10 Best VR Mental Health Apps Review

In recent years, mental health care has dramatically changed thanks to virtual reality (VR) mental health apps. This new technology can transform how therapists assist people with their emotions and minds.

Traditional mental health treatments used to have problems like being hard to access, dealing with stigma, and keeping people engaged. However, VR mental health apps have solved these issues. They create immersive environments and therapeutic situations that make mental health support more engaging and relatable.

Moreover, VR technology allows people to receive therapy at home, removing location constraints and reducing the stigma associated with seeking help. This means that mental health support is now accessible to more people who may not have sought it otherwise.

Virtual reality also enables therapists to create personalized experiences for treating mental health conditions like anxiety or depression. Studies conducted at the University of Barcelona have shown that VR can reduce depression and increase satisfaction among depressed patients. It provides a safe and controlled way for individuals to confront their problems.

BetterHelp is a digital mental health platform offering clients direct online mental health services. Through web-based interactions and innovative tools, it delivers counseling and therapy services to assist individuals in their mental well-being journey.

Can Virtual Reality be Used as a Tool for Relaxation?

Virtual Reality (VR) is an invaluable resource for improving mental well-being and fostering a sense of relaxation. Therapists can use VR to create safe virtual environments for patients to face and manage their fears and anxieties.

VR lets people leave their natural surroundings and enter a virtual world, which helps them escape real-life stress. Users can do relaxation exercises and mindfulness practices in these virtual places to feel better mentally. VR relaxation can be great for those who find it hard to relax the usual way or have trouble focusing.

Additionally, VR can be customized to fit your preferences. You can pick different relaxation scenes and even change things in those environments to make them just how you like them. This personal touch makes VR more effective for relaxation because you can create a virtual world that feels right for you.

The Impact of VR-Based Mental Health Training Programs

Image Credit: forbes.com

Virtual Reality (VR) mental health training programs make it easier to learn about mental health. They simplify complex concepts, making it easier for trainees to understand. This helps people grasp challenging ideas effectively.

VR also provides a safe place for trainees to practice therapy techniques. It lets them practice without risking harm to actual patients. It boosts the confidence of future mental health professionals by simulating real-life situations.

These programs are accessible to people in remote areas, making mental health training more inclusive. Trainees can choose scenarios that match what they need to learn. VR technology tracks progress and gives feedback, preparing professionals to offer better mental health support.

Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that the impact of VR-based mental health training programs may fluctuate based on factors such as the VR system’s quality, the training module design, and the trainers’ proficiency. Individuals can leverage the BetterHelp Mental Health platform with VR mental health apps to address these variables, ensuring a comprehensive approach to their well-being.

Now that we’ve explored the influence of VR-Based Mental Health Training Programs, let’s move on to the factors to consider when selecting a virtual reality app.

Criteria You Should Consider Before Selecting Virtual Reality Therapy Software

When selecting virtual reality therapy software, consider the following criteria:

1. Ensure the software has been tested and proven effective in treating specific conditions.

2. To avoid extra costs, check if the software works with your devices.

3. Look for software that’s easy to use, especially for non-tech-savvy patients.

4. Find software that therapists can customize for each patient.

5. Check the variety and quality of therapy content available.

6. Ensure the software is safe and supports motion sickness and emergencies.

7. Make sure the software protects patient information as required by regulations.

8. Consider the availability of customer support and updates.

9. Understand the pricing and licensing terms.

10. Check if the software can work with your healthcare systems.

11. Make sure the software follows evidence-based therapy guidelines.

12. Think about whether the software can grow with your practice.

The Potential Therapeutic Benefits of Virtual Reality (VR) Applications

Virtual reality (VR) mental health applications have shown promising therapeutic benefits:

1. VR helps people face and deal with their fears and phobias safely, which can be helpful for conditions like PTSD, social anxiety, and specific fears.

2. The application of VR apps also creates relaxing experiences that reduce stress and anxiety. Guided VR meditation and mindfulness apps can make people feel better emotionally.

3. Another benefit of this app is that it can distract you from pain during medical procedures or chronic pain, offering a drug-free option.

4. VR-based brain training can help people recover cognitive abilities after injuries like traumatic brain injury or stroke.

5. It can simulate social situations to help people with autism or social anxiety practice social skills.

6. Therapeutic VR games can make therapy fun and encourage emotional expression and problem-solving.

List of Best 10 VR Mental Health Apps for Stress Reduction

1. Virtue Health

The Virtue Health application enhances cognitive and mental well-being while improving the quality of life for individuals coping with dementia through reminiscence and cognitive stimulation. Users of Virtue Health, particularly dementia patients, have demonstrated noteworthy enhancements in communication skills, cognitive abilities, overall well-being, and tranquility.

Virtue also extends its solutions to employers with a diverse workforce, addressing the substantial economic impact of lost productivity associated with these conditions, which amounts to billions of dollars.

2. Oxford VR

Oxford VR is an application guided by a virtual coach, enabling patients to engage through voice recognition. This customized system aids patients in acquiring coping strategies applicable to real-life situations. In a clinical trial involving individuals with acrophobia (fear of heights), participants experienced an average phobia reduction of 68%. However, the company does not disclose the specific measurement method.

Furthermore, the startup leverages its expertise to develop a solution for psychosis, a mental condition causing challenges in distinguishing reality from imagination. 

3. Happinss 

Happinss is a cutting-edge system incorporating virtual reality (VR) technology and biometric feedback to alleviate the notorious “Monday blues.” Happinss’ VR kit transports users to breathtaking natural destinations worldwide, enhancing the immersive experience with soothing music and guided mindfulness meditations. 

It’s worth noting that Happinss has successfully introduced its first VR wellness room at Amdocs’ Guadalajara operations center, a software provider for the media industry. Encouraged by the positive reception of this relaxation room, the company has ambitious plans to implement it in its other global offices, extending its beneficial solution to all 28,000 employees across the organization. 

4. Limbix

Limbix’s design is for healthcare that helps with fears, addiction, and depression and teaches mindfulness and meditation. What’s remarkable is that their VR headset works offline using Bluetooth with a tablet.  Additionally, it also has apps for mindfulness meditation and helps teenagers with depression. 

Within its extensive VR library, Limbix offers a range of scenarios tailored explicitly for exposure therapy, covering fears like agoraphobia, claustrophobia, and the fear of public speaking. What sets this system apart is its capability to customize therapies, gradually exposing patients to their concern for effective treatment. 

5. Openmind 3260

Openmind 360 initiative comprises three 90-minute workshops addressing prevalent adolescent mental health issues such as shaming and depression. Through the integrated mobile app, young individuals can influence the video outcomes with their choices, which are subsequently utilized in the research and development of forthcoming courses. 

In addition, this program, officially endorsed by the Ministry of Education in Israel, also strives to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health conditions and empower young individuals to take action when they identify someone close to them struggling. 

6. AppliedVR

AppliedVR’s library offers a range of experiences, including relaxation exercises, immersive games, and virtual tours of global destinations. Users have reported significant reductions in anxiety levels by 60% and decreased pain scores by 24%, according to self-reported assessments.

Additionally, AppliedVR is actively promoting these treatments as viable alternatives to painkillers and medical marijuana, emphasizing faster recovery times, minimal side effects, and no risk of addiction. 

Currently, the company is conducting a pilot program for a new VR experience called “Ease VR,” which consolidates critical features from its existing apps, such as breathing exercises, mindfulness practices, coping skills training, and pain education. 

7. Psious

Psious offers VR experiences that dynamically respond to a patient’s biofeedback, allowing therapists to view the patient’s VR perspective and receive real-time data on their distress levels for immediate simulation adjustments. 

One notable feature of this platform is that it enables therapists to monitor patient biomarkers and adapt simulations on the fly continuously. It aids patients in addressing various mental conditions such as fears, stress, addiction, anxiety, and depression. 

8. Cognitive Leap Solutions

Cognitive Leap Solution offers assessment tools and therapies for children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Through a virtual reality application, the company assesses and thoroughly analyzes the conditions of children.

Based on the results, they recommend an 8-24 week comprehensive coaching program encompassing cognitive techniques, physical activity, sleep management, and nutrition optimization. 

In the background, advanced big data algorithms continuously analyze patient input to refine the treatment approach. Collaborating with renowned research universities like Harvard and Stanford, Cognitive Leap is at the forefront of developing these solutions. 

Additionally, the company has established three subsidiaries in China, intending to reduce mental health stigma and address the country’s mental health challenges. These subsidiaries focus on educating children and parents about the condition, training teachers in mindfulness techniques, and promoting mindfulness practices.

9. MindCotine

MindCotine therapy employs mindfulness strategies to enhance smokers’ self-awareness and coping abilities, enabling them to effectively handle cravings and break the habit within a 21-day timeframe.

Participants must engage in a daily 10-minute guided virtual reality (VR) exercise complemented by audio guidance and ongoing community support. MindCotine extends its customized program to clinics, insurance firms, and corporations in Silicon Valley and Argentina. 

10. Rendever

Rendever develops VR applications designed to enhance cognitive stimulation, social interaction, and therapeutic experiences for adults residing in senior care facilities.

According to the startup, approximately half of senior living community residents experience depression and isolation during their stay. Rendever allows them to participate in family gatherings, revisit cherished locations, and virtually explore various destinations worldwide.

Using Rendever, elderly care facility residents can embark on virtual journeys across the globe, gaining fresh and enriching experiences. The company claims combining reminiscence therapy with these new experiences has been associated with a 40% increase in resident happiness.

However, they have not disclosed how to calculate this happiness percentage. Rendever is actively seeking corporate partners for the initial launch of their service and content providers to expand their VR library.

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Strengths and Limitations

Virtual Reality (VR) applications offer a range of advantages in the realm of mental health and therapy. These immersive technologies create an alternate reality, providing a sense of presence that you can harness for therapeutic purposes. VR has demonstrated several strengths in this context:

  1. It enables individuals to confront and manage their fears, traumas, and pain by immersing them in controlled and safe environments.
  2. VR makes therapy more engaging and effective by facilitating exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral interventions.
  3. VR apps can offer a unique escapism, helping users temporarily disconnect from reality, which can be therapeutic.
  4. These applications can potentially increase accessibility to mental health care by providing remote therapy options.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge the limitations of VR mental health apps. Cost remains a significant barrier, as high-quality VR equipment can be expensive, limiting access for some access ideals.

Motion sickness is another concern, particularly in poorly designed applications. Content quality is paramount for the success of VR therapy, and subpar apps can lead to user satisfaction and clarity.

The isolation of immersing oneself in a virtual world can also be a drawback, potentially cutting off real-world connections. Additionally, the physical space requirements of VR can be a hindrance, especially for those with limited room or mobility. 

Health concerns, such as eye fatigue and potential long-term effects, are also areas of ongoing research and concern. Moreover, VR may not be accessible to individuals with specific disabilities, excluding them from its benefits.

Finally, privacy concerns regarding data collection by VR apps pose ethical and privacy challenges that need to be addressed in this evolving field. In light of the insights regarding VR mental health apps, individuals increasingly need to connect with a therapist who can offer guidance on effectively utilizing VR devices. At BetterHelp, we provide access to licensed professionals who can help you integrate VR technology into your mental health journey.

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your VR Mental Health App?

To make sure a virtual reality (VR) mental health app helps people, you need to do a few essential things:

1. Define what you want to improve, like reducing anxiety, and choose ways to measure it, like asking users how they feel or even checking their heart rate.

2. Keep collecting information from users over time to see if the app is still helping them. You can ask them questions and track how often they use the app.

3. Listen to what users say about their experiences with the app. Their stories and feedback can tell you a lot about how well it’s working.

4. Compare your app to others and what experts say to see if it’s making a real difference in people’s mental health. This helps you know if your app is doing what it’s supposed to do and if you need to make changes.


1. Who qualifies for virtual reality therapy? Are there specific criteria that must be met?

Virtual reality therapy can help different people with different problems. It’s often used for anxiety, phobias, PTSD, substance abuse, and trauma. 

2. Does VR work for anxiety?

Virtual reality therapy is an excellent way to treat anxiety. It lets people face their fears in a safe and immersive way.

3. Can VR treat schizophrenia?

Virtual reality therapy isn’t the primary treatment for schizophrenia but can work well with regular therapies. 

4. Who should not use VR?

VR therapy is mostly safe, but some people should be careful not to use it. If you’ve had epilepsy, VR might cause seizures. 

5. Is VR good for PTSD?

Virtual reality therapy can help people with PTSD. It lets them deal with bad memories in a safe place.

Manuel Alejandro Patiño

Personal and professionally focused on integral wellness in mind, emotions, and body, as the main key to preventing toxic stress and chronic diseases. I try to be an example of what I teach, healing not just from the knowledge. I am also very adaptable to employeer’s requirements. I can understand and speak Spanish, English, and German very fluently.

More than 7 years of experience practicing and teaching Kundalini Yoga and other meditation