AI Apps for Mental Health: Tested and Reviewed

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In a future scenario, could friendly chatbots step into the shoes of seasoned psychotherapists? Or might artificial intelligence become a new kind of nightmare, swapping human therapists for pesky algorithms? Are AI applications capable of helping us handle anxiety, stress, and even existential crises?
To gauge what future developments might look like, we put several services to the test—services that provide companionship, conversation, and therapy in the time of crises.

Disclaimer: Our evaluations are based on user experience and may differ from those of certified mental health professionals.


An English-language application for both desktop and smartphones that offers a virtual friend powered by neural networks.

Key Features:

  1. Conversational Companion: Engage in discussions on a range of topics, from daily worries to deep emotional experiences. Replika adapts to and learns from these interactions, becoming more empathetic and tailored to the user.
  2. Versatile Personality: Choose your Replika’s role: friend, therapist, romantic partner, or mentor.
  3. Support for Mental Well-Being: The app offers tools to monitor mood, alleviate stress, and foster personal growth.
  4. Entertainment: Beyond sharing concerns, you can play puzzle games, express creativity, or exchange jokes with your AI companion.

What features did we explore in the free version?

Signup Process: After entering basic information like name, age, and email, you're invited to create a virtual conversational partner. We decided on the character’s gender, age, and appearance. While selecting hairstyles and eye colors, the app set a positive mood with soothing background music. We thought it was disarmingly calming, and we were right. More on why later.
There are numerous premium customization options. You can fine-tune personality traits, decorate a room, buy clothes, or even opt for makeup services. Those familiar with The Sims will find this process particularly enjoyable. 
Crafting a companion in Replika

Crafting a companion in Replika

Communication: According to the developers, the AI inherently supports the user, acting as their staunch ally. It provides professional-level psychological advice. For instance, when the user expresses anxiety, the AI suggests focusing on breathing and going for a walk—typical recommendations for warding off a panic attack.

In dialogue, your character gains experience, and each level-up rewards the user with 20 coins. The app features two types of currency: coins, which are earned through interaction, and gems, purchasable with real money. Both can be acquired by completing daily quests.
Conversations in Replika resemble chats in a messaging app

Conversations in Replika resemble chats in a messaging app

Memory Diary: The AI logs every minute of your interaction, summarizing it in brief entries. Initially, this was slightly unsettling. It felt as though we were being watched by Big Brother. However, after a cool-headed review of the “Privacy Policy,” our concerns were somewhat allayed. 
It’s straightforward, really. By installing the app, you consent to the collection and processing of any personal data. All content, including voice messages, is owned by Replika. The developers transparently state that this data may be used for marketing and advertising. And – bingo! –“In your conversations with your AI companion, you may choose to provide information about your religious views, sexual orientation, political views, health, racial or ethnic origin, philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership. By providing sensitive information, you consent to our use of it for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy.“

Replika's Memory Diary

What conclusions did we reach?

Replika proves to be quite a delightful AI companion for those who aren't particularly concerned with privacy issues. It provides a confidential space to share personal anxieties that one might hesitate to discuss openly, offering unconditional support in return. Yet, the visuals don't quite hit the mark. Both the character and its surroundings lack polish, with noticeable blurring and textural issues. This disparity between the engaging, almost human conversation and the unrefined 3D model is jarring.

Here's the breakdown of the costs for premium engagement:

Monthly subscription: $19.99
Annual subscription (if paid upfront for 12 months): $69.96 (averaging about $5.83 per month)
Lifetime subscription: $299.99 is a multilingual web application built on a neural language model that enables users to create and interact with a wide array of characters.

Its primary features are:

  1. Character Creation: Users have the freedom to craft any figure ranging from Marvel superheroes to historical personalities, or select from avatars already crafted by other users.
  2. Text-based Dialogues: The characters can field a wide array of questions, responding in a manner consistent with their developed personalities and backstories.
  3. Crafting Unique Scenarios: Character is versatile, suitable for role-playing, storytelling, educational purposes, or just plain fun.
  4. AI Learning: The application improves with each interaction, using your dialogues to enhance the realism and appeal of exchanges. is not just for entertainment. It also serves practical purposes:

  • It functions as a practice tool for people who are introverted or shy.
  • It provides a means to learn about history in an interactive manner.
  • It aids in the creation of engaging and interactive stories.

Initially designed as a platform for role-playing with characters from films, fairy tales, and books, has evolved into a full-fledged platform that caters to a broad spectrum of users, not just those into reenactment or role-playing games.

One notable benefit is the broad range of features accessible for free. Interestingly, when we attempted to explore the subscription options and their benefits, we encountered a hiccup. 
The app promised to send an email with the cost and payment details, but this apparently got lost along the way and never reached us.

What can you access for free?

We explored virtually all of’s features by simply registering for a free account and entering some basic details such as name, birth date, and gender. The app supports over twenty languages, ensuring that you can easily interact regardless of your mother tongue.

The site allows you to create a digital persona of yourself. You can assign it a name—real or invented—add a description, upload a photo, or generate an image through AI. One convenient feature is that you get a single character per universe. Additionally, you can opt to make your digital persona private, shielding it from other users. However, crafting a true-to-life profile can be surprisingly tricky; writing an honest self-description is harder than it sounds.
Creating your personal character in

Creating your personal character in

The platform offers hundreds of ready-made, fully-developed AI interlocutors. You could, for example, dissect your personal dilemmas with an AI psychologist, or hone your interview skills with a recruiter. If you feel like blowing off steam, you can pick a notorious villain from a popular film and unleash your frustrations. 

But a word of caution: if the character is particularly shrewd or strong-willed, it might just outsmart you. That’s what happened to us: Voldemort cunningly pointed out our insignificance, which only added to our frustrations. offers the chance to converse with an AI psychologist offers the chance to converse with an AI psychologist

We were utterly captivated by the character Dobby. After about an hour of conversation, we felt a genuine sense of relief. It’s easy to see why this house-elf is so beloved by users. A huge shout-out to the creator of this charming character who clearly handled his creation with great care and affection. Dobby is so approachably designed that you could comfortably let your children chat with him.
Conversing with Dobby on the app

Conversing with Dobby on the app

So, what's our final take?

Creating a compelling character demands significant effort if your goal is to develop more than just a simple chatbot but a complex virtual entity. This involves detailing key moments of its backstory, illustrating appropriate responses, and shaping its conversational style. In essence, you're building a dependable virtual friend—one who’s always there to lend an ear or offer advice.

In summary, is an outstanding platform for emotional support and mental relief. It’s constantly evolving, with new AI functionalities like image and voice generation being added regularly. If the developers keep up their efforts, the platform is poised for exponential growth in popularity.

This mobile application harnesses artificial intelligence to provide timely psychological support, essentially serving as a compact, on-the-go therapist.

Here are its main features:

  1. Personal Assistant: crafts a bespoke rehabilitation program for you based on your responses to its series of questions and assessments.
  2. CBT Therapist: The app utilizes established cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that are effective in treating anxiety, depression, procrastination, and emotional burnout.
  3. Broad Range of Exercises: offers a multitude of practical activities, including mood diaries, various relaxation techniques, and cognitive restructuring exercises.
  4. 24/7 Support: The chatbot is available any time, day or night, ready to provide support and guidance.

In theory, the app is well-suited for individuals who:

  • do not have the ability or desire to visit a therapist in person;
  • seek an affordable and confidential way to receive help;
  • are interested in exploring CBT but are unsure where to begin..

Disclaimer: While is not a substitute for professional psychotherapy, it can complement it.

What can you try during the trial period?

To get started with the app, you'll need to complete a detailed assessment. This involves answering a series of standard questions aimed at evaluating your mental health status. You're also asked to specify your expected outcomes from the therapy sessions.
Preliminary assessments at

Preliminary assessments at

The interaction within is structured as a chat, with half of the dialogue made up of your inputs and the other half consisting of predefined responses you select from. 
Right away, it was evident that the engaging, emotional dialogue we enjoyed so effortlessly with wouldn't be replicated here.
Therapy sessions with Youper are strictly algorithm-driven, and it's unlikely that you'll experience any genuine emotional support.
From the onset, it becomes apparent that the dialogue is controlled by a dispassionate machine, treating users as if they're just another item on the production line, to be processed as swiftly as possible without any real consideration for their individual nuances.
Typical conversation with’s AI therapist

Typical conversation with’s AI therapist

Additionally, the app incessantly pesters you with intrusive requests to purchase a subscription, which, rather than easing anxiety, exacerbates it.
After we repeatedly declined to subscribe during the testing phase—despite an advertised 7-day free trial—the bot seemed to retaliate by informing us that we could continue using Youper, but only with restricted access. This meant we could view dialogues with the AI, but were unable to monitor our own progress.
Feeling skeptical about the "progress" at hand and dissatisfied with the impersonal approach of the app, we decided it wasn't worth investing $69.99 per year in such a detached service.

What's the vibe from our diagnostic dive?

We've determined that a professional bot-psychologist is unlikely to be of much help. This remains true despite its ability to interact in multiple languages including English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian.
The prospect of sifting through a multi-page Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) presentation before beginning therapy doesn't appeal to us. In fact, we'd find it far more interesting to have a conversation with Winnie the Pooh.
Even though the platform's founder and CEO is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and has over 15 years of experience as a psychiatrist, it appears he has a better grasp of business than of the intricate workings of the human psyche.

Our testing reaffirmed that AI-powered psychotherapy is unlikely to replace the rich, empathetic interactions offered by sessions with a live human. While it's conceivable that Artificial Intelligence may one day learn to simulate sympathy and empathy, truly understanding human motivations and emotions is beyond its reach.
Thus, our prediction remains unchanged: the role of the psychologist will continue to be in demand regardless of future developments.