I don’t know about you, but my phone and I have a very close relationship with my phone. It goes many places with me (even the bathroom – I know TMI, but guess what you do it too ? we don’t judge here).
I’m sure you already know by now but there are tons of apps out there that help you to practice self-care. But, which self-care apps are the best? And, which ones are free to use and which ones do we have to pay for?
You’re in luck! I’ve got some of the best self-care apps in this post. Some of them are absolutely free to use, some have the “freemium” model, and some are just paid apps.
So buckle up and I’ll give you all the details! (By the way, all of these mental health apps are available for both iPhone and Android, with the exception of one).
Best Free Self-Care Apps
These self-care apps are either absolutely free OR the majority of the content is free. That means you can use most of the app and its features without entering your credit card information or paying any fees.
Daylio is a free self-care app that you can use as a diary AND to track your moods. What I love most about Daylio is how streamlined it is. You can add so much to the app. In addition to being able to have it as a diary and mood tracker, it actually provides you with data and statistics on your mood. How cool is that?! I love that this can serve as a self-care tracker. You can check out Daylio here.
The MyLife app was made with anxiety in mind. Formerly, Stop, Breathe, Think, the MyLife app allows you to check-in with how you’re feeling as well as provides you with countless activities including meditation and journaling exercises to help you feel better.
WoeBot is like a best friend or even therapist in your pocket. The creators of WoeBot wanted to help create a solution to the crisis of mental health accessibility. With WoeBot, you can access CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) based exercises and support with the cutest AI bot. This is probably one of the best self-care apps for depression and anxiety. We recommend this app at my full-time job at Crisis Text Line, a free 24/7 crisis line.
MindShift is a free mental health app created by Anxiety Canada that used CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) techniques to help you relax and develop better coping skills. This app specifically focuses on worry, panic, perfectionism, social anxiety, and phobias. I’ve personally been using this app for about 2 years. I started using it because of anxiety around romantic relationships. Check out MindShift here.
If you love games, SuperBetter is for you. SuperBetter is a mental health app that was created by a game designer to help people build resilience and success. This app was studied by Ohio State University and the University of Pennsylvania and they found that it increased optimism while decreasing anxiety. There is a new version of SuperBetter but the original version is 100% free to use.
Insight Timer is one of the most well-known meditation apps and has over 50,000 guided meditations for free. It does have a “members plus” section for $60 a year where you get courses and other premium features but if you’re looking for guided meditations, you have an abundance to choose from in the free version. This is another app that we recommend at Crisis Text Line.
Jour is a journaling app that helps you learn how to start and keep up with a journaling habit. This app unfortunately is only available for iPhone users but I love journaling, so I wanted to include it in this list. There is a premium version for $59 a year. Find out more about Jour.
Similarly to Woebot, Youper is kind of like having a therapist in your pocket. Youper is an “Emotional Health Assistant” that helps to empower you to take care of your emotional health and have better conversations with your healthcare providers. Youper has a premium “Emotional Health Plan”, but the core of the app can be used for free.
Best Paid Self-Care Apps
With these self-care apps, you’ll have to pay monthly or annually to access the majority of the features, though some of these apps do have some free features that you can access just by downloading and signing up.
Calm is probably one of the most well-known self-care apps. I’ve been using the different variations of the app for a few years now. Once upon a time, it was fully free. Now, you can try it out with a free 7-day trial. After, it is $69.99 per year. The premium membership includes meditations, calming nature sounds, music and more.
The Underbelly is a yoga app created by widely known and respected yogi Jessamyn Stanely. One reason I love this app is because of the inclusivity. Jessamyn is a body-positive, plus-size, black woman ? . I love being able to see someone doing yoga that looks like me. This app is $9.99 a month.
Tapping Solution is a new app that I recently discovered through Facebook because they were offering their premium subscription to healthcare workers and first responders for free for 6 months. Tapping (or emotional freedom technique) is based on acupressure and modern psychology. It costs $11.99 monthly or $94.99 annually. There is also a lifetime subscription for $399.
Talkspace is a therapy app. With Talkspace, you’ll have 24/7 access to a licensed mental health professional. Talkspace is text-based so you’ll be sending messages to your therapist but there are also options for video or phone chatting. Their subscriptions start at $260 a month. I’ve used both Talkspace and the next app (BetterHelp) at different points in my life to access therapy.
Like TalkSpace, BetterHelp is a self-care app that is specifically for accessing counseling with a licensed mental health professional. I’ve used BetterHelp in the past and it has been incredibly helpful and was a HUGE part of myself care. I talked about my experience with both BetterHelp and Talkspace in this blog post. BetterHelp has multiple subscription options starting at $40 a week (paid monthly).
Headspace is a wonderful meditation app that has mediations for everything including sleep and working out. You can try out Headspace for 2 weeks for free, but after that, you have to pay $69.99 a year or $12.99 a month. Learn more about Headspace here.
Shine is an app “to help you rest, heal, and grow through difficulty”. With Shine, you’ll get access to community message boards, meditations, and more. Shine is also a female-founded company If you want daily self-care in your pocket, Shine is for you. It costs $53.99 for an annual subscription.
What do you think of these self-care apps? My favorite apps from the list are Shine, MindShift, and Underbelly!
Know self-care apps for mental health that I should list? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.
Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.