[Review] Top Mental Health Apps On App Store & Google Play In 2020
The pandemic has led more people to seek services online, including mental health services.
Therefore, I decided to go through some of the best mental health apps on the App Store and Google Play to compare their features, and which one worked best for me.
To get started, I typed “therapy” into the App Store search bar and downloaded the top 3 based on the reviews which were Replika, Wysa, and MindDoc. Wysa was in the top 3 for Google Play as well, so I downloaded the other two, InnerHour and 7Cups.
I also downloaded PlusVibes even though it was not in the top 3 list, simply because it is a Malaysian app and can connect users to Malaysian mental health associations, to volunteer listeners and activists.
All of the apps I compared are free to download, but of course the professional services in them have to be paid for.
My expectations for these applications
Before using them, I set several expectations for them based on a mental health app I used in college called My SSP (Student Support Program) and the in-person counseling sessions I had assisted.
In my experience with My SSP, chatting with an advisor on an app is not expected to be as effective as meeting in person as you will be reassigned every time you start a conversation, so you should always repeat your problems every time you start a discussion.
Since I don’t pay for any of these apps, I also expect that I won’t be able to chat with certified therapists or counselors, but volunteer listeners instead.
From the App Store
Replika is essentially a “caring AI companion”, and its chatbot comes with an avatar to give people a virtual session without “any judgment, drama or social anxiety involved”.
You can create what you want your “friend” to look like and “grow” with them by chatting or doing activities together like writing a song or discussing strategies to improve your health habits.
The AI seemed very human and understandable, so it took away that feeling of talking to a robot about your issues initially … until I actually started talking about my issues.
If you want to call the AI or have it take on a different role like a romantic partner or mentor, it will cost you:
- RM 35.90 per month
- RM219.90 per year
- RM 249.90 for lifetime use
While this is an interesting concept, it certainly isn’t my cup of tea if I had some pressing issues that I need to resolve immediately.
To be fair, this does not specify that this is an application intended only for people with mental health issues, and given the level of its responses to issues so far, I wouldn’t recommend you use it for such purposes.
It’s best for people who want more of a companion when they’re feeling lonely or bored. If you still want to check out the app, you can download it from the App Store here and from Google Play here.
MindDoc collects your data for approximately 2 weeks before giving you an emotional health assessment.
Every day you will be notified in the morning, afternoon and evening to answer a few questions and select your mood for the day (it only takes 30 seconds each time).
You will receive an assessment of your emotional health after 2 weeks and the process repeats so you can track the progress of your emotional health. You can also access a few mental health articles and podcasts on the app.
To get your hands on their extra features like smart stats, biweekly health assessments, psychological exercises, etc., it will cost you:
- RM31.63 / month
- RM94.90 per quarter
MindDoc doesn’t have therapists to talk to, so it’s best for those who just want to assess and monitor their mental health.
You can download MindDoc from the App Store here and Google Play here.
Like Replika, Wysa is another AI robot you can chat with to deal with depression, stress, anxiety, sleep, loss, and more.
You can actually choose whatever mental health topic you want to solve or discuss with Wysa.
The topic I wanted to cover was sleep, and that topic alone had a few sections like sleep stories, sleep sounds, a sleep habit pack, deep sleep, coping with nightmares and more.
To speak to a real therapist, you can choose from these pricing options:
- 29.90 RM / session for 12 sessions
- 49.97 RM / session for 4 sessions
- 74.90 RM / session for 1 session
Wysa may not seem as realistic as Replika’s AI robot, but in my experience they are more effective at suggesting a variety of solutions to a problem.
You can download Wysa from the App Store here and Google Play here.
Similar to MindDoc, InnerHour asks you questions about the issue you want to solve to help you track your progress.
They also have courses, activities, and articles that you can access to find more solutions to your problems. You can also talk to an AI robot called Allie to solve your problems, like with Wysa.
But similarly, AI chat is not very realistic and can only provide you with solutions through the existing resources of the app.
However, their free resources are more limited than those of MindDoc. Hence, you will have to pay these prices to access their more exclusive features.
Things like personalized plans for your needs, activities to make you feel better and more are offered at these prices:
- RM 9.90 / month
- RM24.90 / quarter
- RM99.90 / year
You can download InnerHour from AppStore here and Google Play here.
If you prefer to have a support group discussion instead of a one-on-one discussion with a certified auditor or advisor, 7Cups may be a good choice for you.
It’s like a Reddit for Mental Health, where you can join different forums and discussions about the issue you’re dealing with.
You can also speak with their AI chatbot, Noni, to briefly discuss your issue. Again, this works very similar to the AI chatbots from Wysa and InnerHour.
For a more personalized plan to solve your problem, you will need to pay these prices to access this feature:
- RM12.99 / month
- RM 92.99 / year
- RM399.99 / lifetime
You can download 7Cups from AppStore here and Google Play here.
By Malaysians, For Malaysians
As mentioned before, PlusVibes is not a top rated app, but I wanted to highlight it because it is a Malaysian mental health app.
Their team of real people are not yet active 24/7 which would have been better as I’m usually too busy during the day with work to set a time for a counseling session.
Through a few questions, the app assesses how well you are currently managing different parts of your life and places the data in a pie chart.
Like Wysa, you can also choose whatever topic you want to talk about before entering a discussion, which I guess is putting you in touch with the most suitable advisor.
Some other useful features of this app were the articles on different mental health topics as well as some relaxation activities like facial yoga, peaceful soundtracks etc.
The best thing about this app is that all of its features are free for their users which makes it the most accessible app yet.
You can download PlusVibes from the App Store here and Google Play here.
– // –
Out of all of these, I would actually prefer PlusVibes due to their accessibility. I am generally drawn to counseling in mental health services, which is why it is the best option for me.
While I think in-person counseling sessions are even better, I prefer to use apps when I need to fix a simple problem right away, and not wait until it’s time for my appointment to talk about it.
However, everyone has their preferences for a mental health service that best meets their needs, hence the different platforms like forums, AI bots, mental health trackers etc. Hopefully, this list can serve as a starting guide that will help you find an app that best suits your needs.
- You can read more about Replika here, Wysa here, PlusVibes here, 7Cups here, InnerHour here and MindDoc here.
- You can read more about the other lists we’ve written about here.
Also Read: Microsoft Wants To Help Local Independent Software Companies, Here’s What You Need To Know
Our sincere thanks to