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Brightside Alternatives: Top 5 Online Therapy Sites to Try in 2024

Katherine Cullen - Writer for Top10
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Woman getting therapy on her laptop to help with her trauma
From BetterHelp to Calmerry, check out the best app-based platforms giving Brightside a run for its money.

Since 2017 Brightside has expanded its medication and teletherapy services to all 50 states, beefed up its mental health education, and rolled out a suicide prevention program. Using analytics to tailor prescriptions and treatment plans to each individual, Brightside's evidence-based approach to mental health is surprisingly affordable.

But Brightside isn't the only effective online therapy and medication management platform. If you'd like to weigh other e-counseling and teletherapy options—including those that have an app-based platform—you may want to consider these top-rated virtual therapy and online counseling resources.

Our Best Brightside Alternatives in 2024

Here's a rundown of the top contenders:

  • BetterHelp - Best for uninsured individuals, couples, and teens interested in one-on-one or group therapy
  • Cerebral - Best for adults seeking affordable medication management and psychotherapy on an app-based platform
  • Online-Therapy.com - Best for individuals and couples who want evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in or outside the United States
  • Talkspace - Best for insured teens, adults, and couples seeking flexible therapy and medication management options
  • Calmerry - Best for uninsured adults who want trackable mental health results and tools to supplement therapy

Here's what you need to know about Brightside's top competitors:

1. BetterHelp

The online therapy platform with a social impact

Best for: Individuals, couples, and teens interested in one-on-one or group therapy

Starting price: $65 per week

With over 30,000 therapists and nearly 2 million subscribers, BetterHelp has provided counseling via video, phone, and chat since 2013. Through its browser or app platform, subscribers can see counselors one-on-one or in group formats after being algorithmically matched with a licensed therapist based on screening questions. BetterHelp also offers employee wellness programs.

BetterHelp makes an effort to ensure cost isn't a barrier for people in need. To some, they offer financial aid—or in some cases free—therapy. They also happen to offer scholarships to university students majoring in psychology.


  • Offers financial aid
  • Provides digital worksheets to support therapeutic progress
  • Has mental wellness tools for organizations


  • Doesn't accept insurance
  • Video sessions are often limited to 30 minutes
  • Doesn't prescribe medications

BetterHelp BetterHelp Visit Site

2. Cerebral

The one stop shop for prescriptions and counseling

Best for: Adults seeking affordable medication management and psychotherapy on an app-based platform

Starting price: $99 per month

Unlike Brightside, which doesn't have an app, Cerebral does, making their medication and therapy options more portable and complementing their clinical services with in-app CBT, self-help resources, and mindfulness exercises. Users can also track their progress in the app and communicate with their care team about scheduling and medications.

After a brief assessment, users choose a plan that suits their needs, and are algorithmically matched with a provider. Prescribers check in with users on a monthly basis; therapists, weekly—and usually for up to 45 minutes. Cerebral is also unique in that it treats alcohol dependence in certain states.


  • Accepts insurance
  • Treats alcohol dependence in many states
  • Video and phone sessions can be longer than 30 minutes


  • Doesn't treat minors
  • Doesn't prescribe some ADHD and anti-anxiety medications
  • Provider matching can take up to 7 days

Cerebral Cerebral Visit Site

3. Online-Therapy.com

A world-wide hub for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and stress reduction

Best for: Individuals and couples who want evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in or outside the United States

Starting price: $50 per week

With a therapy program rooted in CBT, a well-researched treatment for several mental health conditions, Online-Therapy.com offers 45-minute phone or video sessions to therapy-seekers in the United States and abroad.

Subscribers get access to therapy tool kits with courses teaching them alternative therapies like yoga, the basics of mental health, and a journal and activity planner. Online-Therapy.com also has an anger management program that's approved by courts in most states.


  • Treatment is structured and evidence-based
  • Treats individuals and couples in and outside the United States
  • Offers yoga courses and mental health education


  • Doesn't prescribe medications
  • Doesn't take insurance
  • Not offered in app form

Online-Therapy.com Online-Therapy.com Visit Site

4. Talkspace

The trailblazing mental health app that gives you more options

Best for: Insured teens, adults, and couples seeking flexible therapy and medication management options

Starting price: $69 per week

Debuting in 2012, Talkspace has differentiated itself by offering more flexibility in how therapy is conducted and how much choice users have in providers—subscribers can pick from three counselor matches after initial screenings.

While Talkspace's full range of services (counseling with medication management) is pricier than competitors, its suite of care is robust, and even includes personal growth resources for workplace wellness. Plus, it takes insurance.


  • Treats teenagers, adults, and couples in and outside the United States
  • Accepts insurance
  • Prescribes medication


  • Can't prescribe some ADHD and anti-anxiety medications
  • Full range of services is pricier than other platforms when paying out-of-pocket
  • Sessions may be limited to 30 minutes

Talkspace Talkspace Visit Site

5. Calmerry

The data-driven therapy app with an AI flourish

Best for: Uninsured adults who want trackable mental health results and tools to supplement therapy

Starting price: $50

Accessible in web or app form, Calmerry offers therapy for many issues, including anxiety, depression, emotional abuse, and chronic illness. A bot helps users goal-set and practice self-care while a human—not an algorithm—matches them with therapists based on their screening questionnaires. Calmerry also offers workplace wellness

Users benefit from access to several assessment tools to gauge their anxiety levels, relationship health, burnout, and other important mental health factors, plus a journal, and symptom checker that generate data points for trackable progress.


  • Sessions can be conducted over video or phone
  • Offers daily mood tracking tools to monitor progress
  • Has workplace wellness plans


  • Doesn't accept insurance
  • Therapists can't prescribe medications
  • Doesn't treat minors

Calmerry Calmerry Visit Site

Why Choose These Brightside Alternatives?

You Don't Need Medication

If you're not seeking prescriptions, you may be better suited with platforms like Betterhelp, Online-Therapy.com, or Calmerry, which connect users with therapists who provide online therapy for depression and other mental health concerns, emotional support, and help users learn coping strategies.

You Prefer App-Based Platforms

Managing your mental healthcare through an app can make things smoother. Cerebral and Talkspace's therapy and medication services can be accessed from the convenience of your phone or tablet, wherever you happen to be.

You Want Evidence-Based Treatment and Data-Driven Results

If you want assurance the treatment you're receiving is research-backed and you like tracking your mental health progress, you may be a good fit for cognitive therapy online through Online-Therapy.com or Calmerry's data driven progress analysis.

Brightside Alternatives: Picking the Best Option for You

When it comes to mental health platforms, there are many to choose from. To make the best decision, it's helpful to know whether you want medication, a holistic mental health practice, or more evidence-based treatments, and whether you prefer resources to complement your therapeutic work, like educational content.

It's okay to clarify what you want by trying out a few different platforms. Just as it can take time to find the right therapist, finding the right mental healthcare platform may involve trial and error. Figuring out what feels best for you is part of the healing process.

Katherine Cullen - Writer for Top10
Katherine Cullen is a psychotherapist in New York City and co-author of The Truth About Exercise Addiction: Understanding the Dark Side of Thinspiration. Her work has been published by numerous outlets, including Psychology Today, Cosmopolitan, and Self.

The author of this article has been paid by Natural Intelligence to write this article. Neither the author nor Natural Intelligence provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or your local emergency number immediately.