Mental health apps can be effective tools that make therapy more accessible, efficient, and portable.

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To select an app, read the reviews below by ADAA members. These volunteer reviewers are mental health professionals with degrees in psychology, medicine, social work, and counseling; they are not involved in the development or marketing of mobile apps.

App developers: Interested in marketing opportunities? Contact us.

Ratings key

Ease of Use How is it to use this app?   

1 = very difficult — 5 = very easy

Effectiveness How likely will the content provide the tools or methods to accomplish its purpose?    

1 = highly unlikely — 5 = highly likely

Personalization What is its ability to personalize individual needs?        

1 = no ability — 5 = complete ability        

Interactive/Feedback How interactive is the app in giving feedback?

1 = not interactive, no feedback — 5 = very interactive, helpful feedback    

Research Evidence Does scientific research demonstrate its effectiveness?

1 = no research evidence — 5 = ample research evidence

 

This app will help individuals with depression, anxiety disorders, anger management issues, etc. The skills taught include self-monitoring, identifying and changing unhealthy thought patterns, and engaging in mood-enhancing activities.

It does a terrific job at making some of the general concepts of CBT available for people to work on by themselves or with the aid of a therapist. It would not be helpful to those with moderate to severe depression.

Audience: Teens, parents, adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Under $4.99, no subscriber fee
Rating

Ease of Use = 5
Effectiveness = 4 (Education, Self-Monitoring)
Personalize = 5
Interactive/Feedback = 3
Research Evidence = 1

Designed for individuals with PTSD, specifically those working with a therapist using prolonged exposure (PE) treatment. The skills taught include education about the treatment, and common reactions to trauma, and breathing retraining.

Not useful as a self-help treatment for PTSD; to get the most out of it, individuals should be in therapy.

Audience: Teens, parents, adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Free
Rating

Ease of Use = 4
Effectiveness = 4 (Education, Self-Monitoring, Treatment)
Personalize = 3
Interactive/Feedback = 2
Research Evidence = 1

For individuals with chronic worry, anticipatory anxiety, and GAD, this app provides simple self-monitoring and documenting of worry within a pre-fixed menu, as well as a graphical tool that charts the worry entries by various factors. It also prompts the user to think about whether the he or she believes the actual worry was as bad as what actually happened.

This app was created based on the personal experience of a longtime sufferer of GAD. It is not meant to replace traditional therapy such as CBT, but can be used to supplement it. It is not suited for those who have difficulty interpreting graphical representations of information. It would be helpful to have a tutorial to highlight the features of the app and how to use it. It does a terrific job of displaying evidence of the intensity, frequency, and duration of cognitive distortions.

Audience: Teens, parents, adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Under $4.99, no subscriber fee
Rating

Ease of Use = 3
Effectiveness = 3 (Education, Self-Monitoring)
Personalize = 2
Interactive/Feedback = 2.6
Research Evidence = 1.6

Targeted to help adolescents, teens, and young adults gain insight into and basic skills to manage their symptoms of anxiety disorders, including GAD, social anxiety, specific phobias, and panic attacks. It’s also useful for managing worry, performance anxiety, test anxiety, and perfectionism. The skills taught may be applied to individuals with physical, emotional, cognitive, or behavioral manifestations of anxiety, providing users with more helpful, balanced ways of thinking about feared situations.

It does a terrific job of readily offering lists of active coping strategies tailored to the type of anxiety and a variety of methods to manage anxiety; the information and strategies are simple and clear. "Chill out" tools such as breathing exercises, mental imagery, and mindfulness strategies are provided in text and audio format. "Quick Tips" are included to assist with anxiety in the moment. Users can "favorite" the methods that work for them.  It is not helpful for people looking to track their symptoms and progress, those easily overwhelmed by many choices, or those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Audience: Teens, parents, adults, men, women
Price: Free
Rating

Ease of Use = 3.6
Effectiveness = 3.3 (Education, Screening, Self-Monitoring, Treatment)
Personalize = 3.6
Interactive/Feedback = 2.6
Research Evidence = 1.3

Helps individuals track their emotional states and how they change over time for personal insight and accurate reporting to a mental health professional. The skills taught may be applied to individuals with depression, anxiety, stress, trauma-related feelings, any other self-identified emotional states, as well as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), chronic pain; customizable for sleep and other issues.

A graphing feature allows visual feedback for long time periods. Few to no interaction or "coaching tips”; links are not useful.

Audience: Teens, parents, adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Free
Rating

Ease of Use = 4   
Effectiveness = 3.5 (Self-Monitoring)  
Personalization = 4.5
Interactive/Feedback = 2.5
Research Evidence = 1

A simple, intuitive, and attractive mobile app designed by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology to teach breathing techniques to manage stress. The skills taught may be applied to those with anxiety disorders, stress, and PTSD.

This app can be personalized to a pace that the user finds relaxing; includes a video demo, reading materials, and charts to map personal progress. Helpful for self-starters or those working with a therapist to include breathing techniques in their overall treatment.

Audience: Teens, parents, adults, men, women, veteran
Price: Free
Rating

Ease of Use = 5
Effectiveness = 4 (Education, Self-Monitoring)
Personalize = 5
Interactive/Feedback = 4
Research Evidence = 4

Your M3 score is a number to help you and your doctor understand if you have a treatable mood disorder. You can monitor your score to see how your mental health is changing over time. This app is targeted to help individuals rate various symptoms of mood disorders to determine the impact it may have on their functioning. This app may help those with major depression, bipolar, anxiety disorders and PTSD quickly determine if they need to speak to their primary care physician about a possible mental health condition that needs treatment.

Audience: Adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Free
Rating

Ease of Use = 5 
Effectiveness = 3 (Screening) 
Personalization = 1  
Interactive/Feedback = 1 
Research Evidence = 5

An app to help you understand what causes your anxiety, monitor your anxious thoughts and behavior over time, and manage them through self-help exercises and private reflection. The app is targeted to older teens and adults with anxiety disorders. The skills taught may help those with good insight and self-awareness.

Audience: Teens, adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Free
Rating

Ease of Use = 3
Effectiveness = 3 (Education, Self-Monitoring, Treatment)
Personalization = 3
Interactive/Feedback = 2

Targeted to help those with anxiety and mood disorders and stress, this app teaches deep breathing, behavioral exercises, excises and identifying cognitive distortions (negative thinking patterns), and learning how to replace them with positive thinking patterns. It’s also good for those experiencing bouts of anxiety between treatment sessions. The app does a terrific job of personalizing one’s cause of anxiety using voice recordings, and introducing CBT and reinforcing exercises between therapist appointments. This app is designed to be used in conjunction with therapy, not as a substitute for professional treatment.

Audience: Teens, adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Free
Rating

Ease of Use = 4.6
Effectiveness = 3.6 (Education, Self-Monitoring, Treatment)
Personalization = 5
Interactive/Feedback = 4
Research Evidence = 1.6

Targeted to anyone who wants to learn meditation to reduce anxiety and stress and improve their attention and awareness; good for a beginner to establish a regular meditative routine. The skills taught include mindfulness and cognitive diffusion, breathing exercises, meditation practice, tips for increased relaxation, concentration; may be applied to anxiety and depressive disorders, PTSD, and OCD, especially in conjunction with a health provider.

This app does a terrific job of describing basic concepts with a creative animated interface, presenting meditation in a user-friendly way with clear instructions; creating an online forum; supplying podcasts; normalizing mind-wandering; and illustrating main points with videos.

This app is not intended as a treatment substitute for those with serious anxiety and related disorders or depression.

Audience: Teens, adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Free for first 10 sessions only
Rating

Ease of Use = 4.75
Effectiveness = 4 (Education, Self-Monitoring, Treatment)
Personalization = 2.5
Interactive/Feedback = 2.25
Research Evidence = 3

One of two self-help apps from the National Center for PTSD, this app is targeted to help individuals suffering from PTSD, as well as those simply interested in learning more about this disorder. The skills taught may be applied to individuals with mild to moderate versions of PTSD and for whom self-guided assessment and treatment might be sufficient. It is not recommended for PTSD sufferers who require one-to-one treatment, high-frequency direct clinical interface, or for those who have difficulty make safe decisions.

It does a terrific job of education, assessing PTSD, and offering easy to understand tips to manage common PTSD symptoms, and finding additional treatment resources with providers via a search function.

Audience: Teens, parents, adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Free
Rating

Ease of Use = 4 
Effectiveness = 5 (Education, Screening,Self-Monitoring, Treatment)
Personalization = 4
Interactive/Feedback = 4
Research Evidence = 4

This is targeted at individuals with PTSD who are in active treatment with a trained CPT (cognitive processing therapy) therapist. Designed to be used by the patient in concert with CPT treatment, this app offers a great deal of education about PTSD symptoms and a step-by-step, session-by-session approach to following the assessments that correspond with each of week of CPT treatment. The variety of possible prompts and reminders, from scheduling appointments to reminders for homework, add an additional layer of important structure and predictability often required with treatments for PTSD.

Audience: Teens, parents, adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Free
Rating

Ease of Use = 4
Effectiveness = 5 (Education, Self-Monitoring, Treatment)
Personalization = 4
Interactive/Feedback = 4
Research Evidence = 4

This app is targeted to help individuals with panic disorder access easy-to-use, empirically supported coping tools to better manage and move through panic attacks.

The free version includes access to progressive muscle relaxation of the arm skill, while the upgrade allows access to the rest of the skills, including square breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.

Audience: Teens, parents, adults, men, women, veterans
Price: Free version and $0.99 for upgraded version
Rating

Ease of Use = 5
Effectiveness = 5
Personalization = 3.3
Interactive/Feedback = 1
Research Evidence = 3.3

A free app using CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) and ACT (acceptance commitment therapy) methods. The stated goal is to “help you cope with depression, anxiety, anger, stress and more…”
It has several useful features (e.g. negative thinking patterns, diary, habit tracker, catastrophe scale, etc.)
The main weakness is that the app may have too many features and very little that is structurally ordered, which may confuse and disorient a person in acute need. It leaves much room for improvement.

Audience: Adults with anxiety
Price: free
Rating

Ease of Use = 4
Effectiveness = 3 (when used with a therapist)
Personalization  = 3
Interactive/Feedback = 2
Research Evidence = 1
Room for Improvement = 2

Designed for CBT treatment of OCD with different sections for children and adults. It includes standard and user-designed exposures, ERP (exposure response prevention) exercises; a cognitive toolkit, and ERP reminder, and an ERP guide with custom and standard ERPs.

Another strength is the support of both direct and loop tape exposure (via microphone). The ERP module is almost entirely behavioral, without using possibly useful cognitive tools. Duration of ERP exercises is determined by time but not by decrease in anxiety levels.

Audience: Adults and youth with OCD
Price: Free
Rating

Ease of Use = 4 (Requires reading the very extensive manual.)
Effectiveness = 3 when used with a therapist
Personalization = 5

Interactive/Feedback = 4

Research Evidence = 1

Room for Improvement = 3