We’re living in challenging times. Due to the COVID-19 health crisis people are falling ill and passing away all over the world. The economy has certainly seen better days and our healthcare system is overwhelmed by the influx of patients needing critical care. Many of us are having to take in this bad news socially isolated inside of our homes, cut off from communal gatherings that provide comfort as well as distraction. There are many unknowns at the moment — including when a cure for this disease will develop, when the social distancing restrictions will lift, how fast the economy will recover and whether our favorite small businesses will survive. All of this unknown can create excess worry, stress, anxiety, sadness as well as a host of other emotions. It’s always important to take care of ourselves and fill up our own cups so we can give to others, and now it seems to be more critical than ever before to make this a priority.
Even though going to a therapist’s office might not be in the cards right now, there are still plenty of ways to take care of your mental health online. Therapy apps have popped up in the last few years in order to make therapy and a whole host of mental health services more available and accessible to people financially and otherwise. These are our favorite therapy apps that are worth checking out for checking in on yourself during this time and beyond. Build a healthy habit of making your headspace a priority.
BEST FOR QUICK CHECK-INS
Even though the Woebot is not technically a therapist, he’s very helpful when it comes to daily check-ins and consistent cognitive beheavioral therapy that you can self-direct when you want or need it.
We actually wrote an entire article on Woebot, but to give you a taste — Woebot is a DIY behavioral therapy app developed by Stanford researchers with the hopes of making it more accessible to more people. Talk therapy isn’t for everyone — some people just need a brief check-in during the day to gauge how they’re doing and react accordingly. If this sounds like you, check out Woebot. He’ll ask you a few questions every day and refer you to their extensive library of resources for helpful exercises, mantras, etc.
TalkSpace has thousands of licensed therapists that you can access for sessions on any device via text, voice, live video and photos. They start with an assessment, find a suitable plan for you and then match you with a therapist who you can meet with at any time. Their room is always open — so you can set aside a certain time each day to meet with them or write them at any point when the mood strikes you.
Plans with TalkSpace start at $65/week and they even have specific programs for teens, couples, individuals with anxiety and more. With every plan you have unlimited messaging and video conferencing so it fits a variety of needs and is flexible enough to fit any schedule.
TalkSpace has a 4.2 star rating on the app store with over 10,000 reviews. Try it out — it’s talk therapy reimagined for the modern, busy individual.
Betterhelp has more than 4,000 licensed therapists in their network who have helped more than one million people on their platform get help through live talk therapy. The therapists on the app range from psychologists to family therapists and have a broad range of expertise. You take an assessment and get matched with a therapist after about 24 hours. You are encouraged to request a new therapist if you don’t mesh with the one you’re initially matched with, and they are available in a designated chat room once or twice a day for exchanging messages. You can also schedule real-time live chats with them that are the most similar option to in-person talk therapy.
The first month on Betterhelp costs $65 a week, after the first month the cost ranges from $30 to $80 per week depending on your plan. They also offer a seven-day trial period for new users.
They offer numerous different ways to connect with your therapist including over the phone, and the interface is simple and easy to use. Download and start your Betterhelp free trial here.
BEST FOR COUPLES
If you’re in a relationship, you know how much effort it takes to make it work. This work is not bad, it actually shows that you’re both engaged in making the relationship the best it can be. Sometimes, this work requires collaboration with another person in the form of counseling.
There doesn’t need to be anything wrong to go to counseling. On the other hand, if something is wrong and you can’t seem to figure it out yourselves — counseling is a great option. If you want flexible, virtual counseling that works for both of your schedules — Regain is a great option.
The licensed therapists on their platform specialize in couples’ counseling work and are available via any device connected to the internet, for as many messages and sessions a week as you want. You can join as an individual seeking relationship help or as a couple on the same subscription plan. Plans start at $40-$70 per week, billed monthly. Learn more and sign up for Regain here.
5. Pride Counseling
BEST FOR LGBTQ COUNSELING
Pride Counseling is for those in the LGBTQ community seeking affordable, accessible, flexible mental health counseling that’s specific to their needs and individual experiences. Their professional counselors specialize in issues that people in the LGBTQ community might come in contact with including sexual trauma, family conflicts, religion, self-esteem and relationships.
All of their licensed therapists are also specialized in the LGBTQ community in general as well. You can communicate with your matched counselor via secure, discrete messages, live therapy chat, talking on the phone or video conferencing.
The plans range from $40 to $70 a week, billed monthly, and you can cancel your membership at any time for any reason. Learn more and sign up for Pride Counseling here.
BEST FOR YOUR INITIAL CONSULTATION
If you’ve never heard of Amwell, you should definitely check it out. It’s a virtual healthcare app that includes general doctor visits, women’s health and mental health services as well. Their mobile app offers access to a whole host of healthcare professionals available at any time, 365 days a year.
You can view a list of therapists and choose based on photos and bios before your session. You’re billed per visit and the cost can range from $59 to $99 per session, with the potential for reductions with insurance.
After your initial visit you can choose other therapy modalities or stick with Amwell depending on what you learned during your in-depth session with your therapist. It’s similar to an initial in-person assessment with someone who’s dedicated to you and your growth. Download and explore Amwell here.