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7 Best Cerebral Alternatives to Invigorate Your Mental Health
Mental Health

7 Best Cerebral Alternatives to Invigorate Your Mental Health

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Fact checked by Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD check
Last update: May 9, 2023
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7 min

Platforms such as Cerebral work as cheap and efficient alternatives to in-person therapy. But how does it compare to other mental health management platforms on the market? We discuss the 7 best Cerebral alternatives in our review.

Cerebral alternatives
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Finding professional help to manage your mental health can be difficult and expensive, particularly in locations where therapists have long waiting lists.

However, the rise of remote monthly-subscription mental health platforms has allowed a wider audience to access services more easily. One such platform is Cerebral, which offers treatment programs, talking therapies, and medication management services to patients.

After announcing that they would be halting mental health prescriptions, many patients are now seeking Cerebral app alternatives to help them find further treatment.

Discover some of the best alternative options to Cerebral so that you can continue navigating your mental health care journey with the help of a professional.

Comparison Table

scroll hint
Sensa
BetterHelp
Talkspace
Lasting
Happify
Noom Mood
Brightside
4.5
stars
4.2
stars
4.2
stars
4.1
stars
4.0
stars
4.0
stars
3.7
stars

Caters to a range of mental health conditions

Encourages you to form new healthy habits

Offers 3 subscription plans

You can add custom exercises to suit your unique needs

Experienced therapists on hand 24/7

A range of mental health professionals to choose from

Low cost

Accepts insurance for some services

Couples and teens can access mental health services as well as adults

Guaranteed response time

Work can be completed at your own pace

Can add your partner to your account

Encourages open and honest conversations between couples

Explains the science behind activities

Budget-friendly

Free version

Friend referral rewards

Advice from your personal coach

Easy to switch from the Noom weight loss program

Accepts insurance

Quickly schedule appointments

Caters to all budgets with different programs

No one-to-one sessions

Paid app

No medication management services

Insurance is not accepted

Short therapy sessions

Counselors often send generic messages to all patients

No live or one-to-one counseling sessions

Lack of personalization

Poorly structured

No one-to-one counseling

Frequent glitches

No monthly subscription service

No free trial

Doesn’t offer face-to-face therapy

Medication is expensive

Not suitable for treating severe mental illnesses

Brand
Sensa
BetterHelp
Talkspace
Lasting
Happify
Noom Mood
Brightside
Overall Rating
4.5
stars
4.2
stars
4.2
stars
4.1
stars
4.0
stars
4.0
stars
3.7
stars
Pros

Caters to a range of mental health conditions

Encourages you to form new healthy habits

Offers 3 subscription plans

You can add custom exercises to suit your unique needs

Experienced therapists on hand 24/7

A range of mental health professionals to choose from

Low cost

Accepts insurance for some services

Couples and teens can access mental health services as well as adults

Guaranteed response time

Work can be completed at your own pace

Can add your partner to your account

Encourages open and honest conversations between couples

Explains the science behind activities

Budget-friendly

Free version

Friend referral rewards

Advice from your personal coach

Easy to switch from the Noom weight loss program

Accepts insurance

Quickly schedule appointments

Caters to all budgets with different programs

Cons

No one-to-one sessions

Paid app

No medication management services

Insurance is not accepted

Short therapy sessions

Counselors often send generic messages to all patients

No live or one-to-one counseling sessions

Lack of personalization

Poorly structured

No one-to-one counseling

Frequent glitches

No monthly subscription service

No free trial

Doesn’t offer face-to-face therapy

Medication is expensive

Not suitable for treating severe mental illnesses

Top 7 Alternatives to Cerebral

Whether you’re seeking medication management, face-to-face therapy, or self-help resources, there are many alternative Cerebral options that may appeal to you.

Read on to take a closer look at the pros, cons, and features of the top 7 products.

#1 Sensa Best overall therapy app

Sensa Health logo
Sensa Health
Your calm mind assistant
  • Lessons based on the CBT method
  • Mood journal
  • Challenges & self-improvement activities
  • Quick relief function
  • Assessments to help you grow
Our rating:
4.5
stars
Start Free Quiz Now

Sensa is a mental health management app based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of talking therapy that is highly successful in treating anxiety.

The app builds a customized 84-day plan, which is designed to help every user understand their unique mental health needs and how best to support themselves.

It also provides subscribers with daily lessons about how their thoughts and emotions may be causing self-destructive behaviors. The lessons are split into 4 groups, which are physical, health, mindfulness, and relaxation.

Once downloaded, you can select activities from each group to create a daily schedule that suits you. This aims to help you establish healthy habits to improve your mental well-being in the long term, without overwhelming you with information.

These lessons can be completed in your own time, along with 10–30-minute activities that are designed to help you build healthy habits and routines.

You can also track your emotions in Sensa’s online mood journal and complete a DASS-21 depression, anxiety, and stress self-evaluation survey at the end of each week. This will allow you to see how your outlook on life is developing as you progress through the app.

As far as the benefits go, Sensa is the best alternative for Cerebral users wanting to discover the advantages of CBT at their own pace.

Pros
  • Caters to a range of mental health conditions
  • Helps to form new healthy habits
  • 3 subscription plans to choose from
  • You can add custom exercises to suit your unique needs
Cons
  • Paid app
  • No free trial
  • Text-heavy

#2 BetterHelp – Best for ADHD

BetterHelp logo
BetterHelp
  • Private video calls with a licensed therapist
  • Digital self-help worksheets to complete outside of sessions
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Online journal
Our rating:
4.2
stars
Learn More

BetterHelp offers users a large network of licensed therapists who are experienced in a range of mental health issues, from anxiety and childhood trauma to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

After completing a short questionnaire on your needs and preferences, the service will assign you a therapist. You can then choose the mode of communication which is best for you, whether you prefer phone and video calls or messages and live chats.

BetterHelp does not offer medication management services, which may be a problem for users with ADHD who require stimulant medications, for example. It is estimated that 2.5% of adults in the US require ADHD medication.

However, their subscription costs are lower than most of the other Cerebral top alternatives and range from $60–90 per week.

Pros
  • Experienced therapists on hand 24/7
  • A range of mental health professionals to choose from
  • Budget-friendly option
Cons
  • Unable to access medication
  • Fees cannot be paid with mental health care insurance

#3 Talkspace – Best for people under 18

Talkspace logo
Talkspace
  • Medication management
  • Self-guided app with 400+ therapy sessions
  • Video, message, and live chats
Our rating:
4.2
stars
Learn More

Founded in 2012, Talkspace is an online web and app-based therapy service. It provides therapy sessions for various people, from individual adults and worried couples to teens (aged 13–17) and military veterans.

After choosing a therapist, you will meet with them for a weekly check-in. Your therapist will also be available whenever you need them through Talkspace’s online messaging feature.

However, one of the drawbacks of Talkspace over other apps is that these live meetings only last for 30 minutes. Although short therapy sessions for children may be beneficial, they may not be long enough for those needing to delve deeper into their problems.

Progress tracking is an important part of keeping you motivated throughout your mental health care journey, and Talkspace allows you to do just that with its goal-setting and progress report features.

Alongside regular meetings with your therapist, you will also have access to sessions on the Talkspace self-guided app. These can be worked on in your own time and help with everything – from depression and anxiety symptoms to relationships and parenting.

Pros
  • Accepts payment from health insurance providers
  • Offers therapy for teenagers
  • Guaranteed response time from your therapist at least 5 days per week
Cons
  • Live therapy sessions are short (30 minutes)
  • Users sometimes receive automated, impersonal messages from counselors

#4 Lasting – Best for couples

Lasting
  • Learning modules called “Series,” which can be completed at your own pace
  • Live Zoom workshops led by trained therapists
  • AI guidance to support you through each learning module
Our rating:
4.1
stars
Learn More

Lasting is a guided therapy app designed specifically for marriage counseling to ensure that couples can maintain healthy relationships and learn to overcome burnout. The app also offers a guided parenting program to help improve communication between parents and their children.

Although Lasting is owned by Talkspace, this app offers no one-to-one counseling sessions. Users will work with an AI bot, which guides them through a series of exercises designed to strengthen their relationship. These learning modules are called “Series” and can be completed at your own pace. 

At the end of each Series, you will complete a quiz and share answers with your partner. This encourages couples to have honest discussions about intimacy, parenting, and various other relationship-based topics.

If you are interested in the app but not ready to commit, Lasting has a free version. However, you can only complete one Series before you need to upgrade to Premium.

Pros
  • Work can be completed at your own pace
  • Accessible to more than one user, meaning that couples can work together
  • Encourages open and honest conversations between couples
Cons
  • No one-to-one counseling sessions
  • Lack of personalization

#5 Happify – Best for quick therapy sessions

Happify logo
Happify
  • Offers a variety of self-guided learning “tracks” and in-app games
  • Many activities can be completed in 5–15 minutes
  • A range of guided meditations
Our rating:
4.0
stars
Learn More

Happify uses principles of positive psychology and mindfulness to help users across the world take control of paranoid thoughts that may be negative or harmful.

When using the app, you will take part in a series of quick, fun, and engaging activities, making Happify more of a light-hearted mental health app than others.

One of the advantages of Happify as a Cerebral alternative is that the free version offers several learning “tracks,” quick activities, and games for you to complete.

The psychology behind all of these activities will also be explained to ensure that you understand why these tasks are beneficial to your mental health. Happify is a great option for those looking for fun and free activities to improve their mental well-being.

Pros
  • Explains the science behind activities
  • Budget-friendly at $14.99 per month
  • Free version available
Cons
  • “Tracks” lack a clear structure
  • Might not be appropriate for those with severe mental health conditions
  • No one-to-one counseling
  • The app often glitches and has long loading

#6 Noom Mood – Best for text-based therapy

Noom Mood
  • Bitesize lessons delivered daily
  • Daily mood logging
  • One-to-one text-based coaching
Our rating:
4.0
stars
Learn More

Developed by the creators of the popular weight loss program Noom, Noom Mood is an app that helps users become more emotionally aware.

The app is based on a 16-week program that provides daily lessons and mindfulness tools to help you build a happier and healthier life.

These fun 10-minute lessons are delivered by professional coaches on a one-to-one basis, although they aren’t a substitute for live, face-to-face therapy sessions that some of the other Cerebral alternatives offer.

Along with quizzes to help put your skills into practice, you can also keep tabs on your progress with the daily mood tracker.

There is no monthly subscription service available, and instead, users are asked to pay upfront for a 4-month subscription, costing $149.

Although this is a big financial commitment, you can cancel your subscription at any time with a simple message to your coach. You will then receive a full refund for any upfront payments.

Pros
  • Friend referral rewards, such as Amazon credit
  • Advice from your personal coach
  • Easy to switch from the Noom weight loss program if you are already subscribed
Cons
  • No monthly subscription service
  • No free trial
  • Doesn’t offer face-to-face therapy

#7 Brightside – Best for anxiety and depression

Brightside logo
Brightside
  • Zoom sessions with a licensed therapist
  • Medication plans
  • Additional self-care subscription program
Our rating:
3.7
stars
Learn More

Brightside is a cognitive behavioral therapy app that treats those suffering from anxiety and depression.

What’s great about Brightside in comparison to other alternatives is that it is able to provide users with a medication plan.

After a short survey, Brightside will match you with the mental health professional most suitable for your needs. You can then book a Zoom call to speak with your therapist directly, and if necessary, your prescribed medications will be delivered straight to your door.

If you are looking for further help, the app has a self-care program available. This is based on the Brightside website and provides short lessons in areas such as mindfulness.

Depending on the subscription that you choose, the cost of this app ranges from $95 to $349 per month. This means that there is a program suitable for all budgets.

Pros
  • Accepts health insurance as payment
  • You can schedule appointments quickly
  • Caters to all budgets with different programs
Cons
  • Medication plans are an additional expense
  • Not suitable for those with more severe mental health conditions

How We Picked the Products

To help our users find the best mental health management app for them, we rated each of the alternative apps in 4 categories. These are quality, effectiveness, price, and brand reputation.

Read below to see a description of each of these indicators to help you decide which app is best for your needs.

Quality

When it comes to your mental health, quality is a key factor in ensuring that you receive the best help possible.

It is essential that apps are easy to navigate, work as efficiently as possible, and do not frequently glitch. They should also have a support team dedicated to fixing bugs as quickly as possible.

Effectiveness

Research has shown that although it is an underutilized resource, therapy is effective in improving quality of life in the long term.

All good alternatives to Cerebral should therefore be effective in helping users meet their personalized mental health goals.

Price

Price is an important factor to consider, as users typically choose online therapy as a cheaper alternative to face-to-face mental health services.

However, lower prices should not mean lower quality, and services should therefore be able to deliver a good return on a user’s investment. 

Brand reputation

Brand reputation is often a good indicator of the quality of products and services. 

This is especially true within the health industry, as brands that have an excellent reputation can typically be trusted to support users as they navigate their mental health care journey.

A Word From a Psychologist

In-person therapy is incredibly effective not only for improving mental well-being but also for helping people understand the underlying causes of their issues.

However, this type of therapy is often expensive. Online and app-based therapy are accessible alternatives, which are just as effective as in-person therapy in treating moderate depression and anxiety.

Along with therapy sessions, you should also implement some other positive changes to help improve your mental health on an everyday basis. This could include taking a walk each day, incorporating more fruit and vegetables into your diet, or practicing meditation.

Conclusion

When it comes to Cerebral app alternatives, the app that is best will depend on your unique mental health needs, as well as your budget.

You should also consider the quality, effectiveness, and reputation of each brand to help you make your final decision.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
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