Get Calm, Cool, and Collected With One of These 9 Anxiety Apps

These 9 evidence-based anti-anxiety apps are perfect for on-the-go stress relief.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Anxiety—which causes you to feel worry or fear—can take a toll on your mental and physical well-being when it starts to be persistent. And failing to address chronic anxiety can lead to more serious problems, such as depression and panic attacks. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps available on iOS and Android devices to help manage your anxiety on the go and between talk therapy appointments.

Many apps are designed to reduce anxiety through guided meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques that help people recognize negative thought patterns and triggers, then learn to redirect those feelings and behaviors into new, more productive ones. The best anxiety apps, some of which are free or low-cost, were created with evidence-based mental health management tools and even help with stress-induced insomnia. Keep reading to learn about the apps our research team and experts love the most.

9 Best Anxiety Apps of 2023

When choosing an online therapy provider, we recommend that you read the company’s privacy guidelines before you sign up to better understand whether it is HIPAA-compliant and whether it shares any private information with third parties. There have been some concerns raised by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and several government officials about what user health information online therapy providers collect and what they do with any information they collect.

Get Calm, Cool, and Collected With One of These 9 Anxiety Apps
Get Calm, Cool, and Collected With One of These 9 Anxiety Apps

Most Comprehensive : Headspace



Key Specs
  • Cost: $13 per month; $70 annually
  • Type of App: Breathing, meditation, mood balancing, motivational, sleep stories
  • Available on: iOS and Android
Why We Chose It

Headspace offers a huge library of anxiety-alleviating tools that range from guided meditations to sleep stories to yoga, podcasts, and more. There’s also more targeted content to help with focus, being present in the moment, and coping with climate or relationship anxiety, as well as mindful meditations that only last a few minutes to work with busy schedules or offer fast anxiety relief.

Pros & Cons
  • Large variety of options, including meditation, yoga, sleep stories, journaling, and more

  • Evidence-based tools

  • Special care given to LGBTQIA+ community

  • Very limited free content

  • Expensive


One great way to manage stress and feeling overwhelmed is by slowing down your breathing and practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a kind of meditation—a way of focusing on your present experience, tuning in, and quieting down the mental chatter in your head—and a mindfulness app offers exercises that help bring you to this state of mind. Used by 70 million people in 190 countries, Headspace is a leader in the mindfulness-app space. If you’re new to meditation, you can try out a huge variety of meditations within the Headspace app. From Goodnight Sleep stories for kids to movement-focused mindfulness and yoga for teens to de-stressing guided meditations for busy adults, there is something for everyone within the Headspace app. 

The app is available on Android, iOS, and web-based devices. In addition to the thousands of sleep stories, sleep sounds, guided and unguided meditations, and soothing sounds, the app and website provide comprehensive courses that will allow you to take a deep dive into the root of your anxieties. You can learn tools to stop panic attacks before they become debilitating and even quickly fall into a deep, restful sleep. If you have trouble getting going in the morning or getting through your mid-day slump, there are programs to help you get moving, restore focus, or re-energize. 

Headspace offers a seven- to 14-day free trial depending on whether you choose a month-to-month subscription for $13 a month (the free trial is seven days), or an annual subscription for $70 (the free trial is 14 days).

Best for Medication Management : Talkspace

Key Specs
  • Cost: Subscription plans start at $65 per week
  • Type of App: Therapy
  • Platforms Available: iOS and Android
Why We Chose It

Sometimes, anxiety requires treatment through a combination of talk therapy and medication. Talkspace is an app that can provide both, because it connects you to real therapists for live weekly sessions and unlimited messaging, plus to prescribers for medication management. For those with a busy schedule who are looking for easy medication management appointments, or who prefer a text-based therapy approach, this app is for you. 

Pros & Cons
  • Multiple subscription plans available

  • Accepts health insurance

  • Therapy sessions available via audio or video call, live chat, or asynchronous messaging

  • Psychiatry and medication management available

  • Teen counseling, couples therapy, and individual therapy offered

  • Group or family therapy not available

  • No sliding fee scale options


Nearly a third (31%) of adults will have an anxiety disorder. Sometimes, a mindfulness app is not enough—and medication can be prescribed to help people suffering from anxiety, on top of traditional talk therapy and meditation. If you’re looking for an app that can help you manage your medication, Talkspace is a great option. Upon signing up for one of its monthly subscription plans, you’ll have access to a licensed therapist or psychiatrist that can help you manage your anxiety via text therapy, medication, scheduled video sessions, or live chat sessions. There are over 5,000 licensed therapists on the platform that have collectively served over a million users. Thanks to the option to choose from four different therapy plans and communication options, Talkspace is affordable, flexible and convenient—even if you work long hours. 

The therapists are trained in multiple modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and emotion-focused therapy (EFT). You can also sign up your teen (as long as they’re 18), opt for couples therapy, or add on psychiatry services to get prescription medication for your anxiety. In addition to therapy, Talkspace offers a wide array of resources, such as articles, mental health quizzes, and a free anxiety test

Subscription plans for Talkspace start at $69 a week.

  • Messaging-only therapy: Includes unlimited messaging with therapist responses five days a week and starts at $69 per week
  • Live therapy: Includes four live therapy sessions a month via live chat, phone, or video call and starts at $99 per week
  • Live + messaging therapy: Includes both messaging and four live sessions and starts at $129 per week
  • Couples therapy: Includes unlimited messaging with therapist responses five days a week and four live couples therapy sessions per month, and starts at $109 per week

Best for Talk Therapy : BetterHelp



Key Specs
  • Cost: $60 to $90 per week 
  • Type of App: Therapy
  • Platforms Available: iOS and Android
Why We Chose It

Those who are suffering from anxiety may not be able to handle it alone, through meditation, but may need help from a licensed therapist. Thankfully, talk therapy has recently become available through apps that connect people with anxiety with therapists who can help them work through their concerns. A top option in the talk-therapy space is BetterHelp. This app offers live in-app video-based therapy with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your home or anywhere you have data or an internet connection. 

Pros & Cons
  • Connects users to trained therapists

  • Can be used for talk, text, and video sessions

  • Matched to a therapist within days

  • No medication management or psychiatry

  • Health insurance not accepted


People suffering from anxiety or depression may benefit from talking to a licensed therapist. BetterHelp is a live video-based therapy app offering talk therapy and mental health resources via a monthly subscription ($60 to $90 a week, depending on where you live, billed monthly).  Once you sign up—a process that involves answering a brief intake questionnaire and providing payment information—the app connects you to a therapist trained to treat the issues that you are currently experiencing. There are 23,000 therapists on the platform, available in all 50 states and internationally, that can treat various mental health concerns, ranging from anxiety and depression to PTSD, OCD, and ADHD.

One of the many benefits of using the BetterHelp app to conduct your weekly talk therapy sessions is having the ability to receive therapy anywhere you have data or an internet connection. You can schedule lunch-break sessions in a park or from the privacy of your bedroom with minimal disruption to your day or routine. The app is available on iOS and Android.

Best for Group Therapy : Circles

Circles Logo


Key Specs
  • Cost: $0 to $79 per month
  • Type of App: Meditation, mental wellness, peer support
  • Platforms Available: iOS and Android
Why We Chose It

We chose the Circles app because it is a great, low-cost way to start connecting to a group of peers. Circles helps people manage anxiety through free peer groups and low-cost expert-led group therapy sessions. It also offers other wellness tools such as breathwork, meditation, and stress reduction exercises and techniques. If you are someone who is looking for group therapy with peers who are facing similar concerns, Circles is a great option. 

Pros & Cons
  • Free options with no subscription required

  • Offers private messaging as well as group chats

  • Allows users to monitor their progress

  • Effectiveness may depend on the specific “circle” of users

  • For adults only


"Having a community where you can share your feelings is one helpful way to start feeling more connected, which has been linked to alleviating anxiety and depression," says Hannah Owens, LMSW, a subject matter expert, told Health. Circles provides an easy way to connect you to others. The paid version, costs $20 per week or $79 per month. In this version, prior to your first meeting you have a free call with the group’s facilitator to explain your goals. Then, you join a “circle” of people who are experiencing a similar mental health concern, such as anxiety. (There is an option for free peer-led groups, as well.)

In the paid, expert-led groups, your Circle will include no more than 10 other people—all first-timers—who all experience a similar problem, such as anxiety. The weekly video sessions are one hour long. Between sessions, you can chat with Circle members through the app or reach the group leader for support 24/7. The app also includes free features such as self-help exercises, blogs, and webinars.

Those who sign up for the monthly plan ($79) can also join circles on topics such as addiction, divorce, depression, parenting, and more. Each paid group is led by a trained expert that ensures the circles are a safe and beneficial place for like-minded individuals to meet.

Best for Meditation : Calm

Calm Meditation App logo


Key Specs
  • Cost: $15 per month, $70 per year
  • Type of App: Breathing, meditation, relaxation, sleep 
  • Available on: iOS and Android
Why We Chose It

As one of the most user-friendly and accessible meditation apps, Calm is a great choice for those looking for an app specifically focused on meditation. With thousands of meditation tracks and activities along with a new meditation and other content added daily, you’ll have a wealth of options to choose from to meet your needs.

Pros & Cons
  • Large library of guided meditations, sleep stories, and breathing exercises

  • New meditations added daily

  • Blog offers additional self-care resources

  • Not for those who may have serious anxiety disorders

  • Relatively expensive


Mindfulness meditation, which helps us focus on the present moment, has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain. Calm is an easy-to-use app for anyone who is interested in meditation. It offers a wide range of options for meditation practices. The meditations are geared toward helping you improve sleep quality, reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus, and learn self-care tools. You can choose from sleep meditations, calming music, guided and solo meditations, videos of nature scenes, mindful body movement, or join a master class taught by world-renowned mindfulness experts.

There’s also a blog with a wealth of resources on topics like "How to Achieve Small, Powerful Shifts in Your Life" and “The ABCs to Minding Your Mind” by Rheeda Walker, PhD. In other words: Calm is a great app for anyone looking to reduce stress and anxiety, whether you’re a meditation newbie or not. There is the option for a free trial, and after that, you can subscribe for $15 per month or $70 per year.

Best for Mood Tracking : Moodnotes

Moodnotes logos


Key Specs
  • Cost: $10 per month or $40 per year
  • Type of App: CBT journaling
  • Platforms Available: iOS and Android
Why We Chose It

We love that Moodnotes was created to help improve its users' mental health by employing cognitive behavioral techniques. The app encourages users to record their thoughts, feelings, and moods to help improve self-awareness, moods, and overall well-being.

Pros & Cons
  • Allows users to track moods and emotions over time to detect patterns

  • Offers personalized suggestions based on a user's moods

  • Includes a reminder feature

  • May not be as helpful for users who do not honestly express their moods

  • Requires regular, daily use to be effective


Observing our negative thoughts and moods and trying to redirect our thinking can go a long way in alleviating anxiety and depression. Moodnotes is an app that helps you record and track your moods over time and help manage your anxiety. The app has a fun and inviting interface that encourages you to rate how you are feeling at any given moment, and describe the affecting your mood. 

Moodnotes is based on CBT techniques—this can include anything from journaling to role-playing to exposure therapy, in which phobias are confronted—which are designed to help users identify and alter triggers that put them in a negative thought spiral. Depending on the user’s mood, the app recommends exercises to address negative thought patterns and ways to help create new, healthy behaviors. There’s also a daily check-in feature which is useful for tracking progress over time and helping you get in the habit of being mindful of their moods and triggers. Moodnotes offers a seven-day free trial that rolls into either $10 a month or $40 a year subscription. It is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Best for Sleep : Tide

Tide logo


Key Specs
  • Cost: $12 per month or $60 per year
  • Type of App: Sleep, meditation, breathwork
  • Platforms Available: iOS and Android
Why We Chose It

The Tide app is a tool that stood out to us because it helps you relax and then drift off into a deep, restful sleep with guided meditations, and soothing sleep sounds. The app also offers timers and tools that help its users stay mindful throughout the day to help ward off anxiety or address it as soon as the first pang of anxiety hits. 

Pros & Cons
  • Clean, minimalist interface makes the app calming and easy to use

  • Quick meditation for on-the go relief

  • Daily motivational quote

  • Not for those who need more targeted mental health support

  • In-app ads can be distracting


Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to managing anxiety. "People with high levels of stress and anxiety often have difficulty sleeping—and a lack of sleep, in turn, can lead to an elevation of stress hormones," says Owens. The Tide app is a tool for helping people unwind and settle into a restful sleep thanks to its guided sleep meditations, soothing sleep sounds, and videos that feature rolling waves, campfires, and other calming nature scenes. For users who want to promote calm throughout the day, the app offers a focus timer that periodically reminds you to check in with yourself; five-minute quick meditations, such as morning focus or happiness; and a daily motivational quote.

Even though the app’s free features are impressive, the premium subscription unlocks a host of extras. Whether you are looking for babbling brooks, snowy Alps, or want to hear the sounds of a busy cafe to remind you of being in the city, Tide has it, and many more sounds with accompanying videos you probably never imagined would soothe your soul, but do. There are also yoga nidra (yogic sleep) sessions that will get you in touch with your body and breath before bed to truly bring you to a restful state. TidePlus is $12 per month or $60 per year, and you can try it free for seven days.

Best for Breathing Techniques : Breathwrk



Key Specs
  • Cost: $9 per month or $49 per year
  • Type of App: Breathing, meditation, mood balancing, motivational, sleep sounds
  • Platforms Available: iOS and Android
Why We Chose It

Slower breathing can lead to a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure, so learning how to get your breath to slow down can go a long way in helping reduce anxiety. Breathwrk is an app that teaches you to use different breathing techniques to cope with various moods and moments throughout your day. The range of breathing exercises is designed to help with relaxation, focus, energy, sleep, and more.

Pros & Cons
  • Guided breathwork exercises are easy to follow

  • Exercises are tailored to suit individual preferences

  • Cost is relatively low

  • Only offers breathing exercises

  • Free content is very limited


Paying attention to breathing, and slowing down the breath can go a long way in reducing anxiety. To help achieve this, Breathwrk is one of our top picks for breathing exercise apps. It has a whole range of quick one-minute breathing exercises that can help you recenter and refocus. The app helps you calm down, wake up, or wind down with the help of just a few breathing techniques—and it aims to do so within just a few minutes. It also offers breathing exercises aimed to help you combat specific issues, including brain fog and long COVID.

Breathwrk offers limited free content along with a free seven-day trial that will then roll into a $9 a month or $49 a year subscription. 

Best for CBT : Moodkit

MoodKit App logo


Key Specs
  • Cost: $5 (one-time purchase)
  • Type of App: Mood-tracking app
  • Platforms Available: iOS
Why We Chose It

With the input of trained therapists, MoodKit offers over a huge range of CBT exercises and techniques—more than 200 altogether—to help you replace bad habits and thoughts with better ones through various modalities, such as journaling prompts, mindfulness exercises, and more.

Pros & Cons
  • Evidence-based CBT tools and techniques

  • Tracks moods and progress

  • Helpful tips to build resilience, cope with stress, and improve overall well-being

  • Only available on iOS devices

  • May be hard for those new to CBT techniques to pick up


One of the symptoms of anxiety is negative thinking patterns. To help address these patterns, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be very useful in helping bring awareness to these patterns and refocusing thoughts. Moodkit, designed by clinical psychologists, is a CBT-focused mental health app that helps users manage their moods and build resilience. It offers “mood-enhancing activities,” such as a thought-checker, journal, and mood-tracker—all of which use the tools of positive psychology to help improve outlook. The app is easy to use and customize, allowing users to track their moods and progress over time and set goals. 

There are also helpful tips and guidance on how to build resilience, cope with stress, and improve overall well-being. There are five different aspects of your life the app helps guide you to improve: Productivity (sense of accomplishment), social (enhance relationships), enjoyment (adding pleasure and fun to your life), physical (being more active), healthy habits (diet, sleep, self-care). MoodKit requires a one-time app purchase of $5.

Final Verdict

Headspace is the best overall anxiety app, because of its simple design and easy-to-use interface as well as its relatively low cost. It is one of the most widely recommended among therapists. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Calm was also a top contender. When it comes to the best anxiety apps, it’s important to remember that using any of these apps is a step towards better mental health. For those interested in moving beyond meditation and mindfulness, BetterHelp and Talkspace are great options that can help connect people experiencing anxiety and depression to licensed therapists.

Compare the Best Anxiety Apps

Company Price Type of App Platforms Available Expert-Designed
Headspace Best Comprehensive $13 per month, $70 annually Breathing, meditation, mood balancing, motivational, sleep stories iOS and Android Yes
Talkspace Best for Medication Management Subscriptions start at $65 per week Therapy iOS and Android Yes
BetterHelp Best for Talk Therapy $60 to $90 per week Therapy iOS and Android Yes
Circles Best for Group Therapy $0 to $79 per month Therapy iOS and Android Yes
Calm Best for Meditation $15 per month, $70 annually Meditation, breathing, sleep iOS and Android Yes
Moodnotes Best for Mood Tracking $10 per month or $40 per year CBT journaling iOS and Android Unsure
Tide Best for Sleep $12 per month or $60 per year Breathing, sleep iOS and Android Unsure
Breathwrk Best for Breathing Techniques $5 one-time purchase Breathing, meditation, sleep iOS and Android Yes
Moodkit Best for CBT $9 per month or $49 per year Mood tracking iOS only Yes

Guide to Choosing the Best Anxiety Apps

How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences, at least once in a while. For some people, anxiety can become chronic and interfere with daily life, making it difficult to function normally. It can include some of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive worrying
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Panic attacks

“While anxiety is a common emotion that can be experienced by anyone, those suffering from anxiety disorders face disruptions in their day-to-day functioning because of their anxiety,” Owens told Health. “If your anxiety makes daily life challenging, it might be time to seek help.”

How Can Apps Help With Anxiety?

Apps help with anxiety by offering tools and resources to help users manage symptoms of anxiety. 

For example, some anxiety apps offer guided meditations, breathing exercises, and other relaxation techniques that can help calm the mind and reduce feelings of anxiety. Others provide cognitive behavioral therapy techniques such as journaling and pinpointing negative thoughts that can help people make changes to their behavior. Some provide mindfulness exercises—which draw focus on the present moment—to help users address negative thought patterns that contribute to their anxiety. Other anxiety apps offer peer counseling and group or individual therapy sessions.

The best anxiety apps also often offer mood tracking and goal-setting tools to encourage long-term progress. While these apps can help relieve anxiety symptoms, they cannot fully replace traditional therapy.

How to Compare the Best Anxiety Apps

  • Evidence-based: The best anxiety apps have been created with expert input. This means that the app's features and functions are more likely to help manage anxiety symptoms.
  • Price: The cost of an anxiety app can vary widely. Some apps may offer a free trial or basic features for free, with additional features costing more. Consider your needs as well as your budget when deciding which one to choose.
  • Expert-led: It’s important to check who the app’s developers are. “Unfortunately, there is no regulation around these resources, so literally anyone who knows how to code could create an app and claim that it helps your mental health,” clinical psychologist Amy Marschall, PsyD, told Health. “What input did the developers get from qualified mental health professionals? When they say it helps, what are they basing that claim on?” Look for anxiety apps that have been developed or reviewed by mental health professionals, such as therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists. 
  • Fresh content: Anxiety apps that provide regular updates and new content can help keep users engaged. This can include new features, exercises, or articles on anxiety management.
  • Function of the app: Different apps suit different needs. Do you want to talk to a therapist? Chat with peers who are going through the same thing? Learn meditation? Look for an app that offers tools that you think will best help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who Should Consider Using Anxiety Apps?

    Anyone who is experiencing stress or anxiety could benefit from trying an anxiety app. It might take some trial and error to find one that you like or that works for you, but the good news is that many apps offer short free trials. The anxiety app you choose can also be a beneficial tool in between traditional therapy or psychiatry sessions.

  • Is Meditation Effective for Anxiety?

    Meditation has been shown to be an effective tool to manage anxiety because when practiced regularly, it can help reduce symptoms and improve your overall well-being. 

  • Can Anxiety Apps Replace Therapy?

    According to Marschall, it's important to address anxiety. “Chronic anxiety and stress can have negative health effects in addition to hurting quality of life and relationships," she said. "If you find an app helpful, absolutely use it to help manage your anxiety. Just remember that the apps aren't a substitute for other treatments like therapy.”

  • How Often Should You Use An Anxiety App?

    How often you use an anxiety app depends on your individual needs and what the app does. Apps that offer features such as journaling or mood-tracking, when done consistently, can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety apps that connect users with licensed therapists can also offer another way for anyone who is overwhelmed or anxious to work through their problems on a more regular basis.  “There is no ‘right way’ to use an app like this,” said Owens. “Apps are often meant to provide supplemental support in between therapy sessions, so whether you check in once a day or once a week, anything that feels the best to you and gets you the most out of what the app offers is ok.”


In curating this list of the best anxiety apps, our research team reviewed over 46 mental health apps. Special attention was given to apps that were developed by subject matter experts and offered evidence-based solutions to anxiety. We also looked for apps that offered multiple modalities to combat anxiety, such as meditation, breathwork, journaling, mood tracking, and CBT and DBT. We then narrowed down the list by assessing things like cost, ease of use, interface, and whether or not the content was regularly updated. We then presented our final list to our subject matter experts to get their opinion on each app and the pros and cons that came with each. 

Teenager on mobile phone using Anxiety Apps

Carol Yepes / Getty Images

Article Sources
  1. Kasper S. Anxiety disorders: under-diagnosed and insufficiently treated. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2006;10 Suppl 1:3-9. doi:10.1080/13651500600552297

  2. Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. What is cognitive behavioral therapy?. American Psychological Association.

  3. Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EMS, et al. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(3):357. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13018

  4. National Institute of Mental Health. Anxiety disorders.

  5. Firth J, Torous J, Nicholas J, Carney R, Rosenbaum S, Sarris J. Can smartphone mental health interventions reduce symptoms of anxiety? A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Affect Disord. 2017;218:15-22. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.04.046

  6. Mindfulness meditation: A research-proven way to reduce stress. American Psychological Association.

Related Articles