Even long before Covid-19 sent millions of Americans home to work in isolation, companies had begun to consider how to support employees' mental health. Inc.'s 2019 Best Workplaces list reveals many top employers had been doing things like subsidizing therapy bills and granting stipends for wellness services.
The pandemic, of course, has put employees under a kind of mental strain few have likely experienced before, so it's no wonder more businesses are looking for ways to help workers who are struggling with anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness. In recent years, apps aiming to address all of those issues have proliferated. So which ones are worth offering to your team? Inc. checked in with app analytics firm Sensor Tower to identify those that have gotten high user ratings and surged in downloads over the past several months. Here are five to consider, in no particular order.
Primarily a relaxation app, Calm offers guidance on meditation, sleep-inducing music and stories, and mindfulness tips.
- Price: Free to download; $69.99 for individual annual subscriptions that include premium content; teams of five or more employees get a 15 percent discount
- Star rating: 4.8 stars based on one million ratings (App Store)
- September 2020 installs: 710,000
Like its main competitor, Calm, Headspace offers meditation tutorials and stories and songs aimed at helping you get to sleep faster. Serious about developing a meditation habit? Some reviews have suggested that Headspace's more structured guidance is better for beginners than Calm's offering.
- Price: Free to download; $69 for individual annual subscriptions that include premium content; corporate memberships vary by company size and number of downloads
- Star rating: 4.9 stars based on 679,800 ratings (App Store)
- September 2020 installs: 321,000
3. Replika: My AI Friend
Replika is billed as a way to let users honestly share how they feel sans social judgment. On the receiving end of your chats is an artificial-intelligence-powered chatbot, whose 3-D avatar you can customize. The app promises that the more you speak with your Replika, the smarter it gets and the deeper the emotional connection can be. Necessary disclaimer: While Replika offers positive affirmation for the user, it is not intended to replace a mental health professional.
- Price: Free to download; $49.99 for an annual subscription, or $7.99 per month
- Star rating: 4.7 stars based on 105,500 reviews (App Store)
- September 2020 installs: 273,000
Sanvello is designed to help users address stress, anxiety, and depression via cognitive behavioral therapy principles. The app offers users access to therapists, group coaching sessions, anonymous discussion boards, and tools like meditation and mood tracking.
- Price: Free to download; premium annual plans run between $29.99 and $53.99 but are covered under many insurance plans
- Star rating: 4.8 stars based on 11,600 ratings (App Store)
- September 2020 installs: 62,000
BetterHelp is a therapy app that gives users private, unlimited one-on-one sessions with one of 10,000 licensed counselors and therapists. Practitioners cover everything from depression and grief to marriage counseling.
- Price: Plans range from $60 to $80 per week
- Star rating: 4.7 stars based on 23,600 ratings (App Store)
- September 2020 installs: 55,000