the top five best mental health apps

If we already have our phones glued to our hands, why not put them toward bettering our mental health?

Rarely does the correlation receive the spotlight, opting instead for all the negative consequences for social media and technology. Our phones aren’t only amazing tools for communication, but they’re also keys to unlocking a multitude of ways to treat yourself well.


Specifically, mental health apps are convenient ways to always have support. Admittedly, they aren’t necessarily end-all replacements for resources like in-person treatment and medication, but they’re great supplements. Even better is if they guide you toward independent exploration and self-care practices. They can act as an olive branch to seeking help and potentially saving lives.

The top five best mental health apps on this list represent major categories of mental wellness. Features like an online community with like-minded individuals, meditation, mindfulness, and more are all on the table. Some are tailored toward specific mental illnesses, but others are all-inclusive, even if you aren’t currently struggling.

Without further ado, in no particular order, let’s take a look at the top five best mental health apps.

1. pacifica

Pacifica is an app that tackles anxiety, depression, and stress all in one go with various tools to help calm your mind little by little, day by day. The foundation of this app is rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation to help shape thoughts to help you control your emotions better. It’s one of my top five best mental health apps because there’s so much included, it’s a one-stop shop for all things mental wellness.

The main features of Pacifica include guided meditation exercises, daily challenges to help you reach new goals, and general mood and health tracking. Choose what you want to keep track of each day, and tailor the app to your unique needs.

There are many different ways to personalize your experience based on what goals are most important to you. This app is made with the understanding that simple and consistent support can help build positive habits. There are many good ways the app will remind you to keep growing, offering suggestions based on your goals and habits.

It’s a great one-stop shop for a lot of important personal mental health resources, and it’s certainly one of the most popular mental health apps available right now. The app is even being used in schools and clinics to help patients, so the science behind this app is solid. The community of people connected in the app’s virtual support groups are really encouraging and heartwarming, too. All its features are free, so 10/10 would recommend checking this bad boy out.

2. rise up + recover

Of all the top five mental health apps, this one is the most fine-tuned for eating disorder recovery. This is one I personally used throughout my eating disorder treatment, so I can especially attest to its effectiveness.

Rise Up + Recover is an app created by the minds of Recovery Warriors. (I’ve published a piece with them, so if you haven’t read that already, 10/10 would recommend.)

This app is one of the most recommended ones from eating disorder therapists (and made the cut of my top five mental health apps) because it addresses your eating disorder from a multi-faceted perspective. You’re given tools for journaling your moods and meals. Can’t think of how to describe your emotions? It gives you descriptors to help you decipher the muddle in your mind.

In combination with other support mechanisms, the Rise Up app will make your efforts more effective and easier to incorporate in your busy schedule. Chart in your food and emotions in the app and print them off for your next appointment. Easy as that.

3. calm

Another one of my top five best mental health apps is Calm. It’s a popular and highly rated on for a reason.

The app focuses on meditation and sleep to improve well-being. It’s an incredibly popular app with a lot of impressive features. Most importantly, it keeps updating with new meditations and other support so your experience never gets dull or repetitive.

Not only are there 100+ meditations already available which target everything from anxiety to gratitude, there are also Sleep Stories and music tracks exclusive to the app designed to calm you down when all else fails. If you have any hesitation about the resources’ quality, just listen to Stephen Fry read a bedtime story here.

The only downside to this app is that after the 7-day free trial, the app costs $59.99 a year. Hoofta. Again, the cost is based on the quality of the resources, so if relaxation is something that’s always out of your reach, this app is worth the investment.

4. stigma

If you want to be able to track your mood every day and easily reach out to people who can help you manage your mood better, then you’re in luck. That’s exactly what Stigma does and why it makes my list of top five best mental health apps. The real goal of Stigma is to create “[a] place where no one feels socially isolated, and where people dealing with mental health issues do not face a stigma.” What’s better than that?

The support network in the app includes pen pals to message every once and a while, as well as support groups for certain interests. Every day, you can write a journal entry and track your mood in an easy-to-read calendar. There’s also a word cloud option that tracks what words you’re using most often.

The only downside to this app right now is that it’s only available for Apple devices, but you can sign up to learn more about the Android version here.

5. operation reach out

Looking to save some lives? Keep this app in your pocket, and you’ll be well equipped to do just that.

Operation Reach Out is your way of connecting family, friends, and anyone to help when they have suicidal thoughts. It’s designed to encourage you, as the name implies, to reach out. The app has a personalized help center for users to establish their own support contact team.

This app is unique by providing activities to help depressed people stay connected to one another. Also, there’s a video library that discusses ways to ensure you or a loved one gets necessary help. Given it’s one of my top five best mental health apps, it comes highly rated. Originally created by Military Community Awareness, you know the challenge they’re setting for themselves is a big one.

There are many more mental health apps available for iPhone and Android that could have easily made the cut. I see a significant shift toward these wellness resources over traditional, expensive therapy options. Everyone deserves to have access to quality healthcare, for all aspects of health. These top five best mental health apps are a great place to start.

What mental health apps do you use and love? Please share them in the comments so everyone and I can try them out.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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