Many of us rely on apps to help us accomplish our daily goals and manage our lives. Another area where this technology can come in handy is managing and tracking mental health and wellness.
That's why Psych Central has highlighted some of our favorite mobile apps designed to improve mental well-being.
The apps on this list may not only be useful for your personal mental health toolkit (and for client referrals if you're a mental health professional), but they're also all free to download—making them good options if the budget is tight.
List of the best free mental health apps
If you want to go directly to the sections for each application, you can click on the links below.
- Best for self-care: Journy
- Best for beginners: Calm
- Best for reducing daily stress: Headspace
The criteria we chose
When searching for the best free mental health apps, we kept the following factors in mind:
- User reviews. We take into account what current users say about the app.
- Evaluation. Most of the apps on this list have a rating of 4 stars and above.
- Operating system. All apps are available for iOS and all but one are available for Android.
- Screening. All applications have been reviewed to ensure they meet Psych Central's medical, editorial, and business standards.
Our picks for the best free mental health apps
1. Journy: Best for self-care
A motivational app that helps you streamline your life by putting key calendar events, reminders, techniques and tips at your fingertips. The app also provides a mock daily planner to help organize your thoughts as you prepare for any event, big or small. This will help you keep a daily journal to improve your life step by step.
Everything Journy does is derived from our belief in the human desire to become the best version of oneself through self-improvement on the path to greatness as defined by the individual. A daily journal like this can help you achieve greatness. With this motivational app, we'll help ease your way by providing you with the best activities for planning your day with actions, reminders, techniques, self-care and tips gathered from the most effective leaders and people of our time. The information provided by Journy empowers you to take charge of your life through practiced discipline, responsibility, mental health, self-care and preparedness. The result is a life that plants the seeds of success and abundance of creative expression, well-being and positively shaping the lives of those around you, and improving social skills and mental health.
2. Calm: Best for beginners
Apple awarded Calm as "App of the Year" in 2017. The app aims to reduce anxiety, improve sleep and promote mindfulness.
People can access Calm on iOS, Android and desktop devices.
Calm provides meditation that focuses on sleep, relaxation and mindful movement. People can also choose from several master classes where mindfulness experts record audio programs.
The app provides meditation sessions that can help people de-stress, as well as breathing programs, music and nature sound to aid relaxation and promote better sleep.
Calm is suitable for both beginners and those who already use meditation. The app's meditation sessions range from 3 minutes to over an hour.
3. Headspace: Best for reducing daily stress
Headspace uses mindfulness and meditation to help people build relationships, reduce stress and promote restful sleep.
The app is available on iOS and Android devices.
Headspace offers meditation for work, creativity, body positivity and focus, among other things. This app is suitable for people who want to reduce their daily stress using mindfulness techniques.
At the time of publication, Headspace offers a 7 or 14-day free trial. After the trial period, the subscription costs $12.99 per month or $69.99 per year.