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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

10 Best Therapy Apps to Better Your Mental Health Anywhere

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10 Best Therapy Apps to Better Your Mental Health Anywhere

By 2020, a wide part of our population has gracefully accepted the fact that mental health should be given its due share of importance. Understanding psychology and working for its improvement has now become an essential part of our lives.

However, for many people, just the act of going for therapy sessions has become bothersome and they just want easier alternatives for it. With the everyday progress of modern technology, the best therapy apps are also now just a click away.

Whether you are traveling or at home, you can keep a check on your mental health with the best and most accessible therapy apps list that we have compiled for you.

Why You Should Trust Us

We have read through several reviews from trusted websites, such as VeryWellMind, GoodHouseKeeping, BuckEyeRecoveryNetwork, E-Counseling, and Shape to come up with the list of top-rated therapy apps to help your mental health.

Below are some of the best therapy apps that you can choose from.

1. Moodfit

moodfit therapy app screenshot

    Moodfit is an app available for iOS and Android that focuses on working out your mood. You can set specific daily goals, use various tools to boost your mood, and receive insights into what is lifting your mood and what’s dragging it down.

    This therapy aid can: 

    • Track your mood 
    • Provide reminders 
    • Help you understand how sleep and exercise affects you 
    • Assist with distorted thoughts
    • Practice gratitude
    • Provide breathing exercises
    • Offer mindful meditation
    • Track custom variables
    • Give a better understanding of mood-related medication

    It’s voted as one of the best therapy apps in 2020 and it makes sense why. It can provide a tremendous amount of insight.

    Get this app here!

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    2. Calm

    calm therapy app screenshot

      For those looking for therapy for anxiety, enter Calm. Calm is an app built on reducing stress, improving sleep, and overall enhancing your life. Calm provides a variety of options to choose from, each with their own specific goals in mind.

      The options you can choose between are:

      • Meditate – Teaches you to meditate and/or enter into a state of meditation
      • Sleep – Provides ways for you to get more restful sleep and wake up refreshed
      • Music – Aids in relaxing, sleeping, and focused
      • Body – Shows your methods on mindful movement and gentle stretches
      • Masterclass – Courses instructed by mindset experts to help you be more mindful
      • Scenes – Gives you nature scenes and sounds to help you relax and focus

      Get this app here!

      3. MoodMission

      moodmission therapy app screenshot

        Another solid therapy app is MoodMission. Unlike the other apps for therapy, MoodMission is based on evidence to help you overcome anxiety and depression. This app focuses more on therapy by allowing you to cope with these aspects.

        As the name implies, the app sends you on various missions for you to complete that will bring you closer to living a happier, healthier life. The missions will vary depending on what you are feeling and what you are telling the app how you feel.

        This app pushes online therapy to the next level as it’s more indirect relief and pushes you to take more action compared to the other apps that provide ample convenience. Depending on who you are as a person, these apps have different ups and downs.

        Get this app here!

        4. Talkspace

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          For those looking for therapy near me, this platform is but a few clicks and a phone call away. Talkspace is a community with thousands of therapists and over one million individuals to help you cope with anxiety and depression.

          The idea behind this app is that you’ll be matched up to one of the many therapists there who will provide you with one-on-one time for you to talk things out. Unlike the other apps around, this one is more actionable as you have someone guiding you along and helping you identify deeper aspects of yourself that other apps would struggle to find.

          Furthermore, this therapy app provides therapy notes. Your therapist also makes a point of checking on you once or twice per day. All that said, because of this focus, this app isn’t an online free therapy app you can use in that manner. So make sure that when getting this app, you are certain that this is the path for you.

          Get this app here!

          5. Larkr

            Similar to Talkspace, Larkr is another paid therapy app that provides ample resources to individuals. It’s a strong app in giving therapy for depression, among other things.

            It goes about its therapy by offering the same kind of services as Talkspace with some upgrades. For example, while there is still one-on-one talking, the app allows you to bring in multiple people into the video call. Similarly, this is also a therapy notes app.

            Larkr goes above and beyond in that it also provides daily meditation guidance, ways to improve emotional health, and a space for notes all for free.

            Get this app here!

            6. Sanvello

              Sanvello is all about creating a community and a place where you can escape to. It provides four ways to support individuals allowing users the flexibility of what kind of therapy they are looking for.

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              They provide care through:

              • Self-care – Sanvello provides resources and allows you to manage symptoms and self-diagnose.
              • Peer support –  Get strength from like-minded individuals and have an opportunity to share your perspective.
              • Coaching – Have a coach to help guide you through anything and cheer you on.
              • Therapy – Get assistance from a professional therapist. Whether you’re looking to jumpstart your personal growth or if you need someone more professional to help you out, they’re there.

              Because of the various methods that Sanvello provides, this is a Freemium app. In other words, this is a therapy app for free to use with the option to access more through a subscription.

              Get this app here!

              7. Betterhelp

                One of the best therapy apps to pick from is also Betterhelp. Like some of the previous apps, this is another therapy appointment app that matches you with a therapist. That said, depending on who needs the therapy, you’ll get a different therapist.

                It’s to be expected when there are over 10,000 therapists on the platform, but what I mean is that there are therapists who specialize in guiding adults, teens, and even couples.

                Plans vary between $40 and 70 each week, but you get unlimited access to your therapist for as long as you like.

                Get this app here!

                8. Headspace

                  Headspace is an app that’s built on providing support, and resources to those who need it most.

                  How it does this is through four things:

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                  • “The Wake Up” – An inspiring and positive story for you to read as you wake up. Some mini-meditations are bundled with it too.
                  • Move Mode – It provides a series of exercises to help you both body and mind.
                  • Sleep – It gives you the environment you need for better sleep or relaxation.
                  • Meditation – A way for you to manage your feelings and thoughts. 

                  For those looking for a therapy app free use, this is one of them. For those who are unemployed, Headspace provides a year of free Headspace Plus. The full price for the app is $70 per year (equates to $5.83 per month).

                  Get this app here!

                  9. Happify

                    Happify is a therapy app designed to help you overcome stress, challenges, and your negative thoughts all through evidence-based tactics. The app makes a point of breaking old habits by replacing them with better and stronger ones.

                    Even the advice that they offer is simple and not overwhelming despite the science behind Happify’s methods. Furthermore, the app allows you to track your happiness via a score. This score is first established by answering a few questions. From there, the app provides you with tasks that will make an impact on your mood over time. 

                    Get this app here!

                    10. Youper

                      The last of the best therapy apps to consider is Youper. This therapy app can be best described as a pocket AI therapist. As such, the focus on this app is on the messaging aspect. You talk with an AI program (called Youper) who learns about your particular needs over time and provides support for you.

                      This AI was developed by a team of doctors, scientists, and engineers and it works quite well. Overall, the app can help you focus, change your mood from leveraging quick and simple conversations, and provides you with a deeper understanding of your emotions – not bad for an AI program.

                      Get this app here!

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                      Final Thoughts

                      Regardless of the type of therapy you need, there is an app for that. Finding the best therapy app for you really comes down to knowing what kind of assistance you need. Which one do you gravitate towards the most? Go with that choice and see where it takes you.

                      More Tips for Improving Mental Health

                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

                      More by this author

                      Samantha Aloysius

                      Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology.

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                      Trending in Mental Wellness

                      1 Does Anxiety Make You Tired And Why? 2 Does Depression Make You Tired And How? 3 Overwhelmed at Work? 17 Ways to Manage Work Anxiety 4 Why Am I Depressed If My Life Is Fine? 5 How To Cope With Traumatic Events And Stress

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                      Published on October 15, 2021

                      Does Anxiety Make You Tired And Why?

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                      Does Anxiety Make You Tired And Why?

                      When you think of anxiety, several scenarios may come to mind: the endless tossing and turning of a restless night, dread over potential future events, pandemic-related overwhelm, or full-blown panic attacks. Even if you’re not diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you’ve likely experienced anxiety symptoms at some point in your life. In these situations, you might feel a queasiness in your stomach, racing heartbeat, excessive sweating, chest tightness, some tension in your jaw/neck/shoulders, or worrisome thoughts as you prepare for the worst possible scenario. But does anxiety also make you tired?

                      After experiencing these symptoms, you may indeed feel fatigued. The sensation could fall anywhere on the exhaustion spectrum, from feeling like you just ran a marathon and need to sleep for two days, to just a little worn down and wanting a quick nap to recover.

                      Below are 7 ways anxiety zaps your energy and how to restore it.

                      1. Stress Hormone Overload

                      Anxiety can make you tired via overloading your body with stress hormones. The “fight or flight” response is a key connection between anxiety and fatigue. In fact, this process is made up of three stages: Alarm, Resistance, and Exhaustion. Anxiety triggers our body systems to go into high alert. This is a natural, involuntary reaction that developed in the human brain for survival.

                      When humans lived with the real, imminent threat of being attacked by a predator, it made sense for our bodies to spring into action without much preparatory thought. Such dangers are rare in modern times, but our brains continue to respond in the same way they did thousands of years ago.

                      The hormones and chemicals that flood our bodies to prepare us for safety can both affect and be affected by several body systems, and this interaction itself contributes to exhaustion. Adrenaline and cortisol are the two most notable hormones to address here. First, adrenaline is sent out, tensing the muscles and increasing heart rate and blood pressure in preparation to run. Later in the stress response, cortisol is released, enhancing the brain’s use of glucose. This is one of our main fuel sources, so it’s no wonder this contributes to fatigue (see #2).

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                      You can regulate baseline levels of these stress hormones by regularly practicing yoga, breathwork, meditation, and/or engaging in aerobic exercise.[1] It’s easier to lean into these routines for relief during stress when you’ve already mastered using them during times when you feel calm.

                      2. Elevated Blood Sugar Levels

                      Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which is shown to be associated with anxiety in diabetic patients.[2] Many people who experience hyperglycemia report feeling tired all the time regardless of their quantity or quality of sleep, nutrition, or exercise.

                      Although this connection has shown more prevalent and prolonged effects in diabetics, it also occurs with nondiabetics exposed to psychiatric stress.[3] In fact, for all people, the natural stress response elevates blood pressure and heart rate as well as cortisol levels, all of which increase blood sugar levels.[4] This means that anxiety causes a double-hit of exhaustion related to blood sugar fluctuations.

                      Instead of reaching for comfort foods like chocolate during times of stress, take a calming walk around the block. Gentle movement alone is a great stress reliever that incidentally also helps to regulate blood sugars.[5]

                      3. Negative Mindset

                      Anxiety can also make you tired because of repetitive negative thinking (RNT), which is a common symptom of anxiety. RNT involves continuous thoughts via rumination (dwelling on sad or dark thoughts focused on the past) and worry (angst regarding the future). Some researchers argue that having a longtime habit of RNT can harm the brain’s capacity to think, reason, and form memories.[6] While the brain is busy using its energy stores to fuel negative thought patterns, the energy available for these other more productive endeavors is thereby reduced.

                      Negative thoughts can also disrupt or prevent healthy sleep patterns, keeping our minds racing at night and effectively wreaking havoc on daytime energy. (See #7)

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                      Reduce these patterns by reframing your feelings over anxious thoughts. Instead of staying stuck on “what if,” focus on what you can do in the here and now. What activity can you engage in for five minutes (or more) that brings you joy? What are you grateful for, no matter what’s going on around you?

                      4. Digestive Issues

                      It’s common for people to experience both intestinal and mental issues simultaneously. This suggests a strong connection between the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which is known as the gut-brain axis.[7] Simply put, what happens in our digestive tract (and as a result of what we eat) affects the brain and vice versa.

                      The gut microbiota is a complex population of GI tract microorganisms. When its balance is altered, the body can develop conditions that affect the gut-brain-endocrine relationship. The endocrine system produces and manages adrenaline, for starters. And the gut bacteria’s production of feel-good hormones (serotonin and dopamine—see #5) ties into this relationship as well.

                      GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors are also found in gut bacteria. GABA is a natural brain relaxant that makes us feel good by helping the body to unwind after a stress-induced neurotransmitter release (e.g., cortisol and adrenaline). When GABA activity is low, it leads to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and mood disorders. These are just a few of the manifestations that demonstrate how gut bacteria influences behavior. All of these contribute to feeling both physically and mentally tired.

                      You can minimize the symptoms of depression and anxiety by keeping your gut microbiota balanced with probiotic-rich fermented foods. Yogurt with live cultures, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, kimchi, miso soup, and tempeh are great foods to include in your diet.[8]

                      5. Depression

                      Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Research continues to indicate a complex relationship between depression and decreased serotonin—a key neurotransmitter for regulating mood and feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Anxiety is also a direct symptom of serotonin deficiency. Serotonin helps with healthy sleep, mood, and digestion.

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                      Serotonin is produced in the gut, almost exclusively, at an estimated 90 percent. However, a small quantity is also produced in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that is pivotal for transmitting energy balance signals. This small cone-shaped structure receives and relays signals transmitted via the vagus nerve from the gastrointestinal tract. It has a central role in mediating stress responses, regulating sleep, and establishing circadian rhythms. It senses and responds to a myriad of circulating hormones and nutrients, directly affecting our mood and energy.[9]

                      Dopamine is another mood-boosting neurochemical that is depleted in depression. It creates feelings of alertness and wakefulness and, when the body is operating normally, is released in higher amounts in the morning (allowing for daytime energy) and lower at night (preparing for healthy sleep). Stress is one factor that can deplete dopamine, thereby leading to depression, sleep disorders, and fatigue.

                      Studies show that dopamine levels in the brain can be elevated by increasing dietary intake of tyrosine and phenylalanine.[10] Both of these amino acids are naturally found in protein-rich foods like turkey, beef, eggs, dairy, soy, peas, lentils, and beans.

                      6. Breathing Problems

                      Breathlessness and anxiety are closely linked, and this is one of the ways anxiety can make you feel tired. Anxiety can lead to shallow breathing, which can cause shortness of breath while feeling breathless can exacerbate anxiety.[11] It’s a vicious cycle that often leads people to take rapid and shallow breaths, breathing into their upper chest and shoulders.

                      This type of breathing minimizes oxygen intake and usability. Despite comprising only two percent of the body, our brains consume 20 percent of the body’s oxygen supply. Oxygen is fuel for both mental and physical tasks. When breathing patterns compromise healthy oxygen levels, this can cause considerable fatigue.[12]

                      End the anxiety-fatigue cycle with focused breathing exercises. It’s important to practice this regularly while you’re not experiencing anxiety or stress, as this will help you to be prepared should a moment of breathless anxiety hit unexpectedly.

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                      There are several different styles of breathing exercises. There’s an easy one to try, called “Resonant Breathing.” Simply breathe in slowly through your nose as you count to five, then exhale for a count of five. Repeat this for a few minutes. It’s helpful to bring your awareness to any tension, deliberately relaxing your neck, shoulders, and jaw in particular.

                      7. Sleep Issues

                      Most of the elements we’ve already discussed inherently tie into sleep issues, which is often the reason why anxiety can make you feel tired. But it’s important to note that this is not always a directly linear cause-and-effect process. Much of it is cyclic. If we don’t get enough quality sleep, we increase our risk of excessive cortisol production, elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels, depressed mood and mindset disorders, and dysregulation of appetite/craving hormones that affect our digestive health.

                      Sleep is obviously the number one antidote to feeling tired as a result of anxiety. But at the same time, many of these elements—including anxiety itself—lead to less-than-restorative sleep. We can improve our energy levels by addressing each element discussed here, as well as taking a proactive approach to our sleep health.

                      One simple habit to help recalibrate your circadian rhythm for healthy sleep patterns is to get outside in the morning. Sunlight exposure in the early hours of the day regulates melatonin production, helping us to feel sleepy at night.

                      You Don’t Have to Live Your Life Anxious and Exhausted

                      Times of extreme stress, like driving in heavy traffic or nerve-wracking situations like public speaking, can easily induce an anxiety response. Even “normal” everyday stressors, like feeling overwhelmed with work and home responsibilities, can build up to anxious feelings over time.

                      Our bodies’ response to stress and anxiety affects many of its functions in complex ways. When we unravel the interconnections of these processes, we can see how each part plays an intrinsic role in contributing to fatigue. By addressing each element individually, we can make simple lifestyle changes that resolve anxiety and diminish the ways it makes us tired as a result.

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                      More Tips on Coping With Anxiety

                      Featured photo credit: Joice Kelly via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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