Mental health issues affect millions of people every day, at every level of society. For those already seeing a therapist, or are afraid to seek help due to the stigmas surrounding mental health, there is now another way to receive extra support without leaving the comfort of your home. By providing virtual assistance for depression, anxiety, or a range of other conditions, specially-made apps for Android and iOS can offer help no matter what your schedule, while also preserving your anonymity. We’ve taken a look at some of the best depression apps on the market, and given our reviews of each one below.
When considering the options available, it is important to remember that any effort towards self-improvement is always a positive step. With the apps described here, even a simple download and trial period can lead to a genuinely worthwhile outcome. Using software specifically designed to deliver gentle emotional support, these apps can help you cope with depression and anxiety – letting you turn your screen time into a real and lasting benefit to your mental wellbeing.
Youper is a free application which includes a mood tracker and chat box. Its algorithm relies on current research regarding the body’s neural system, as well as artificial intelligence for improving overall mental health and wellbeing. Through these resources, the app uses your personal information to create and deliver support that is specifically tailored for you.
Youper reminds you to concentrate on your breathing, helping you stay calm and under control. Its mood tracker is useful and practical as well, as it lets you monitor your mental health progress while using the app.
Distinctive Feature: Tailored support based on your personal information.
With over 20 million downloads, Calm became one of the most popular mental health apps by helping users sleep, relax, and meditate to increase their overall wellbeing. Calm’s easy interface and comforting features helped it win Apple’s 2017 App of the Year award.
Calm uses soft music, a breathing control programme, and sounds of nature to help you meditate in peace. The app is perfect for taking a 10-minute break from your regular day – and those looking for more advanced meditation sessions can set the timer to suit any schedule.
Many users find that the Calm app has everything they need to help them meditate and manage their anxiety during the day.
Distinctive Feature: User-friendly interface and comforting app features.
Cost: A seven-day trial is free, but a regular Calm subscription costs $12.99/month, $59.99/year, or $299.99 for a lifetime subscription.
7 Cups is quite different from most other anxiety or depression apps. Instead of providing advice from an AI, or certified psychiatrists or psychologists, users can talk directly to a community of experienced volunteers who dedicate themselves to helping others feel better.
Any information you provided to 7 Cups’ volunteers will be kept secret. The volunteers are specially trained through over 40 courses, and must be tested before they can participate in real conversations with members. This preparation time lets them develop listening and analytical skills, which can be a great help in providing emotional comfort. 7 Cups is the perfect app for people who need the kind of little push forward that a meaningful human connection can provide.
Distinctive Feature: Users receive advice from real people instead of AI.
Woebot is an artificial intelligence-based chat programme which uses insights from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to act as a useful personal companion. The app also offers quizzes and videos which can help users learn how to deal with their struggles. Woebot is designed to feel like you are talking with real human therapist, and is available and responsive 24 hours a day. Although Woebot is a piece of software, it is surprisingly effective in creating interactions that make users feel happier and more relieved.
For example, Woebot will ask you how you are doing today – and if your reply is somewhat negative, Woebot will answer appropriately and talk to you based on a current understanding of therapy research. Woebot gives users someone to talk to and rely on in a fun way, and the fact that it is a chat box makes Woebot easier to access than many of the best depression apps for mobile devices.
Woebot can help you stay on track with your therapy, but its intention is not to replace the insights that a real therapist can give. One drawback of Woebot is that sometimes the conversations begin to get repetitive. However, if you are nervous to talk to real people, this kind of application might be the right choice for you.
Distinctive Feature: An easy-to-use, AI-based chat programme that is available 24/7.
Wysa is another artificial intelligence-based virtual chat box. This one takes the form of a cute penguin who will give you advice and be your companion when you’d like to have someone to talk to. Wysa is a good listener, and keeps your private information confidential and encrypted.
The app uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy skills to perform activities similar to Woebot, but its user-friendly interface and cute mascot make this application more accessible.
Wysa creates personalized tools and activities based on each user’s data, and also provides activities that have their basis in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Distinctive Feature: Ability to “activate coach” and chat anonymously.
Cost: Free, with a real-life coach function costing $29.99.
Ginger provides comprehensive support for users experiencing various kinds of mental issues. The app offers content related to self-care, along with an interactive component. The latter feature includes chat with a support coach, and a video call session with a therapist. As one of the very best depression apps, however, Ginger’s services don’t come cheap.
Ginger’s support team is always on call to provide help if you feel stressed or depressed. Its qualified professionals can help you develop the best ways to solve your problems – although if you are not ready to talk to someone, the virtual chat box may be able to help you find the answer to your problem.
All information given to Ginger is kept completely confidential, as the app is protected by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
Distinctive Feature: A complete support network, featuring live experts to talk to.
Cost: The subscription plans cost $129, $249, and $349, depending on how much access you want.
Each of the above apps was selected for this list for its compatibility across platforms (iOS, Android), its continuous improvements and software updates, and its quality of service. The right app can offer valuable support for those who need it, but it is important to note that many conditions require a more intensive level of help than even the best mobile app for depression can provide. If you believe you may need inpatient or outpatient treatment from a qualified therapist, please consult with a professional treatment centre today.