The Best Therapy Apps of 2024

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Updated on February 29, 2024

We may receive referral fees from providers listed below. See our full disclaimer.

As mental health awareness continues to spread, the demand for professional therapy services grows in parallel. While so many of us can benefit from therapy, the cost, availability of counselors and time required to engage in regular sessions can stand in the way. Fortunately, an increasing number of therapy apps are available for those that want to seek counseling that’s more affordable and convenient than traditional in-office sessions.

Therapy apps for mobile devices provide an affordable platform for clients to get matched with therapists via video, chat and audio features, without having to travel to meet in person. However, just because quitting a therapy app is as easy as selecting uninstall on your device, does not mean you should take the decision of which app to choose lightly.

Each therapy app comes with a number of different features and approaches to remote therapy, so it’s wise to do a little homework before choosing one. We researched the leading therapy apps and evaluated them based on their features, pricing, reputations, communication options, and the overall value they provide. Some of these apps you may already know, and some you likely have never heard of, see how they compare to one another.

2024’s Best Online Therapy Apps Compared

Talkspace

Editor’s Rating
Highlights
Price:
$69 to $129 per week
Mobile Apps:
iOS, Android
Session Types:
Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging
App Specs
  • Unlimited communication with your therapist
  • 4.7 Out of 5 User Rating on App Store
  • 4.2 Out 5 User Rating on Google Play Store
  • 500,000+ Android installs
  • App Size: 114.7 MB on iOS/ 25 MB on Android
  • Save $80 with Code: SPACE

Talkspace provides an intuitive and easy-to-use therapy app that connects users with thousands of therapists on its platform. Their counselors treat a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, addiction, and more. This allows them to serve a broad audience of customers. All of the therapists on the Talkspace platform are licensed professionals with over 3,000 hours of clinical experience.

Users of the app enjoy the ability to communicate with their therapists via messaging, video meetings, and audio calls. The app also includes therapeutic exercises and an online symptom tracker for you to use in conjunction with the work you do with your therapist.

The Talkspace app works on a subscription basis and starts at $69 per week for the messaging-only plan, going up to $109 for the package that includes unlimited messaging and 1 live video therapy session per week, lasting 30 minutes each, plus weekly live workshops. The plans are billed monthly.

While the therapists on this platform are highly experienced and fully credentialed, Talkspace does allow you to switch to a different one at any time, should you be dissatisfied.

Read our full Talkspace review.

Calmerry

Editor’s Rating
Highlights
Price:
$50 to $90 per week
Mobile Apps:
iOS, Android
Session Types:
Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging
App Specs
  • All therapists are licensed and experienced
  • Unlimited communication with your therapist
  • Uses banking-grade encryption
  • App Size: 57.8 MB on iOS/ 21 MB on Android
  • 30% off your 1st month with code: Ecounseling

The Calmerry app is among the easiest to use of all the therapy apps we tested. Users can navigate among the various session types and effortlessly engage with their therapist via video or chat.

The therapists are licensed and highly experienced in treating a wide variety of mental health issues. In addition, they are very generous with the time and attention they provide, which is among the most important aspects of any virtual therapy service.

When it comes to their cost, Calmerry is on par with most other therapy app subscriptions. Downloading the app for free, but using the therapy services requires that you sign up for one of their packages which range from $50 to $90 per week, subject to how many monthly video therapy sessions you wish to attend. If you prefer to engage in therapy mostly via chat messaging with your therapy, you will be on the lower end of the price scale.

The Calmerry therapy app as well as their online platform provide you with access to their mental health tools where you can do “homework” in between therapy sessions, under the guidance of your therapist.

Overall, the Calmerry therapy app is highly recommended for those looking to improve their mental health without the expense and time commitment of traditional, in-office therapy.

Read our full Calmerry review.

Hey Ritual

Editor’s Rating
Highlights
Price:
$25-$65 per week
Mobile Apps:
Hybrid App
Session Types:
Video via Zoom
App Specs
  • Specializes in relationship counseling
  • Most affordable packages
  • Live sessions conducted via Zoom
  • 14-Day money-back guarantee
  • Save 20% with promo: counseling20

The Hey Ritual relationship counseling app is easily the most affordable couples therapy option we found anywhere.

The licensed professional therapists on this platform provide session live video therapy sessions using the same formats and approaches you’d encounter with traditional, in-office providers.

The packages they offer range from $75 to $260 per month, depending on how many months’ worth of service you pay for in advance and whether you sign up with your partner or by yourself.

While Hey Ritual is one of the newer therapy apps, its focus on providing highly affordable relationship therapy has made it quickly stand out among the other leading providers.

Read our full Hey Ritual review.

BetterHelp

Editor’s Rating
Highlights
Price:
$80 to $90 per week
Mobile Apps:
iOS, Android
Session Types:
Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging
App Specs
  • Largest pool of therapists
  • Over 1 million Android installs
  • App Size: 25.4 MB on iOS/ 21 MB on Android

BetterHelp is among the leading teletherapy platforms in the world, with thousands of therapists available to connect and engage via video, phone, and chat-based sessions.

With the BetterHelp therapy app, you have access to thousands of licensed professionals that they screen based on experience and educational background. During the signup process, their matching system pairs users with therapists specializing in the areas most relevant to their individual needs.

Signing up for BetterHelp cost between $80 to $90 per week, billed monthly. However, their pricing and plans vary frequently. Some customers have reported that the costs are higher in some states where they have fewer available therapists, with the fees reaching over $100 per week. Plans include unlimited messaging therapy and weekly live sessions via video or audio calls.

While overall BetterHelp is known as a trusted therapy provider, their app has a less-than-stellar reputation; with frequent user complaints about the app freezing during usage and poor audio quality. However, if you encounter issues with their app, you can simply switch to using their platform via the web and enjoy all the same features.

Read our full BetterHelp review.

MDLive Counseling

Editor’s Rating
Highlights
Price:
$108 per session
Mobile Apps:
iOS, Android
Session Types:
Video, Phone
App Specs
  • Secure video and phone sessions available
  • 500,000+ Android installs
  • App Size: 72 MB on iOS/ 23 MB on Android

The therapy app provided by MDLive is among the better options available for those that prefer to engage in more live sessions, as opposed to having an ongoing dialogue with their therapist via text messaging.

They have all the features you need to hold an effective video session with your therapist, plus they provide access to psychiatric and medication prescription services.

Though they are covered by some insurance providers, the cost per session is on the high side. Therapy costs $108 per session, which typically lasts 45 to 60 minutes. Psychiatric sessions in which medical illnesses may be diagnosed and medication can be prescribed cost $284 per session, which typically lasts 15 to 20 minutes. Follow up visits cost $108.

MDLive has fewer therapists on their platform than some of the other leading providers, so you may have to wait a while for you appointments, depending on where you live. However, once you are scheduled for a session, you can rest assured that you are probably in good hands, especially since unlike most other providers, MDLive allows you to choose your therapist by browsing their directory.

Read our full MDLive Counseling review.

Teen Counseling

Editor’s Rating
Highlights
Price:
$60 to $90 per week
Mobile Apps:
iOS, Android
Session Types:
Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging
App Specs
  • Specializing in counseling teens
  • 100,000+ Android installs
  • App Size: 25.4 MB on iOS/ 21 MB on Android

Teen Counseling, another platform belonging to BetterHelp’s portfolio of therapy apps, caters specifically to teens (aged 13-19). This platform was designed as a space where teens can communicate freely with therapists in a private and comfortable environment. They are even able to invite their parents to join some sessions and involve them in the process.

Teen Counseling connects adolescents with licensed therapists to help them address issues including depression, anxiety, stress, self-esteem, bullying, anger, eating disorders, and more. They do not offer prescription medication services.

While sessions with teens are fully confidential, the therapists can alert parents if an intervention is required.

Therapy services on this app are billed via a subscription model. The cost is $240 to $360 per month. This includes a weekly live video or phone session that lasts 3o to 45 minutes and unlimited messaging with your therapist, subject to their availability.

Read our full Teen Counseling review.

How Effective are Therapy Apps?

The effectiveness of therapy is heavily influenced by the effort that you put into it. To make the most of your therapy sessions, it's essential to be willing to open up during your sessions, reflect on what you discuss afterward, and actively engage in the work assigned by your therapist. This may involve thought exercises, practicing new skills, keeping track of your thoughts and feelings, and making a conscious effort to adjust any negative thought patterns or behaviors that may be affecting your mental health.

When it comes to therapy apps, many of the same principles apply. Recent studies have shown that therapy sessions conducted via mobile apps can be just as effective as in-person sessions. This may come as no surprise since the vast majority of therapy apps provide users with access to licensed professional counselors and multiple communication features that make it possible to experience therapy in much the same way as you would if you were attending in-person sessions.

One of the key benefits of using therapy apps is the convenience they offer. By attending therapy sessions from home, you reduce the likelihood of scheduling conflicts and make it easier to maintain the consistency required for successful therapy. This is particularly important since it takes time and effort to work through your thoughts and emotions with your therapist, and missing a session can set back your progress.

To maximize the benefits of using therapy apps, it's essential to approach them with the same level of commitment as you would with in-person therapy. This means being open to sharing your thoughts and feelings, reflecting on what you discuss in your sessions, and actively engaging in any tasks or exercises that your therapist assigns. Ultimately, the success of your therapy sessions, whether in-person or via an app, will depend on the effort that you put into them.

Who Can Benefit From Using Therapy Apps?

For starters, not everyone necessarily needs therapy, though they may still benefit from it. However, tens of millions of people in the US alone do need therapy to deal with mental health issues. That said, therapy sessions conducted via mobile app can be great for people dealing with a variety of mental health issues, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Trauma
  • Low self-esteem
  • Family conflict
  • LGBTQ+ issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Anger management
  • Emotional abuse

These mental health concerns can be treated in virtual sessions that supplement or sometimes replace, in-office sessions, depending on the severity of symptoms, based on the guidance of the therapist. While therapy apps are more affordable and convenient than in-office therapy, some situations require the more traditional option.

  • Substance abuse: While there’s much to gain from supplementing in-person programs with online therapy, treatment of substance abuse should be conducted in person by an addiction counselor. The need for proactive follow-up by a counselor, as well as the ability to observe physical signs of substance abuse requires face time.

  • Eating disorders: Similar to substance abuse, the stakes with eating disorders are simply too high for therapy apps to be the sole method of treatment.

  • Serious psychiatric illnesses: Some serious psychiatric conditions can result in patients harming themselves or others. People dealing with these types of issues need a level of attention that cannot be provided via therapy app alone. In-person sessions with mental health professionals are required to more accurately identify the state of the patient by reading body language and making close connections more quickly.

  • The “technologically inept”: While most of these apps have been designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate, they do necessitate the ability to operate an app with audio and video features. Those who struggle to use Skype or Google Meet on their mobile devices will probably also struggle with most therapy apps.

Are Therapy Apps Easy to Use?

Though some of the therapy apps we tested were more user-friendly than others, they were all straightforward to use. The various apps differ in terms of the communication features they provide, with some of them, such as BetterHelp, offering all possible options (chat, text, voice, or video calls). The communication features offered by the providers we reviewed include any or all of the following:

  • Video Therapy: These sessions best mimic the experience of sitting face-to-face with a therapist in their office. They operate much the same way a video call would via FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, or Google Meet. Not all therapy apps offer this feature, though the ones that made the top of our list certainly do.

  • Voice/Phone Therapy: Some apps include the ability to have audio sessions over the Internet using VoIP (Voice Over IP) technology. These types of sessions can be great for when users want to attend live sessions without having to get dressed.

  • Chat Therapy: These types of sessions take place over live chat. There are times when users prefer to communicate without the audio and visual cues inherent in phone and video sessions. They can also take the pressure off of having to come up with immediate responses as with other forms of live sessions, as “dead air” over chat tends to be less awkward.

  • Text Therapy: Most therapy apps provide virtual chat rooms in which you communicate with your counselor by leaving private messages whenever you need to, and they respond when they are available. These rooms function like an ongoing conversation that users can engage in between their live sessions. You can read previous messages as well as helpful guidance materials sent by the therapists.

Which Therapy App Should You Choose?​

Before choosing which therapy app to download, you need to decide what exactly you expect to gain from the app. For example, if you’re generally happy but need professional help working through some issues, your needs will be different than if you’re trying to cope with depression or PTSD. Also, if this is the only step you are taking to better your mental health, your needs may be different than if, for example, you also have in-person visits with another therapist, regularly practice meditation, or generally incorporate reflection and self-care into your day-to-day life. Once you assess your situation, you can come to an understanding of what exactly you are trying to achieve by using a therapy app.

Your goals from use of the app should determine the specific features or attributes you’ll need. For example, if you plan to use the app for dealing with depression, you should probably consider an app with video capabilities, such as Talkspace, since your sessions will likely be intense and will benefit from you and your therapist being able to see each other’s faces.

There are also some other specific attributes you should consider before selecting an app. These attributes are detailed for each therapy app in our reviews.

  • Usability: Some therapy apps are easier to use than others. If you’re a tech-savvy user, you should not expect to run into issues with any of the apps listed above. If however, you’re a little behind the curve in this area, you may want to stick with one of the providers that’s exceptionally user-friendly, such as any of the apps listed at the top of our list.

  • Pricing: You can expect a subscription to a therapy app to cost approximately $50-$100 per week. While some claim to be free, after downloading them you will quickly discover that they actually cost money once their free trial expires, or that they do not provide therapy at all, but rather access to unlicensed volunteers or digital content. While we all need to be budget-conscious, it’s worth keeping in mind that the cost of one of these subscriptions is far less than in-office therapy and will do a lot more for your overall health and happiness than many of the other luxuries or non-essential expenses to which you treat yourself.

  • Device Accessibility: Another thing to consider is the fact that not all devices support every therapy app. Depending on whether you’re using an iPhone, an Android, or some other mobile device type, you should double-check to see if the app that you’re interested in is supported by the mobile device that you’re using. The good news though, is that the apps listed above all work with the major operating systems.

Our Evaluation Process

  • Scheduling: Coordinating a session time with two partners and a therapist can be difficult for most busy people, often resulting in lateness, cancellation, and postponement. The ability to meet from anywhere, at any time makes it much simpler to find a time that works for everyone.

  • A More Relaxed Environment: For some, the cold, sterile feel of a therapist’s office makes it difficult to open up about the most sensitive topics in their lives. Online therapy, however, allows them to attend sessions from spaces where they feel more at ease to open up, which can be far more effective.

  • Consistency​: When it comes to counseling, consistency is key and that’s exactly what you get with online counseling services. When for some reason, a couple is unable to attend a therapy session with an in-person counselor, they often cannot make up the session due to scheduling conflicts. With online therapy, there’s much more flexibility to re-schedule since there’s no need to find a babysitter, leave work early, or commute to the therapist’s office. Sessions can take place during your lunch break at work, from your home late at night, or pretty much anytime throughout the day that you and your therapist can find a window of time to speak.

  • Effectiveness​: The ability to engage in an ongoing conversation with the therapist via the private message board allows the couple to have “vent” sessions in real-time as issues come up, and receive feedback and guidance from the therapist before the next live session.

The Bottom Line on Therapy Apps

Downloading an app isn’t such a big deal. Most people have over 20 mobile apps installed on their devices. However, engaging in therapy is not something to take lightly. And just as you’d do some research before selecting an in-office therapist, you should take your time in deciding which therapy app you should choose. The providers are not the same, and our research has repeatedly reinforced that outlook. There’s so much to gain from subscribing to a therapy app, as many users have provided us with feedback about how it’s changed their lives for the better, but it’s worth investing a little time, thought, and energy into selecting the one that best suits your needs.