The Top 5
Science-Backed Mental Health Apps We Love
Science-Backed Mental Health Apps We Love
In honour of World Mental Health Day, we went on the hunt for five apps designed to improve your mental health. From online therapy platforms to self-guided tools and courses, these professionally endorsed apps will all benefit your psychological wellbeing.
For Finding Your Perfect Therapist: Self Space

Self Space is aiming to shake up the industry, making it more accessible and easy for people to find a therapist, both through its digital offering and physical walk-in locations. Offering in-person treatment in London and Manchester as well as globally available online sessions, Self Space brings together a stellar team of over 65 qualified therapists that you can browse to find your perfect match, whether that’s by their location, gender or particular area of focus – the therapists are specialised in everything from depression and anxiety to fertility and relationship issues. Still don’t know which practitioner to pick? Try their ‘Therapist Match Form’, a questionnaire that will be analysed free of charge by the Self Space team to shortlist two to three therapists who should be the most compatible with what you’re looking for. Students and NHS employees can also enjoy discounted sessions.

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For Manifesting The Best Version Of You: My Possible Self

A mental health toolkit in app form, we initially were hooked by My Possible Self’s fun and cheerful interface. But don’t let its light-hearted looks deceive you: this app is rooted in solid science, or more specifically, in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It’s a practice that recognises negative thought patterns as an influence on mood and behaviour, so by adopting techniques to challenge unhelpful thoughts, you can improve many mental health conditions. After seeing the life-changing benefits therapy brought to her own life, founder Joanne Wilkinson worked in tandem with leading British mental health provider Priory Healthcare to create the app, boasting a wealth of resources including meditations, a mood tracker, recipes, workouts and plenty more. Take the lifestyle quiz and the app will zero in on areas of your mental health that might need attention, plotting out a recommended course of activities for you to follow. The app is NHS-approved and totally free.

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For Text-Based Therapy: Ieso

If you can’t face the idea of actually talking to someone then this one-to-one text-based therapy app might be the way to go. Its ‘typed’ format affords an anonymity that face-to-face therapy can’t, which might suit if you’re an introvert or want to feel completely able to say anything and everything in a less personal setting, and it has a more informal feel – great if you find the idea of traditional therapy a little intimidating. Plus, you can reread your notes to revise things when required. Complete an initial questionnaire to be matched with a compatible therapist and in between sessions, you’re encouraged to practise what you’ve learned via questionnaires your therapist sends through. Ieso therapy is also free for many NHS patients.

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For Making Mental Health Fun: Happify

This clever app gamifies achieving better mental health, making improving your psychological wellbeing feel effortless – and pretty fun. After an initial quiz, you’re provided with a ‘track’ of activities and games – think snappy journalling prompts and hypnotic scenes geared towards calming the breath – that are customised to improve everything from relationships to mindfulness and health and wellbeing. Happify provides the science (including links to relevant studies) behind how and why each activity works, so you can be confident they’re actually making a difference while you’re playing away. The app keeps you motivated by charting your progress overtime and you can even earn medals along the way, which is surprisingly addictive. If you’re facing a crisis or dealing with a severe mental illness, it’s not the first resource we’d suggest you turn to, but it’s a great tool if you’re looking to adopt a set of fun daily habits to fine-tune your mental health.

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For Self-Guided CBT: AskDoc

Concerned by the restriction in access to care and lengthy patient waiting times following the pandemic, British chartered counselling psychologist Dr Juliet Anton launched AskDoc in 2021 to deliver accessible self-guided CBT courses to those struggling with depression. The app is easy to use but effective, walking you through techniques to address issues you might be dealing with. If you’re intrigued by CBT but don’t want to go down the talking therapy route – or want to get a taster of the practice before you commit to a therapist – this is a great one to download.

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