BetterHelp vs Lyra (What is the verdict?)

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This article will review the different features of BetterHelp and Lyra side by side. We will also be looking at the main dissimilarities between these two platforms. BetterHelp is focused on providing online therapy for everyone. On the other hand, Lyra provides all types of mental health care, particularly to workers.

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The following table will show you the main services offered in BetterHelp and Lyra. It will also show you the common ground shared by these two platforms and how they differ from each other.

 Feature  BetterHelp Lyra
 Types of services  Therapy Therapy and Psychiatry
 Pricing  Min 240 USD Min 75 USD per session
 Payment options   All major credit cards, Paypal,HSA, FSA All major credit cards or debit cards
 Insurance   Unavailable Available
 Age group  13 years and above 15 years and above



  • BetterHelp offers couples therapy and teens therapy
  • There are group sessions available here
  • It offers financial assistance


  • It does not have psychiatry services
  • Responses in messaging therapy are not always immediate
  • It does not have insurance coverage



  • Lyra offers therapy as well as psychiatry
  • It can be covered through insurance
  • It provides access to other apps like ‘Calm’


  • The quality varies from provider to provider
  • Those who do not have insurance can find this expensive
  • It is mostly available only through EAPs

About BetterHelp

BetterHelp was founded in 2013 as a solution for the mental health crisis that is still ongoing. The platform was launched by Alon Matas and Danny Bragonier when the former faced several roadblocks when he sought out mental health care for his personal needs and requirements. Today, BetterHelp serves nearly 2 million users every day.

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Picture credit: BetterHelp

In BetterHelp, users can get easy access to high quality therapy services. The therapy in BetterHelp is offered through live audio sessions, live video sessions and even live chat sessions. The platform also offers unlimited messaging which can be conducted using different formats of messaging.

BetterHelp is pretty affordable and also provides financial assistance for those who require it. In addition to therapy for individuals, it also provides therapy for couples, teenagers and even offers group sessions. Furthermore, there are plenty of resources and worksheets that are available for users to improve their mental health outside of therapy sessions.

About Lyra

Lyra Health was founded in 2015 by David Ebersman in order to bring mental health care to the workplace. Through Lyra, thousands of employees have been able to access high quality mental health care through the EAPs of their employers or organizations. The main aim of Lyra is to make mental health care quickly and easily accessible.

Picture credit: Lyra Health

Lyra offers access to therapy services as well as psychiatry services in the same space. There are also many other resources that can be used for relaxation and even improving focus and concentration. Lyra has tied with apps like Calm that can be further used for relaxation and guided meditation.

The platform has taken extensive pains to make the mental health programs highly scientific and very structured for everyone. The affordability of the services is also pretty high as insurance coverage has been made easily available. This platform is being used by organizations like Uber to provide high quality mental health care for all their employees.

Best features of BetterHelp

BetterHelp offers an array of features and characteristics that can be advantageous for anyone who is seeking high quality online therapy. Some of the platform’s best-selling features have been explored below.

BetterHelp can be accessed from anywhere

The best thing about BetterHelp is that through this platform, therapy can be availed from anywhere and everywhere. The platform operates completely online and all its therapy sessions are digital and thus the user only requires an internet connection and a smart device. Therefore, the platform can be of splendid use to those who reside in remote areas or are home-confined.

It offers therapy in several formats

The therapy itself is available in several modes or formats in BetterHelp. Users can have their therapy sessions through live audio or live video formats. In addition to this, the therapy can even be conducted through live chat sessions. This versatility greatly adds to the convenience and comfort of the user.

It has unlimited messaging

The best-selling aspect of BetterHelp is perhaps the messaging therapy. Through this feature, the user can communicate with their therapist through messaging back and forth. In BetterHelp, the user can send messages in the form of text messages, audio messages or even communicate through video messages.


Picture credit: BetterHelp


BetterHelp offers couples therapy

Couples therapy is another factor that is available in BetterHelp. The couples therapy here is conducted through the sister website of the platform, ReGain. Couples therapy is not only for those pairs who are headed for divorce but also for those who are planning on getting married to each other.

It also has therapy for teens

Therapy for teenagers is also available in BetterHelp. Teens therapy is needed now more than ever due to the high levels of competition and stress that adolescents have to deal with. This feature is reserved for adolescents between the ages of 13 years and 17 years and requires the user to provide consent from a parent or a legal guardian.

It provides group sessions

Group sessions are also available in BetterHelp. These are called ‘Groupinars’ and are conducted once a week. The user can opt to participate anonymously and will receive a link which they can use to view the session live or any other time in a span of a week. These group sessions have been designed to cover more than 20 topics related to mental health and mental illness.

The platform is HIPAA compliant

HIPAA compliance is another great feature in BetterHelp. The platform is not only HIPAA compliant but also provides additional layers of security due to its digital nature. Users feel even safer during their therapy sessions here as they are not required to be in a room alone with a semi-stranger.

Therapy resources are also available

There are also plenty of resources that are available for the purpose of therapy itself. These resources include online journaling, templates and digital worksheets that the therapist may share with the user. Of these, the online journaling feature is pretty popular among users and also provides regular prompts to remind the individual to write in it.

It offers financial assistance

Financial assistance is also available in BetterHelp for those who are finding affordability an issue here. This assistance or aid can reduce the costs of therapy by up to 25 per cent. This has to be renewed once every three months and is reserved for those who are disabled, currently studying, unemployed, veterans or have been furloughed due to the pandemic.


The matching process is smart

BetterHelp makes smart use of artificial intelligence and has an algorithm that takes care of the matching process between the user and the prospective therapist. The algorithm makes use of the data provided by the user during the time of signing up through which they are matched with a compatible therapist.

Best features of Lyra

Lyra Health or simply Lyra has been making many great strides ever since its founding. The platform has a plethora of features that can be beneficial to any user. Some of its most unique features have been discussed as follows.

Lyra focuses on overall development

Lyra not only focuses on mental health but also aims to improve the overall health of the user. The platform is filled with how-to’s on guided meditation and relaxation, among many other aspects. The great thing about these is that they can help the user create healthy habits that can become a permanent part of their lifestyle.


It has been known to increase productivity

Lyra is being extensively used by companies like Uber to increase the productivity of its employees by taking measures for their mental health. Research studies have time and again proven that the mental health of the employee directly affects their productivity and performance levels at work, for which programs like Lyra can be a direct advantage.

Mental health coaching is available

Lyra not only provides therapy services and psychiatry services. It also offers mental health coaching through certified coaches. These coaches guide the user in various mental health exercises and tools that can help in cognitive training and strategizing. This coaching can be a valuable add-on, in addition to therapy or medications.

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Picture credit: Lyra Health

It offers mental health care for the whole family

In this platform, the mental health of not only the user but their entire family is taken care of. Lyra offers teens counseling and even mental health for children. It also offers programs for couples therapy. All these and more can help in bringing the family members closer together, improving communication and thereby positively affecting the mental health of the user.


Lyra users can also access Calm

Those who are using Lyra also have access to Calm. Calm is a meditation app through which the users can learn strategies like guided meditation, visualization, relaxation exercises and even sleep hygiene. Coupled with the therapy and psychiatry services in Lyra, Calm can be a fantastic solution for anyone who wants to improve their mental health status.

In-person sessions are also available

While Lyra offers most of its services completely online, it also offers users the option of choosing in-person therapy or psychiatry sessions. Thus, the platform can be pleasing for those who only want online mental health care services or those who want in-person professional care.

It is very scientific in its approach

Lyra Health is very scientific in its process and this is visible from the first step of its mental health care services. The progress made by the user is tracked regularly and frequently. Lyra uses psychological tools like PHQ-9 and GAD-7 for the purpose of evaluation and assessment. The information from these tools is made available to the user as well as the providers.

It offers plenty of free resources

There are also many free resources that are available on the Lyra website. These can be used by not only the users but also their family members. The blog of the website is also religiously updated with fresh content and articles related to mental health and mental illness. These can be used by the general public as well.

Pricing of BetterHelp

BetterHelp has definitely tried its best to make its services a lot more affordable than in-person therapy sessions. The therapy services in BetterHelp can be availed at a cost of $60 to $90 per week. The price can vary depending on the region that the user resides in and also the availability of licensed therapists who are practicing locally.

Pricing of Lyra

Since Lyra is mostly used through the EAP program of an organization, the users do not have to pay for the services. However, those who want to use Lyra but do not have it enlisted on their EAP can avail the therapy services at $75 per session. Insurance coverage is also easily possible and this can reduce the costs by up to $0.


Signing up for BetterHelp

To sign up for the therapy services in BetterHelp, the user needs to complete the assessment given in the platform. This assessment will gather information related to the mental health status of the user and also their therapist preference. Using this data, the platform matches the user with a compatible therapist after which they can start their therapy in a few days.

Signing up for Lyra

For those who have Lyra in their organization’s EAP can go to the ‘Member Login’ space of the platform. Here, they can enter the name of their company and then provide details about themselves including their email address and password. Lyra will guide the new user in the rest of the steps.

Tips for using BetterHelp

BetterHelp is very user-friendly and has one of the simplest layouts in the field of online therapy. Some tips that users can utilize in their BetterHelp experience have been explored in the points below.

  • BetterHelp offers a variety of live therapy sessions. To make sure you are getting the full benefit of these, it is recommended that you use a quiet and comfortable space for this in your home. You can also spruce this space up with blankets or scented candles to use it as a self-care spot for your other mental health activities.
  • The platform offers live therapy through formats like live audio sessions, live video sessions and even live chats. Explore these and find what tickles your fancy the best. Many users also stray toward the unconventional messaging therapy and have found this feature highly advantageous, particularly if you have a busy schedule.
  • BetterHelp has an online journaling feature that prompts you to write in it a few times a week or day depending on the settings. If you do not like the digital nature of this journaling, you can always write in your physical book when you are prompted by the platform.

Tips for using Lyra

Lyra offers an extensive collection of features and characteristics that can be useful for anyone who wants to improve their mental health. Some tips that Lyra users will find beneficial have been explained in the points below.

  • In addition to therapy and psychiatry, Lyra offers self-care activities like mindfulness. These activities can be used on a regular basis by anyone, and not only those who have mental health conditions.
  • Therapy for family members can also be availed through Lyra. If you have someone in your family who has a mental health condition, you can make use of these services in Lyra to help you understand them better and also help them through coping strategies.
  • The blog section in Lyra is often updated with plenty of free health guides and resources that can be used for many purposes. Be sure to check this space regularly so that you don’t miss out on valuable content.
  • The therapy and psychiatry services in Lyra are mostly conducted through video format. A great tip to help you make the best use of these is to turn off your selfie view. This can improve your focus and concentration on what your provider is saying rather than being worried about your looks.

Personal experiences in BetterHelp

Most users of BetterHelp have had a positive experience. The platform has taken many measures to ensure only the best quality and standard of therapy for its users. Some of the experiences that users have had in this platform have been explored in the section below

  • Many users have felt that their mental health has significantly improved after the therapy sessions in BetterHelp. The therapy sessions are also offered in different formats, further increasing the advantages for the users.
  • Some users of the messaging therapy feature in BetterHelp have felt that this was too impersonal, mainly as the responses from the therapists are not always immediate.
  • A few users have complained that the matching process in BetterHelp is not very accurate and does not do that great a job in finding the right therapist for the user. However, the platform always has measures for the user to immediately switch therapists or even find their therapists from the directory on their own.
  • Many users have also complained about the non-uniformity in pricing in BetterHelp. The platform does not reveal its actual prices until the last stage of the signing up process which has made several users feel like they are being coerced for the same.

Personal experiences in Lyra

Lyra users have experienced mostly only positive things in the platform. Some of their personal experiences have been listed in the following points.

  • A large percentage of users have liked the various mental exercises and tools that Lyra provides, such as guided meditation and visualization. This has helped users in improving their overall mental health and has also instilled several healthy habits in their daily lives.
  • Users who have used the coaching services that Lyra provides have felt that this space can be used by those who are in therapy to practice their coping strategies and other behavioral techniques.
  • Lyra is being used mostly as an Employee Assistance Program in several organizations. These organizations have felt that the productivity and performance of their employees have significantly improved after using the program.


While BetterHelp and Lyra are definitely two great platforms for mental health care, the target populations differ. BetterHelp can be used by anyone and everyone while Lyra is mostly devoted towards employee wellness. The former only offers therapy services while the latter offers coaching, therapy as well as psychiatry services.

In BetterHelp, users can avail therapy through various formats or modes such as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. There is also unlimited messaging available here through which the user can constantly be in touch with their therapist. In addition to therapy for individuals, group therapy, couples therapy and even teens therapy is available here.

Lyra, on the other hand, focuses on improving the mental health of employees and also their family members. This platform offers coaching services through which a behavioral health coach trains the individual in various mental skills and coping strategies. Lyra also offers therapy as well as psychiatry services in addition to the behavioral health coaching.

Frequently asked questions:

How many sessions do you get with BetterHelp?

In BetterHelp, users can enjoy two live therapy sessions in a month. These live sessions have the duration of thirty minutes but can be extended up to an hour depending on the availability of the therapist. These live sessions can be conducted in various formats like live chats, live audio sessions and even live video sessions.

Does BetterHelp record your sessions?

No, BetterHelp does not record your therapy or counseling sessions. However, the chats or messaging between the user and the therapist are available on record for future reference.

What happens at the first BetterHelp session?

In the first therapy session of BetterHelp, the individual can expect their therapist to probe them about the reasons as to why they are seeking therapy in the first place, their goals for the therapy sessions and any particular issues they want counseling for. The therapist may also ask them questions about their history or past that can dictate their present or future actions.

Is BetterHelp covered by insurance?

No, BetterHelp cannot be covered by insurance. However, for those who are finding it difficult to afford the package, the platform offers financial assistance or aid that can reduce the costs of therapy by up to 25 percent. This financial aid is reserved for those who are unemployed, currently studying or those who disabled.

Does Lyra offer coaching?

Yes, Lyra offers behavioral health coaching in addition to therapy and psychiatry services. The behavioral health coaching in Lyra is conducted by certified coaches who train the individual in various techniques and strategies that can improve their mental health. This can also be a great space for those who are in therapy already to practice their mental skills.

Is Lyra an EAP?

Yes, Lyra often works as an Employee Assistance Program for the mental wellness of employees. Through Lyra, employees can seek professional help for their mental health conditions and also get therapy or counseling services for their family members. The platform offers therapy as well as psychiatry services in addition to behavioral health coaching.

Who are Lyra’s clients?

Some of the organizations that Lyra works as an EAP for include, Uber, Zoom, eBay and Morgan Stanley.

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