Affordable Mental Health Outlets When You Cannot Afford A Therapist

At some point, we all need a therapist (I think). Then again, I live in L.A.—where people name-drop the names of their therapists as they would what school their child goes to or an exclusive club they got into over the weekend. In L.A., it’s in to have a therapist. And, rightfully so. Who couldn’t benefit from a little help from an outside source versus our friends and family (both of whom may be biased, like it or not)?

Below, you’ll find five mental health resources to turn to when you need someone to help guide you. (And if you don’t live in L.A., no one has to know you’re seeing someone, as I know not all of the country and world embraces therapy the same way; unfortunately, it’s not “in” everywhere.)


That’s right, this is therapy online (it is 2015, after all!). I went to BetterHelp a couple years ago, when I could no longer afford to see my regular therapist.

You get the first week free, and then plans are as little as $28 a week—for 24/7 emailing with your assigned therapist. The cool thing is, you can reread your email exchanges again and again. You can opt for phone calls, too, if e-therapy isn’t your thing.

2. ACT Coach

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) helps curb your unpleasant thoughts and impulses. The app has you commit to actions to better your life through various tools and exercises.

Plus, you can track how you’re doing. Though it was designed to help Veterans and Service Members, I find it helpful for my OCD. Friends (especially those with anxiety) use it to stay mentally healthier. The best part is, it’s free, so it’s a win-win if you try it.

Get it in the Apple App Store.

3. Talkspace

Since everyone texts these days, it’s no wonder that there’s now therapy… via texting. With Talkspace, you can anonymously message a licensed therapist—and even use it for couples therapy with your partner, too.

It has over 70,000 users and is cost-effective: $25 a week for unlimited “message therapy.” You can also try live video therapy ($29 for 30 minutes) or pose your questions on public forums (for $9 a week).

Get it on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

4. Amwell

Healthline rated Amwell as one of the best depression apps of 2015. When you just cannot venture outside for help, download this app. When you do, you can video chat with a psychologist. Better yet, here’s a code to test it out for free: SEE4FREE.

Get it on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

5. Breathing Zone

Everywhere I go, people are talking about the importance of breathing—either in relation to yoga or medication. This app, Breathing Zone, really gets you inhaling and exhaling.

All you need is five minutes and you’re well on your way to better breathing. You can also do sessions up to 60 minutes, but I think starting out slow is best.

By changing the way you breathe, you can reduce stress and anxiety. The app can even help manage high blood pressure when used every day.

If you’re looking for more resources about mental health, check out this link from Greatist. None of us have perfect, consistently idyllic lives. So, there’s no reason not to reach out and find someone to help you… and for very affordable prices – or even free!

Get it on the Apple App Store or Google Play.


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About the Author
Natalia Lusinski
In addition to Simplemost, Natalia is an ongoing writer for Bustle (sex, dating, relationships, and money), HelloGiggles (pop culture and news), The Delite (feel-good stories), and Don’t Waste Your Money (yep, money issues!). You can also find her writing in the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye, xoJane, Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, among other publications. She has a Ph.D. in couch-surfing, having spent four years sleeping on over 200 L.A.-area love seats and sectionals, all in an effort to whittle down her student loan debt. She still loves couch-surfing in other cities, too (hint, hint).

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