Everyone — or nearly everyone — can benefit from therapy. Whether you’re working through daily stress or a past trauma, speaking regularly with a therapist provides a healthy outlet for whatever life is throwing your way.
But therapy is often not affordable, with the average cost of a single hour-long session ranging from $100 to $250. This expense is hardly sustainable for many people, but prioritizing mental health remains extremely important.
To fill the void, mental health apps are on the rise. Even if you don’t have health insurance, mental health apps are accessible, affordable and protect your privacy, enabling you to speak with a qualified mental health professional — all from your smartphone or smart device.
5 Mental Health Apps to Connect With a Therapist
BetterHelp is a medically backed mental health app that was founded in 2013 and now has more than 2 million clients.
BetterHelp offers users access to hundreds of accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers and board-licensed mental health professionals. BetterHelp works closely with clients to pair them with a mental health professional most closely aligned to the user’s needs, though you can change counselors for free at any time. This app provides a wide variety of care for situations like couples therapy, and mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, PTSD and more.
One of the goals of this mental health app is remove the financial barrier for those seeking services. BetterHelp’s therapy sessions range from $60 to $80 per week, making it much more affordable than traditional therapy.
With more than 1 million users, TalkSpace has refined and improved traditional therapy. Users take a brief assessment on TalkSpace’s website, then select a therapist and choose an appointment. Similar to BetterHelp, TalkSpace allows you to switch counselors at any time for no added cost. According to TalkSpace’s website, 98% of users found employing virtual therapy to be more convenient for managing their stress and anxiety than in-person counseling.
Similar to other mental health apps, TalkSpace offers couples therapy, general mental health therapy and other wellness-related services. The platform also provides psychiatry (which involves prescriptions for medication) and teen-specific therapy.
This wellness app has tiered pricing depending on a client’s needs and ranges from approximately $260 per month to $396 per month.
Cerebral combines talk-therapy with the option to pursue medication for mental wellness as well.
While Cerebral is similar to other mental health apps, it offers users the options of pursuing solely therapy, medication or combining the two for a treatment team consisting of a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Cerebral helps to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and more.
This service grants patients weekly video chats with their care team, unlimited texting with feedback in 24 hours, and, like the other mental health apps mentioned, the ability to switch providers for any reason with no penalty fees.
Treatment options with a mental health professional start as low as $25 per week.
Brightside is on a mission to change the way the United States does therapy. Unlike other mental health apps, Brightside makes it a priority to help you not only receive high-quality psychological care, but to make sure you are able to track and measure your progress as well.
This wellness platform also provides both therapy and psychiatric (medication) resources. Patients can have one-on-one video chats with their counselor whenever needed, and those in distress can reach out to an immediate support line at any time. Brightside says that all its care providers follow best practice guidelines based on proven methods in fields like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
For someone looking to receive therapy or therapy and psychiatric counseling, Brightside starts at $199 per month.
Couples therapy can be a great way to resolve relationship issues or simply get to know your partner better. But just like other forms of therapy, it can be expensive.
Regain is unique in the field of mental health apps because it focuses specifically on helping partners sort through relationship challenges. Founded in 2016, Regain is focused on providing stellar care through licensed psychologists, marriage and family counselors, social workers and psychotherapists.
Similar to the other mental health apps listed here, Regain has potential patients fill out a brief survey about their struggles, goals and lifestyles before pairing couples with a counselor. Clients are given the opportunity to connect via video chat once a week with their therapist, as well as unlimited texting and audio messaging.
Couples therapy through Regain ranges from $60 to $90 per month and can be cancelled at any time.
Kristin Jenny is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.