The best apps for anxiety can go a long way toward calming your nerves, increasing mindfulness, and helping you develop habits that can decrease anxiety in the long run.

Today, there are plenty of great options, from free apps for anxiety to subscription-based options that plenty of users swear are worth every penny.

Join us as we take a look at some of the best anxiety apps for different types of users. We’ll give you a breakdown of what each app does, how much it costs, and its pros and cons.

Can Anxiety Apps Replace a Visit to a Mental Health Professional?

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While anxiety apps are great for people simply looking to reduce daily stress, they are no substitute for treatment or medication if you are dealing with an acute anxiety disorder. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from one of many types of anxiety disorders, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of a professional.

If you have already been diagnosed, however, then talk to your doctor about using apps to reduce anxiety alongside your current treatments.

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1. Best Free Version: Insight Timer

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Insight Timer
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Price Free Trial Key Features Available On
Free 7 days free/monthly subscription Guided meditations, yoga classes, music, and wellness tools Google Play and Apple Store

Insight Timer is one of our favorite apps overall due to its huge range of free meditations, yoga classes, and features like journaling and mood-tracking tools. While there are optional upgrades available from $5/month, the free version has plenty to offer on its own.

Simply by downloading the app and creating a free account, you’ll gain access to over 145k guided meditations, podcasts, talks, music, and tools. Insight Timer comes with an easy category-style menu that allows you to search by mood, media style, goals, and more.

Bookmark your favorites to create custom playlists and visit the “groups” section to connect with other like-minded users from all over the world. Insight Timer proves that sometimes the best things in life really are free.

  • Incredibly generous amount of free content and tools
  • Caters to a large range of meditation styles, from breathwork to guided visualization
  • No need to upgrade to enjoy unlimited access to most features
  • Must upgrade to enjoy some features like courses or offline accessibility

2. Best for Meditation: Headspace

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Price Free Trial Key Features Available On
$12.99/month or $69.99/year 7 days free/monthly subscription, 14 days free/annual subscription Meditations, music, sleep stories, and fitness motivation tools Google Play and Apple Store or Web Version

Headspace is another great app with plenty of tools that can help kick anxiety to the curb. The app’s interface features colorful, adorable animations and an easy-to-navigate menu.

Not only are the meditations geared toward different moods, but even different types of anxiety and stress triggers. There’s also a “sleep” section that can help you unwind at the end of the day with anything from nature sounds to bedtime stories for kids and adults alike.

If sitting still doesn’t tend to be your strong point, then check out the “move” section, where you’ll find meditations designed to fit into your exercise routine. With solid reviews and millions of users, Headspace is one of the most popular apps when it comes to the quest for a happier mind.

  • Hundreds of meditations on different topics
  • Mood-boosting exercises and workouts
  • Sleep aids and goal-attainment tools
  • No free version beyond the free trial period
  • Your card is automatically charged at the end of the trial unless you cancel

3. Best Variety of Features: Aura

Best Variety of Features
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Price Free Trial Key Features Available On
Free limited version or $60/year for unlimited access 7 days Meditations, stories, sleep aids, soundscapes, hypnosis Google Play and Apple Store or via the Web App

Aura is quickly gaining on major competing apps like Headspace due to its emphasis on personalization and wide range of great content. When you first sign up for a free trial, you’ll take a quick quiz that helps to determine what type of things you’d like to focus on (stress reduction, anxiety, relationships, etc.) and what types of content you’re most interested in.

Aura will then create customized suggestions and playlists for you from its large library of content. Not only will you find meditations of different lengths, but also things like stories, hypnosis sessions, ASMR, coaching talks, and more.

The content is all created by hundreds of world-class therapists and coaches, some of whom are also available for one-on-one coaching sessions. Even if you only use the limited free version, Aura is definitely worth checking out.

  • Unique content like hypnosis, ASMR, and stories
  • Customized Spotify-style playlists
  • Tools like a mood tracker and journal
  • No monthly subscription option
  • Sign-up is a bit confusing (don’t enter your credit card info if you don’t want to activate the 7-day free trial)

4. Best for Sleep: Calm

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Price Key Features Available On
Limited free version, Calm Premium costs $70/year or $15/mo Meditations, nature sounds, stories, movement Google Play and Apple Store

If you’re looking for an app equivalent to a relaxing health spa, then Calm may be the choice for you. The Calm app’s user-friendly interface offers an easy, relaxing vibe and quick navigational tools.

While Calm offers a number of great meditations, it’s particularly known for its sleep aid options. The app offers plenty of great bedtime stories for kids and adults alike, many of which are read by celebrities like Harry Styles and Matthew McConaughey.

We also love that Calm offers a “work” section with quick meditations that can help you get focused, recharge, or deal with overwhelming days. The free version is well worth checking out to get a sense of whether Calm is right for you.

  • We seriously love the bedtime stories, which are updated regularly
  • Great anxiety-busting meditations for any occasion
  • The soundscapes are great for ASMR lovers and come with gorgeous backdrops
  • The free version is pretty limited but enough to get a good idea of what the app has to offer

5. Best for Understanding the Mind: Waking Up

Waking Up
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Price Key Features Available On
Free trial, then $14.99/month or $119.99/year Guided meditations, theoretical teachings, insightful dialogues, daily mindfulness exercises Google Play and Apple Store

"Waking Up" is not just an app; it's a comprehensive journey into the realm of consciousness. Crafted by renowned neuroscientist and author Sam Harris, this app is designed to guide users on a transformative exploration of self-awareness and enlightenment. The app is packed with practical mindfulness exercises, theoretical teachings, and insightful dialogues. The daily mindfulness exercises are designed to gently guide you towards a state of presence and balance, while the theoretical teachings delve into the scientific and philosophical aspects of mindfulness, providing a robust foundation for your practice.

What sets "Waking Up" apart is its emphasis on understanding the 'why' behind the practice. The app features dialogues with a variety of guest speakers, offering diverse perspectives on mindfulness, philosophy, neuroscience, and ethics. It's like having a panel of experts at your disposal, ready to guide you on your journey. The ultimate goal of the "Waking Up" app is to guide users towards a state of "nondual mindfulness". This is a state of awareness where the sense of self dissolves, leading to a profound sense of peace and unity with the universe.

  • Comprehensive mindfulness program led by Sam Harris
  • Emphasizes understanding the rationale behind mindfulness
  • Features insightful dialogues with guest speakers
  • Aims to guide users towards a state of "nondual mindfulness"
  • The cost might be prohibitive for some users
  • The approach might be too intense for those seeking a simple meditation app

In conclusion, "Waking Up" is a unique app that offers a deep exploration into the realm of consciousness. It's a journey that requires dedication and open-mindedness, but for those willing to take the plunge, it offers a unique and profound approach to mindfulness. If you're seeking a deeper understanding of your mind and the nature of consciousness, "Waking Up" might just be the guide you need. It's a journey worth embarking on.

6. Best for Families: Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind
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Price Key Features Available On
Free Meditations, mental fitness, mood check-ins Google Play and Apple Store

Smiling Mind is a free Australian-based app developed by psychologists and educators for users of all ages. The app features a range of great meditations for adults, young people, and kids alike.

This one’s a great app for families who want to enjoy meditating together, as it offers programs that cover a wide range of different topics. From handling stress to developing emotional skills, Smiling Mind makes it easy to get a great mental workout every day.

Whether you’re a beginner with just a few minutes a day or a seasoned practitioner looking for longer guided practices, Smiling Mind has something for everyone. The app's developers even included several meditations in Indigenous Australian languages, which are pretty cool whether can understand them or not.

  • 100% free with no upgrade options
  • Great for kids or entire families
  • Download your favorite meditations for offline access
  • Not as many features as some paid apps

7. Best Game-Style App: SuperBetter

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Price Key Features Available On
Price: $25/year (solo) or from $99/year (teams) A game-style approach to mental health Google Play and Apple Store

If traditional anxiety apps aren’t your thing, then check out SuperBetter, a science-backed approach to conquering life’s challenges. The app turns you into the hero of your own story and challenges you to complete real-life quests to earn points.

As you get into the habit of playing by SuperBetter’s seven key rules, you’ll begin to notice yourself developing greater resilience and achieving epic goals. Not only is the app incredibly fun, but it’s designed for users of all ages.

There are even squad plans available for classrooms, employee groups, families, or organizations of any sort. With a generous 14-day free trial, SuperBetter is a great choice for anyone looking to overcome anxiety or any other challenge.

  • The 14-day trial doesn’t require a credit card
  • Makes mental health a lot of fun, even if you aren’t into meditation
  • Great for users of all ages
  • No free version beyond the free trial

8. Best for Panic Attacks: Dare: Panic & Anxiety ReliefDare

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Price Key Features Available On
Free version or premium upgrade for $9.99/month or $59.99/year Science-backed program for overcoming anxiety, panic attacks, worry, and insomnia Google Play and Apple Store

This highly-rated app follows the principles laid out by best selling-author Barry McDonagh in his book Dare: The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks Fast. Rather than approaching anxiety from a calming perspective, Dare encourages users to overcome their fears once and for all by facing them head-on.

The app walks users through a training program, complete with guided support for a wide variety of different anxiety triggers. Begin each day with a “Daily dare,” finish each night with an evening wind down, and enjoy plenty of support in between.

If you’re tired of living life at the mercy of anxiety, panic attacks, or phobias, then the Dare program may hold the answers you’ve been looking for. Track your progress with the in-app mood journal as you take more steps in the right direction every day.

  • A great option for those ready to break free from anxiety once and for all
  • Highly-rated
  • Hundreds of audio guides, including situation-specific support
  • Best for users who have also read the book, which requires a separate purchase

What Free Apps Help With Anxiety?

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While most apps come with either a free version or free trial period, there are a few great anxiety apps without subscription options at all. Here are a few great bonus apps that you can download and use for absolutely free.

How Well Do Anxiety Apps Work?

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While there have been plenty of clinical studies conducted on the efficiency of mental health apps in general, we recommend reading the user reviews of each app instead. The truth is, what doesn’t work at all for one user may turn out to be a game changer for another.

While an anxiety app is no substitute for professional treatment, many people find various apps a helpful tool along their journey. If an app sounds interesting to you, then it definitely can’t hurt to give it a shot, at least for the trial period.

Guidelines for Selecting the Most Suitable Anxiety App for Your Needs

When selecting the best app for you, there are a couple of questions you’ll want to ask yourself to help narrow down your options.

Option Description
Price What is the price range for anxiety apps you’re considering? Does a certain app fit into your budget better than others?
Always be sure to read the fine print Ask yourself things like, is there a refund policy if I terminate the subscription? The great thing about free apps is that they offer a risk-free way to test out different strategies to help you find the best one for you.
Key features What advantages do anxiety apps offer? The answer can vary widely depending on the app, so be sure and take a good look at the key features to find the one that works best for you.
Privacy If you choose to use an app that connects you with a therapist or other patients, make sure it’s HIPPA Compliant. HIPPA laws are designed to protect sensitive patient information and require companies to take measures to make ensure your privacy.

Are There Individuals Who Should Avoid Using Anxiety Apps?

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It’s more a matter of understanding what anxiety apps can and cannot do. For instance, while a certain app may be able to help calm your nerves on a super stressful day, it’s not the kind of thing you’ll want to turn to in times of crisis. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to have a backup support system, whether it be a support group or a therapist.


While you should never hesitate to seek out help if you think you may be dealing with an anxiety disorder, anxiety-reducing apps can be a great tool for busting everyday stress. As you can see from the list above, there are now plenty of free and paid anxiety apps that are tailored to a range of different needs.

Finding the best one for you may involve a bit of trial and error, so don’t be afraid to take any free trial offers for a test drive. Just don’t forget to cancel if they don’t turn out to be for you!

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