Mental Health App Development: 10 Best Apps For Anxiety

Mental Health App Development: 10 Best Apps For Anxiety

Mental well-being apps are emerging as one of the most essential categories of apps.  

More and more people are beginning to rely on technology to manage their well-being and mental state. Based on the research, presently there are over 300,000 health applications in the mobile app stores, with the mental health segment experiencing the largest growth in the market. 

With COVID-19 outburst, healthcare activities in particular needed to be digitalized to reach wider audiences. As a result, the market of mHealth apps has expanded greatly. It is expected that from 2021 to 2027 the Mental Wellbeing Apps Market will continue to grow at a CAGR of 20.5% and reach US$ 3.3 billion.

Here we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 anxiety and stress management apps to help you tap into the mental health app development opportunities. 

The State of Wellbeing and Mental Health

Mental health issues affect 13% of the world’s population and the number only increases as people around the world deal with the effects of Covid pandemic and adjust to new conditions. 

In the national survey on mental health and coronavirus, it was discovered that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the mental health of 59% of Americans. 

According to the research from the National Institute of Mental Health, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, John Hopkins Medicine, the Center for Disease Control, and Our World in Data:

  • Every fifth American suffers from a mental illness
  • Anxiety disorders are the highest reported mental issue in the US with 42.5 million Americans who state they suffer from this condition.
  • 4.5 million children in the US are diagnosed with anxiety
  • 322 million people all over the world live with depression
  • Almost 6 in 10 people with mental illness receive no treatment or medication
  • Over 40,000 Americans die annually from suicide
  • 26% of Americans ages 18 and older experience a diagnosable mental disorder

To get a grasp of how the Covid pandemic has been influencing people’s mental health and well-being, SingleCare conducted a survey with more than 1,000 participants. The most striking results include:

Whe mental wellbeing apps are on the rise: survey results and top 10 stress relief apps

These statistics correspond to national findings on what effect COVID-19 has on mental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have observed that the most common results of the pandemic are feelings of stress, guilt, social isolation, anxiety, and concerns about personal safety as well as the safety of loved ones. 

COVID-19 can still affect the quality of life and mental health even without being infected directly.  This global pandemic is transforming the way people think and feel, and apps on the market should help people deal with it.

Mental health app development: Why are mental wellbeing apps important?

Many experts consider mental health apps as having a great potential to remove barriers for people who would not otherwise turn for help and get treatment. 

Only a small percentage of people actively seek professional help for their mental health problems. Self-help apps provide greater accessibility to mental health resources and deliver immediate mental health assistance. They are also more cost and time-effective options. 

What else is appealing about mobile apps is that they are anonymous. Dr. Raichback states:


The apps also allow for privacy and confidentiality and can be a safe space for individuals who may be too ashamed to admit their mental health issues in person or who may feel that they will be negatively labeled or stigmatized by others.

Some mental health experts believe that mental well-being apps are not that effective when used in isolation but should act as a supplement to traditional treatment. Tanisha Ranger, PsyD, a psychologist who has tried using different mental health apps with her patients, finds they’re a great way to ensure people continue doing what they have started in therapy sessions. 

Though under the best of circumstances, digital solutions should be used as a supplementary treatment to traditional therapy, for those people who aren’t able to access a mental health professional, mental health apps remain a source of valuable support and guidance.

Mental health app development can help users deal with various issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Substance use disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

While anxiety is reported as one of the most common issues globally, here we examined the best examples of apps for stress relief and anxiety management on the market. 

10 Best apps to help manage anxiety and stress as well as improve mental wellbeing

1. Calm: Sleep & Meditation

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Calm is a mindfulness app that helps people manage their mental health daily. As sleep is vital for dealing with stress, it becomes the main issue when you’re anxious. Calm’s aim is to provide you with easy access to guided meditations, relaxation, and mood tracking with personalized reports.

Its free version includes a limited amount of guided exercises and meditative audio to help relieve stress. There also are free scenes users can select to play nature sounds in the background. 

With premium subscription, such features as original daily meditation sessions, guided meditations that cover sleep, anxiety, stress, gratitude, and more, library of more than 120 sleep stories, and masterclasses with famous mindfulness experts become available. 

2. MindShift CBT - Anxiety Relief

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MindShift CBT is one of the best mental wellbeing apps. It helps you reduce worry, stress, and panic attacks using best methods from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It is a free self-help app.

With the MindShift app you can learn about different CBT methods to relieve anxiety, including writing thought journals, challenging yourself with belief experiments, building fear ladders, and doing comfort zone challenges. 

Some other helpful features in the app include staying accountable and tracking your progress with the check-in functionality, journal entries, and setting reminders and goals. You can also share data from the app via email to assist you during sessions with therapists you are working with. 

3. Headspace: Meditation & Sleep

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Headspace aims to educate people on how to meditate effectively and helps them establish daily meditation practices. There are hundreds of guided meditations on how to sleep, manage stress, and stay calm stored in the app apart from the other features. 

The functionality of the anxiety and stress management app also includes:

  • the Sleep feature that creates great conditions for your rest using sleepcasts, calming stories in different locations, nature recordings or relaxing sleep music
  • Everyday Headspace that provides daily meditations on new topics
  • the Wakeup - short videos to start each new day with inspiration
  • Weathering the storm collection to help you cope with sadness, anger, and adapting to change
  • Move Mode - mood boosting workouts and fitness courses led by expert trainers to release tension and stress
  • “SOS” sessions to deal with moments of extreme stress, panic, and anxiety
  • Keep track of your progress
  • Add your friends to support each other and meditate together

So, using the anxiety and stress relief app only a few minutes a day can help bring harmony and transform your day-to-day life. To get access to the content, the Headspace app has two subscription options: $12.99 per month or $69.99 per year, which is less than $5.99 a month.

4. Lyf - Social That Cares

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Lyf is an app that provides a safe place for real people to share their personal thoughts and experiences judgement free. While other social media platforms may not be the best place to relate how you’re battling anxiety, struggling with addiction, trying to move on after infidelity or loss, Lyf is meant to provide the support of those who are going through the same things. 

In this app for wellbeing and mental health, users can post their experiences called “beats”, describe challenges as well as achievements, display them publicly or share only with select people, choose to stay anonymous, and discuss.

Lyf is completely free to enable meaningful discussions and receive support from fellow users. There also are premium and affordable support services from professional psychologists. They are available 24/7 to guide and assist you at the rate of $10/hr.

5. ACT Companion: Happiness Trap

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ACT Companion is a scientifically backed-up app that was created by a world-renowned Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) expert and bestselling author of the book ‘The Happiness Trap’ Dr. Russ Harris. There are over 100 published peer-reviewed studies that prove this behavior therapy’s effectiveness for such issues as anxiety and depression.

This stress relief app for well-being and mental health provides dozens of powerful, interactive ACT exercises and tools which you can use as a supplement to sessions with a professional therapist to put what you’ve learned into practice in your daily life. 

In the app, you will find goal-setting tools, acceptance techniques, values clarification, self-observing, and self-compassion exercises. There are other features including breathing exercises, body-scan meditations, and mindfulness exercises. 

It is free with possible in-app purchases.

6. Tide: Sleep, focus, meditation

10 Best self-help apps to help anxiety and manage stress

The goal of Tide is to help its users relieve stress, stay focused, sleep better at night by integrating meditation, relaxation and focus functionality into an app. It allows you to get away from the fast-paced life by means of natural soundscapes and best mindfulness techniques.

There are the following features in the app to help people deal with anxiety and panic attacks:

  • Focus Timer for people who struggle with concentration and have digital obsession 
  • Sleep and Nap to quickly fall asleep with the sounds of nature in the background
  • Sleep analysis so that you may be aware of your sleep patterns
  • Breathing guide that helps you learn how to breathe properly to brighten up your mood and relieve stress
  • Daily quotes for additional amount of inspiration
  • Wide selection of nature sounds and sound scenes of rain, ocean, thunder, etc. 
  • Meditation to include mindfulness practices into your daily life.
  • Diary to remember every good and peaceful experience

Tide app functionality is available with two subscription options: $11.99 per month and $59.99 per year

7. iBreathe – Relax and Breathe

Mental health app developement to improve wellbeing: 10 best examples

iBreathe helps people who struggle with anxiety issues, lack of quality sleep, stress, and have a hard time relaxing. 

iBreathe app synchronizes with quick actions by a long press and immediately starts breathing exercises on your iPhone or Apple Watch. You can set up reminders to tell you to breathe during each day, and use pre-defined presets created to help with stress and anxiety. The app integrates with Apple Health.

The breathing app now has a 4.9-star rating and over 8,000 reviews on the App Store. One reviewer noted, “Downloading this was the best thing I did for myself and my path to balanced mental health."

8. Insight Timer - Meditation App

Build a mental wellbeing app like Insight Timer

As one of the best free meditation apps, Insight Timer has more than 327K positive ratings and features guided meditations and talks led by the world’s top mindfulness experts, neuroscientists, psychologists, and teachers from Harvard, the University of Oxford, and others. 

There are more than 80 new meditations added daily suitable for starters as well as for experienced practitioners. Also the app offers access to thousands of music tracks from famous artists and thousands of discussion groups to support one another and help calm the mind. 

Free features in the stress management app include:

  • Guided meditations of different duration
  • Music tracks from world-renowned artists and a collection of ambient sounds
  • Possibility to follow favorite meditation teachers
  • Discussion groups and communities
  • Stats and milestones to keep track of your progress

Optional features available with a premium subscription are Insight courses and premium meditations, listening to meditations offline, and advanced player functionality. The cost of the premium subscription is $59.99 per year or $9.99 per month.

9. SuperBetter

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SuperBetter is a great example of a stress management app that offers help in the form of a game. Playing SuperBetter increases resilience, goal achievement and helps to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and more.

This stress relief app uncovers heroic potential in its users to overcome challenges and achieve the desired goals. The approach behind it is meant to activate the psychological strengths and make you stronger and more resilient in real life. 

Gamified mental wellbeing app features include:

  • Identify and go for epic wins
  • Choose a secret identity
  • Activate power-ups, battle enemies, and complete quests daily
  • Build four types of resilience 
  • Gain support of allies 

10. Moodnotes - Mood Tracker

Building apps for wellbeing and mental health: stress relief and anxiety management

With Moodnotes you’ll be able to take control of your mood and the way it affects your life. 

This mood tracker & journaling app gives you the means to improve your thinking habits, stay away from common thinking traps, and form a new approach to life associated with well-being. The stress management app is based on the research of psychologists experienced in cognitive behavior therapy and positive psychology. 

Mental wellbeing app top features include:

  • Tracking your mood to identify what triggers it
  • Scanning your face
  • Storing memories with photos
  • Self-awareness content provided by mental health experts
  • Learning about thinking traps and your mood patterns

Premium members have access to unlimited entries per day, personal statistics and insights, notes to better describe their mood and a wider selection of mindfulness articles.

Mental health app development: What to consider

While mobile users bring the most traffic and dominate the market, mental healthcare services need to be easily accessible for them too. With the help of high-quality mental health app development, business owners can bring meaningful change into our daily lives. 

Where to start with the mental well-being app development? Here are a few tips.

1) At the beginning of an app development process it is important to investigate the market, learn about your competitors, and highlight their strengths and weaknesses. Think about how your app will improve a customer’s life and how it will differ from the current market offers

2) Jot down all your ideas on design and functions. Some common features to think about while developing an app to help with anxiety include:

  • Sign up and creating profiles
  • Well-being check-ups
  • Mood journal
  • Guided meditations
  • Content on mindfulness
  • Sessions with mental health experts
  • Communities and discussions 
  • Calming sounds and design

3) While building a mental health app, you may want to consider a monetization strategy too. You can use a subscription model, such as Calm and Headspace, offer in-app purchases, or use in-app advertising among other options.

4) Find an experienced software development company and consult with them on such aspects as

If you need any help with mental health app development or have any questions, feel free to reach out to us! Apiko would be happy to assist you on your journey to improving people’s well-being and mental health!

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