In the United States, about 3 million people each year will deal with depression. Depression is often confused with sadness, but clinical depression requires a medical diagnosis.
Luckily, it is very treatable. Even children as young as 3 are susceptible to becoming depressed, and recently, the rise of mental health awareness has brought light to how many people face depression.
Causes of depression include genetic issues, brain chemistry imbalance, poor nutrition, physical health issues, drugs, and stress.
Whatever the cause of your depression, it is hard to brave the issue on your own. Access to support systems for people dealing with depression has never been easier with smartphones.
When you are dealing with depression, getting connected with others and knowing that there are people who support you is very helpful.
Furthermore, knowing there are others who are going through the same things that you are and that you are not alone will help you build more confidence.
The more informed you are, the more capable you are to combat any problems that you may have while dealing with depression.
Access to apps have greatly helped people deal with mental health issues, so if you are dealing with depression, you should seek out the best depression apps to help you manage your mental health.
Before you start using an app to aid your response to depression, you should figure out what your specific needs might be.
Everyone experiences depression and mental health problems differently, and these apps serve varying purposes.
For example, if you are struggling with stress and anxiety, a mindfulness app might be a valuable resource for you. If you are struggling to perform daily tasks, a habit-building app might help you out.
10 Apps to Help With Depression
1. 7 Cups — Depression app for connectivity.
Winner of the Stanford Medicine X prize for healthcare systems design, 7 Cups is a helpful depression app for connectivity.
When dealing with depression, being able to share how you feel with someone else can be incredibly helpful.
7 Cups allows users to anonymously connect with volunteers who are willing to listen and help. What makes this the a great app for connectivity is that you are able to have a 1-on-1 chat with a listener at any time. The app also gives online access to licensed therapists.
Lastly, 7 Cups provides the ability to boost your mood through a variety of simple activities. Thousands of people use 7 Cups, and it is helping to provide emotional support on demand.
You can connect anytime, anywhere without the fear of being judged.
- Free mindfulness exercises that are helpful.
- Provides a listener on the go.
- Access to online therapists.
- Listeners are volunteers so it may be difficult to get in touch with someone to help
2. Moodpath — Depression and anxiety evaluations.
Moodpath provides mental health assessments that are easy to share with your therapist.
You can take a mental health assessment test once every two weeks.
The app asks you questions about what you’re thinking about and what your current mood is.
However, the Moodpath app is NOT a means to self diagnose for depression.
If you think you may have depression, see a mental health specialist to medically diagnose you.
- Many exercises to choose from.
- Great database of information about depression and anxiety.
- Great user interface that makes it very easy to use.
- Requires a premium subscription to get the most out of it.
3. Headspace — Best depression app for mindfulness
One of the goals for managing stress- and anxiety-induced depression is to manage how you feel when everything feels uncontrollable.
This app can greatly diminish the stress and anxiety that you may be dealing with using meditation.
Headspace: Meditation assists you in taking a few moments out of your day to simply be more mindful.
It walks you through a meditation process that will help you de-stress and take some of the weight off your shoulders. Furthermore, taking a moment to do nothing can really boost your energy.
Headspace: Meditation has won the editor’s choice award on the Apple app store and has been widely considered the best app of its kind.
Many people, such as Kobe Bryant and Will Smith, have suggested that their use of Headspace has helped motivate them toward their success and willingness to work hard.
- Users claim it has helped them with their sleep and school schedule
- You can tap a panic button on the Apple Watch during an extremely stressful situation
- The Headspace app comes with many tools that help you manage stress
- Headspace will help you with meditation and motivate you for daily activities
- Premium features are a little costly
4. Happify — Depression app for positivity
Another app that will help people who have stress- and anxiety-induced depression is Happify.
Happify guides users to overcome negative thoughts and anxiety through meditation.
Happify has reported that 86% of their users have claimed that they are happier within just 2 months of using their app.
Happify uses science-based activities and games to assist in reducing stress, overcoming negativity, and developing greater resilience by providing users with tools and programs that will improve emotional well-being.
- Implements science-backed methods to help you be happier.
- Provides leisure in the form of games to help you de-stress.
- Boasts a very high success rate in customer satisfaction.
- The utility of this app mainly exists in the premium version.
5. Moodnotes — Depression app for journaling
One of the most helpful things in dealing with depression is being able to verbalize it.
Sometimes, it is hard to verbalize your pain to others, so being able to write down your mood and thoughts in a journal is a healthy alternative.
Moodnotes will also help users learn to recognize traps in their thinking and push them to rethink a situation.
If you ever happen to enter a “thinking trap,” Moodnotes will provide suggestions and new perspectives to help you lower your stress and enhance your overall wellbeing.
Moodnotes will also help you look back at previous days, view progress, and learn from past mistakes. Seeing progress always helps build more confidence.
- Helps you get past “thinking traps”
- Really good user interface that makes it easy to track your progress.
- Moodnotes is only available on iOS
6. Pacifica — Depression App Toolbox
Pacifica is a toolbox that will help you deal with your stress and anxiety; however, it doesn’t stop there.
Pacifica also allows you to connect with a community of like-minded individuals that provide you with a highly-supportive network of people.
Pacifica helps you break cycles of unhelpful thoughts, emotions, and behaviors through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, relaxation, and mood tracking.
Pacifica is a one-stop-shop for most of your depression needs, but it doesn’t particularly specialize in anything.
- Helps you keep track of your mood throughout the day, so you can look back and plan contingencies to prevent the same bad feelings from returning.
- Has tools that will guide you through meditation and relaxation sessions.
- Contains a cognitive behavioral therapy tool that helps users manage their depression.
- Gives users a community to talk to so they will not feel alone in their issues.
- Headspace tries to do too much in one app.
7. SuperBetter — Depression App for Habit Building
SuperBetter is an app that encourages you to do small tasks throughout the day and reward you for doing them.
This is the best depression app for habit building as the tasks that it recommends for you are always simple tasks that will bring you great benefits when implemented in your everyday life.
For example, it will tell you to stand up if you have been sitting down for a long period of time, or it will tell you to drink a glass of water.
SuperBetter motivates you to do these tasks; if you keep doing them, you will develop healthy habits.
SuperBetter turns the accumulation of these tasks into a game, where you can reward yourself for good behaviors that you want to promote.
Overall, SuperBetter helps you condition yourself to avoid bad habits while building better, healthier ones.
- This app uses conditioning to improve personal habits
- SuperBetter rewards you for your progress, thus incentivizing progress
- The app requires you to hold yourself accountable and remain honest to the system
- Nothing preventing you from cheating
8. The Sims Freeplay — Depression App Game
When living with depression, nighttime is often the most difficult time as your mind fills with many dark, ruminating thoughts while you are trying to fall asleep.
One of the ways to combat this is to do something that will occupy your mind in a positive manner.
Many people dealing with depression have found that The Sims Freeplay has assisted them with their negative thoughts.
The Sims Freeplay can be used as a coping method to help you relax and free your mind; however, it does not replace therapy or provide some of the depression-assisting features of some of the other apps.
This game helps identify characteristics that make you smile or feel happy and then try to find similar characteristics elsewhere that also make your overall mood better.
- As you play the game, you may find that your depression is minimized and you can enjoy yourself.
- Fun to play with many goal-oriented aspects to keep you engaged and interested
- Possibility of becoming too involved in the game, which may affect sleep schedule. Be aware of the time as you play.
9. Youper — Anxiety and depression app.
Youper is an extremely innovative depression app with an AI Assistant that is based on therapy.
The AI assistant messages you daily asking a simple question,
“How are you?”
You respond by selecting some moods from a pre-set menu.
The AI assistant continues the conversation based on your response.
This app’s AI is very powerful, incorporating different psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and meditation.
- Conversations with AI feel realistic
- Organizes information very well
- Easy to get started and use
- Doesn’t let you select multiple emotions at once
10. Talkspace — Depression App for Therapy
Similar to 7 Cups, this app allows you to connect with others to talk through the problems that are currently bothering you.
The difference is that the people on Talkspace that you connect with are all licensed therapists.
Talkspace charges a given price for your therapy sessions, but they also provide a free consultation for people who are new to the app.
The price points of the therapy sessions are roughly 80% cheaper than office-based therapy sessions.
If you upgrade and become a member, you gain access to secure chat rooms where you may discuss your worries with a licensed counselor.
- Talkspace allows easy and quick access to licensed therapists at a very competitive price, and you do not need to make appointments as strictly as you would for an in-person therapy session.
- A free consultation is provided if you want to make sure you are willing to pay the membership fee.
- A membership fee is required if you want to utilize everything the app has to offer.
- You may not be getting the same therapist everytime you enter a session.
Each depression app on this list is best for its own specific niche.
When it comes to combating your depression, you may want to invest in more than one of these depression apps since they are not mutually exclusive.
Try out all the apps that sound like they might work for you until you get a combination that works for you.
There is no limit to what combination of apps you can use to get you on the right track toward better mental health.
Originally published at depressionpedia.com on December 20, 2018.