Therapy, Meditation, and Mental Health Apps
Kids aren’t the only ones finding it difficult to cope with the uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis. If you’re feeling especially anxious or stressed, try downloading a therapy, meditation or mental health app. Many resources are offering discounts due to the current circumstances.
Psst…exercise is a great form of anxiety and stress relief! Check out Live Stream and Online Exercise Classes for New York Parents During Coronavirus Outbreak.
TalkSpace matches individuals with certified therapists online. Once you’ve completed a small survey and are introduced to the therapist who’s right for you, you’ll have access to text, video, and audio messaging for five days of the week. Compared to in-person appointments, TalkSpace offers support that is flexible and hassle-free. The Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus Package is $260 per month, and plans increase in price when they include live 30-minute sessions. Right now, TalkSpace is offering a special COVID-19 stress and anxiety management program to its subscribers, and new subscribers can get $65 off their purchase with the code APPLY65.
BetterHelp provides online counseling services with over 7,000 trained, experienced, and accredited counselors. After completing a short questionnaire, you’ll be matched with your therapist and receive unlimited private one-on-one communication, messaging, phone and video, including scheduled live sessions. The subscriptions range from $40 to $70 per week (approx. $160 to $280 per month).
LARKR offers its users on-demand mental health support exclusively through live video therapy. After answering a few simple questions, you’ll be given the chance to choose the therapist who fits you best. LARKR doesn’t provide any subscription options; instead, they keep things simple by offering a flat rate of $85 per 50-minute video session. You’re free to schedule as few or as many as you like. The app also offers guided audio meditations and a mood journaling platform free of charge.
7 Cups, an anxiety and stress chat service, provides users the ability to chat with a trained volunteer at any time of the day or night anonymously and free of charge. You have the option of selecting a new trained volunteer listener every time you want to chat or developing a deeper relationship with just one listener. Included in the free app are 300 mindfulness exercises. 7 Cups also offers an upgraded option for $12.99 per month.
iPrevail offers free and anonymous stress and depression support. You can use the app to chat privately with trained peer counselors at any hour, learn mindfulness strategies and join peer communities for support and connection. iPrevail programs provide interactive lessons, behavioral tools and progress tracking for improving your mental well-being. The app also offers a premium upgrade for $9.99 per month.
MDLive Therapy will set you up with a clinically-certified counselor or psychiatrist depending on your specific needs. A video or phone session with a counselor costs $99 per session, and an initial visit with a psychiatrist will cost $259. Although MDLive Therapy is a more expensive resource than many of the other options we’ve listed, it is unique in that it could allow your insurance plan to cover part of the cost of your sessions.
Headspace offers hundreds of guided meditations, the topics of which range from managing stress and anxiety to improving sleep, productivity, and exercise habits. The app provides users with a new meditation delivered to their phone every day, two-minute mini-meditations, “SOS” sessions for moments of panic, a wealth of stories and soundscapes to help you fall asleep and more fun features. Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars on the app store, Headspace has already helped thousands track and improve their mental health. Headspace is currently offering free support during the coronavirus crisis, after which membership pricing will range from $7.99 to $12.99 per month. On Monday, Headspace announced its collaboration with Governor Cuomo to provide New York-specific resources on its new “New York State of Mind” website.
Balance, a personalized audio meditation app, will consider your meditation experience, goals and challenges before using their library of thousands of audio files to make a custom meditation just for you. The more you use the app, the more personalized and effective your meditations will become. Balance also offers progress tracking, 10-day meditation plans and bite-sized single meditations for those small moments of stress throughout your day. Right now, Balance is offering an entire free year of service due to coronavirus. A subscription would usually cost $49.99 per year.
Simple Habit, a mindfulness and meditation app, reminds us that “just 5-minutes of mindfulness and meditation per day can improve your life through stress relief and improved sleep.” The app provides meditation sessions, progress trackers, coaching content, and motivational talks. Simple Habit is currently offering free premium memberships until the end of the month to all who are financially impacted by this difficult time and can no longer afford to pay. To access a membership, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain your current circumstances. Memberships are otherwise $11.99 per month or $89.99 per year.
Ten Percent Happier Meditation provides users with over 500 guided meditations on topics like anxiety, parenting, and focus, ensuring that you can find exactly the right meditation for any moment. New content is released weekly, with features like bite-sized stories for inspiration on-the-go and specialized sleep selections. Ten Percent Happier offers a 7-day free trial, after which the subscription costs $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year. In light of the current situation, Ten Percent Happier is providing a free, live guided meditation every weekday on their website and free subscriptions to any healthcare workers. Also, make sure to check out their website’s free Coronavirus Sanity Guide for more great support!
Calm, a free meditation app for beginning, intermediate, and advanced users, features a range of 3 to 25-minute guided meditations that focus on themes like calming anxiety, managing stress, deep sleep, concentration and more. Calm also offers Sleep Stories to lull you to bed, narrated by famous voices like Matthew McConaughey and Bob Ross. To keep users motivated, Calm provides a 7-day program, a 21-day program and a daily streak feature. Calm’s upgraded app costs $14.99 per month or $69.99 per year. During the coronavirus crisis, Calm’s blog is providing these resources, meditations, and live streams for free.
Breathe+ is a free breath trainer with an elegant and easy-to-understand interface. The app provides guided breathing sessions that range from 1 to 60 minutes and allow you to visualize your breathing as a component of daily relaxation and meditation. The app also allows you to hold yourself accountable through tracking your usage history with an assortment of graphs, time trackers and streaks.
Every day, over 80 new guided meditations are added to the free Insight Timer app, great for beginners and experienced meditators alike. Guided meditations are organized by length and popular topics like deep sleep, anxiety and concentration. On Insight Timer, you have the option of following your favorite teachers and utilizing a library of thousands of ambient sound and music tracks.
Mental Health Apps
Sanvello, a stress and anxiety app, boasts over 3 million users. The app offers a toolkit of clinically-validated strategies that provide on-demand help for stress and anxiety. These tools, based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, include a daily mood-tracking platform, guided mental health improvement journeys and forums for community support. During the coronavirus crisis, Sanvello is offering free premium access to all users. Under normal circumstances, premium access costs $8.99 per month or $53.99 per year.
Happify, a free mental health improvement app and website, offers easy and effective science-based activities, games and guided meditations to form helpful new habits and positive-thinking skills. Happify encourages its users to find their “happiness score” by answering a few short questions, choose a personalized “happiness track” created by experts and track their progress as they overcome negative thinking and anxiety. As a response to coronavirus, Happify is offering specially-tailored content on their app and free, weekly yoga Live Streams on the Happify Facebook page. If you choose to upgrade to Happify Plus, the subscriptions cost $14.99 per month or $139.99 per year.
SuperBetter is a free and fun mental health app backed by science; its motto is “Live Gamefully.” The app encourages users to bring the same mindset and strengths naturally displayed when playing games to their real-life mental health journeys. SuperBetter helps users adopt new habits, learn or improve skills, strengthen relationships and overcome anxiety and stress. Watch founder Jane McGonigal’s inspiring Ted Talk! Currently, the SuperBetter team is developing two new social-distancing-themed Power Packs in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
MoodFit, a free mental health app, provides a range of tools to help users process and track their mental health patterns. These tools include a daily goal tracker, which helps users find out how their habits impact their mood, as well as a mood journal, which allows users to process any distorted negative thinking. MoodFit’s techniques, based on cognitive behavioral therapy, help stop negative thinking in its tracks.
What’s Up? uses cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance commitment therapy methods to work toward improving your mental health. The What’s Up toolkit includes positive and negative habit trackers, a catastrophe scale to keep things in perspective, simple breathing techniques and a comprehensive mood diary to start you on the path to overcoming stress and anxiety in daily life. You can download the app for free.
MoodPath, designed to guide you toward mental well-being, allows users to take a mental health assessment, reflect on their moods and take a break from overwhelming emotions. The free app’s intelligent mood tracker and journal will help you better understand your mood patterns and anxiety triggers. After downloading MoodPath, you will also be able to access a large library of exercises based on cognitive behavioral therapy, which will help you learn more about the psychology behind your moods.