6 Apps for Anxiety and Mental Health

May 29, 2018 • Shannon Flynn


From crowded subway trains to stressful work tasks, the world is full of things and activities that can make it an anxiety-inducing place. Fortunately, there are many apps for anxiety and other mental health struggles.

Statistics indicate that approximately three-quarters of Americans own smartphones. Also, one in five adults in the U.S. experience mental illness.

Those statistics collectively demonstrate that if there are worthy apps for anxiety and other types of mental ill health, there is a gigantic market for them. Let’s look at some worth downloading.

1. Headspace

Many people know about the benefits of meditation associated with better mental health, but they feel too intimidated about getting started with it. If you can relate, Headspace is one of the apps for anxiety that aims to equip you with tools you can use for the rest of your life.

It presents the foundational principles of meditation to you in small segments that won’t intimidate you — even as a complete beginner. The Basics pack lives up to its name by introducing you the must-know concepts of meditation through a ten-day course.

(Free for iOS and Android, with available in-app purchases ranging from $12.99-$399.99 for subscription plans)

2. Stress Check

There may be times when you want to determine how well an anxiety-reducing exercise works or know if you’re getting better keeping anxiety to a minimum in situations that typically cause stress.

The appropriately named Stress Check app tells you that by using features on your smartphone to measure your heart rate and give you a percentage-based stress score. Then, if you find your stress levels are too high, the app has built-in exercises to help restore calmness.

(Free for iOS and Android. In-app purchases are available, but the costs are only shown to users who perform specific actions.)

3. Breathe2Relax

Deep breathing is one of the most natural things you can do to keep anxiety at bay. However, because most of us don’t engage in it without conscious reminders, we often forget to do it when our nerves are frayed. Breathe2Relax is app initially developed for military personnel that trains you to do the diaphragmatic breathing through breaths that come up from your belly.

The app shows you peaceful imagery and coaches you precisely how many seconds to inhale or exhale for best results. It won’t be long before you’re able to breathe that way whenever life has you on edge.

There is also a feature that allows you to indicate your current stress level. The app can measure your heart rate, too — like Stress Check — letting you see how the breathing exercises help.

(Free for iOS and Android)

4. What’sUp?

This is a multi-purpose app that offers numerous components to help you achieve better mental health. For example, there’s a mood rater with a history feature, so that you can see how your feelings change over time. There’s a way to ask confidential questions and get answers from mental health professionals, too.

If you aren’t currently receiving mental health care and would like to start seeing someone, the directory in the app can help you find a provider in your area. There’s even a feature that gives advice if it seems someone you know is going through mental health struggles and you’re not sure what to do.

(Free for iOS and Android)

5. Moodpath

Maybe you’re going through a difficult time in life and feeling concerned because this slump has lasted longer or feels more severe than others. Knowing that something’s not quite right is the first step to knowing you need help.

Moodpath facilitates the often-tough process of getting connected with a mental health expert. You start by taking a quiz for assessment purposes, then track your mood for two weeks.

Next, you’ll get an e-letter to bring to a mental health provider in your area — which includes the results of your assessment. That document should make it less intimidating to take that necessary step while also letting that professional know you’ve been tuned into your feelings.

Moodpath is not a replacement for seeing a professional, but it’s an excellent accompaniment. There are hundreds of exercises to try, and all of them could help you get in a better state of mind.

(Free for iOS and Android with an available annual pass for $61.99)

6. Pacifica

This app combines cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness meditation to help people manage ailments like anxiety and depression. It encourages you to monitor your mood and suggests strategies to reshape negative thoughts.

By using the peer support community, you can weigh in about your struggles, give advise others and more. The app measures your progress, which should strengthen your perspective when times get hard.

(Free for iOS and Android with available subscriptions ranging from $8.99-$199.99)

Mental Health Strategies in Your Pocket

Life can get stressful and wreck your mental health. However, these apps give you tools to keep it under control and make psychological stability your new norm.