Searching for zen: why a mental health app is a rewarding idea for a startup

7 min read

The events of the last decade didn't facilitate people's serene existence: the pandemic threats were replaced by political tension and new threats of military conflicts. Natural disasters and crimes also don't contribute to people's peace of mind. But the need for positiveness and confidence in the future didn't disappear. Being in this conflict between the need for security, and a situation of uncertainty in the world, users are searching for instruments to alleviate their stress and anxiety. And one of the time-tested tools is specific apps that guide users in solving their psychological troubles. Since there are no prerequisites for the world to become easier, the demand for digital helpers to keeping psychological well-being will be increasing. And if you're looking for opportunities to resolve the most actual problems of contemporaries, the overview of mental health app features might be insightful for your entrepreneur purview. The Purrweb team has gathered the most significant knowledge related to the issue in order to provide fast and effortless navigation for startup founders in the niche. 

What makes a mental health app stand out from the other solutions?

This niche isn't homogeneous: there are various products that are invited to resolve different aspects of psychological well-being: teach you how to incorporate new habits, share some relaxation life hacks, rescue you from diverse phobias or obsessive-compulsive disorders, or serve as a digital coach leading you to the top of your ambitions. But there's something common in all those programs: a mental health app is a product honed for improving people's emotional state and self-regulation skills via specific sets of tools and types of content. 

Types of the apps in this niche

By analyzing the distinctions in approaches to helping people, we can subdivide the platforms in this sphere into several groups:

  • Focused on meditation and relaxation techniques

This type of mental health app is devoted to teaching people the development of mindfulness and proper breathing. They also contain lessons about managing thoughts and searching for emotional balance. Popular solutions: Headspace, Calm. 

  • Focused on mood and health state indicator tracking

This sort of mental health app is specialized in facilitating self-monitoring practice: better mindfulness lets people get rid of harmful habits or take medicine on time or take a consultation with a doctor if there are some troubling symptoms. Popular solutions: MindDoc, HappyMe. 

  • Focused on distant services: teletherapy

This type of mental health app equips users with tools to schedule online sessions with a psychotherapist in audio, video, or text format: the industry approach lets people find answers on their personal answers. 

Popular solutions: BetterHelp, Talkspace. 

Why do people use such apps?

Nowadays, when time is in short supply, people can't afford to spend hours in order to get to the psychologist's office or regularly attend group therapy sessions. They mostly prefer to resolve their problems in shorter terms and for less money. And a mental health app can turn out to be a cute choice in definite circumstances. Imagine that someone decided to travel more but there's an obstacle in the form of aerophobia. To get rid of it, the potential traveler needs an expert's help. He can find a psychotherapist in order to resolve the problem or just find an appropriate course in a specific app with the opportunity to take personal remote sessions one to one. 

Which functionality to implement in a mental health app

Depending on the type of the app and its specific set of functions can tangibly vary. But let’s focus on the most common features that are able to enrich solutions tailored for teletherapy. 

Sign-up page

Is an irreplaceable feature in any app since it lets users get onboard: enter the inner space of the app. Make it fast and simple. The additional information and filled-in questionnaires you can ask later. 

Therapist profile

Self-presentation of the expert in psychology or psychotherapy should be designed in a way to demonstrate his personality and competencies as well as the best cases and professional achievements. 


The panel demonstrates the significant information: timetable of online sessions, their cost and duration, indicators of progress, etc. 

Audio/video calls

When individual psychological work requires personal contact, the mental health app should include facilities for communication. It can be a chat for text messaging, but the most convenient and contemporary way of interaction is by audio and video. 

Push notifications

Having an automated reminder is essential for timely attending individual or group sessions. As well as the added new materials on the issues are good to be promoted with notifications. 

How to launch your own solution for helping people?

When you've invented an innovative idea and have a clear vision of how your product will help, to whom, and why, there are only three steps that separate you from a digital enterprise. 

  1. Obviously, you can't be Jack-of-all-trades: every work is well done when it's done by the experts. Here your task is simple: to find an appropriate partner, and it would be more efficient if you're planning to collaborate with a full cycle agency. The benefit is that all competencies are in "one window". Discuss your idea with professionals in order to get a preliminary estimation of terms and budget. 
  2.  Start gradually: test your product with  MVP. It's faster and cheaper than creating a full-fledged solution, but such an approach will allow you to examine whether your business is organized "in the right direction". In any case, real users' feedback will provide you with adequate information to correct it. When you see that your MVP is approved by the public, scale it into a more functional product. 
  3. Turn MVP into a full-format solution.  Leaning on the feedback you've received from real users, make improvements in the first version of the app, search for investors or reinvest the money you've earned with MVP into scaling. So, you'll be able to grow a really remarkable product loved by the audience. 

Be aware: after launching an app, there's no time for relaxing. During post-launch maintenance, the QA team will fix any bugs if they are discovered, prepare updates and provide sustainable work for the product. 

Oversee these expenditures in the budget in advance. The good news: a well-tailored MVP is a way to make the first sales which mean there's an opportunity to monetize your idea from the very beginning. If you've any blind spots regarding MVP, you can always take a consultation with the agency. It's usually free. 

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