The best panic attack relief apps for iPhone, Apple Watch and more

panic attack relief apps

Panic attacks can be harrowing. They can come on quickly and leave you feeling powerless to stop them. That’s where apps for panic attacks may come in. 

Apps for your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and other mobile devices can an effective tool in helping you manage your anxiety when a therapist, family member, or friend isn’t available.

For those unfamiliar with panic attacks, they’re an acute and sudden feeling of overwhelming anxiety. Even if there’s no apparent cause for the onset of intense fear, panic attacks can trigger several physical reactions and be debilitating for those that suffer from them.

You should always speak with a doctor before attempting to manage anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. However, if you need quick, on-the-spot relief, several panic attack relief apps are available for iPhone and Apple Watch.

Related reading:

Can apps really help relieve panic attacks?

panic attack relief appsMany of us can attest to the relaxing benefits of a meditation app or the productivity boost that a checklist app can bring. But can an app on your iPhone help you when you’re suffering from a panic attack?

As it turns out, there’s a growing body of evidence that apps and other tech can actually help those suffering from anxiety or panic attacks manage their symptoms.

For example, research in Psychiatric Services shows that many technology-based treatments for anxiety “reduced symptoms across a wide range of applications.” Many of the specific tech interventions included self-directed therapy and computers.

That study cited a systemic review indicating that smartphone apps led to greater reductions in total anxiety than control conditions.

Another review of available literature, titled “The Use of Technology to Augment Clinical Care in Depression and Anxiety Disorders,” found that 91% of studies reported that technology-based treatments had positive outcomes and led to symptom improvements. This specific evidence map looked at 280 relevant randomized control trials.

As mentioned earlier, you should discuss your anxiety or panic attacks with your primary care physician or mental health practitioner. However, apps can present a worthwhile supplement to other types of mental health care.

Best panic attack relief apps

These are the best panic attack relief apps on the market. They all work a bit differently, so we recommend trying out each to see which specific app suits your needs the best.


Rooted app

Rootd is a scientifically verified app that provides instant anxiety and panic attack relief — right from your iPhone or Android device. The app has a “panic button” that provides techniques based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for instant relief.

The app also has other features that can help reduce anxiety symptoms, including a breathing practice, guided body scans and visualizations, and a journal to track moods and triggers.

You can also add an emergency contact to the app to easily call a loved one when you need to hear a friendly voice.

Plus, the app supports Apple Watch! Apple Watch Rootd app

What’s nice about the Apple Watch app is that you can address your anxiety and panic without everyone in the room knowing since the watch is a lot more discrete than your phone or tablet!

The watch app includes most of the core features of the iPhone app.

Get it here. This app has a membership or subscription fee.


Dare app

Dare is another panic attack relief app that takes a slightly different approach than Rootd. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, Dare is a pocket-sized training program that helps users manage their anxiety, insomnia, and panic attack symptoms on the go.

You can select from a wide range of different triggers, including public speaking and intrusive thoughts. There are hundreds of free audio guides to help you overcome anxiety and panic attacks when they strike.

If you’re feeling a panic attack coming on, just hit the SOS button. From there, Dare provides you with a calming audio track to get you back on your feet.

Get Dare for your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Sorry, no Apple Watch app (at least not yet!)

Get it here. This app has a membership or subscription fee.

Panic Mechanic

panic mechanic app

As the name suggests, Panic Mechanic takes a more mechanical approach to panic attack relief. The app provides a biofeedback-based approach that allows you to track your body’s heart rate and anxiety. You can even watch your panic response decrease over time as your panic attack ends.

Additionally, Panic Mechanic lets you track different triggers and lifestyle factors so you can manage them. Over time, you’ll be able to see panic attack history, including when they take place and their overall duration.

If you need help in the moment, the app also provides statements of encouragement to help you get through a panic attack.

Install Panic Mechanic for your iPhone or Android device. Sorry, no iPad or Apple Watch support for this app.

Get it here. This app has a membership or subscription fee.

MindShift CBT

mindshift cbt app

MindShift CBT is a full-featured anxiety management app that can help you decrease some of the triggers of anxiety. Although it’s not designed as a panic attack relief app, it can help you decrease panic attacks over time. Plus, it’s completely free to use!

The app does this through various tactics, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and other practices. You can write thought journal entries, listen to calming audio tracks, and participate in a community forum of others managing their anxiety.

MindShift CBT also has tracking features that let you monitor progress over time. Users can even export their anxiety data so that they can share it with therapists, mental health practitioners, or others.

Find MindShift CBT for your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. No Apple Watch app is offered at this time.

Get it here. This app is free with no membership or subscription fees.

Clear Fear

clear fear app

Developed by a clinician and created in collaboration with young people, Clear Fear is a free, simple, and intuitive app that lets users manage their anxiety over time. This may make it a good option for those between the ages of 11 and 19 years old.

It uses a framework rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to change anxious thoughts and emotions, alter anxious behavior, and calm fear-based responses. You can also find information on how anxiety manifests, exercises to develop grit and mindfulness, and additional resources. Panic attack support by Clear Fear app

Users can also create a “safety net” that they can fall back on during intense anxiety. This safety net can include things a user can do and people a user can talk to.

Get ClearFear for your iPhone, iPad, and Android device but not for Apple Watch (not yet, at least.)

Get it here. This app is free with no membership or subscription fees.

Calm Harm

calm harm app

Although Calm Harm is intended to help users manage self-harming behaviors, it has uses beyond that very important goal. The app works wonders for self-injurious actions but can also be used to redirect users if they’re feeling anxious or stressed out.

Calm Harm has a range of activities that users can take part in if they feel the urge to self-harm or engage in anxious behavior. The exercises on the app are also great for managing and improving anxiety over time.

Developed in the U.K., this app is built to NHS standards and uses practices that are built around the evidence-based Dialectical Behaviour Therapy framework (DBT.)

Research indicates that Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) can help people who experience panic attacks by managing severe and intense anxiety. DBT addresses the physical symptoms of anxiety by changing body temperature, which helps decrease anxiety.

Calm Harm app supports iPhone, iPad, and Android devices but no Apple Watch app yet.

Get it here. This app is free with no membership or subscription fees.

Apple’s Breathe for Apple Watch

Breathe app on iPhone
Breathe is Apple Watch-based, while Lungy is iPhone-based.

Your Apple Watch comes with its own way to calm down inside the Mindfulness app. It’s called Breathe, and it guides you through a short deep breathing exercise so you can slow down, reduce your heart rate, and, hopefully, focus on the present moment.

Deep breathing exercises are an easy way to lower your body’s stress levels. When you breathe deeply and slowly, it sends a signal to your brain to relax and that everything is okay, and that this isn’t a fight-or-flight situation. 

Apple’s Mindfulness is free to use and available for Apple Watch here. If you don’t own an Apple Watch, a good alternative for iPhone is Lungy.

Panic attack relief apps are a great tool for when you’re anxious

panic attack relief apps

Panic attacks can strike quickly and overwhelm you — but you don’t have to face them alone. With the right app, your iPhone can become a soothing and helpful companion for you when you’re experiencing a panic attack.

An app is not going to be a substitute for a professional mental health practitioner, but the apps in this article can provide instant relief and anxiety management as a supplement to other care.

With that being said, try out these apps. They’re based on scientific practices and can help you when you’re in the middle of a stressful situation.


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