Alternatives to Therapy

Updated on November 22, 2023
woman using laptop for mental health

Therapy is a popular choice for addressing mental health issues, and many individuals find they benefit from traditional talk therapies aimed at addressing problems in their lives and complex emotions. However, not every person has the money to attend therapy regularly, and many individuals may not like the idea of traditional talk therapies. In these cases, it might be better to try one of the many alternatives to therapy out there to address your mental health and put yourself first in a way that feels comfortable to you.

What Is Therapy?

Therapy refers to psychotherapy, which is commonly called talk therapy. Therapy is the process of an individual discussing complex emotions, thoughts, and feelings with a licensed mental healthcare provider in order to gain insight and cope with certain situations. Therapy also aims to help individuals change patterns or behaviors that are becoming distressing in their lives so they can have a happier, more comfortable approach to their lives in the future.

Best Alternatives to Traditional Therapy

While traditional therapy is a very popular mental health treatment, there are alternatives that can help you get in touch with your emotions, work through complex thoughts and feelings, and identify patterns and behaviors in your life that might need to change. Try one or more of our therapy alternatives below to see which fits your needs best.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is a unique therapy alternative that gives you time to process your emotions and thoughts while addressing your perceptions of yourself and your behavior. Art therapy can be conducted alone somewhere you are comfortable, or you can enroll in a class. Art therapy covers virtually all forms of art, so you’re sure to find something that resonates with you.

Spending Time in Nature

Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to connect with yourself and disconnect from the world around you. Taking a hike, spending time at a lake or beach, or camping for the weekend can help you work through complex emotions and thoughts in addition to providing you with a fresh perspective. Take a friend or family member, or join a group that goes on regular nature walks if you don’t feel like going alone.

Quality Time With Loved Ones

Spending quality time with your loved ones is a good way to work through feelings and emotions with the support of those who care about you. Watching a movie with friends, having dinner with your family, or organizing a date night with your partner can help distract you from complex issues. At the end of your quality time, you will likely have a new perspective, and you might be ready to fully think through the items that were causing you distress.

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals (ESA) are wonderful companions that provide support and comfort when you most need it. An emotional support animal gives individuals in need a sense of routine when it comes to caring for them, and they can help their owner get out of the house and meet new people, all tactics that can improve mood. ESAs may also sense when their owner needs comfort and provide love or affection to help their owner as they work through their thoughts and feelings.


Exercise is an alternative to therapy that is good for your mental health as well as your physical health. Many individuals find that taking an exercise class, working out in the gym, or engaging in a soothing exercise like yoga helps them to focus, clear their minds, and put themselves first. These activities are all important in self-care, and the more you engage in self-care and reflection, the more you might be able to work through challenging situations and feelings.

How Do I Get a Therapy Animal?

If you think that an emotional support animal will benefit you in your mental health journey, your first step is to select the animal you wish to be your ESA. This could be an animal you already own, or you could adopt a cat or dog from a shelter. Complete your ESA registration and then incorporate your animal into your daily life to take advantage of the benefits caring for them and loving them bring.

Boosting Your Mental Health

Mental health is important, and while there is still somewhat of a stigma surrounding seeking help for mental health, this is becoming less common by the day. Boosting your mental health is commonly done with therapy, but if you can’t afford regular therapy sessions or you would like to try an alternative to therapy, consult one of the ideas on our list. These alternatives to therapy will help you reflect, gain an understanding of your feelings, and put self-care first, which is important for any individual.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.