Best Cognitive Therapy Apps (for iOS + Android)

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that challenges unproductive thoughts and behaviors, while introducing problem-solving solutions to improve your mental health.

This modality was initially developed to treat depression, but also has proven benefits for anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), substance use disorder, and more. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy apps are a convenient choice for individuals looking to improve their mental health. These apps can be used alone or as an adjunct to in-person therapy, depending on your needs. To find the right cognitive behavioral therapy app for you, it’s important to consider your budget, desired features (like text or video contact with your therapist), educational content, and whether you would like long or short-term care.

In this article, we’ll compare the features, pricing, and treatment approach of 8 leading cognitive behavioral therapy apps, including Sanvello, Inflow, CBT-i Coach, Clarity CBT Thought Diary, Mindshift, MindDoc, Bloom, and Happify. 

Our Top Picks for Best Cognitive Behavioral Therapy App

Sanvello takes a holistic approach to mental well-being, providing the best combination of features and CBT tools for a range of mental health concerns, all at a fairly affordable monthly cost. 

  • Best CBT App for ADHD: Inflow 

Inflow is specifically designed for ADHD symptom management with a wide range of features, including text-based coaching and focus rooms. 

CBT-i Coach is a free resource designed to supplement therapy sessions for insomnia with a range of in-app tools, including a personalized sleep diary, sleep tracking, and relaxation tools.  

Clarity CBT Thought Diary is a free app offering a breadth of CBT-based resources, including mood tracking, guided journals, and audio meditations, for stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. 

  • Best CBT App for Mild to Moderate Anxiety: Mindshift

Mindshift offers CBT-based resources to address common types of anxiety, including social anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks, making it a well-rounded tool for mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety. 

  • Best CBT App for Self-Monitoring: MindDoc

MindDoc is the best tool for self-monitoring your moods, thoughts, and behaviors with daily check-ins, personalized feedback, and CBT exercises that you can complete at your own pace. 

  • Best CBT App for Practicing Mindfulness: Bloom

Bloom is ideal for practicing mindfulness with a range of AI-powered tools for anxiety, depression, and burnout, including daily mood tracking and guided journaling. 

  • Best Engaging Game-Based CBT App: Happify 

Happify offers engaging CBT-based games and activities with over 65 tracks to improve various aspects of your mental health, including self-confidence, career success, and stress management. 

Honorable Mention - ChatCBT

ChatCBT harnesses AI technology to deliver CBT insights in a chatroom format. It’s included with a ChatGPT Plus subscription, which costs $20 per month. While this app doesn’t provide the degree of care or resources to treat mental health conditions, it may be used as an adjunct to talk therapy or to help individuals with mild symptoms who want to learn more about CBT.

Compare the Best Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Apps

We’ve compared a range of cognitive behavioral therapy apps, including Sanvello, Inflow, CBT-i Coach, Clarity CBT Thought Diary, Mindshift, MindDoc, Bloom, and Happify, to help you understand which app may be the best fit for your needs. 

Compare the Best Apps for CBT

Inflow ADHDCBT-i CoachClarity CBT Thought DiaryMindshiftSanvelloMindDocBloomHappify
Subscription priceStarting at $0.55 per day (about $16.50/month)FreeFreeFree$8.99 per month or $53.99 per yearFrom $4.49/month$14.49/month$14.99/month
Conditions/concernsADHDSleep + insomnia General mental healthAnxietyStress, anxiety, and depressionGeneral mental healthAnxietyGeneral mental health
Free version available?✅ 7-day free trial✅ 7-day free trial
Access to healthcare professional?
Accountability coaching
Therapy?✅ Group therapy available
$50 assessment fee
$440 if accepted into the program
✅ At additional cost
Mood tracking?
Community support?
Self-paced lessons?
Daily tasks/challenges?
Mindfulness exercises and habit-building strategies?
Website
sanvello logo

Sanvello Review - Best CBT App Overall

Overview

  • Price: $8.99 per month/$53.99 per year
  • Targeted concerns: Stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Accessibility: iOS and Android
  • Support resources: Coaching, therapists, community support, and educational content
  • Key features: Daily mood tracking, guided journeys, coping tools, and progress assessments
sanvello phone app

Sanvello is a popular mental healthcare app rooted in CBT principles. It earned our title as the best CBT app overall because it’s a well-rounded, holistic solution for symptoms related to stress, anxiety, and depression. Whether your symptoms are occasional or more frequent, Sanvello provides a breadth of tools and features within a flexible platform. Also, compared to other paid apps, Sanvello is fairly affordable and even accepts insurance for therapy sessions.

inflow app logo

Inflow Review - Best CBT App for ADHD

Overview

  • Price: Starts at $0.55 per day
  • Targeted concerns: ADHD
  • Accessibility: iOS, Android (Google Play), desktop
  • Support resources: Coaching, community support, educational content
  • Key features: Text-based coaching, learning modules, mindfulness exercises, focus rooms
inflow phone app

Inflow is a CBT app specifically designed for ADHD symptom management. Since the app was created by trained clinicians who specialize in ADHD, it’s a good option for individuals experiencing ADHD symptoms who want convenient remote support and/or an adjunct to therapy. Inflow isn’t a good fit for individuals with other mental health conditions, like anxiety or depression.

cbt i logo

CBT-i Coach Review - Best CBT App for Sleep + Insomnia

Overview

  • Price: Free
  • Targeted concerns: Insomnia
  • Accessibility: iOS, Android
  • Support resources: Educational program
  • Key features: Sleep diary, sleep tracking, relaxation tools
cbt i phone app

CBT-i Coach is a free app designed for individuals receiving in-person care for insomnia. It provides a structured program, rooted in CBT principles, for improving sleep and treating insomnia. CBT-i Coach isn’t intended to replace in-person therapy but may be an effective adjunct for individuals already receiving treatment for insomnia. It may also be helpful as a standalone tool for individuals with mild or occasional sleep problems.

clarity cbt thought diary logo

Clarity CBT Thought Diary Review - Best Free CBT App

Overview

  • Price: Free with optional in-app purchases
  • Targeted concerns: General mental health, stress, anxiety, sleep
  • Accessibility (iOS, android, desktop): iOS, Android
  • Support resources: Psychoeducational programs
  • Key features: Mood tracking, reflection tools, guided journals, thought reframing, audio meditations
clarity phone app

Clarity CBT Thought Diary provides a range of tools to learn about and implement CBT strategies for stress, anxiety, and other common mental health concerns. It provides a range of features to help you reframe negative thoughts, manage stress, and better understand your moods. This app is a great choice for individuals seeking a free, interactive CBT app to improve their general mental health, or for those who want CBT tools to use alongside therapy sessions. But, it’s not suitable for those seeking in-app therapy or coaching.

Mindshift Review - Best CBT App for Mild to Moderate Anxiety

Overview

  • Price: Free
  • Targeted concerns: Anxiety
  • Accessibility: iOS, Android
  • Support resources: Group therapy, community forum, educational anxiety guides, optional data exporting to share with your therapist
  • Key features: Daily check-ins, anxiety coping cards, goal-setting tools, guided meditations
mindshift phone app

Mindshift offers CBT-based tools and resources for many common types of anxiety, including general worry, social anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks. It’s a great choice for individuals experiencing mild to moderate anxiety, who want convenient, remote support. With the option to export data to a counselor, therapist, or psychologist, Mindshift can also work well as a supplement to in-person sessions.

minddoc app logo

MindDoc Review - Best CBT App for Self-Monitoring

Overview

  • Price: starts at $4.49 per month
  • Targeted concerns: General mental health including anxiety, depression, burnout, phobias, insomnia, and eating disorders
  • Accessibility: iOS, Android
  • Support resources: CBT courses, optional access to therapists
  • Key features: Daily check-ins, audio courses, personalized feedback, CBT exercises
minddoc phone app

MindDoc is centered around self-monitoring your moods, thoughts, and behaviors to gradually achieve a more positive mindset. It includes over 70 CBT-based courses and exercises with regular individualized feedback. Since the self-guided program is highly personalizable, it’s a great option for those seeking occasional support, proactive mental healthcare, or relief from mild to moderate symptoms of a mental health condition. It can also be used to improve self-management skills between in-person therapy sessions.

bloom logo

Bloom Review - Best CBT App for Practicing Mindfulness

Overview

  • Price: $14.49 per month
  • Targeted concerns: Anxiety, depression, burnout
  • Accessibility: iOS, Android
  • Support resources: Educational sessions
  • Key features: Daily mood tracking, daily AI-powered advice, guided video classes, guided journaling
bloom phone app

Bloom is a self-guided therapy app rooted in CBT principles that uses AI technology for personalization and interactivity. Mindfulness is a prominent feature in many CBT programs for anxiety, and Bloom implements it throughout its in-app resources. If you’re interested in adopting mindfulness practices to improve your mental health or want to supplement in-person therapy with mindfulness tools, Bloom is a fitting choice. However, it’s not ideal for those seeking in-app support from mental health professionals.

happify logo

Happify Review - Best Engaging Game-Based CBT App

Overview

  • Price: $14.99 per month
  • Targeted concerns: General mental health
  • Accessibility: iOS, Android, desktop
  • Support resources: Character strength report
  • Key features: CBT games, progress tracking, personalized happiness score
happily phone app

Happify is designed to make prioritizing your mental health fun, with CBT-based games and activities. The app includes over 65 tracks to improve different aspects of your life and mental health, such as building self-confidence, enhancing career success, and effectively managing stress. It’s a good choice for individuals looking to improve their overall mental health who find it easier to engage with game-based apps. However, it’s not ideal for individuals who want in-app support from mental health clinicians or those looking to target specific concerns, like depression or ADHD. 

The Verdict: Which Are the Best Overall Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Apps?

Overall, the best cognitive behavioral therapy apps provide a combination of user-friendly resources, educational content, personalized tools, and good value for the cost. The apps included in this article have different strengths and provide these benefits for various groups. 

  • Sanvello is our pick for the best CBT app overall because it addresses anxiety, depression, and stress with a broad range of resources, including daily mood tracking, guided journeys, coping tools, and progress assessments. 
  • Inflow is our pick for the best CBT app for ADHD because it’s specifically designed for ADHD symptom management with CBT-based tools, including text-based coaching, focus rooms, and mindfulness exercises. 
  • CBT-i Coach is our pick for the best CBT app for sleep and insomnia because it provides free resources designed to address insomnia with CBT techniques, including a personalized sleep diary, sleep tracking, and relaxation tools. 
  • Clarity CBT Thought Diary is our pick for the best free CBT app because it provides an expansive range of CBT resources for free, including mood tracking, guided journals, and audio meditations for stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. 
  • Mindshift is our top pick for mild to moderate anxiety because its CBT-based tools address many forms of anxiety, including general worry, social anxiety, perfectionism, phobias, and panic attacks. 
  • MindDoc is our top pick for self-monitoring because it offers a self-guided program of over 70 courses with personalized feedback and daily check-ins for a range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, burnout, phobias, and insomnia. 
  • Bloom is our top pick for practicing mindfulness because it addresses anxiety, depression, and burnout with a variety of convenient daily tools to help you feel present, including daily mood tracking and guided journaling.
  • Happify is our pick for the best engaging game-based CBT app because it offers a range of CBT-based games to improve your mental health from anywhere, with 65 unique tracks including building self-confidence, enhancing career success, and managing stress.

FAQs

Can I do cognitive behavioral therapy on myself?

Some people can do cognitive behavioral therapy on themselves with help from an app or other educational resources. However, some may prefer support from a therapist specializing in CBT. 

When is CBT not appropriate?

CBT may not be appropriate for individuals with complex mental health concerns, or a history of trauma.

What are the calming techniques for CBT?

Calming techniques for CBT include guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, calm breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.

How do I start practicing CBT?

You can start practicing CBT by scheduling an appointment with a therapist specializing in CBT or by accessing online CBT resources, such as a CBT app. 

How does CBT view anxiety?

CBT treats anxiety by identifying and challenging the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to anxiety symptoms.

How effective are CBT apps?

Many CBT apps that are developed by CBT specialists are effective for certain individuals. However, it’s important to consider if you’re a good candidate for the app’s program.

Methodology

To find the best CBT app, we started by searching app stores for any that were specifically designed for mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, or general mental health. Next, we narrowed our list down to only the highest-rated and most popular, effective, well-rounded options. We then evaluated the apps based on their features, reputation, customer service, reviews, and affordability. We also considered the app’s ease of use, range of conditions treated, added costs, and compatibility with in-person therapy. Finally, we tested the CBT apps to see how they worked and evaluate the user experience.

We ultimately made our decision based on features, the range of conditions addressed, value for money, and the quality of CBT resources offered.