Top 8 Best Online Therapy Services & Apps Worth Trying

online therapy

While vital to overcoming mental obstacles and pursuing a healthier and happier life overall, the traditional therapy model isn’t for everyone.

Scheduling costly therapy sessions across town (or even the next town over) and dealing with potentially uncomfortable encounters is not an altogether appealing prospect, but what are the alternatives?

You’ve probably heard or read about online therapy in recent years, and its ever-increasing popularity.

Convenient and affordable, online therapy matches fully licensed and certified therapists with patients, with additional features that go above and beyond what a brick-and-mortar establishment typically offers.

While many online therapy platforms follow the standard procedures (minus the face-to-face component) other online therapy services take a completely new and unique approach to mental wellness.

Community support, instructional forums, daily tips and exercises, and even 24/7 availability are just some of the features boasted by today’s alternative online therapy services.

If you’re looking to explore your options but aren’t quite sure what to commit to, here are 8 of the most popular online therapy apps offering a slightly different approach to mental health:

1. 7 Cups of Tea

Whether you’re looking for a certified therapist or simply someone to talk to, 7 Cups offers a unique model that allows you to choose the best approach in the moment.

Users have the option of chatting with a trained volunteer or “active listener” through the 7 Cups website and mobile app, or selecting a counselor from the platform’s listing.

To help familiarize yourself, every counselor has a post describing their life experiences and outlook, counseling qualifications, and personal trivia.

If you’re not ready to commit to a counselor, you can join one of the many open chat forums or guided discussions.

While there is a fee for working with one of the site’s therapists, all other services are absolutely free.

2. Talkspace

Sometimes you need to talk to someone right away, and can’t wait to schedule an appointment. Talkspace understands that the state of one’s mental health is often at the mercy of split-second triggers; in other words, a panic attack or depressive spiral can happen at any time, on or off the clock.

The Talkspace app, accessible on your phone, computer, or tablet, allows you to speak to your appointed therapist (selected for you at the time of signup) day or night, with no preemptive scheduling ahead of time.

While this may seem like a costly service, Talkspace boasts some of the most affordable therapy rates among its competitors, with unlimited chat therapy plans starting at $32 a week.

3. Basis

For those who are looking for an in-between option that’s not quite traditional therapy but not yet the full holistic yoga/meditation route, Basis might just be the online therapy app for you.

Upon signing up, users can schedule 45-minute chat sessions with a trained specialist via phone or video; while not licensed in the medical field, all specialists are fully trained through a comprehensive program created by former Stanford psychologists.

Sessions are a flat $35 each, and best of all you don’t have to pre schedule, as there’s always someone available to talk with, no matter how last minute.

4. Sanvello

Formerly Pacifica, Sanvello has evolved even further in the online therapy sphere. Applying the methods and principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, Sanvello acts as a do-it-yourself guide towards better mental wellness.

Featuring audio lessons, exercises, and relaxation techniques, Sanvello also offers personalized mood and overall health tracking.

And just so users know they’re never alone, Sanvello allows you to engage with a peer support community, where you can swap advice and stories, and help each other along.

Sanvello’s services are completely free.

5. SuperBetter

Taking a lighter approach to mental health, SuperBetter is less about heavy therapy and more about getting right with your brain through games.

This free app presents its users with various challenges designed to strengthen mental resilience and maintain motivation and optimism, no matter how high the stakes.

According to a study conducted through the University of Pennsylvania, 30 days of using SuperBetter can dramatically improve the user’s anxiety and depression, as well as self-confidence.

6. Calm

Not exactly a therapy site, Calm acts as a meditation app for every state of mind, such as anxiety, depression, low energy, inability to focus, and low self esteem. There’s even a meditation for when you experience bouts of insomnia.

Users are guided every step of the way through each meditative exercise, and can even access an “Emergency Calm” meditation for moments of extreme and unexpected stress. ($59.99/year)

7. What’s Up (App for iOS)

By tracking your moods through patterns of behavior, What’s Up helps you reassess your reactions and their root causes, providing you with alternatives through proven Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) techniques.

Users can additionally access peer forums, helpful guides, and special exercises, all free of cost.

8. Anxiety Reliever (App for iOS)

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults a year – roughly 18.1% of the population.

While highly manageable, anxiety often goes untreated, which makes the Anxiety Reliever app a must-have.

Anxiety Reliever helps you target your triggers and track your thoughts so you can break harmful patterns once and for all.

There are also audio sessions, daily tips, and even personal messages from Anxiety Reliever staff members just to see how you’re doing.

While the app is free, there are in-app purchases to consider.


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