Mental Health Apps: Beneficial or Harmful?

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Mental Health Apps: Beneficial or Harmful?

If you have a smart phone, you may be aware that there are apps for almost everything, including mental health and wellbeing. Are mental health apps beneficial, or are they a waste of time (or even harmful)?

Mental Health Apps Can Help

If a mental health app is based on scientific research, it has the potential to do some good and help you overcome difficulties like stress, anxiety, and depressive thinking. Research-based apps often use one or more proven approaches to mental health like mindfulness, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and positive psychology. They offer interactive ways to help you recognize and overcome negative thoughts that keep you stuck, center your emotions, and choose positive actions in your life. (Each app is unique and targets different challenges with its own activities).

When used regularly and sometimes in conjunction with mental health therapy, these apps can help you improve your perspective and give you tools to calm yourself in the face of emotional or situational upheaval. That said, even good mental health apps have their limitations.

When Mental Health Apps Might Harm

Apps aren’t substitutes for professional mental health care, and they can’t assist people in crisis. They also aren’t great for people dealing with severe mental illness (including depression and anxiety, which many of these apps are designed to help).

Used wisely, mental health apps can be great tools. If you do use them, though, make them part of other treatments rather than as stand-alone therapies.

Related Articles Dealing with Mental Health Apps

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: If you’ve tried mental health apps, what has your experience with them been like? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.



Is Anxiety in Bipolar Troubling You or a Loved One? Read on.

Half of those with bipolar disorder also have an anxiety disorder and anxiety can worsen the prognosis of bipolar. This means if you have bipolar disorder or love someone who does, you need to understand anxiety too. Check out this webinar by bipolar expert, Natasha Tracy, to get all your questions answered.

Living With & Loving Someone with Mental Illness: It’s Darn Tough

Abby stuck it out for 15 long years until she couldn’t take it anymore. She tried everything to help them both cope but, sometimes, love isn’t enough.

This Thursday, on our Facebook Live, Abby shares what it was like living with a partner dealing with depression, anxiety, and addiction and why she finally decided to call it quits.

Therapist, Caleb Dodson, will also be here to provide insight into the challenges of mental illness with relationships.

We start at 3p ET / 4 CT. As always, our guests take your personal questions and comments. We’ll see you then. In the meantime, check these out:


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. What Is a Stim Toy? How Do They Soothe DID Symptoms?
  2. Body Dissatisfaction and the Chronic Illness Behcet's Disease
  3. The Best Mantras for Eating Disorder Recovery

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


Mental Health Quote

"Be your own kind of beautiful."

Read more mental health quotes.


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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2020, August 11). Mental Health Apps: Beneficial or Harmful? , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 23 from

Last Updated: August 11, 2020

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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