7 Useless Mental Health Apps You Should Avoid

Your mental health is important and deserves the best possible attention from you and others. There are, however, services that claim to support your emotional well-being without fully understanding what this entails.

Mobile apps have the same problem. There are dozens of apps that aim to provide mental health support, but not all of them provide what people need. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know if they’re any good until you’ve tried them.

Learn more about the boxes a mental health app is supposed to tick to avoid being useless and see examples of Android and iOS apps that miss the mark.

What Makes a Mental Health App Good?

Different people have different mental health priorities. This means that deciding whether an app is good or bad is quite subjective.

That said, there are preferences that many users have in common. Some are related to the functionality of a software and others to the quality of the services it provides.

A study published in the Health Informatics Journal in 2020 may help paint a clearer picture of what mental health apps should offer to make users happy. Based on how study subjects responded to a range of such programs, the best qualities these apps can include are:

  • Variety of tools and activities for mental health support
  • Accurate information and results
  • Clear and reliable scientific knowledge and endorsement
  • Several features that allow users to customize their experience
  • Offline mode
  • Strong privacy and security measures
  • Good customer service
  • Social support that also allows for anonymity
  • Regular updates
  • Variety of ways to access app services
  • Value for money


Related: Ways to improve your emotional well-being using your smartphone

Examples of Useless Mental Health Apps to Avoid

Ultimately, what people need is to be able to seek help through their mental health app without delays, roadblocks, or wasted money. Let’s look at nine mobile services that somehow fail.

1. Discussion area

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While Talkspace’s basic features like connecting you with a therapist, tracking your progress, and offering a few adjustable settings are handy, the app’s focus is on providing online therapy sessions and not much else. else.

That’s not to say purpose-built apps aren’t effective, but in this case there isn’t a huge range of options to make Talkspace a go-to therapy app or justify paying for it. subscription when you can get better support elsewhere.

There are also technical issues to consider. You must register to use Talkspace; this automatically makes it less accessible than other mental health apps. The registration process also takes a few tries to work properly and get you into your account.

Unfortunately, glitches – and mismatches – are recurring problems with Talkspace, and functional issues reinforce distrust of any program. Put all these flaws together and you have a sanity app to avoid.

To download: Talkspace for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)

2. Mind Spa

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No matter how multi-functional an app is, if it requires you to register before showing you any of its features, it instantly shuts out a lot of people. This is the case with Mindspa.

This is a major issue for mental health platforms, given that some users may live with anxiety or other conditions that make them suspicious of strangers, new technology, etc.

After you sign up, Mindspa offers free articles and tools to help you deal with your emotional struggles. Unfortunately, this support is limited to basic advice, form filling, and a chatbot.

Mindspa is more of a quick and easy self-help toolkit. To get more meaningful support through its specialized courses, you have to pay.

To download: Mind Spa for Android | iOS (Free in-app purchases available)

3. DiveThru

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DiveThru is another example of an app that focuses on a specific part of mental health while excluding other key aspects of the healing process.

At first glance, it’s a mood tracker with a bunch of exercises and teaching materials. The premium version unlocks access to therapists if you’re willing to pay a monthly or annual fee.

It’s not a bad deal, but it feels like baiting. While the daily activities on DiveThru are good for dealing with what each day throws at you, there are no social features among its free offerings.

In other words, his therapy sessions are always one-sided, unless you pay. This is not ideal, especially given the importance of meaningful interaction in understanding and resolving psychological issues.

If you need in-person support for your mental health, you’ll need to pay for DiveThru.

To download: DiveThru for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)

Related: Emotional intelligence apps to help you live a balanced life

4. Feeling Good: Mental Health

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Other apps to avoid are those with poor execution. Look at it this way: When you’re sick, doesn’t the attitude and professionalism of a doctor at the doctor’s bedside affect your self-confidence?

The same is true for applications marketed as psychological aid. When a service claims to use proven treatments like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Olympic-Standard Positive Mental Training (PosMT), expert delivery is the least you can expect.

Unfortunately, Feeling Good: Mental Health fails at this. Although he mentions some accreditation to inspire confidence, the voices guiding the meditations are robotic and often incorrect in pronunciation and terminology.

If your goal is to improve your mental health, you will find much better services to spend time and money on.

To download: Feeling Good: Mental Health for Android | iOS (Free in-app purchases available)

5. Happy

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Some mental health apps offer plenty of features to keep you busy, including premium unlockable content, but don’t actually provide useful information to boost your emotions and state of mind. Happify is one of them.

This app uses mini-games and basic bot-based quizzes to assess your situation and spark happy thoughts. However, the responses you get are weak and the only benefit of spotting positive words on floating balloons is entertainment.

You can get the same tools with a better user experience and deeper psychological help from other services.

To download: Happy for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)

6. 7 cups

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Sometimes you need to talk to real people to deal with what’s going on in your heart and mind. This is where social apps come in handy, and even more so if they’re user-friendly and offer expert advice.

While 7 Cups is a valuable platform for chatting with like-minded people about all things mental health, it is complex to navigate and prone to issues. More importantly, you don’t get advice from a professional therapist unless a member is one or you pay for sessions.

Related: The best apps you can use to improve your mental health

In other words, the free version of 7 Cups is good for general conversation, but there’s no guarantee that what you hear will be useful. If you’d rather not risk reading incorrect information, you better have a good mental health service.

To download: 7 Cups for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)

7. Consider scale

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It’s not a good sign when an app constantly makes you wonder what it’s actually doing.

While the concept of Thinkladder is interesting, its functions are too vague and insubstantial to be of much use, especially for someone who needs solid mental health advice.

Basically, the app walks you through a series of statements related to particular themes and issues. In the end, you reach general ideas that may or may not inspire you.

Whether you just remember them or turn them into goals is up to you, but that’s all you can expect from Thinkladder in its current form. Since the app barely meets any of the ideal criteria above, it doesn’t deserve a spot on your list of mental health tools.

To download: Thinkladder for Android | iOS (Free in-app purchases available)

Find out how technology can affect your mental health

Knowing what resources you can rely on is an important part of working on your mental health. And pinpointing what to avoid, whether it’s useless mental health apps or offensive people, is a key part of that.

If you spend a lot of time online, it can be difficult to determine what is good or bad for you. To deal with it, be smart about your activities and watch out for red flags. Take care of yourself by countering the negativity in your environment and working to overcome its effects.

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