We've previously brought you some of the best fitness and food tracking apps for your Android device, but we felt it was important to address one last element of your overall health profile: your brain. For being such a crucial element of our survival, who we are, and so on, it's surprising that many of us neglect its health.
So these are the best mental health apps for Android. Oh, and when you're done here, be sure to check out our best Android apps roundup!
What are the best mental health apps for Android?
Approaching this roundup, we took an app or two from different facets of mental health so that you can find exactly what you need. Though far less so than, say, food tracking, there are still quite a few mental health apps in the Play Store to sift through. We've gone through a bunch to uncover these, and we found that they were suitable for a variety of mental health needs.
Starting off our top three is Calm, a very well-known meditation app. It's well-designed, and it fits perfectly within the theme of this roundup.
Second is What's Up, a simple yet effective general mental health app. It's got a ton of features like grounding and breathing techniques, positive and negative habit tracking, and more.
Finally, we have Moodpath, which specializes in helping you understand your anxiety, depression, and stress levels.
Calm is widely regarded as the best mediation app out there, even more so than its direct competitor Headspace. To discuss Calm, you need to understand that this app offers a ton of different guided meditation services. You choose the duration that best suits your needs.
There are programs for relaxation, better sleep, de-stressing, calming anxiety, mindfulness, self-esteem, and a whole bunch more. All are welcome in Calm, from beginners like me who have trouble sitting still for longer than a minute to more advanced users.
You can choose from different sounds and scenes to augment your meditation, yoga, or attempts to fall asleep. It's really an impressive app and one that I have found useful in the past. Calm has something for everyone.
2. What's Up
What's Up is a general mental health app that borrows techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT). That is, it's meant to help you cope with depression, anxiety, stress, anger problems, and panic attacks. It includes a habit tracker to reinforce good habits and cut out bad ones, a diary for symptom tracking, a game of 100 questions to keep you grounded, breathing techniques, and a whole lot more.
Comprehensive in its nature, What's Up is a really great starting point for anyone looking to step outside of themselves for a bit to gain a new perspective on things. Whether you've just been diagnosed with something or you've been battling it for years, What's Up is an awesome companion to have with you for the journey.
The app itself is free, but if you want to donate, you can do so via an in-app purchase. You also unlock additional themes for doing so.
Moodpath is a mood tracking app for people without diagnosed mood disorders (e.g., bipolar, etc.). It asks simple questions to get a gauge of your physical and mental wellbeing, then compiles your answers into bi-weekly reports. These reports can then be shared with the mental health professionals in your life.
Tracking is the name of the game here, including journaling. This allows you to get a great yet quick glance at your mood states for each day, meaning that you can look back on what happened or where you were to get a glimpse at potential triggers, coping mechanisms, and so on.
Another neat feature is that Moodpath integrates the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) methodology to give you exercises to counter negative thoughts and emotions that seem to be just overwhelming. You can also take advantage of other features like stress management.
Other great options
The top three are admittedly more generalized, so a lot of people can find something they need in them. However, that doesn't mean that the others below are any less important. Rather, they may be more specialized to a particular facet of mental health.
Suicide is a serious problem, and so we're a big fan of things that do their best to prevent it. Teenagers developed notOK for fellow teens facing the dark shroud of suicidal thoughts and ideation. Fortunately, adults can get the same benefits from it, too. The app functions as a panic alarm system, alerting your close contacts that you aree, in fact, not okay. You are able to set up to five people as your support network from within the app.
The app then texts a message to them, saying that you're not okay and need help (in the form of a visit, a text, or a call). It also sends your GPS coordinates so that your support network can find you easier. It's a very basic app, which you can support via in-app purchases. It's basically just a red panic button, but simple apps are sometimes all that's needed to save a life.
MoodMission is unique in the mood-tracking space in that it offers you different missions based on how you're feeling for the day. Whether you're dealing with stress, anxiety, or depressive symptoms, MoodMission's goal is to help you manage those issues, and the missions themselves tackle different things.
These missions are meant to improve your emotional wellbeing or your skills. So you might be assigned breathing exercises or push-ups (as best as you can), tools that help distract you and help you cope with what's going on. Before you're assigned a mission, you'll need to identify your mood and the severity of it.
Once you complete a mission, you'll be asked to re-rate your emotional state. The obvious end goal is to feel better after accomplishing something than you did before setting out. The one thing to note is that MoodMission will ask you to complete a few surveys before you get into the app proper.
NOCD, as you might have guessed, is meant for people suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Often misunderstood by the general public, OCD can be debilitating in some cases. This app was designed by people who suffer from the disorder in tandem with experts who treat it. NOCD pairs you with a licensed OCD therapist. Using this face-to-face teletherapy in combination with Exposure Response Prevention techniques, the app offers you the means to create a customized treatment plan for your disorder.
However, between sessions, you have access to other OCD therapy tools, including community resources. Bear in mind that NOCD isn't meant to replace your other treatments; however, it can augment what you're doing to lessen the severity of your symptoms. NOCD works with different insurance companies in the US and claims to have affordable options for those paying out-of-pocket that you can discuss when you book your first call.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a severe ailment for those who have experienced trauma of some kind. While we most commonly hear about it in regards to combat veterans and abuse and sexual assault victims, it can happen to anyone. And that's where PTSD Coach comes in, an app that can help you figure out if: a) you need to see a therapist about the possibility of PTSD, and b) manage your symptoms and improve over time.
PTSD Coach offers a self-assessment based on 20 questions that ask about common PTSD symptoms. Depending on how you answer, the app will give you a score and offer advice on how to proceed. From then on, it encourages you to retake the assessment once a month to get a gauge for how you're improving. The app also offers other tools, such as soothing pictures and sounds to calm you down, including things you add yourself. You also can reach out to support contacts from directly within the app if you're having trouble.
Bipolar Disorder affects a surprising number of people. It usually comes in two forms, with a couple of derivatives, and presents a severe problem. Like with many mental health disorders, BD is seriously misunderstood. It creates many complications, and while treatment can be difficult, eMoods is an app designed especially for people with BD.
On its surface, eMoods is a simple mood tracking app where the data stays local to your device unless you expressly export it. It lets you track the severity of mania, depression, irritability, and anxiety symptoms. You can also tell it if you had any psychotic symptoms that day, whether in your manic or depressive state. From there, you can get a bird's eye calendar view for your analysis, or export a monthly report to send to your psychiatrist and/or therapist.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, is a derivative of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, meant for those suffering from substance abuse or personality disorders, suicidal ideation, and so on. While less common than CBT, there are therapists out there who specialize in this practice. If you're looking to get a headstart, then check out DBT Coach.
Through the teaching of skills and techniques, DBT Coach hopes to improve your mindfulness. You'll be learning different lessons, completing exercises similar to DBT worksheets, and performing meditations. It's quite a robust app if we're honest. There are even discussion groups for you to talk to others who are also going through DBT!
Rounding out our list is Youper. This emotional therapy app utilizes the power of AI to help you deal with stress, anxiety, or the feeling of being emotionally overwhelmed. It incorporates elements from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and mindfulness to help you get motivated, deal with what's bothering you, or improve your self-esteem.
For a lot of people, one conversation is all they need. Youper's AI figures out what you need most (based on your responses) and provides it to you. For me, it had me go through mindfulness exercises to deal with some negative emotions. Youper is, at its core, a chatbot developed to help you be your best emotional self.