8 Best Online Therapy Options for Anxiety in 2023

Our reviews team evaluated online therapy services for anxiety based on cost, customer reviews, and treatment modalities. The best online therapy for anxiety includes BetterHelp, Brightside, Talkspace, and more mentioned in this guide.
This content is researched and written based on extensive testing by an external reviews team and does not reflect the views or opinions of Everyday Health’s editorial team. Everyday Health may earn a commission from purchases of products featured in this article.

Online therapy provides a convenient way to find treatment for anxiety. According to Harvard Health Publishing, daily anxiety may involve minor levels of fear or doubt about performing a task. When dealing with this type of anxiety, you may experience muscle tightness or sweating, but the symptoms should not interfere with your ability to function. The Mayo Clinic notes that when anxiety becomes excessive and interferes with performing routine tasks, you may have severe anxiety and need to see a mental health specialist.

Virtual therapy companies that treat anxiety provide platforms that help you connect with a licensed therapist, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist from your home. Here are our eight picks for the best online therapy for anxiety.

Our Top Picks for Best Online Therapy for Anxiety

Best Online Therapy for Anxiety Side-by-Side Comparison

Platform
Session Types
Cost and Payment Options
Prescribes Medication
Accepts Insurance
Learn More
betterhelp-logo-stacked
Messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions
$60 to $90 per week, based on your location, preferences, and availability of therapists; plans billed monthly
No
No
Brightside transparent logo
Live video and messaging
$299 per month for unlimited messaging and four live video sessions; additional video session for $59 each; $95 per month plus pharmacy copay for psychiatry plan; $349 per month for psychiatry plus therapy
Yes
Yes
Talkspace transparent logo
Text, video, and audio messages; live video and workshops
$69 to $109 per week, depending on subscription; plans billed monthly; psychiatry is $299 for the initial consult, $175 for subsequent sessions
Yes; Talkspace Psychiatry only
Yes
Regain transparent logo
Messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions
$60 to $90 per week, based on your location, preferences, and availability of therapists; plans billed monthly
No
No
Teen Counseling transparent logo
Messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions
$60 to $90 per week, based on your location, preferences, and availability of therapists; plans billed monthly
No
No
online therapy com logo
Messaging and live video and voice-only sessions
$50 to $88 per week, depending on subscription; 20 percent discount for the first month
No
No
Pride Counseling transparent logo
Messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions
$60 to $90 per week, based on your location, preferences, and availability of therapists; plans billed monthly
No
No
Sesame logo transparent
Live video
$60 to $300 and up per session, depending on the therapist, the type of session, and your location
Yes, if seen by a doctor or authorized provider
No
betterhelp-logo-stacked

Best for Anxiety Overall

BetterHelp

Our Rating
4.01
BetterHelp has one of the largest networks of therapists on the market, with more than 31,000 mental health professionals — including psychologists, therapists, and clinical social workers.

Session Types Messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions

Cost and Payment Options $60 to $90 per week, based on your location, preferences, and therapists; plans billed monthly

Prescribes Medication No

Accepts Insurance No

Pros

  • More than 31,000 psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors
  • Between-session “homework” to improve the therapy experience
  • Financial assistance available

Cons

  • Insurance not accepted
  • Only serves adults

Because of the platform’s large pool of providers, it may be easier to find a licensed provider who specializes in anxiety treatment in your state using BetterHelp, as opposed to smaller virtual therapy platforms. When our reviews team tested the platform, our tester was able to

Use BetterHelp promo code "everydayhealth" for 20 percent off your first month.
everydayhealth
Brightside transparent logo

Best for Anxiety With Medication Management

Brightside

Our Rating
4.13
Brightside offers specialized programs geared toward treating anxiety and depression.

Session Types Messaging and live video

Cost and Payment Options $299 per month for unlimited messaging and four video sessions; additional video appointment is $59; $95 per month plus pharmacy copay for psychiatry plan; $349 per month for psychiatry plus therapy

Prescribes Medication Yes

Accept Insurance Yes

Pros

  • Can choose from therapy plus psychiatry plan, therapy-only plan, or psychiatry-only plan
  • A free assessment may help individuals determine whether the platform is right for them before signing up
  • Accepts insurance
  • Therapy sessions are 45-minutes long
  • Has an app for iOS devices

Cons

  • Limited availability of some therapists
  • Only available to people ages 18 and older
  • No app for Android devices

An overall treatment plan for anxiety may consist of self-care tools that help build skills and resilience, a 45-minute weekly therapy session via video, and unlimited messaging. The platform has a symptom check-in questionnaire that users can take every 14 days to record their anxiety

Use Brightside promo code "EDH60" for $60 off your first month of cash plans.
EDH60
Talkspace transparent logo

Best for Anxiety That Takes Insurance

Talkspace

Our Rating
3.58
We reviewed Talkspace and found that it may be worth considering if you’re looking for a comprehensive online counseling platform that offers mental health and psychiatric services to individuals, couples, and teens ages 13 to 17 living with anxiety.

Session Types Text, video, and voice messaging; live video, audio, and chat sessions; live workshops

Cost and Payment Options Prices vary and depend on geographic location, but generally start at $69 per week for Messaging Therapy, $99 per week for Video Therapy Plus Messaging, and $109 per week for a combination of Live Therapy Plus Messaging Plus Weekly Workshops, with plans billed monthly; Talkspace Psychiatry costs $299 for the first session and $175 for follow-up sessions

Prescribes Medications Yes, via Talkspace Psychiatry

Accepts Insurance Yes

Pros

  • Accepts several insurance plans
  • Medication available through Talkspace Psychiatry
  • Individual, couple, and teen counseling sessions available

Cons

  • Must pay more for plans with live video sessions
  • Can be costly if you’re only looking for a few sessions

Talkspace has licensed therapists and anxiety counselors who have expertise in areas like anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, mood disorders, and more. Because they require providers to have at least a master’s degree and a minimum of 3,000 hours of clinical experience

Use Talkspace promo code "EVERYDAY85" for $85 off your first month.
EVERYDAY85
Regain transparent logo

Best for Couples With Anxiety

ReGain

Our Rating
3.7
ReGain therapists have a master’s degree or doctoral degree in their field, as well as at least three years and 1,000 hours of clinical experience. Therapists on the platform have a specific interest and expertise in relationship therapy.

Session Types Messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions

Cost and Payment Options $60 to $90 per week, based on geographic location, preferences, and therapists; plans billed monthly

Prescribes Medication No

Accepts Insurance No

Pros

  • Providers who specialize in anxiety-related relationship issues
  • Offers financial aid to eligible individuals

Cons

  • System does not support three-way live sessions
  • Insurance not accepted
  • Cost for one person is the same as the cost for two people

Anxiety can interfere with daily life and contribute to marital dissatisfaction, according to a review published in Neuroendocrinology Letters. ReGain is an online counseling platform owned by BetterHelp that focuses on helping couples with various mental health and relationship

Use ReGain promo code "everydayhealth-rg" for 20 percent off your first month.
everydayhealth-rg
Teen Counseling transparent logo

Best for Teenagers With Anxiety

Teen Counseling

Teen Counseling, which is another platform owned by BetterHelp, gives teens ages 13 to 19 a safe space to meet with a licensed therapist for issues such as anxiety, anger, depression, and eating disorders.

Session Types Messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions

Cost and Payment Options $60 to $90 per week, based on geographic location, preferences, and therapists; plans billed monthly

Prescribes Medication No

Accepts Insurance No

Pros

  • Therapists specialize in counseling for teens ages 13 to 19
  • Parents can be invited by the teen to view the counseling room
  • Financial assistance available

Cons

  • Insurance not accepted
  • Unable to fulfill court orders, make any official diagnosis, or prescribe medication

Approximately 5.8 million children ages 3 to 17 have been diagnosed with anxiety, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, 80 percent of children with a diagnosable anxiety disorder do not receive treatment, according to the Child Mind Institute

online therapy com logo

Best Self-Paced Option for Anxiety

Online-Therapy.com

Our Rating
3.96
Online-Therapy.com is an online therapy platform that positions itself as both a host for live therapy sessions and an all-inclusive resource for people who prefer to have more control over managing their mental health care — as opposed to relying solely on their therapist.

Session Types Messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions with some plans

Cost and Payment Options $50 to $88 weekly, depending on subscription; 20 percent discount for first month for new subscribers; plans billed monthly

Prescribes Medication No

Accepts Insurance No

Pros

  • Self-paced tools may help individuals with anxiety symptoms between sessions
  • Discount of 20 percent off the first month for new subscribers

Cons

  • Individual sessions only
  • No live sessions with basic plan
  • Services not available for kids or teens

All Online-Therapy.com plans include self-paced worksheets, journaling, activity plans, tests, and yoga and meditation videos to help patients improve the outcome of their therapy and learn to better manage anxiety symptoms on their own.

The goal of Online-Therapy.com is to help

Pride Counseling transparent logo

Best for LGBTQ+ Individuals With Anxiety

Pride Counseling

Pride Counseling offers online treatment for anxiety as well as addiction, eating disorders, trauma, grief, and more.

Session Types Messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions

Cost and Payment Options $60 to $90 per week, based on geographic location, preferences, and therapists; plans billed monthly

Prescribes Medication No

Accepts Insurance No

Pros

  • LGBTQ+ individuals may feel more comfortable with therapists who specialize in anxiety-related issues related to LGBTQ+ individuals specifically
  • Option to use a nickname
  • Financial aid program can help with affordability

Cons

  • Insurance not accepted
  • Services are not available for teens under 18 years old
  • Therapists cannot diagnose conditions or prescribe medication

LGBTQ+ individuals have a higher risk of mental health conditions than heterosexual individuals do, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Of the 1,000 teletherapy users our reviews team surveyed, 18.5 percent reported that finding an LGBTQ+-affirming therapist

Use Pride Counseling promo code "everydayhealth-pc" for 20 percent off your first month.
everydayhealth-pc
Sesame logo transparent

Best for Anxiety With Same-Day Sessions

Sesame

Our Rating
2.7
Sesame has a variety of therapy offerings, including video therapy, video mental health consultations, video psychiatry, prescription refills, and video couples therapy.

Session Types Live video

Cost and Payment Options $60 to $300 per session; depends on therapist, type of session, and geographic location

Prescribes Medication Yes, if seen by a medical doctor or other authorized provider

Accepts Insurance No

Pros

  • May be helpful for people who prefer to make appointments as needed
  • Can pay for therapy à la carte instead of paying for a monthly membership
  • For individuals, couples, or families

Cons

  • Only offers video appointments
  • May be limited provider availability in certain geographic areas
  • Can get costly if you need long-term or frequent sessions

Finding same-day therapy appointments for anxiety can be a challenge. Sesame addresses this need with a direct-to-patient-care marketplace that provides on-demand appointments with mental health and medical services via a pay-as-you-go model.

Unlike subscription platforms that require

Pros and Cons of Online Therapy for Anxiety

Online therapy makes it easier for people to seek mental health treatment in a timely manner. Although the benefits of increasing the availability of these services are numerous, there are still some things you should consider before moving forward. Here are some pros and cons of virtual counseling for anxiety.

Pros

  • Online therapy for anxiety will likely give you more provider options beyond those in your local community, although your provider still needs to be licensed in your state of residence in order to provide therapy online.
  • Some people feel an extra level of comfort knowing that there is no risk of being seen at a therapy office or getting recognized by someone they know. Those people may be more open to seeking help online.
  • There may be a sense of “more openness” when it comes to discussing your issues with a provider online as opposed to in an in-person setting.
  • A comfortable environment during the therapy session can decrease anxiety and help support the therapy process.
  • Online sessions eliminate the need for additional travel time or transportation, which may increase patients’ adherence to attending sessions.
  • There may be several different ways to communicate, depending on the provider, including messaging, phone, video, and text.
  • Scheduling may be more flexible than in-person counseling, depending on the platform.
  • Online therapy is sometimes easier for people with physical limitations.
  • You can participate in sessions even when you’re sick or unable to leave the house.
  • Messaging allows you to communicate with a therapist between sessions.

Cons

  • Not all platforms accept health insurance.
  • It may be an issue if you can’t find a quiet place for your sessions, which can lead to repeated distractions that interfere with the therapy process. Potential distractions include background noises, pets, kids, coworkers (if you’re using an office at work), or incoming calls or texts that interrupt the session. Problems with the internet connection, audio or visual complications, and difficulty using the app could also interfere with the session.
  • Online therapy may not be appropriate for people with severe anxiety.
  • Most online providers will help treat but not diagnose mental health conditions.
  • It may be difficult for the therapist to observe the patient’s body language if the camera is not optimally positioned.
  • Online therapy for anxiety is not appropriate for emergency situations.

Does Online Counseling for Anxiety Work?

In-person therapy for anxiety is not always a viable option. For some people, location or scheduling conflicts make it too difficult to see a therapist at their office. For others, anxiety about leaving the house, or fear of meeting in person can be roadblocks to receiving mental health care.

When offered by an experienced licensed mental health provider, online treatment for anxiety can be effective. In fact, a review published in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine found that internet-based interventions like therapist-guided cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.

Who Should Use Virtual Therapy for Anxiety?

Online therapy for anxiety might be suitable for people living with mild to moderate anxiety symptoms. As the American Psychological Association points out, online sessions eliminate the need for transportation to and from sessions and increase the availability of therapy to people living in areas with limited mental health services.

People with busy schedules and transportation difficulties often like the flexibility of online appointments, according to Nicole Siegfried, PhD, chief clinical officer at Lightfully Behavioral Health in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Siegfried also says that people with panic disorder or agoraphobia (fear of entering open and crowded spaces or of being in environments where escape may be difficult) may be particularly good candidates because they can receive therapy from the comfort of their own home.

Siegfried says that people who have difficulty with technology may not be good candidates for online services, adding that “navigating technology may create added anxiety, which may interfere with its effectiveness.”

Additionally, if someone has thoughts of hurting themself or others or needs emergency attention, virtual therapy is not the right choice. In those situations, it’s best to seek emergency help right away. Call 911 if you have plans to hurt yourself or others. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you’re having suicidal thoughts.

How to Tell Whether You Need Therapy for Anxiety

If you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, your doctor or a mental health expert may have already provided you with information about symptoms and treatment options. But you might be wondering how to tell whether you truly need therapy for anxiety. Although anxiety can present itself differently depending on the person, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) identifies the following as some of the most common symptoms:

  • Feeling restless, on edge, or irritable
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tension and sleeping problems
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Heart palpitations or a pounding heartbeat
  • Sweating, trembling, or shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of being out of control and of impending doom
  • Irrational fears or excessive worry about encountering a feared object or situation (phobias)

There are many forms of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If you want to know the specific type of anxiety you have, talking with your doctor can help determine the form of anxiety that most closely matches your symptoms.

Can Virtual Therapy Platforms for Anxiety Prescribe Medication?

Not all telehealth platforms for anxiety can prescribe medication. In fact, most online counseling sites only provide therapy sessions with a licensed counselor, therapist, social worker, or psychologist — none of whom can prescribe medication. That being said, a few online providers, including Talkspace, Brightside, and Sesame, can offer medication services when the patient is seen by an authorized provider. If you’re using a platform that does not provide medication services and you need a new prescription or an existing prescription refilled, contact your doctor for guidance.

If you’re using an online platform that provides prescriptions, you’ll work closely with a licensed provider to choose the right medication for your symptoms. In general, some of the more commonly prescribed medications for anxiety treatment include anti-anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines, as well as beta-blockers, and antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), according to the NIMH.

Because medication for mental health conditions like anxiety can have serious side effects, it’s crucial that you work with a licensed provider who can manage your medication, not just prescribe it. You’ll also want to ask about provider availability. For example, find out whether there will be someone available to consult with if you have questions about your prescription, or whether you’ll need to wait until your next scheduled session.

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Subscription for Virtual Counseling for Anxiety

If you’re ready to try online therapy for anxiety, but aren’t sure how to find the right provider, you may be wondering what criteria you should consider before purchasing a plan. Here are some things to think about before you sign up, log in, and start chatting:

  • Are your anxiety symptoms appropriate for online counseling? If you have concerns, you may need to check with your doctor or a mental health expert before proceeding.
  • Are you comfortable with expressing your thoughts and emotions on an online therapy platform?
  • Do you have the ability to establish trust with someone you’ve never met in person?
  • Does the pricing and insurance coverage meet your budget and expectations? Look at your budget and decide whether you need a monthly plan or a pay-per-session plan when searching for an affordable online therapy platform.
  • Do you have a space for online sessions that has a good internet connection? Consider noise, comfort, time of day, and connectivity.
  • Look over your technology and compare it to the requirements of each provider. Choose the device you are going to use for your sessions (smartphone, tablet, or computer). Then, determine whether the apps and online platforms the provider uses are compatible with your technology.
  • If it’s important to you, can you pick the therapist yourself, or are you paired up based on the company’s algorithm? Once you’re matched, can you change therapists?
  • What do other people say about the platform or providers? Take time to read online reviews from sites like the BBB and TrustPilot.
  • Does the provider offer multiple session times and days, including weekends? One of the perks of online counseling for anxiety can be flexibility when scheduling, especially if you need early morning, late evening, or weekend sessions.
  • Do you have a preferred method of communication (phone, video, online chat, or text)? Some online platforms offer multiple ways to connect with a therapist, while others only offer one or two.
  • Are the therapists licensed, with a master’s degree or doctorate? How experienced are they with online therapy?
  • Do they offer different types of counseling, such as therapy for teens, couples, or families?

The degree to which you and your therapist agree on the treatment plan has a lot to do with how successful your therapy sessions will ultimately be, according to an article published in The Professional Counselor. You need to be willing to work with your counselor and offer feedback about issues, goals, and treatment progress in order to receive an optimal level of care.

Common Strategies for Managing Anxiety

Anxiety symptoms can interfere with daily living and wreak havoc on your work, family life, social obligations, and routines. The good news is that there are things you can do to help minimize the negative effects of anxiety. As you debate which online therapy provider to choose, consider these common strategies for managing the symptoms of anxiety, as recommended by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA):

  • Get regular exercise, aiming for at least 30 minutes of physical activity five times per week.
  • Meditate.
  • Practice deep-breathing exercises.
  • Step up your sleep hygiene and make sure you’re getting adequate rest each night.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon), and complex carbohydrates (oatmeal, quinoa, whole-grain breads, and whole-grain cereals).
  • Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake — both can trigger anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Try to accept that you can’t control everything.

The Bottom Line

Living with anxiety can be overwhelming at times. While there is no cure for anxiety, you can manage your symptoms with in-person or online therapy, medication, coping skills, and other lifestyle modifications. Online therapy for anxiety lets you find mental health services with a licensed therapist, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. However, not all therapists specialize in treating anxiety. Take some time to research the different sites and ask questions about the types of mental health issues each platform treats.

ReGain’s relationship-focused counseling may be a good resource for individuals who have a partner who is experiencing anxiety. Another platform that focuses on helping loved ones cope with anxiety is Teen Counseling, which specializes in offering therapy to teens ages 13 to 19.

The therapists at Brightside focus on treating anxiety and depression, and they also offer prescription management services. Another site that provides counseling and online psychiatric services such as medication management is Talkspace, which also features unlimited messaging.

Someone who wants to ensure that their therapist is LGBTQ+ friendly may benefit from choosing Pride Counseling for help with anxiety. If you want tools to help you manage your anxiety symptoms at your own pace between sessions, Online-Therapy.com may be worth considering.

If you live in a state with a limited number of licensed therapists, BetterHelp might be a better fit than other platforms, since it has the largest number of therapists, which can increase the likelihood that you’ll find one who fits your schedule and needs. And finally, if being matched with a therapist for same-day appointments is key, look into the therapy services offered by Sesame.

Why You Can Trust Us

We independently investigate and recommend products and services that we believe will enrich the lives of our readers and meet their specific needs. We’ve spent hundreds of hours of in-depth research on the online therapy market. You can read more about our research on our full online therapy methodology page and see the full results of our online therapy testing.

You can trust our review because we did the legwork for you in these specific ways:

  • Engaged in ongoing independent research
  • Spent over 245 hours testing eight brands, deployed surveys that included over 200 participants each, and interviewed focus groups
  • Went behind the paywall for two months with eight brands to mystery shop our best online therapy choices
  • Contacted the brands’ customer service teams to ask questions and gauge responsiveness
  • Became customers of online therapy providers ourselves
  • Reviewed academic research into the efficacy of online therapy versus in-person therapy
  • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as the BBB and Trustpilot

Learn more about how we researched and evaluated the best online therapy brands on our methodology page.

In Emergency Situations

If you are in crisis, waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be safe. In case of an emergency, call 911. That includes plans to harm yourself or others. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Help is available 24/7.

You can also reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). The SAMHSA help line is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-days-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals facing mental or substance abuse disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of therapy is best for anxiety?

The counselor will choose a therapy approach based on the type of anxiety disorder the patient has and the severity of their symptoms. CBT, in particular, is a highly effective and well-established method of treating anxiety that focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavioral patterns, according to the ADAA.

Some providers may use exposure therapy to treat phobias and social anxiety. The goal with this treatment is to teach coping skills and then expose the patient to the situation or object that is causing fear, in an attempt to lessen their anxiety over time, according to NAMI. This type of therapy may or may not be offered by online platforms.

Can online doctors prescribe anxiety medications?

Yes, online doctors who are licensed to do so can prescribe anxiety medications. Most virtual therapy platforms that offer this service use physicians, psychiatrists, or psychiatric nurse practitioners to prescribe and manage anxiety medication.

Does insurance cover anxiety medication?

In general, health insurance does cover anxiety medication. Some companies only cover the cost of generic prescriptions, so make sure to ask about copays for brand-name drugs versus generic ones. Some of the more commonly prescribed medications for anxiety include anti-anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, and antidepressants such as SSRIs and SNRIs.

Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking

Show Less