Best Apps For Panic Attacks

If you’re prone to panic attacks, you know how terrifying and disorienting these sudden attacks can be. Panic attacks are marked by a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, and a feeling of dread. They can hit at any time and in any place, making it hard to function in your daily life.

Luckily, there are several apps that have been developed just for people who suffer from panic attacks. We’ve rounded up some of the best ones here—so you know what to look for if you or someone you love is experiencing anxiety.

Best Apps For Panic Attacks

A quick look at the best apps for anxiety
Best anxiety app for meditation: Calm
Best anxiety app for adult coloring: Colorfy
Best for mood tracking: What’s Up? A Mental Health App
Best anxiety app for sleep: Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep
Best meditation app for People of Color: Shine
Best anxiety app for breathing techniques: Breathwrk
Best anxiety app game: AntiStress Anxiety Relief Game
Best anxiety app for journaling: Moodnotes
Best for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): MindShift CBT
Anxiety is an extremely common but nonetheless extremely disruptive experience. Having anxiety can mean sleepless nights, missed opportunities, feeling sick, and panic attacks that can keep you from feeling like your full self. For example, you can try one of these apps for anxiety to help you cope with your symptoms.

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Therapy with a professional is often a huge help, but knowing you’re armed with the tools to confront, dissolve, or embrace your anxious thoughts and feelings can be the bit of empowerment you need in between sessions.

What is anxiety?
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. For many people, it can manifest in a number of ways, like:

increased heart rate
rapid breathing
trouble concentrating
difficulty falling asleep
Some anxiety is typical. For instance, if you’re taking a test or starting a new job, you may feel anxious and nervous. However, anxiety can become extreme when it affects your day-to-day for an extended period of time.

People who have anxiety disorders may feel fear, anxiety, panic, or worry at all or most times. Anxiety disorders may also prevent people from doing things they enjoy.

Some of the most common anxiety disorders are:

Panic disorder. This is when you experience recurring panic attacks at unexpected times. A person with panic disorder may constantly fear the next panic attack.
Phobia. A phobia is a fear of a specific object, activity, or circumstance.
Social anxiety disorder. With this disorder, you may have an extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations.
Separation anxiety disorder. This involves the fear of being away from home or loved ones.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). You may worry uncontrollably about common occurrences and situations with GAD. It’s also known as chronic anxiety neurosis.
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and can affect anyone at any age. If you have anxiety, you can get help from a mental health professional who can help you identify the routes of your anxiety and how to better approach your worries.

Explore new calming exercises with Calm
Manage your anxiety with the award-winning Calm app. Try a guided meditation, a sleep story, or stretches designed by experts to help you focus and relax. Start your free trial today.

How we chose the best apps for anxiety
We chose the best anxiety apps based on customer ratings. We also considered price, features, and what operating system the app is available on when creating this list.

Pricing guide
$ = under $9 per month
$$ = $9–$13 per month
$$$ = over $13 per month
A note on price
All of the apps mentioned in this article are free to download, but most require monthly or yearly subscriptions to use some or all of the in-app features.

Healthline’s picks for the best apps for anxiety
Best anxiety app for meditation
iPhone rating: 4.8 stars
Android rating: 4.4 stars
Price: $$$
Sleep is important for managing stress, but it’s also one of the first things to become an issue when you’re feeling anxious. Sleep, meditation, and relaxation are in your hands with Calm, a popular mindfulness app. These guided meditations are good for complete novices and seasoned practitioners, and you have your pick when it comes to how long you can dedicate to the app each day.

Calm offers a mood check-in feature that tracks your mood throughout the day and puts together a personalized report of your moods. In the free version, the app offers a limited amount of guided exercises and meditative audio to help relieve stress.

Calm also features nature sounds and sleep stories to help lull you into relaxed sleep, but a subscription is required to access these features. You can use their 7-day free trial to see if the subscription is worth it for you.

Best anxiety app for adult coloring
iPhone rating: 4.7 stars
Android rating: 4.1 stars
Price: $$$
Colorfy is an adult coloring book brought into the digital realm. With a selection of images and mandalas to choose from, or the option to upload your own sketches to color, you can spend hours in a flow state or focused meditation through this app.

A 2020 studyTrusted Source showed that adult coloring helped lower anxiety levels in participants, so pouring your attention into the beautiful designs may help distract from your anxious thoughts and provide some calm.

While Colorfy offers a majority of their images to color for free, you have to purchase a subscription in order to get access to the full library of images. However, Colorfy offers a 7-day free trial, so you can try it out before you buy the subscription.

Best for mood tracking
What’s Up? A Mental Health App
iPhone rating: 4.4 stars
Android rating: 3.9 stars
Price: $
What’s Up? uses helpful techniques that stem from CBT and acceptance commitment therapy (ACT), two common ways to manage intense feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. This free app features a comprehensive diary that allows you to log daily moods and habits, along with a feelings tracker that asks you to rate your emotions on a scale from 1 to 10.

It also has a positive and negative habit tracker, where you can set goals to practice healthy habits like meditation, journaling, or exercising.

If you’re experiencing feelings of panic, What’s Up? also has a grounding game designed to help users return to the present when stress is taking over.

Best anxiety app for sleep
Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep
Android rating: 4.6 stars
Price: $
Racing thoughts and ruminations are hallmarks of anxiety, but you can slow down, breathe deeply, and clear your thoughts with the gentle sounds and sights of nature in this app.

From thunder and rain to crackling fires and bird sounds, there’s something for everyone. Set the app timer to listen while you gently drift off to sleep, or set one of the tracks as your morning alarm so you can start your day with a soothing sound.

A 2019 review suggests that listening to nature sounds can help reduce stress, so this app may be an easy way to lower your anxiety.

Most features on this app are free. But with one-time purchases, you can gain access to more sounds.

Best meditation app for People of Color
iPhone rating: 4.7 stars
Android rating: 4.7 stars
Price: $
The way you experience and express anxiety can be different based on your cultural background. The Shine app was designed by Women of Color to address the anxieties that are specific to their communities. The app offers meditation practices, podcasts, a huge audio library, and community forums, so you can work on managing your anxiety alone or with the support of others who have a similar background.

Shine requires a subscription to use most of the features in the app, but it does give daily mood-boosting audio recordings and gratitude check-ins without a subscription. You’re also able to use a 7-day free trial before purchasing a subscription.

Best anxiety app for breathing techniques
iPhone rating: 4.8 stars
Price: $
If you have anxiety, you’ve probably tried a breathing exercise or two to help calm yourself. The Breathwrk app takes the science of breathing exercises even further by curating a collection of breathing exercises based on your goal: falling asleep, feeling relaxed, feeling energized, or alleviating stress. The app walks you through how to do each exercise and can send you daily reminders to remember to… well, breathe.

Most breathing exercises are completely free. But with a small monthly fee, you’re able to gain access to even more exercises and have unlimited access to track your breathing habits all month long. Breathwrk also has the most cost-friendly subscription on the list and offers a 7-day trial before you sign up for a subscription.

Best anxiety app game
AntiStress Anxiety Relief Game
iPhone rating: 4.5 stars
Android rating: 4.4 stars
Price: $
You know those fidget cubes with all the little tools and gadgets on them to keep you distracted? Imagine a whole app full of these little fun distractions: that’s the AntiStress app.

With mindless games like bubble wrap popping, fidget spinners, pen clicking, soap carving, and many more, this app is a great tool to help take your mind off what’s making you anxious. The best part? This app is completely free.

Best anxiety app for journaling
iPhone rating: 4.7 stars
Price: $$
Moodnotes lets you document your entire experience with anxiety in all of its forms. Built on CBT techniques and positive psychology, this app lets you understand and manage the entire experience of anxiety.

Moodnotes has a wide range of techniques to help you manage your anxiety. You can take a picture of your face to visualize your mood, write down your thoughts at the moment you begin feeling anxious, or read educational materials that help you get out of the cycle of “thinking traps.”

Moodnotes requires a subscription to use most of the features, but it does allow for a 7-day free trial.

Best for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
MindShift CBT
iPhone rating: 4.3 stars
Price: $
CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on identifying negative thought patterns in an effort to recognize and reconstruct them. MindShift CBT is an app that supports users of CBT by providing daily mood check-ins, guided relaxation and mindfulness meditations, and tips for dealing with general worry, social anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, and more, all for free.

Should you choose to participate, there’s also a community board for people to interact with and support each other. The app has a 4.3-star rating from iPhone users who love MindShift’s tools, information, and interconnectivity.

Frequently asked questions
How effective are apps for anxiety?
Depending on how often you use your apps of choice, they can be highly effective in helping to lower feelings of anxiety, stress, and panic. Many of these apps use evidence-based techniques of mindfulness and grounding. According to a 2012 review, these techniques have been found to calm the sympathetic nervous system, effectively reducing stress and creating a more relaxed body.

However, apps for anxiety don’t replace mental health professionals. They’re mainly designed to serve as a supplement to regular therapy appointments, or as distractions in moments of panic.

What are the benefits of apps for anxiety?
Apps for anxiety are:

mostly free or low cost
accessible if you have a smartphone
They can also help improve moods and provide healthy coping mechanisms.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t use apps for anxiety?
Anyone who is living with a serious mental health condition or addiction or feeling suicidal should, first and foremost, consult with their doctor or a healthcare professional. In an emergency, contact a crisis hotline, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, or 911.

This is because mental health apps are not intended to diagnose a condition or take the place of a mental health professional.

best apps for anxiety and depression

From meditation to mood tracking, we found some of the best apps to help you manage your depression symptoms.

Getty Images/AleksandarNakic
Living with depression can be challenging, but you’re not alone. Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions worldwide.

In 2019, approximately 19.4 million U.S. adultsTrusted Source had at least one episode of major depression. That’s almost 8% of the adult population.

While apps to help ease depression won’t replace medication or therapy, they may help decrease your stress and alleviate some of your symptoms, according to research from 2017Trusted Source.

We realize you don’t necessarily want to wade through tons of apps to find the best one. So, we’ve rounded up our favorites from skills-based assistance to sleep stories and even games.

What are depression apps?
If you’re living with depression, apps may help you feel better or manage life in a variety of ways.

Several apps teach you therapeutic or meditation techniques to help you manage symptoms. Others let you connect with people who are going through similar things. Some apps give you the opportunity to vent your feelings with an emotionally intelligent chatbot.

Many apps offer basic features for free and give you the option to make monthly payments for more advanced features.

Still, it’s important to keep in mind that apps can’t replace traditional treatments for depression. If your symptoms persist or are affecting your daily life and ability to function, your best option is to seek professional support.

List of the best depression apps of 2022
If you want to jump directly to the section for each app, you can click the links below.

Best for meditation: Headspace
Best for sleep: Calm
Best for self-guided therapy: Youper
Best for community support: Sanvello: Anxiety and Depression
Best for AI-based therapy: Wysa
Best game: SuperBetter
Online therapy can help with depression
Improve your quality of life with the support of BetterHelp’s licensed therapists. Get therapy when you need it over phone, video, or chat.

Criteria we used to pick
To find the right apps, we reviewed numerous contenders, looking at the following:

Rating. We focused on apps with the highest overall ratings from thousands of users.
User reviews. We looked closely at what users thought about the app.
Operating system. All the apps are available for both Android and iOS.
Price. All apps on our list offer free options.
Vetting. All services have been vetted to ensure they meet Psych Central’s medical, editorial, and business standards.
Our picks for the best apps for depression
Best app for meditation
Price: Free for basic services; $12.99 per month or $69.99 per year for premium. Student and family plans are available.
Platform: Android, iPhone, website
App Store rating: 4.9 stars (877.5k ratings)
Founded by a former Buddhist monk turned event planner, Headspace has been around since 2010. With the goal of providing people guided meditations anytime, anywhere, Headspace now also includes animations, articles, and videos.

Why we chose it as best for meditation
Headspace is an easy-to-navigate app offering numerous meditations for beginners and advanced meditators. It also allows users to create meditation goals and track their progress.

What we like
Meditations vary in length.
Meditations are available for a large variety of experiences and situations.
You can often select different guide levels (guided, semi-guided, unguided) and voices (e.g., male vs. female).
What to look out for
If you don’t pay for an upgrade, you’re stuck listening to the same few meditations over and over again.
If you’d like to learn more, consider reading our in-depth review of Headspace.

Best for sleep
Price: Free for some features; $14.99 per month, $69.99 per year, or $399.00 for a one-time, lifetime purchase for premium.
Platform: Android, iPhone, website
App Store rating: 4.8 stars (1.4 million ratings)
Regularly recognized as one of the best apps for sleep, Calm’s sleep stories feature some well-known voices like Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba, Ariana Grande, and Kate Winslet. Like the celebrities, there’s a wide range of story styles to choose from, including fairy tales and ASMR. There are even nap sessions available if you need to shut your eyes for just a few minutes midday.

Why we chose it as best for sleep
The Calm app features more than 200 sleep stories, as well as soothing nature sounds, landscapes, and music. It also lets you record and track your moods.

What we like
The Calm app is updated regularly so you won’t get bored listening to the same stories over and over again.
There are sleep stories designed specifically for children.
There are “Gently Back to Sleep” options for when you wake up in the middle of the night.
What to look out for
The sleep stories can be too long for some people.
Only a few of the stories are included in the free version of the app.
If you’d like to learn more, consider reading our in-depth review of Calm.

Best for self-guided therapy
Price: Free for basic services; $3.75 per month, $44.99 per year for an Emotional Health Plan.
Platform: Android, iPhone, website
App Store rating: 4.8 stars (14.4k ratings)
Created by doctors and therapists, Youper is short for “You” + “Super.” It was designed to empower people to take charge of their own mental health. Through the use of artificial intelligence technology, you can receive daily therapeutic exercise recommendations. The app relies on user data to improve their services.

Why we chose it as best for self-guided therapy
The Youper app uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to help people with depression and anxiety. Users have access to emotional support via a 24/7 AI therapy chat.

What we like
The app asks you a series of questions to determine your mood and feelings, along with what exercises would work best for you at that moment.
Even though it’s AI, you feel like you’re communicating with a real person who cares about you.
The app is built on scientific data.
What to look out for
If you’re not interested in tracking your moods and just want to do a skill, there’s no option to move past the mood tracker.
To access all the features, you need a subscription.
Though Youper uses CBT techniques to help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, it’s not a substitute for depression treatment.
Best for community support
Sanvello: Anxiety and Depression
Price: Covered by some insurance plans; $8.99 per month, $53.99 per year for the Self-Care plan; $50 per month, $350 per year to include journey classes and 1:1 coaching; approximately $140 for an initial therapy appointment and $85 for the average follow-up appointments.
Platform: Android, iPhone, website
App Store rating: 4.8 stars (18.5k ratings)
Sanvello is a full-service app, providing everything from goal tracking and exercises to coaching and therapy. But their community of users, which Sanvello bills as a “judgment-free, label-free space,” is where it’s at. If you need a sympathetic “ear” or some encouragement, fellow app users can chime in with words of understanding or encouragement.

Why we chose it as best for community support
Sanvello’s peer support feature allows users to safely share their thoughts in a judgment-free zone. Users can help one another with everything from offering words of encouragement to sharing stress-relieving tips.

What we like
It’s a safe space for anyone who is experiencing anxiety or depression.
Connecting with hundreds of others who are experiencing the same things as you can make you feel less alone.
Therapy sessions are more affordable than many in-person providers.
What to look out for
You can get blocked from posting if you talk about suicide.
You could be denied therapy and receive a recommendation to find a different provider, based on your responses to the initial questionnaire.
While Sanvello may help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, it’s not a substitute for treatment.
Best for AI-based therapy
Price: AI chats are free; $11.99 per month for access to tools and a well-being coach or therapist.
Platform: Android, iPhone
App Store rating: 4.9 stars (8.6k ratings)
Wysa and its AI penguin are an “almost therapy” option that gives you therapeutic tools and techniques at the right time. After answering several questions, the Wysa penguin will suggest:

CBT or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) techniques
breathing exercises
motivational interviewing
Founded by health professionals, Wysa’s goal is to help you talk and work through your symptoms, regardless of the time of day or night.

Why we chose it as best for AI-based therapy
If you’re not ready to share your feelings with a human, Wysa allows you to share your deepest thoughts with an emotionally intelligent chatbot. You remain anonymous and your conversations are privacy-protected.

What we like
No more 50-minute therapy sessions — Wysa will “listen” for as long as it takes you to work through your thoughts and feelings.
Many users find the Wysa penguin adorable, making it easier to talk to a bot and eliminating the fear of burdening a friend with your problems.
You can receive help from the Wysa penguin without paying for a premium version.
What to look out for
The penguin is, sadly, not real. Sometimes it can feel like you’re in a loop.
If you experience severe depression, the penguin isn’t a substitute for professional help.
Best game
Price: Free
Platform: Android, iPhone, website
App store rating: 4.7 stars (7.3k ratings)
Believe it or not, you can play a game to help you overcome some of your symptoms. SuperBetter is that game.

Created by a game designer who was living with depression, SuperBetter may help you build resilience by using the psychological strengths found in gaming.

The goal is to use the virtual world to provide you with the skills you need to overcome difficult situations in life. Some researchTrusted Source indicates that SuperBetter may help reduce symptoms of depression, though researchers involved in the study were connected to the app, which may influence results.

Why we chose it as best game
The SuperBetter app is designed to help you develop resilience — the ability to stay strong, optimistic, and motivated during difficult times. Players unlock their heroic potential to overcome difficult situations and reach their goals.

What we like
The game is specifically designed to improve your mental health, with challenges that have you dealing with your real-life difficulties virtually.
The “battles” in the app mimic real life, such as a challenge to get up off the couch and take just one step or even get a drink of water.
There are specific games created for the COVID-19 pandemic, such as Stay at Home Scavenger Hunt, where you build social connections while remaining physically distant, and Stay Strong in a Pandemic that provides skills to help you through this time.
What to look out for
For gamers, SuperBetter may seem too basic.
How the apps compare
Best for Features Platforms Price
Headspace meditation • meditations
• music
• bedtime stories
• exercises • Android
• iPhone
• website free for basic, $12.99 per month, $69.99 per year
Calm sleep • sleep stories
• meditations
• soundscapes • Android
• iPhone
• website free for basic, $14.99 per month, $69.99 per year
Youper self-guided therapy • CBT techniques
• AI support chat • Android
• iPhone
• website free for basic, $3.75 per month, $44.99 per year for emotional health plan
Sanvello community support • peer support
• goal and mood tracking • Android
• iPhone
• website $8.99 per month, $50 per month, $53.99 per year for self-care plan
Wysa AI therapy • AI chat
• CBT techniques
• meditation • Android
• iPhone free AI chat, $11.99 per month for tools, well-being coach, or therapist
SuperBetter Game • game to develop resilience • Android
• iPhone
• website free

How to find the right depression app
If you didn’t find what you were looking for in this list, here are some basic tips to help you find an app that’s right for you:

Your goal. What do you want your app to do? Do you want to learn self-care techniques? To connect with others? Or connect with a real therapist?
Price. Are you looking for a free app? Are you willing to pay more for greater features?
User reviews. Are current users happy with the app? What are the app’s pros and cons?
User friendliness. Is the app easy to navigate for new users?
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Let’s recap
Living with depression isn’t always easy — and adding a pandemic to the mix makes it even more difficult.

Having a variety of tools available to manage your symptoms can help you get through those challenging moments or days. And, hopefully, improve your mood and overall energy.

While apps can’t replace medication and therapy, they can be helpful tools in relieving some symptoms of depression.

Want to learn more about depression? Psych Central’s Let’s Talk About: Depression resource can help.

If you’re considering self-harm or suicide, help is available
If you’re having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you can access free support right away with these resources:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call the Lifeline at 800-273-8255, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Crisis Text Line. Text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
The Trevor Project. LGBTQIA+ and under 25 years old? Call 866-488-7386, text “START” to 678678, or chat online 24-7.
Veterans Crisis Line. Call 800-273-8255, text 838255, or chat online 24-7.
Deaf Crisis Line. Call 321-800-DEAF (3323) or text “HAND” at 839863.
Befrienders Worldwide. This international crisis helpline network can help you find a local helpline.

Last medically reviewed on January 26, 2022

5 sourcesexpanded

Depression. (2022).
Ettman CK, et al. (2020). Prevalence of depression symptoms in US adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Major depression. (2021).
Pospos S, et al. (2017). Web-based tools and mobile applications to mitigate burnout, depression, and suicidality among healthcare students and professionals: A systematic review.
Roepke AM, et al. (2015). Randomized controlled trial of SuperBetter, a smartphone-based/internet-based self-help tool to reduce depressive symptoms.
Medically reviewed by Vara Saripalli, Psy.D. — Written by Gia Miller and Traci Pedersen — Updated on January 26, 2022

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