What Are Therapy Apps, And Are They Effective?

Medically reviewed by Majesty Purvis, LCMHC
Updated April 8, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Online solutions to many everyday challenges have been popping up in more significant numbers since 2020, and one such option is therapy apps. You can get a therapist or counselor through various mental health platforms offered in-app and through a website from your phone or a smart device. Learning more about these apps can help you decide if online treatment would be a practical choice for your mental health needs.

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Therapy apps and online therapy can work together to help you

What are therapy apps?

Therapy apps are user-friendly smartphone apps that you can download from the app store on an Android or iOS device. They often involve the option to sign up for online therapy, connect with your therapist, ask questions to a psychologist, gain mental health resources, journal, and partake in interactive activities and worksheets.

Some therapy apps do not offer therapy but offer a mood tracker, therapeutic games, or meditation exercises. 

If you don’t have a therapist located nearby or don’t have the time to schedule weekly sessions, online therapy through an app can be a convenient option. You can get more out of these apps than therapy sessions, as well. Many therapy platforms offer additional tools like webinars and videos to guide you through the techniques you learn from a counselor. 

Who are therapy apps for?

Therapy apps can benefit anyone with a smart device and internet connection. Depending on the type of app you choose, you can connect with a therapist, learn new skills, or track your mood. You do not have to have a mental illness, like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder, to see an online therapist or use a therapy app. You can also get these services for following or treating symptoms, daily challenges, or long-term stressors. 

Why sign up for a therapy app? 

There are several potential benefits to using an online therapy app like Regain, including the following: 

  • Instant gain to a platform of licensed therapists
  • The knowledge that your online therapist is vetted and verified 
  • A simple billing system 
  • The option to change your therapist at any time
  • No need to commute or pay for gas and parking
  • The ability to choose between phone, video, or live chat sessions with your therapist
  • Tools and coping activities you can use from your phone
  • Worksheets that can be obtained and printed at home 
  • The option to send unlimited messages to a licensed therapist when you need it 
  • Enter webinars and journaling features

Where can I use a mental health app?

Most apps can be obtained from the App Store or Google Play store as long as you have an internet connection. You can use these apps from a coffee shop, at home, or on vacation, at any hour of the day. Many online therapists offer flexible hours, so you can attend appointments outside of standard business hours if you’re working during the day. 

In addition, you can talk to therapists located at a distance from you, allowing you to speak to a more diverse range of professionals and specialties. Since you’re interacting entirely online, you can schedule a quick appointment and meet up with your therapist when it works for you both. Once you’re done with the session, you can immediately continue your day, which is convenient for many clients. 

Does online therapy through an app work? 

Online therapy through an app allows individuals to receive support when needed without worrying about scheduling appointments far in advance or dealing with a waitlist. And because everything is done online, you can avoid waiting in traffic or fearing being late for your in-person therapy appointment. With your mobile device charged and in hand, you can enter your session when it’s time and return to your day afterward. 

When you are limited to options of the therapists in your area accepting new clients, finding someone providing the type of support you seek can be challenging. You might struggle to find a match. You can get matched or have more options within your state through an app. By reaching out this way, you can be sure the provider is available and can support you. 

Additionally, internet-based therapy can be more discreet for those looking to keep their mental health treatment personal. You can use a nickname when you sign up for the app and use a chat session format if you’re uncomfortable talking to your therapist out loud while others are present in your home. 

If you’re unsure about the effectiveness of app therapy, studies have found that mental health apps are as effective as in-person options and can be more effective if used in tandem with regular therapy in person. Apps have been utilized in studies similar to this one in reducing depression and anxiety in participants. 

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Therapy apps and online therapy can work together to help you

Therapy app options 

You can find many therapy apps by searching on the app store on your device for “therapy apps” or “mental health apps.” When deciding on an option, look at reviews and the features involved. Some apps offer licensed and trained professionals; others might only offer short-term questions and answers from licensed providers or coping techniques you can use at home. Try to find an app that offers licensed therapists instead of coaches, as therapists can offer more comprehensive mental health advice and treatment. 

Apps like BetterHelp for individuals and Regain for couples and couple therapy are also effective options for individuals looking for online therapy, and they can also be obtained from a web browser. Through these apps, you can pay one fee for four weekly sessions and unlimited messaging with a licensed provider. When you sign up, you can get matched with a provider within 48 hours and start receiving support. 

Studies have also found that online couples therapy can be more effective than in-office options as it offers availability for couples looking to attend therapy from two locations or at a reduced cost. 


Therapy apps are diverse and provide many services and skills to individuals seeking mental health support. Some apps offer live sessions with a therapist, whereas others provide at-home techniques for bettering your health through various methods like meditation or mindfulness. Regardless of the type of app you use, anyone can use therapy apps to their benefit, and many are available. Consider downloading a therapy app to get started. 

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