, or is thinking about suicide can use this service. You’ll reach someone who is trained to help and support you through whatever difficulties you may be facing.

Why we chose it

  • always available for you when you’re in a crisis and don’t know where else to turn
  • has trained counselors who are immediately available
  • for anyone in emotional crisis, no need to be considering suicide

What we like

  • free and confidential
  • get immediate help right away, plus resources for later
  • available for people in crisis, as well as for people who need help on how to handle a situation with someone else
  • starting July 16 in the United States, a new three-digit dialing code will route callers to this hotline: Dial 988

What to look out for

  • intended for crisis counseling, not general online therapy
  • may be referred to another service that can better help you
  • may be a short delay while connecting when you first call

The 12 resources in this roundup offer a wide variety of services, platforms, insurance coverage, and cost. You can compare the various options in the table below and find which resource best suits your needs for online depression help.

ProviderBest forServicesPlatformsInsuranceCost
BetterHelpBest overall• therapy• website
• app
No• $60–$90 a week (billed every 4 weeks)
• $240–$360 a month
TalkspaceChatting• therapy
• psychiatry
• website
• app
• Yes, some health plans
• No: Medicaid or Medicare
• $230–396 a month
SanvelloCommunity• therapy
• self-care
• community support
• coaching
• website
• app
Yes, some health plans • various plans
• $8.99–$50 a month for self-care and coaching
• therapy costs $140 for initial appointment and $85 on average for follow-ups
Pride Counseling (subsidiary of BetterHelp)LGBTQIA+ community• therapy • website
• app
No, but they offer financial aid if you’re eligible• $60–$90 a week (billed every 4 weeks)
• $240–$360 a month
Teen Counseling (subsidiary of BetterHelp)Teens•therapy• website
• app
No• $60–$90 a week (billed every 4 weeks)
• $240–$360 a month
Postpartum Support InternationalPostpartum depression• educational platform
• help for parents with PPD
• website
• helpline
n/a• free
Online-Therapy.comCognitive behavioral therapy• CBT activities
• live therapy sessions in higher-priced plans
• websiteNo• $39.95–$79.95 a week
WysaChatbot• AI mental health chatbot
• CBT techniques
• commentary
• resources
• appNo, but it partners with some institutions that may offer financial help• Free app
• premium versions from $99 a year to $99 a week
• intro offers
• free 7-day trial for premium tiers
LemonaidMedication prescriptions• prescription service• website
• app
No, but some health plans will cover the prescriptions, which Lemonaid will then send to your local pharmacy• $95 a month for depression and anxiety services
• $25 consultation fee
CerebralInsurance acceptance• care
• prescription service
• website
• app
• Yes, some health plans and Medicare• plans ranging from $85–325/month
The SelfWork PodcastPodcast• podcast about depression
• focus on hidden depression
• podcastn/afree
National Suicide Prevention HotlineHotline• crisis hotline• phone
• chat
• text
n/afree

If you didn’t find what you were hoping for here, you could consider these tips on how to find the right online depression help for you:

  • Qualifications. If you’re looking for therapy, it’s important to make sure the caregivers involved are licensed and experienced professionals who provide the type of therapy you are looking for.
  • Privacy and security. It’s a good idea to check a site’s data-sharing policy. You want to be sure your sensitive information isn’t passed on to third parties.
  • Forums. If you seek help from an online forum, keep in mind that anyone can reply, including people who may not have the qualifications to offer medical advice. If you want to try something mentioned in a forum, it’s best to discuss it first with your treatment team.
  • Price. You may want to determine your budget before choosing a service. It’s also recommended to read the fine print before accepting any promos or offers.

Additional resources

If our list doesn’t match what you’re looking for, or if you’re looking for a therapist with a certain cultural background or specialization, consider these tools to find support:

How do I know if I have depression?

Depression is more than feeling down or having a few bad days. According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is characterized by long-term feelings of sadness that affect how you feel, think, and act. Often, you lose interest in activities you once enjoyed and find it difficult to function at work and at home.

Other symptoms of depression may include:

  • appetite changes
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • fatigue and decreased energy
  • difficulty making decisions or concentrating
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • thoughts of death or suicide

If you’d like to learn more about the symptoms of depression, consider reading our in-depth article.

How is depression treated?

Depression, no matter how severe it is or how long you have experienced it, can be treated. Treatment is most effective when started early.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is usually treated by medication, therapy, or a combination of both. Brain stimulation therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy are a further option.

If you’d like to learn more about the treatments for depression, consider reading our in-depth article.

There’s a range of options for getting help online for depression, no matter who you are. You could speak with a licensed therapist over video chat, phone, or text message, find self-guided therapy tools, AI-based therapy, online group therapy, and more.

Even within each of these categories, there are resources for specific demographics, such as teens, recent parents, and the LGBTQIA+ community.

The hardest part is often knowing how to find these resources and determining which one is best for you. The best advice is to simply begin.

Finding the right fit for online therapy sometimes takes time, so consider starting as soon as you can. It may feel intimidating, but these resources will help guide you through each step of the process.

Want to learn more about depression? Psych Central’s Let’s Talk About: Depression resource can help.