As much as you may love your friends and family, sometimes it's great to get relationship advice from another source. For instance, there are a lot of resources and apps to use when you need relationship advice. Not only are many of them legit, but they're also inexpensive or even free. Plus, it means getting advice from an unbiased source, because as much as you love your family and friends, they may be a *bit* biased. So, using an app like one of the below is like having a therapist in your pocket, and at the touch of your smartphone.
"Although the stigma around therapy is weakening, there's certainly still one there that often keeps people from getting the help they need," Vienna Pharaon, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Mindsail app expert, tells Bustle. "Using apps to address relational issues is a safe way for people to begin or continue exploring themselves and their partners. I'd recommend it as a tool for anyone, and as a great starting point for someone newer to the world of therapy."
As someone who's used both in-person and online/app therapists, I couldn't agree with Pharaon more. If you, too, are thinking of exploring the world of online and app relationship resources, here are seven to get you started.
Mindsail, which launched this year, is a great app for those times you could use a mental pick-me-up. It offers a wide range of resources, from learning how to manage your emotions better to breaking old relationship patterns and habits (guilty!). Whether you need help coping with anxiety or sleep issues, Mindsail can help! With the app, you'll get instant access to expert advice on the topic you're seeking. With Mindsail Programs, you can listen to mini coaching sessions and learn coping techniques, like breathing exercises. Moodboosts, too, can, as the title implies, help boost your mood, from helping you get more calm before a big meeting to giving you an extra boost of confidence.
How much does all this help cost?! You pay per program, and each has a one-time fee of $.99. Way cheaper than IRL therapy, if you ask me! Or, you can pay $5.99 per month to access Mindsail's entire library of content, and the first month is free!
You can use the app via iOS.
With Relationup, all you have to do is submit a question on their contact page, and one of their experts will reply within 48 hours. If you go to their website, you'll see that people ask for advice on all kinds of relationship topics, such as "Should I confront my date about her embarrassing behavior?" Need more convincing? Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, founder and Chief Relationship Advisor of Relationup, has some thoughts on the topic. "Having immediate access to a professional offers an opportunity to analyze and understand the problem in a different way and develop more effective strategies for handling it," she tells Bustle. "This insight can translate into someone engaging with their partner differently, and, in turn, creating a more positive outcome. The relationship can be repaired faster and without as much collateral damage." OK, I can definitely agree with that! How about you?
The platform is free, and you can use it via their website.
Have you ever wanted to decode what someone you're dating says? TBH, who doesn't?! With Jyst, you do just that — pose your dating dilemma and then let the responses and thoughts come in from people around the world. And, it's anonymous, so no one will know it's you asking the question — don't worry! In case you're curious about how Jyst was created, it was co-founded by columnist and author Emily Listfield and digital media expert Nadina Guglielmetti. They kept decoding each other's dating-related messages (sound familiar?!) and then came up with the idea for the app. Genius, huh?!
You can use the app via iOS.
An e-therapist from BetterHelp helped me get through the hardest breakup of my life, so I have an affinity for them. If you’re not an email person, you can also talk to your BetterHelp therapist on the phone or through video calls. Personally, I loved (and still do love) having an e-therapist, as writing out everything is SO therapeutic. I also love having my therapist's written responses to reread again and again (especially on those I-really-miss-him days; I'm sure you can relate!).
As for the cost, plans start at $35 a week (think about how much you pay your in-person therapist!).
If you're into texting, Talkspace will probably be a great fit for you! The platform is texting-based, so you and your licensed therapist can text back and forth to your heart's content. However, if you prefer audio or video chat therapy, you can do those through Talkspace, too. Once again, you may need someone to talk to about your romantic relationship, and someone that's not in your inner circle of family and friends. Signing up for Talkspace is easy — you get a free consultation so that you're matched with the best possible person for your current needs.
The cost? It's $32 per week, but you have *unlimited* access to your therapist. Who else can say that?!
Agonyapp is another anonymous relationship advice platform, so now's the time to ask all the relationship-oriented questions, aka "agonies," you need to ask! Then, REAL people will chime in. So if you think you've been talking ad nauseam about your relationship issue to people you know in real life and could use some unsolicited, unbiased advice, why not try Agonyapp? Plus, it's FREE.
Going through a breakup and need someone to talk to? BUT — your friends are a bit sick of hearing how your heart is in a 1,000 pieces and what your ex did and, oh, how you'll now be alone forever and ever. So, instead, use Mend, the app that'll help you cope. My only question about Mend is: Where was it when I was going through a really tough breakup and really could have used the app?! The self-care app will help you through your heartbreak day-by-day, and who couldn't benefit from that?! First, you can have a 28-day free trial via their Heartbreak Cleanse. You check in daily and then listen to a short audio recording, which will include you journaling (never underestimate the power of journaling!).
You can also access advice, stories, and interviews to help you along the way. After the 28-day cleanse, you advance to the next phase, if you will, aka their Moving On program. This includes three trainings a day and will help you get to know *you* again. After those initial free 28 days, you can choose from a few payment options — monthly for $9.99, three months for $23.99 ($7.99/ month), or all year for $59.99 ($4.99/month).
You can use the app via iOS.
There you have it — apps and online platforms are the new therapists! I know, *nothing* can replace face-to-face communication; however, I *do* believe that app experts and online resources give you faster, more unbiased advice. "Apps and online communities are revolutionizing the way that people get help with relationship issues — the help is immediate and accessible and that is what someone wants when they are in the throes of relationship drama," Milrad says. "No one wants to wait hours or days to get guidance. People will rely on their old coping strategies and problems will devolve into familiar, destructive patterns. These apps and online communities are flexible and responsive to the acute nature of the problem. Plus, the experience of clarifying feelings and understanding the nuances of the couple's dynamic is positive, helpful, and empowering. This can open the door to people embarking on a personal journey (whether through self-help or therapy) to understand themselves and their intimacy issues better. In turn, this will help improve their interpersonal relationships and create greater happiness in their lives." And being happy, yourself and within your relationship, is what it's all about, right?!