February 24, 2023

5 Mental Health Apps You Should Download This Year

Blue, green, and peach circles on a dark background

It’s the start of a new year, so naturally, it’s time for people to begin evaluating how to begin or continue a personal growth journey for the next 12 months. Over the last decade, mental health apps have become the norm for people seeking professional therapy, support systems among peers going through similar things, and a simple way to destress and build healthier habits. But with so many apps out there these days, which ones are actually worth investing your time, energy, and (sometimes) money into? 

Here are some of the most innovative mental health apps you should consider adding to your toolkit in 2023.


As women of color, founders Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi never saw themselves represented in the mental health space, so making sure there was a place where people of color could be seen was a top priority when they launched Shine in 2015. The inclusive app provides a multitude of resources: daily meditations where users can learn self-care skills five days a week, personalized meditation recommendations, and a library of audio self-care courses run by experts. There are even virtual workshops every month that people can participate in for more exclusive support.

Download on the Apple Store


Co-created by reggaeton superstar J Balvin, Oye — which means “listen” in Spanish — aims to be a “creative wellness” app for Gen Z. The idea is that people who want to work on their mental health and the emotions that come with it can do so in a creative way, whether it’s doing a simple guided meditation or doing some sort of yoga or dancing to alleviate stress. Each day, users can track how they’re feeling, create unique art that tracks their personal growth, and watch content specifically tailored to their emotions. With its Latin American roots, Oye is available for users to download in English and Spanish. Fun fact: Big Human helped Oye design and develop the app. 

Download on the Apple Store and Google Play


When it comes to finding a mental health app to combat stress, sometimes less can be more. That’s the idea behind iBreathe. The app’s overall mission is to be a guide for breathwork and deep breathing exercises — no fancy features needed. There are a variety of practices to choose from, and you can even create your own breathing exercises at your own pace. Users who are interested in learning more about the practice itself can access a section in iBreathe that talks about the benefits of deep breathing and provides recommended reading from all sorts of experts. 

Download on the Apple Store

CBT-i Coach

Many know about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a type of treatment therapists use to help patients challenge and change their negative thinking patterns, but have you ever heard of CBT for insomnia (CBT-I)? Similar to classic CBT, CBT-I is focused on restructuring thoughts and behaviors surrounding sleep issues. CBT-i Coach is an app that wants to help people do just that. It was inspired by a manual called “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Veterans” and was created with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ National Center for PTSD, the Stanford School of Medicine, and the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology. While CBT-i Coach advises that it is not a replacement for regular therapy, the app features relaxation exercises for winding down and a sleep diary to track your sleep and any naps or dozing that may have happened. There’s even a place where people can “schedule worry time” in an effort to manage emotions amid sleeping issues.

Download on the Apple Store and Google Play


Consider Sanvello to be the ultimate toolkit for people looking to improve their mental health. At first glance, it might seem like many of its app counterparts. There’s a way to check in with your mood each day with personalized recommendations on how to combat certain feelings, goal trackers, health trackers, an anonymous community for people to discuss anything and everything, and a way to match with a licensed therapist. But what makes it stand out is its interactive coaching feature. People can team up with one of Sanvello’s coaches to work on getting the motivation, direction, and support they need in order to achieve their personal goals. There are also group coaching sessions available where instructors can help users bridge the connection between CBT practices and real-life obstacles.

Download on the Apple Store and Google Play

up next
Pink and red figures on a green background
January 30, 2023


The Big Human Guide to Developing Your Brand’s Ideal User Personas

Big Human Share Cover
January 25, 2023


Big Human in Review: 2022 Highlights