How to Help Someone Struggling with Drug Addiction and Depression

A man sitting at a table needing help with drug addiction and depression.

Substance abuse and mental health go hand in hand. 


According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), half of all people with a mental health disorder are likely to develop a substance use disorder at some point in their lives or vice versa. 


When addiction and depression occur at the same time, the condition is known as a dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. Of the mental disorders frequently paired with substance abuse, depression is one of the most common.


In order to tackle both conditions, a specialized treatment plan is required. 


The first step of this plan is admitting something is wrong. This can be difficult, especially if it’s a loved one who is depressed and addicted to drugs or alcohol.


To support their recovery—and potentially save their life—we have to start the conversation.


To help you get started, we’ll go over warning signs to look out for, how to get help, and other ways you can provide support during this difficult journey. 

Drug Addiction and Depression: The Symptoms and Signs to Know

There are many reasons why a person may suffer from addiction and depression at the same time.


Addiction is a mental illness of its own capable of creating other mental health issues like depression.


Likewise, someone who is already depressed may self-medicate to feel better, but the use of depressants (like alcohol) and/or other stimulants only makes things worse.


Regardless of which disorder came first, recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression and addiction can help you and your loved ones come to terms with the gravity of the issue. 


Some signs to look out for include:

  • Family history of substance abuse and addiction
  • History of physical abuse, neglect, or other trauma
  • Appearing anxious, paranoid, and shaky 
  • Change in appearance and personal hygiene
  • Slurred or fastened speech
  • Bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils
  • Strange changes in sleeping patterns
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Problems concentrating at work, school, or in daily activities
  • Lack of energy and/or physical pain such as headaches or back pain
  • Prolonged feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, sports, and daily activities
  • Frequent thoughts of worthlessness, death, and suicide

How to Help 

When a close friend or family member is suffering, it’s easy to feel guilty or somehow at fault for their problems, but in truth, depression and addiction are complex health conditions. 


The why or how doesn’t matter as much as the fact that they’re sick and need professional help. 


With the assistance of a therapist or counselor and a dedicated treatment program, your loved one can begin to heal.


Ultimately, their health is in their hands. But as someone who cares, there is a lot you can do without enabling them or endangering yourself.


Here are a few ways you can help:


Start the dialogue carefully and listen intently

The first step is starting a conversation. This can be difficult, as people suffering from addiction and depression tend to be avoidant or in denial. 

Begin by approaching them gently. As you listen, keep an open mind and try not to interrupt them. Allow them to speak fully before asking questions and accept that neither of you will have all the answers right away.


Set boundaries

When supporting someone who is depressed and addicted to drugs or alcohol, it’s easy to fall into codependent patterns and enable certain behaviors to the detriment of your own well-being

By setting boundaries, you are not only practicing self-respect but self-care. It’s also one of the best ways to encourage an addict to seek help and become independent. 


You can set boundaries by:

  • Scaling back financial support that has made them overly reliant on you
  • Not allowing drug use, paraphernalia, or alcohol in your home
  • Not covering up for them or lying to get them out of trouble

Help them come up with a plan

If welcomed, bring up treatment options. Browse addiction treatment centers together or recommend an outpatient program you think they might like.

If they’re not interested in rehab, suggest other forms of help like online therapy or peer support. Encourage them to speak with health professionals to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment.


Have resources readily available. 

Those with substance abuse problems and depression often aren’t thinking right.

For example, they may choose to detox without medical help, the side effects of which are dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

They may even suddenly become violent or suicidal while inebriated or in a depressive episode. To ensure their safety and your own, be prepared to act fast and call 911 if needed. 

You and your loved one may also reach out to helplines for emotional support and advice, such as:

For additional support, you can also reach out to other crisis resources listed here.


Get them the right professional help. 

Seeking professional help can often be the turning point during the recovery process. 

Health professionals like therapists and counselors can help develop relapse prevention plans, teach them how to cope with withdrawal symptoms, and provide support in ways you might not be able to. You may also recommend an online therapy platform like Emote for convenient, affordable access to therapy over text and video.  

Your loved one may also seek substance abuse treatment at an inpatient clinic or sign up for peer support groups like AA meetings to combat alcohol abuse. 


Tips and Best Practices When Offering Support 

Confronting mental health issues is difficult for both the addict and the people they love. That said, recovery is possible as long as everyone involved agrees to work hard and does their best to listen to each other. 


It’s also important to keep in mind that addiction and depression are serious medical conditions. As a support person, you are not a medical professional and can only provide emotional support.


This way, you will not enable destructive behaviors or endanger your well-being.


When supporting someone with a substance use disorder and depression, here are a few tips to keep in mind:


Educate yourself about addiction and depression. 

There is a lot of crossover between symptoms of addiction and depression. There are also different kinds of treatment plans for a dual diagnosis such as this.

Researching both can help you develop coping skills and teach you what to expect during the recovery process.


Don’t delay or ignore the signs.

Friends and family of addicts can also suffer from denial. 

If you suspect something is wrong, don’t ignore signs or try to find alternative solutions. This will only prolong recovery and potentially worsen the situation.


Don’t attack or accuse them.

Addiction and depression are mental illnesses that alter brain patterns and behaviors. Though you’re allowed to be angry, hurt, or frustrated, hostility ultimately hinders recovery and rarely encourages it. 


Don’t preach to them or guilt them. 

No one sets out to be an addict or to develop depression. Preaching or shaming them will only validate feelings of self-hatred and keep them from being honest.


Be prepared for denial and a strong, negative reaction. 

Though you may have accepted the situation, the other person may have not. Be prepared for adamant denial and emotional outbursts. 


Accept the likelihood of relapses and be there for them.

The road to recovery is full of ups and downs, curves and pitfalls, and, yes, relapses. Accepting this likelihood will help you prepare to handle the situation.


Help is Available with Emote Online Counseling

Just as addicts struggle to come to terms with their mental health, so do their friends and family.


At Emote, we extend a helping hand.


By working with one of our highly experienced professionals, you and your loved ones can learn how to cope with addiction and depression without overextending yourself or enabling self-destructive behavior. 


You and your loved ones are also free to open up about any personal issues in group therapy sessions. If you’d rather attend counseling alone, you can also schedule an appointment over video chat or communicate solely through text.


All this and more can be done from the comfort and security of your home. 


Sign up today, and your first week of therapy will only cost $35. After your first week, you’re free to select any one of our affordable payment plans.


With Emote, you’re not alone


View our FAQ to learn more or contact us to find out about how we can support you and your friends and family during recovery. 

8 Effective Ways to Support Someone Struggling with Postpartum Depression

A new mom dealing with postpartum depression.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Everything about the birth of a new baby is an emotional rollercoaster. From sleepless nights to busybody grandparents, the first few months of motherhood are undoubtedly hectic.


But for some mothers, this time is neither joyful nor exciting, but lonely and troubling.


Postpartum depression is different from the “baby blues.”


Baby blues is a period of sadness many women experience after giving birth. Caused by a sudden drop in hormones, baby blues are perfectly normal and last about one to two weeks. 


However, if feelings of anxiety and depression persist and intensify, the mother has possibly developed postpartum depression.


Affecting 1 in 8 women in the United States, postpartum depression (PPD) is a mood disorder that typically develops the first few weeks or up to a year after giving birth. For some, it may even develop during pregnancy


If a mother you know is experiencing postpartum depression, here’s how you can offer emotional support and encourage them to seek professional care.

How Can I Tell if Someone is Dealing with Postpartum Depression? The Signs to Know

Postpartum depression manifests in different ways and, like pregnancy, no single experience is the same. However, there are commonalities. 


New moms may misunderstand what they’re feeling and believe they’re somehow failing at motherhood. Mothers with older children may also be caught off-guard, especially if they’ve never experienced postpartum depression before.


The exact cause of PPD is debated, but it’s theorized postpartum depression is caused by sudden hormonal changes following birth


Women with a personal or family history of depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorder are at risk of developing PPD. A lack of emotional support, birth complications, and financial issues can also contribute.


To best care for a loved one during this, it’s important to know what to look out for before starting the conversation.


Symptoms of postpartum depression include:


Excessive crying, depressed moods, or extreme mood swings

The mental health of new moms can be deeply affected by pregnancy hormones and other bodily changes.

Mothers with postpartum depression may cry constantly, appear depressed or listless, and have trouble controlling their moods. They may lash out or act “overly emotional.”


Difficulty bonding with the baby

Mothers with PPD sometimes remark that they feel “nothing” when looking at their baby and struggle to bond them. They may also become so stressed or paranoid about the baby’s well-being, they’re reluctant to be around them, much less hold them.


Withdrawing from close friends and family members

Mothers suffering from PPD often struggle with feelings of guilt or worthlessness. They may blame themselves for their mental illness and pull away from loved ones.

They may refuse visitors, decline invitations from friends, and emotionally or physically distance themselves from their partners. 


Thoughts of harming oneself or the baby

Mothers with PPD may struggle with suicidal thoughts or think about harming their baby.

In severe cases, these thoughts can manifest as delusions or hallucinations. This is called postpartum psychosis and requires immediate help. 


If you believe a loved one is suicidal, encourage them to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or any of the helplines listed here.


Strange changes in appetite

Mental illness can also cause physical changes. While suffering from depression, a mother may overeat or undereat and experience rapid weight loss or gain.


Inability to sleep, loss of energy, and overwhelming fatigue

For mothers with PPD, sleep is almost impossible. They may be unable to relax or are too consumed with anxiety to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. 


Loss of interest in activities and hobbies

As with clinical depression, mothers with PDD may lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. They may feel listless or unmotivated and reject any attempt to get out of the house, exercise, watch a movie, or other activities they used to enjoy.

8 Ways to Help Someone with Postpartum Depression

The perinatal period (the period before and after birth) is emotionally and physically intense, especially in the case of PPD.


If left untreated, symptoms can worsen or prolong. In some cases, depressive symptoms can persist for three years after birth and could even affect the health of the baby


A serious medical condition, postpartum depression requires professional care to overcome and possibly medication, such as antidepressants or sleeping aids.


Most of all, however, a mother needs emotional support.


If you’d like to help someone you know get through postpartum depression, here are a few things you can do:

1. Provide a safe space and time to listen to her

The first year of a baby’s life is stressful for any mother, but especially for those struggling with PPD.

As they overcome challenges and discover new ones, you can provide a safe space for them to express themselves and a shoulder to cry on whenever they need it. New mothers with PPD often experience an emotion close to grief; try to help her through this transitional phase of her life by having open talks and listening intently.


2. Focus on her, not the baby

Babies are exciting and require lots of love and attention, but for mothers grappling with mental health issues, it’s easy to feel neglected.

If you are a friend or family member, try to hang out with her without the baby involved. If you are her partner or spouse, schedule some alone time so you can focus on her needs. 


3. Celebrate her successes as a mother and notice the small things

Motherhood is filled with triumphs and disappointments. For mothers with postpartum depression, it’s easy to fixate on mistakes or what they perceive as mistakes.

Remind her that she’s a good mother and acknowledge the little victories. Praise her for completing chores, making plans, or just taking five seconds to prioritize her needs.

4. Offer to babysit so she can enjoy some alone time

When people become parents, they develop a new identity, but they don’t need to lose themselves in dirty diapers and sleepless nights.

Offer to babysit on weekends so she can focus on self-care and catch up on sleep. If she’s comfortable with it, get the whole family involved and take the kids out for the day. 


5. Don’t compare her to other mothers

Hypercritical thoughts can be intense and even obsessive for mothers with postpartum depression.

If they are a first-time mom, don’t bring up other mothers’ experiences (especially if you are a mother yourself). If they have older children, don’t compare her relationship with them with that of the newborn. Avoid debates about breastfeeding, vaccines, schools, and childcare in general.


6. Remind her that this is temporary 

A mother with PPD may believe she’ll be depressed forever. Remind her that this isn’t true and how she feels isn’t her fault. She will have good days while she fights depression and, before she knows it, she’ll have overcome this chapter of her life.


7. If welcomed, help her maintain a balanced diet and exercise routine

Another way you can support a mom with PPD is through food and exercise. 

If she is receptive, encourage her to eat better and more regularly. If you live together, take over cooking responsibilities and help her maintain a healthier diet without forcing it upon her. You can also motivate her to exercise and set up a simple routine together, like daily walks or yoga.


8. Get her the resources and professional help she needs

Through professional care and emotional support, postpartum depression can be treated.

Encourage her to speak with mental health professionals who can offer additional resources and treatment plans like psychotherapy. You can also recommend support groups where she can communicate with other mothers who’ve experienced PPD.

If she’s interested in therapy but doesn’t have time for traditional therapy, Emote’s online services offer an affordable and convenient solution.

Remote and completely confidential, Emote’s team of therapists and counselors can provide much-needed insight at a moment’s notice. With exclusive payment plans, new mothers are free to communicate in whatever they feel comfortable.

How Emote Online Therapy Can Support New Mothers

If someone you know is suffering from postpartum depression, the best thing you can do is offer them support and remind them that they’re not alone.


At Emote, we provide quality care for new parents.


Whether they’re struggling with feelings of resentment or childcare, Emote’s therapists can provide a safe space for them that’s free of judgment, responsibilities, and parenting stress.


With comfort and convenience as our main objectives, new moms are also able to schedule 30-minute sessions over the computer or have text conversions throughout the day. 


Under the guidance of a licensed professional, they’ll learn how to cope with depression and manage self-critical thoughts. All this and more can be done from the comfort of home.


Sign up today to be matched with an experienced therapist from your state. With Emote, your first week of therapy will only cost $35.


To learn more, check out our FAQ or contact us for any questions or concerns.

Does Couples Counseling Really Work? What to Know About Couples Counseling

A couple in therapy wondering does couples counseling work.

What is Couples Counseling, and Does it Actually Work?

In a world of Instagram-perfect power couples and Disney fairytales, it might feel easier to ignore relationship problems and hope for the best.


But when communication breaks down and trust is broken, sometimes the best thing you can do is speak to a couple’s counselor.


Also known as a couples therapist or marriage counselor, couples counselors act as unbiased third parties, guiding couples through whatever issues they may be facing—often with satisfactory results.


According to the American Psychological Association, couples counseling boasts an effectiveness rating of 75%.


Another report by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) documents positive results: Over 98% of clients who attended therapy described their experience as “good” or “excellent” with overall improvements to their work, home, and romantic lives.  


Given the right counselor and a willing partner, the same is possible for you.


Here’s everything you need to know about couples counseling, why you might need it, and how to get help

How to Tell If You Need Couples or Marriage Counseling

As mental health professionals, licensed marriage counselors and couples therapists can tackle a variety of issues. 


Although no client is the same, most clients share difficulties your counselor can provide insight on.


Whether this is through emotionally-focused couples therapy (also called EFT, a popular branch of psychotherapy) or the Gottman Method, a trained professional can employ skills and exercises to pinpoint the root of your problems.


Some common reasons for couples counseling include:


  • You’ve grown apart.

Many healthy relationships slow down and fall into a routine, but this can sometimes lead to an emotional and/or physical distance. This may be due to work, kids, or other priorities.


  • One of you is considering divorce.

Many married couples turn to couples counseling after reaching a crossroads in their marriage. One of you may be considering divorce, while the other wants to work things out.


  • Someone or both of you have been unfaithful.

Infidelity is understandably difficult to move on from. If one or both of you have been unfaithful, counseling may be the only way to heal old and new wounds.


  • There are financial issues that strain your relationship.

According to research, married couples tend to fight more about money than any other marital issue. This can also apply to unmarried couples who either share a home or depend on each other financially.


  • You can never seem to agree and always argue.

It’s normal for couples to disagree sometimes, but constant arguments are rarely cathartic and can leave you feeling unloved and even hated.


Can Couples Counseling Ever Fail?

Couples counseling isn’t a magical cure. 


Like any form of psychotherapy, couples counseling is an applied science that yields different results for different couples. Multiple factors will determine its overall effectiveness. 


In other words, while one method may not work for you and your partner, another might.


Just as in your relationship, there will be a reasonable amount of trial and error. And while counseling may not “fail,” certain challenges will make it harder to be effective. 


Some of these challenges include:


If one person is unwilling or completely closed off to the idea of counseling:

Marriage counseling works best if both participants are willing. If one person is emotionally closed off or against any kind of conflict resolution during counseling, it’ll be harder to improve your relationship.


This also applies to unmarried couples. Research shows that couples who attend premarital counseling and iron out their issues before tying the knot have a higher chance of a successful marriage than those who do not.


If there is an ongoing affair or infidelity: 

Positive changes are more likely to happen if one or both participants is completely invested in the relationship. An ongoing affair will only impede this.


If there is addiction or substance abuse involved: 

Addiction is a serious problem that requires dedicated care. If one or both partners are not receiving treatment for their substance abuse, it may be better to focus on your respective mental and physical wellness before your relationship.


If there is physical abuse involved:

Abuse is never okay. If your partner is physically abusive, couples counseling may not be the method to rehabilitate them. This is a change they must make on their own, and your safety should be your number one priority.


If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can reach out to the helplines listed here.


If there is crime involved:

Psychotherapy is confidential, with some exceptions. If criminal activity is involved, there is no excuse for actively endangering you or your partner’s well-being. Serious criminal activity may be outside the bounds of what can be simply fixed or resolved in a counseling session.

What to Expect in Couples Counseling

The point of couples counseling is not to repair your relationship in a single session but to lay down the foundation for new methods of learning and communication between you and your partner. To be as effective as possible, counseling sessions tend to have an overarching objective in mind.


To help you prepare, here is a general outline of what you can expect while in counseling:



Your first session will be all about you and your partner: where you met, how long you’ve been together, and what you hope to gain from counseling. Your counselor may also outline their methods and what you can expect from their expertise.


Reveal basic information about the relationship:

After introductions have been made, you will be asked basic information about your relationship. This may seem unimportant, but your counselor will gain a clearer understanding of your relationship, personalities, and why you two clash on certain subjects.


Get to the root of problems: 

Once your counselor has basic insight into your relationship, they will begin asking deeper questions such as when you started having problems and how you’ve dealt with them so far.


If you’re having intimacy issues, they may ask questions about your sex life. Though this might initially be uncomfortable, remember counseling is a safe space, and your counselor isn’t here to judge you or your partner.


Determine specific goals: 

Early into and throughout your therapy sessions, you and your counselor will chart out goals for your relationship. Together, you may work on improved problem-solving, empathetic listening, and how to self-soothe after arguments.


Learn new communication skills and resolution strategies:

During counseling, you will learn new skills and practice exercises. It may take several sessions to sink in, but by applying what you’ve learned at home, you and your partner will communicate better than before.


Regain balance in the relationship: 

As you develop a greater understanding of each other’s needs and learn how to resolve conflict, you may begin to feel like you’re “back on track.” The balance will have been restored in your relationship and you’ll feel more like equals.


Effective Online Couples Counseling with Emote

For counseling to be effective, both you and your partner need to be committed—but between missed appointments, scheduling conflicts, and months-long waitlists, counseling isn’t practical for everyone.


At Emote, we offer a convenient and effective solution.


Whether it’s work, school, kids, or a tight budget, our online marriage counselors are happy to work with your schedule rather than against it.


No need to drive downtown for an appointment when you and your partner can hop on a video chat session in your living room. For immediate assistance, text your therapist and get input as soon as conflicts arise, rather than days or weeks later.


With Emote, you’re not alone.


Get started today, and your first week with us will only cost $35. After that, you’re free to select any one of our affordable subscriptions for you and your partner.

How to Get Therapy and the Help You Need When You Don’t Have Insurance

A young man researching how to get therapy without insurance.

It’s never been easier to talk about mental health than it is today.


From non-profit mental health clinics to 24-hour helplines, someone is always ready to lend a hand whenever you need it most


But for those without health insurance, services like therapy can feel more like a luxury than a necessity. 




Many therapists run independent practices. With all sorts of expenses to cover, their out-of-pocket rates may be steep for someone without insurance.


According to Thumbtack, traditional therapy sessions (i.e., in-person therapy) average $98 to $120 per session. Meanwhile, some professionals choose to bill per hour, charging anywhere between $60 to $175 per hour. 


The type of therapy, the therapist’s expertise, and where you live will also affect overall costs. 


Fortunately, there are low-cost, even free alternatives to traditional therapy.


In this article, we’ll go over what to do when you can’t afford therapy and how to get professional help at an affordable price.


What to Do When You Don’t Have Insurance and Can’t Afford Traditional Therapy Costs


If you don’t have health insurance, it’s easy to feel discouraged.


With your budget to consider and other factors like scheduling conflicts and waitlists, you may want to give up entirely. 


But you can’t give up on your mental health. 


Just as your physical health is important, so is your emotional and mental well-being. By putting yourself first and seeking professional help when you need it, you’re paving the way to a happier, healthier future.


From government-funded programs to online mental health providers like Emote, there is something out there for you. A good rule of thumb is that if one method doesn’t pan out, try another.


Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when looking into therapy: 


Don’t give up, keep researching

Thanks to the internet, virtual resources offer a wealth of information on any kind of health condition or personal issue you can think of. 


Even navigating difficult topics like marital and intimacy issues has been made easier through online anonymity and expert advice from licensed professionals


Whether you’re interested in developing a long-term mental health treatment plan with a licensed therapist, or non-medical coping mechanisms like meditation, a few minutes of research can shed some light on how to get help while on a budget.


Check with your employer(s)

Depending on your type of employment, you may be eligible to receive EAP benefits


An Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, is a voluntary employee program that offers free mental health services such as counseling, psychotherapy, and confidential psychological assessments.


Typically, the number of free services is limited. However, EAP-sponsored mental health professionals may offer discounted rates for employees who choose to continue with their care.


Read blogs and articles on your specific issues

Nonprofessional medical advice should be taken with a grain of salt. That said, there are plenty of blogs, articles, and websites dedicated to specific issues like anxiety or how to deal with triggers


Any of these sources may offer worthwhile insight into your mental or behavioral health that you can bring up with a therapist at a later date.


See if you’re eligible for Medicaid

In the wake of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid has provided a range of low-cost healthcare benefits to millions of Americans. Of the benefits provided, mental health services are included, with some extending to addiction and behavioral disorders. 


Eligibility for Medicaid is dependent on a set of financial and non-financial criteria


The criteria are primarily considerate of low-income households. States, however, may also offer additional coverage for certain groups outside of the federal criteria.

6 Affordable Alternatives and Strategies to Get Therapy Without Insurance


Therapy can be a beneficial experience for anyone struggling with mental health issues, interpersonal conflicts, or stress.


Unfortunately, even with coverage, it’s likely you’ll be looking out-of-network for a therapist. This is because not all insurance companies provide mental health benefits. And for those that do, in-network therapists are often few and far between. 


To add, with traditional therapy, clients are often on waitlists for weeks or months at a time. There is also a limited selection of expertise from in-network providers, such as group therapy for couples and families or specialist psychologists.


Suffice to say: Without insurance coverage, affording therapy can feel next to impossible. 


Fortunately, there are alternatives.


If you or a loved one is interested in therapy but can’t afford traditional therapy, here are few ways to get the care you need at an affordable rate:


1. For students, check with your on-campus counselors and ask for resources

School is a stressful time in everyone’s life, no matter your age. 


One study reported that depression and anxiety are the most prevalent mental illnesses amongst traditional students—most of whom are young adults who can’t financially support themselves, much less afford therapy.


Meanwhile, non-traditional students often have jobs, children, and households to support. Between work, school, and home life, such students have little time to take care of themselves or their mental health.


Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, if your school offers free health resources, take advantage of them. 


It’s also worth speaking to the campus counselor about student discounts for therapy and other health services.


2. Scope out any local or online support groups

Outreach is an important aspect of any community.


Nonprofit organizations and government-funded health centers in your area may be able to provide you with affordable and/or temporary psychological care. Some therapists sponsored by city or community programs may also offer free therapy sessions for a limited time.


You can also reach out to online support groups. 


Though you should be wary of any medical advice you find online, experts frequently communicate on message boards and post articles about therapy and mental illness.


3. Crisis and suicide prevention hotlines

It’s never too late to ask for help.


Crisis hotlines operate 24/7, so no matter what the situation is, someone can always guide you through your darkest hours.


Here are a few major hotlines you can contact, day or night:

You can also check out any of the crisis resources we’ve listed here for help


(If you or a loved one needs immediate help, please contact 911.)


4. Sliding scale therapists

Some therapists are willing to adjust their rates and provide low-cost therapy for those in need. They may also be willing to provide discounts for cash payments or alternative payment plans for low-income clients.


It’s also worth speaking to your general practitioner about therapy. They may be able to give you a referral for a specialist with sliding scale fees.


5. Start your own support group with friends and/or family

Emotional support is what helps us grow and overcome life’s most difficult challenges, such as the loss of a loved one.


Whether it’s with close friends or family members, try reaching out to those closest to you. By doing so, you are gaining a vital tool: a strong support system.


By starting a support group with friends and family, you can encourage those around you to open up about private struggles and ask for help. You can also build a sense of purpose and belonging to help combat mental illness and nurture wellness and self-love.


6. Seek online therapy platforms and apps

Time is one of the most common roadblocks people face with therapy.


We all lead busy lives with jobs, children, and expectations to meet—it’s hard to prioritize our mental well-being and seek help when we don’t have insurance or free time. 


Online therapy platforms like Emote offer an affordable, convenient solution.


With online therapy, you’re free to schedule virtual appointments in whatever way works best for you.


Whether you’re interested in couples counseling or individual therapy, a qualified therapist is ready to host virtual sessions and talk you through your problems. And the best part? 


No insurance plan is required. 


Just sign up and get matched with a therapist today.


Get the Support You Need with Emote Online Therapy


For those with insurance, coverage can be lacking. For those without, finding a therapist can be time-consuming and expensive—but it doesn’t have to be.


At Emote, we cut out months-long waitlists and match you with a therapist that’s right for you


Through our affordable therapy services, you’re able to communicate in whatever you’re most comfortable with.


Be it through text, video chat, couples sessions, or individual therapy, our team of highly trained professionals can provide you with the tools and support to manage symptoms and navigate personal struggles.


With Emote, you don’t have to worry about insurance providers and copays. You have an open path to explore therapy options and pick the best plan for you with our selection of subscriptions. 


With Emote, you’re not alone


Start today, and your first week of therapy will only cost $35. Review our FAQ to learn more or reach out to us about your future therapy experience.

Does Insurance Cover Therapy? How to Get the Support You Need

A concerned man on the phone wondering does insurance cover therapy.

Does Insurance Cover Therapy?

Quality mental healthcare is essential—but not always accessible. Before seeking professional help, it’s important to know what mental health services are available to you under your current health insurance plan.


So—is therapy insurable? The short answer? 


It depends! 


Most plans offer some level of coverage for mental healthcare, including therapy.


The long answer? Mental health benefits are determined by medical necessity, which requires a mental health diagnosis. Coverage may apply to pre-existing conditions or, if not yet formally diagnosed, a provisional diagnosis. 


If your condition is covered, coverage may be determined by federal parity law.


Under federal parity law, coverage for mental health services is comparable to medical care, including behavioral health and treatment for substance abuse. (For example, the copay for a therapy session may be equal to or less than an appointment with your general physician, or another comparable service.)


To help you find the best route to therapy, we’ll go over what to expect from insurance coverage and how to find out if therapy is covered under your current plan.

What to Know About Insurance Coverage for Therapy

Health insurance companies determine the type of mental healthcare deemed medically necessary under your current plan. This may include, but is not limited to behavioral health treatment, substance abuse services, psychotherapy, and telemedicine such as Emote’s online therapy and counseling services.


The type of plan—be it private, state, or federally insured—also determines copayments and deductibles for services like therapy. 


Employee health insurance plans and government programs like Medicaid often cover therapy. They are also subject to parity law—with some limitations. 


To learn more about health insurance coverage, we’ve broken down types of coverage and what to expect from each.


Inherent issues with using insurance for therapy

As enacted by the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) in 2008, parity law removes restrictive pricing for mental health benefits. That said, insurers are not obligated to include mental health benefits, and for those that do, therapy may still be a limited option.


Many therapists do not accept insurance. This is due to low reimbursement rates, despite rising costs for practices and outpatient care.


If you can find a network therapist, waiting lists can stretch on for weeks. Furthermore, the number of sessions may be managed by your insurer. Though legal insurers cannot enforce an annual limit on sessions, they can evaluate what is “medically necessary” based on your condition.


Finally, with insurance, you will still have to manage copays. Copayments are out-of-pocket costs for services like hospital stays and office visits. This is predetermined by your coverage and may be financially non-viable for you. 


Health insurance market plans

Mental health treatment is listed as one of the 10 essential health benefits provided through the Affordable Care Act. All marketplace plans are part of the ACA. All plans also include treatment for behavioral health and substance abuse disorder services for individuals, families, and/or small businesses.


Coverage varies by state. To view plan options and how to apply for coverage, visit


Employer-sponsored insurance for companies with 50+ employees

All companies with 50 or more employees are legally obligated to provide health insurance. However, employers are not legally obligated to provide mental health benefits. If mental health benefits are provided, they are subject to federal parity laws.


Non-federal government organizations, such as public schools and state universities, may be exempt from this law. If you are a state government employee, review your insurance plan to find out whether your benefits are subject to parity.


Employer-sponsored insurance for companies with less than 50 employees

Small businesses are not legally obligated to provide health insurance. However, if insured under the Affordable Care Act, mental health benefits must be provided.


Medicaid and Medicare

Both Medicaid and Medicare offer coverage for mental health conditions, such as addiction, mood, and behavioral disorders.


Most Medicaid programs are subject to parity law, with varying degrees of coverage from state to state.


Medicare is not subject to parity.


Under Medicare, mental health services are available through Part A, B, C, and D insurance plans. Part A covers inpatient care, including psychiatric hospital stays of up 190 days


Part B covers outpatient care, including therapy. Family counseling and couples therapy may be covered if deemed relevant to your treatment plan.


Coverage through Part C and D is privately insured. Part C provides a combination of Part A and B plans, while Part D provides coverage for medication.


Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, provides low-cost healthcare to children from low-income households. According to 2018 statistics, 9.6 million children have been enrolled in the program. As a federally funded program, CHIP is subject to parity laws and is legally mandated to provide mental health coverage for services like therapy and counseling.

How to Check if My Insurance Covers Therapy

Though it may appear overwhelming, you can easily find information on your plan and how to navigate things like insurance claims for therapy and other mental health services.


You can also find out whether your insurance is liable under parity or not, and the cost comparison between mental and physical health insurance. 


Here’s how:


Log in and check your online insurance account


All information on benefits and costs should be available online through your insurance provider’s website. Register for an online account if you haven’t already, and review your specific plan.


In addition to coverage specifics, information on network providers should also be available. If covered, this will include therapists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals insured by your provider.


Check with your company’s HR department

If you are insured through an employer-sponsored healthcare plan, contact an HR representative about insurance benefits. A representative will be able to answer any questions about mental health wellness and related programs available through or sponsored by your company’s insurer. 


Call or reach out to your insurance provider

You may also speak directly to an insurance representative. A phone number and email address should be located on the back of your insurance card or on their website. Any specific questions about your insurance policy will be easier to answer if you provide a diagnostic code.


Ask your therapist or therapy provider if they accept your insurance

Alternatively, your therapist or mental health provider will be able to answer any questions about insurance. Be aware that many mental health professionals, including therapists, do not accept insurance due to low reimbursement fees. Network therapists also often change insurance plans and you may have to find a new therapist if you cannot afford their rates thereafter.

Accessible and Affordable Online Therapy with Emote

Let’s face it: Filing insurance claims and juggling copayments is mentally and physically taxing.


But with Emote, you don’t have to worry about coverage—high-quality mental healthcare is just a click away.


Through virtual sessions, a certified therapist is ready and able to assist you at a moment’s notice. From depression and anxiety to addiction and bipolar disorder, our trained mental health professionals can provide you with tools to better manage mental illness and improve your mental well-being—all at an affordable rate!


Slash the cost of therapy and cut out months-long waitlists through our subscription plans. With Emote, your first week of therapy will only cost $35.


Whatever you need, with Emote, you’re not alone


Start today to gain exclusive access to our versatile therapy services and never worry about high out-of-pocket costs again.

Why Do I Hate My Family and What Should I Do?

A family of four at the table thinking I hate my family.

There is no such thing as a perfect family. Just as all human beings are unique and flawed, every family is complex and sometimes difficult. 


For some, family relationships are a source of pain and heartache. 


Though we are all raised to believe family comes first, sometimes our loved ones are detrimental to our well-being. This is especially true if you’ve grown up in a toxic household or have experienced trauma at some point in your life


Hating your family doesn’t make you a bad person unworthy of love and respect. 


However, to set healthy boundaries, you must first evaluate and identify where these emotions are coming from in the first place. That way, you can learn (or re-learn) self-love and build healthy relationships in and outside of your family.


In this article, we’ll go over some common toxic traits in families, why you may hate your family, and how to create and maintain a healthy distance if needed.

Is My Family Toxic? How Can I Tell?

It can be difficult to identify, much less accept, a toxic family life. This is especially true when it’s all we know. 


Our family members are meant to be the people we can rely on during hard times, from whom we can expect unconditional love and support—and this may still be true, even in the face of complicated relationships. However, no amount of love, respect, or duty justifies bad behavior or abuse.


Whether you’re embroiled in family drama or spending less time at home, here are a few signs to look out for that may indicate your family is toxic.


Sign: You don’t enjoy being around them or their company.

When a volatile family member is present, you may feel uncomfortable or agitated. You have trouble relaxing around them and try to maintain a physical or emotional distance, even when they’re being nice or affectionate.


Sign: You don’t spend much time together as a family.

“Family time” doesn’t exist in your home. Or if it does, it’s rare and feels awkward, perhaps forced. When you do spend time together, fights break out. Although not every family can get along 24/7, a complete lack of quality time makes for an emotionally distant family.


Sign: They put you down, and you’re constantly being criticized.

Families can be our greatest source of self-judgment. However, there is a big difference between unwanted opinions and blatant disrespect. No matter how well-meaning someone’s intentions are, harsh and unnecessary comments are always that—harsh and unnecessary. 


Sign: You feel like you are rebelling or avoiding them.

To cope with toxic home life, you may try to maintain a physical or emotional distance and act out of character. To do this, you unconsciously or consciously spend as little time as possible with your family. You may stay in your room all day, leave the house frequently, break curfew, or do things you know will upset them.


Sign: There’s substance use involved.

Drugs and alcohol do not inherently make someone belligerent. However, alcohol lowers inhibitions, leading to choices a person would never make while sober. This includes inappropriate comments and, sometimes, physical violence. Drug use also facilitates aggressive or out-of-character behavior that may make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Substance abuse often goes hand-in-hand with harmful behavior, even if the toxic family member seems “better” the next day.


Why Do I Hate My Family?

Though it may feel shameful, hating your family doesn’t make you a bad parent, child, or sibling. 


Your hatred may be borne from a difficult situation, such as a death in the family or betrayed trust, and isn’t necessarily permanent. Alternatively, your feelings may be the result of years of fraught relations and conflicting personalities.


Whatever it may be, there is always a cause behind negative emotions. 


Here are some possible reasons to keep in mind while evaluating your feelings:


Reason: They don’t respect my boundaries and constantly push me around.

Just as you are entitled to your own life and hobbies, you are entitled to privacy and respect. This applies to parent-child relationships where emotional and physical boundaries are easily blurred under the pretense of discipline and protection. 


For example, it’s inappropriate for a parent to go through phones or belongings. It’s also unhealthy to be emotionally available to them 24/7. You were not born to be your parent’s best friend and should be able to function outside of that relationship.


Reason: We don’t share the same values and perspectives.

Differing beliefs often create tension within families. Though you may have been raised to think or act in a certain way, this is not the deciding factor on what you choose to support later on in life.


Reason: They neglect or avoid me and constantly leave me out of things.

A caregiver is not only meant to provide basic needs such as food and education but also love and attention. If a caregiver, or another family member, treats you poorly by neglecting your wants and needs, feelings of resentment and hatred can brew.


Reason: They put an enormous amount of pressure on me.

High expectations from parents can lead to stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem in children. This also affects adults, who grow up to become perfectionists and are highly critical of their self-worth.


Reason: They are emotionally and/or physically abusive.

Abuse is not limited to physical violence. Name-calling, throwing items, inappropriate sexual contact or comments, gaslighting, and controlling behavior are all forms of abuse.


If you experience or have experienced physical, verbal, psychological, or sexual abuse from family members, your negative emotions are the result of trauma.


If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence and in need of help, please reach out to one of the crisis resources listed here.


How Do I Distance Myself in a Healthy Way?

It’s easy to tolerate bad behavior from family when it’s the norm. However, this does not give them the right to treat you with disrespect or unkindness.


If a toxic or abusive person is unable to make up or apologize for their past mistakes, the healthy decision is to create distance.


To do so, you must first set boundaries—with yourself and with loved ones. By setting boundaries, not only are you prioritizing your mental health, but you’re strengthening self-worth and managing realistic expectations. 


Here’s how to safely create and maintain distance with toxic family members:


Identify who is toxic and be aware of your triggers.

Constant fighting and gaslighting are all traits of a dysfunctional family. These traits may be caused by the actions of specific persons in the family. By identifying abusers and/or enablers, you can better understand the root of negative emotions, such as low esteem and self-hatred.


Seeking outside support can also be helpful. By working with Emote’s highly qualified and flexible mental health services, an online therapist or counselor will be able to help you identify triggers, manage emotions, and navigate volatile situations. 


Limit your time around them.

Spend as little time with them as possible. Family members may try to persuade or gaslight you into spending time with you but remember, you are not their property. You should not be forced to speak or see them if you don’t want to.


However, if you must see a potentially abusive family member, bring a close friend along with you or meet in a public space where they’re unlikely to act out. That way, you have more power in the situation.


Walk away from high-intensity situations.

Detachment isn’t easy, but sometimes, it’s necessary.


By practicing emotional detachment, you’re less likely to be reeled into family drama. Present yourself as calmly as possible and speak in a calm voice. As soon as you can, simply walk away. 


Although this may irritate or anger them, you’re setting a clear boundary on what you will and will not accept from them by refusing to participate in their bad behavior.


Cut off online communication channels (social media).

Create further distance with toxic family members by limiting contact online. To do so, you can block them on social media and change usernames and other relevant information. Disable the option for phone contacts to find you on social media.


If necessary, you can also change your phone number or block theirs to cut off contact entirely.

What Should I Do If I Hate My Family?

From a young age, we’re taught to accept the good and bad from family. Unfortunately, sometimes the bad outweighs the good, and we need to prioritize our needs before others.


Emote offers you the chance to not only work on yourself but to improve your well-being and cultivate healthy boundaries with a toxic family.


With the assistance of a qualified therapist, you can identify emotional triggers, learn how to distance yourself from toxic parents or siblings, and break cycles of abuse within your own family.


You’re also free to communicate privately. Through text or private video chat sessions, Emote’s secure chat system will fly under the radar and ensure ease of access, day or night.


Whatever your goal is, remember that Emote is a safe, non-judgemental space dedicated to helping you improve. With Emote, you’re not alone.


Start now and gain exclusive access to our flexible, affordable therapy services. Get matched with a therapist today, and your first week of therapy will only cost $35. Continue working with us, and you’ll gain access to our flexible subscription plans and personalized therapy experience.

I Hate Being a Mom: The Why and What To Do

A woman with her two kids thinking I hate being a mom.

I Hate Being a Mom Sometimes… Is That Okay? 

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or on the career track, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Motherhood isn’t easy. 


You’re responsible for another human being who can’t always communicate their needs and throw tantrums to get their way. You not only have to manage your child’s welfare, but that of your home and finances. To add, if you’re a single mom, a lack of partner support means you have even less time to decompress.


Hating or resenting your children doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. If anything, it means you’re human.


And much like the smaller human beings in your life, you can’t control how you feel. However, just as you soothe your child when they’re scared or upset, you also have to take care of your emotional well-being.


In this article, we’ll help you identify why you might be unhappy as a mother, how to address the issue, and how to get help if you need it.

Common Reasons Behind Unhappy Motherhood

If you’re going through a hard time, it’s normal to resent your situation or the circumstances that led up to it.


Mothering is no exception. 


By identifying your emotions and calling out a problem for what it is—a problem—you can take the first step towards a healthier, more manageable relationship with parenthood and your child.


To help you get started, here are few common reasons why you might be unhappy as a mother:


“I have no support or help.”

We like to think of moms as superheroes who can do everything on their own, but in reality, they can’t.


And that’s okay.


Without a stable support system, mothers are at risk of developing postpartum depression.


Affecting 1 in 8 women, mothers with PD struggle with intense emotions, like anger or helplessness. Feelings of isolation can worsen if you’re a first-time mom or single parent without access to resources or family members that can help out.


Mothers may also develop clinical depression due to lack of sleep, stress, and the mental toll of raising a child without support, whether physical, emotional, or financial. 


“I never wanted kids to begin with.”

It’s a difficult truth, but not every mom wanted to be a mother.


Some mothers are pressured into being a parent by cultural norms or familial expectations. Others fall unexpectedly pregnant.


Though this doesn’t make for a bad parent, it can lead to feelings of resentment or anger for a major life change you never wanted.


“My marriage or partnership is falling apart.” 

If two parents are involved, child-rearing is ideally done as a partnership. However, for women in heterosexual relationships, a majority of the childcare tends to fall on the mother, straining the relationship between her and the father. 


This can also happen with same-sex and non-gender-conforming couples, where one parent tends to be more responsible for childcare than the other.


A lack of sleep, money and alone time can further deepen the tension.


“I have no time to myself, and I’m losing my identity.”

Parenthood is a full-time job, especially if you have small children or children with special needs. You may long for your old lifestyle or the aspirations you had to give up to be a parent. Your sense of self can feel diminished or non-existent due to all your attention and time spent caring for your children.


“My child(ren) are really challenging and display disruptive or concerning behavior.”

Toddlers throw tantrums; teenagers curse and rebel. It’s a fact of life, but there’s a difference between acts of defiance that signify your child’s developing independence—and a disruptive behavior disorder.


A disruptive behavior disorder (DBD) is a mental health condition common amongst children. They’re not necessarily the result of bad parenting, but a genuine behavioral issue that can make parenting stressful and grueling without the help of a licensed counselor


“It’s causing me and my family financial problems.”

Raising a child isn’t only emotionally and physically demanding—it’s financially taxing. 


From diapers and formula to saving up for college tuition, wanting the best for your child takes its toll. Financial issues often strain a marriage, with unresolved disputes about money being more recurrent than any other marital issue.


“I don’t feel good enough and there’s a pressure to be perfect.”

On social media, mothers are portrayed as superheroes—infallible and unrealistic. 


Mothers can seemingly raise a house full of kids, maintain a career, keep a perfect figure, and stay happily in love with their spouse.


As a result, many mothers feel compelled to perform as parents. Combined with cultural or familial pressures, it’s easy to feel as though you are somehow failing as a mother by not painting a cookie-cutter image 24/7.

What Should I Do if I Hate Being a Mom?

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs out there, and it’s only made harder by silence, a lack of self-care, and, worst of all, mom guilt.


Though you can’t control your emotions, you can pause, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. By taking a moment to examine how you’re feeling, you can think of better ways to manage your emotions and the challenges of motherhood. 


Yes, when you open your eyes, your child will still be there—but so will you, a human being equally deserving of care.


To help you get started, here are a few suggestions on how to prioritize your needs:


Know you’re not alone

You’re not a bad person for feeling the way you do. Furthermore, you are neither alone nor unique in your situation; many moms have felt as you do.


Though mothers are idolized by society, motherhood is a complicated, messy thing. Not every mother is blissful or satisfied with motherhood, and there’s nothing shameful about that.


Ask for help from friends and family

Have you heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child”? 


Though traditionally mothers are the heart of childcare, we often forget about the people around us who would be more than happy to help out.


Reach out to family and friends when you need a break or some help around the house. If none are close by, schedule time for a visit. 


Open up about how you’re feeling in whatever way you feel comfortable and ask for what you need. Be specific.


Schedule a “you-day” 

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, alone time is a necessity, not a luxury. Give yourself a full day to focus on self-care, hobbies, or anything else you’d like to do.


You may call a babysitter over on the weekends, schedule a weekly playdate, or ask your partner to take over. Whatever you decide, try not to think about your kids or all the trouble they’ll get into. They’ll be just fine.


Stop comparing yourself to others

How other moms decide to parent will always differ from how you choose to. Accept that you’re doing your best. 


Whether that means sleeping in on Sundays, letting your kids eat junk food sometimes, or relying on others for help, what matters is you and your children’s continued welfare and happiness.


Give yourself permission to be imperfect

All good mothers make mistakes. Sometimes they lose their patience and raise their voice when they shouldn’t. Other times, they’re late to pick up their kids from school. It happens, and it’s okay.


Just remember that your child loves you unconditionally. They don’t need you to be perfect, and neither should anyone else. 


Get professional help and look for resources

Many women struggle with mental health issues, and those with children are no exception.


Women are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder compared to men and are susceptible to different types of depression, such as postpartum depression and perimenopausal depression.


Combined with the stress and emotional toll of child-rearing, mentally ill mothers may feel helpless and isolated—but they’re not.


Here at Emote, a trained professional is able to guide you through motherhood. And the best part is that it doesn’t have to cut into family life.


You’re free to schedule appointments from the comfort of your home or text your therapist during your lunch. Whatever the time, our virtual therapy office stays open.

Reclaim Your Joy with Emote Online Therapy

A lot of moms have felt the way you do—angry, frustrated, resentful. Raising a child is hard work, and it never stops. But that doesn’t mean it can’t get better.


Whether you’re a new mom with a one-year-old at home or a veteran with several teens under your belt, how you feel is real and valid, and you’re deserving of being heard


At Emote, we offer just that: an empathetic ear.


With the help of our highly qualified mental health professionals, a therapist or family counselor can help you develop skills to better handle motherhood or tackle issues like low self-esteem and negative thoughts.


Through convenient online therapy sessions, you cut out carpools, long waitlists, and short-notice babysitters. You can contact your therapist whenever you need them, through text or video.


With Emote, you’re not alone.


Start today and learn how to reclaim joy as a mother for only $35 during your first week of therapy. Check out our FAQ to learn more, or contact us for questions and concerns.

Does My Husband Hate Me? What to Look For and How to Fix It

A woman wondering why does my husband hate me.

No marriage is without its struggles, but sometimes, we can feel unloved or even hated by our spouse when things aren’t going well.


Whether based on fact or feeling, negative emotions need to be addressed. Be it through professional help or a long sit-down with your husband, you two must communicate.


However, before doing so, you also have to look inside yourself and ask where these feelings are coming from in the first place. 


Questions like “Why does my husband hate me?”, “Am I doing something wrong?”, or “Does he not love me anymore?” could be rooted in low self-esteem or the result of recent marital problems. They can also act as a guideline to unrealized issues.


It’s more than likely that your husband doesn’t hate you. However, that’s not to say there’s nothing wrong and that you should remain silent.


In this article, we’ll go over signs to look out for, reasons for your husband’s behavior, and how to get help.

Does My Husband Hate Me? The Signs to Look For

Every couple goes through hard times and ultimately, how your husband feels is out of your control. The same goes for his actions and how he chooses to handle confrontation and his emotions.


But persistent marital problems are more than just a “rough patch.” They can be signs of dissatisfaction or a lack of fulfillment in the marriage and may even indicate deeper issues like failing physical or mental health


Whatever the cause may be, if there’s a problem, it’s always worth looking deeper.


If you suspect some ill feelings and want to begin addressing issues with your husband, here a few warnings to look for:


He avoids you and is both physically and mentally absent.

Consciously or unconsciously avoiding your spouse is a form of stonewalling. By not discussing issues or even engaging in polite conversation, your husband is creating a mental and physical barrier that is neither helpful nor healthy.


He’s no longer affectionate and doesn’t want to be intimate.

Sexual and romantic needs come and go in any marriage, but a sudden or steady decline in physical intimacy is reasonable cause for worry. Depending on other factors like family, age, work, and kids, a happy marriage should at least foster warmth, love, and care.


He doesn’t notice or is indifferent to your absence.

Making a marriage work isn’t easy, but it’s harder when you feel invisible. This is especially true if your husband is a workaholic and his career takes precedence over not only your relationship—but everything else that matters

Alternatively, it may indicate that he’s a narcissist or has narcissistic tendencies and does not value your needs as highly as his own.


He forgets your birthday, anniversary, or other important days.

Forgetting a birthday or anniversary isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. However, if you can’t remember the last time you celebrated an important day together, much less received an apology for a missed dinner date, it’s easy to feel neglected and unappreciated.


He refuses to get couples or marriage counseling.

There are many misconceptions about couples counseling and the good a marriage counselor can do—but outright refusing professional help when you need it the most will only make your marriage harder to fix.


He insults you and most conversations turn sour.

Sometimes, we lash out at the people we love the most and say things we don’t mean. But if conversations frequently turn hostile and your husband’s response is to insult or attack your character, this is considered verbal abuse and is never okay.

Be wary of this type of behavior. No one has the right to treat you cruelly, much less your husband.


You fight all the time.

Another red flag to look out for is constant fighting. You never seem to have normal conversations with your husband anymore, and both of you are almost always angry or upset.

If these fights ever turn physical and your husband hits, shoves, or grabs you, this is domestic violence and should never be tolerated. Likewise, if your husband uses these fights as an opportunity to put you down or gaslight you, this is a form of emotional abuse.

If you feel that you or anyone you know is in danger, do not hesitate to reach out to any one of the crisis resources listed here.

Reasons Why My Husband Might Hate Me 

There may have been a time where your husband was your best friend. You told each other everything and looked forward to nights alone. Now, you barely spend time together. He’s grown cold or short-tempered. This is understandably heartbreaking and difficult for you to wrap your head around.


But it doesn’t mean your husband doesn’t love you anymore.


In fact, there’s a chance something else is going on—perhaps something you haven’t considered before.


To understand why your husband is treating you differently, here are a few things to keep in mind that might explain his behavior:


He feels constantly criticized.

Your husband loves you, but he may feel constantly criticized or degraded by you. Whether you mean to or not, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own feelings and neglect how your words and actions affect him.


You take him for granted.

Marriage is a two-way street, but we often slip into narratives that our spouse lives and breathes for us. Though you should certainly be a priority in his life, you should never take your husband for granted or devalue his sacrifices.


You don’t instigate sex or he doesn’t feel you’re attracted to him.

If you and your husband have been together a while, it’s natural for either of your libidos to degrade or fluctuate due to age or medical conditions. However, that won’t stop your husband from wondering if he’s still sexy or desirable. If there are obvious signs of distress or apprehension in the bedroom, consider seeking professional help to rediscover and rekindle a healthy flame.


He thinks you are “nagging” him too much about things he can’t control.

Sometimes, when we are unhappy or frustrated with a certain person or situation, we peck insistently at our spouses for every little thing they did or didn’t do to make it better. This especially goes for things he cannot control, like a child’s failing grades or trouble at work.


He feels he can’t live up to your expectations.

Your husband loves you so he wants to make you proud. Unfortunately, he may feel like a failure because he has not reached certain goals, is struggling financially, or is somehow a bad person and therefore unworthy of you. As a result, he may act out in a self-destructive or negative way.

What Should I Do? Can I Fix This?

Have you ever heard the saying, “the only way to move forward is through”?


This is true for any difficult situation, including a failing or unhappy marriage. Although you’ll need your husband’s participation in order to mend your relationship, it doesn’t hurt to take the first step alone so he can follow after. (You’ve already done so much by acknowledging your emotions and reading this guide!)


To begin healing your marriage, here are a few things you can try out:


Figure out what’s really bothering him and talk it out.

How do you know if your husband hates you? Simple. Ask him.

Better yet, ask him about what’s been going on in his head and how you can fix it together. You’re not a mind reader and neither is your spouse. 

Only through consistent communication and active listening can you learn how to move past anger and pain.


Put the family/children first.

At the end of the day, what really matters is our loved ones. Refocus your attention and start putting the kids first as partners. A troubled marriage can deeply affect a child and lead to emotional insecurity and poor grades.

If you don’t have children, reach out to other people you both love and care for, such as extended family members and close friends. Ask how your marriage is affecting them. It may provide you with useful insight.


Seek couples or marriage counseling.

There comes a point in any unhappy marriage where it’s time to speak to a counselor. Even if you have a hard time accepting that something is wrong, it doesn’t hurt to speak to a qualified professional. Together, you can create a step-by-step plan to help strengthen your marriage, improve communication, build listening skills, and even nurture self-love.

By working with Emote, you and your husband will have the chance to attend therapy on your own terms. No need to worry about babysitters or busy work life! With Emote’s online therapy and counseling services, you can work with your schedule rather than against it.

Get Support with Emote 

In a tense or strained marriage, it’s hard to work things out when you barely speak to each other. But with time, patience, and most importantly help, you and your husband can learn how to be happy once more.


At Emote, our main priority is you and your mental health. Whether you’d like to schedule an appointment alone or with your significant other, a certified couple or marriage counselor can provide you with the tools and insight to better manage a difficult relationship or intimacy issues.


Be it through couples exercises, live video chat, or private text sessions, it’s never too late to get help.


With Emote, you are not alone.


Sign up today and start your week of couples counseling for only $35. Gain access to affordable subscriptions, versatile scheduling options, and more.

BetterHelp vs. Talkspace vs. Emote: Where Should I Go For Support?

BetterHelp vs. Talkspace vs. Emote

Comparing Online Therapy Providers

When 1 in 5 Americans cope with a mental illness of some kind, mental health services are crucial. 

Unfortunately, resources aren’t always accessible or practical. 

Online therapy services like Betterhelp, Talkspace, and Emote serve as affordable alternatives, providing emotional and psychological support at various pricing.

Each service virtually connects users with qualified mental health professionals. Users may communicate with their therapist or counselor privately in secure chat rooms, over the phone, or face-to-face in live video sessions. Each platform also has special features available to its users. Here’s a quick rundown of each:

  • BetterHelp: Launched in 2013, this California-based company has a broad user base with thousands of licensed therapists under its roster. Their services target a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and grief. They also offer teen counseling through their affiliate site, TeenCounseling.
  • Talkspace: Founded in 2012, Talkspace is an online therapy platform home to a variety of mental health services, including marriage counseling, work-life planning, and one-on-one therapy. They’ve recently released an additional psychiatry service for those interested in prescription management.
  • Emote: Emote is an online therapy website offering affordable, flexible mental health services. Sessions are done over text or video chat (available via web or mobile app). Convenient and confidential, Emote’s services include couples therapy, grief counseling, and emotional support for those suffering from depression, anxiety, or PTSD, and other mental illnesses. All user information is secured under a HIPAA-compliant system and strict privacy agreements. Emote also offers articles on mental health care and links to crisis resources.

In this article, we’ll go further in-depth on the pros and cons of each platform and what to expect during the sign-up process.

Want a quick at-a-glance at each of the platforms? We’ve gathered the main points below:





Topics and services covered

Topics include mood disorders, couples and family therapy, addiction, eating disorders, stress, LGTBQIA+ topics, and self-esteem issues. 

Teen counseling is also available through an affiliate site.

Offers services through text messaging and weekly phone or live video appointments.

Topics include depression, anxiety, couples counseling, parenting, LGTBQIA+ topics, substance abuse, anger management, OCD, chronic illness, childhood abuse, and psychiatry.

Offers services through text messaging. No phone sessions. Live video appointments are offered at a premium.

Topics include mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, PTSD, couples counseling, self-esteem, LGTBQIA+ topics, gender identity, stress, substance abuse, trauma, grief counseling, and other mental health issues.

Offers services through unlimited messaging. Live video appointments are available on a weekly or biweekly basis, or as a separate fee per session.


Mobile and desktop.

Mobile and desktop.

Mobile and desktop.





Starting costs

$60 per week for text therapy/counseling and 1 live video chat per week.

Also offers monthly subscriptions.

$65 per week for text therapy/counseling, no live therapy sessions.

Also offers monthly subscriptions.

$35 for the first week of therapy; $50 per week for subsequent text therapy, and additional fees for video sessions.

Also offers monthly subscriptions.

Able to pause services?




Payment methods

Credit card, PayPal

Credit card

Credit card, processed and secured through Stripe.

BetterHelp, Talkspace, and Emote: The Pros and Cons

According to research, online therapy may be just as effective as traditional therapy. However, just as in typical therapy, online therapy and counseling services pose differing obstacles when it comes to meeting client needs.

To determine the best online therapy experience, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons first.

Please also note that online therapy is not a substitute for crisis resources. If you or someone you know needs emergency help, reach out to one of the crisis numbers provided here.

better help therapy


  • Subscription costs include at least 1 live session per week.
  • Offers financial assistance/financing and a free trial for up to 7 days.
  • More than 15,000 licensed and certified counselors/therapists.
  • Remain anonymous with your therapist.


  • Homework and worksheets can be an added stress. 
  • Matches you with a therapist based on an automated questionnaire.
  • BetterHelp therapists will not diagnose conditions or prescribe medications.
  • Often not covered by health insurance providers.
talk space therapy comparison


  • You can hand-select the therapist you’d like to work with.
  • Plans can be paid for using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
  • You can claim $65 off your first month of service.
  • Psychiatrists are available to evaluate you and prescribe some medications at a pharmacy.


  • Live video sessions cost more and are not included in the basic subscription plan.
  • Requires users to have a monthly subscription even though plans are broken down by week.
  • Talkspace may analyze conversations using an AI.
  • Service is viewed as expensive for the limited contact with therapists.


  • The first week is only $35. Subsequent costs are $50 per week. Overall, a less expensive alternative without compromising quality.
  • Provides more individual, personalized support.
  • Plans can be paid for using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
  • Video-only therapy plans, and option to buy a single one-time session.


  • Emote may not be covered by your insurance carrier. 
  • Only have services in 4 US states currently.
  • Emote matches you to a therapist rather than you choosing from a menu of options.
  • It’s still a newer company, so it may not be as established in the online therapy community.

How Do These Therapy Providers Work? (Signing up)

Similar to in-person therapy, online therapy services have an assessment process before you can sign up. This process will determine both the type of therapy you will receive and the therapist you will work with. 

To learn more about each platform, we’ve outlined the steps below.


better help therapy


Step 1: Complete questionnaire

Through either the desktop or mobile app, you will be required to complete an automated questionnaire before using BetterHelp’s services. This questionnaire will identify your needs and the type of therapy you’re interested in (i.e. therapy for depression, anxiety, or addiction).

Step 2: Fill out the registration form

After completing the quiz, you may put in your information, including name and email. You may use an alias or nickname if you’d like to remain anonymous to your therapist.

Step 3: State your preferences for counselors/therapists 

Following registration, you will be asked to select therapist criteria, such as age, gender, and LGBTQIA+ or PoC representation. This way, you will be matched according to your comfort levels.

Step 4: Process your payment 

BetterHelp offers a 7-day trial for first-time users and financial aid at a discounted price of $60 per week. Non-discounted prices are offered on a sliding scale of around $80 to $90 a week, sometimes more.

Step 5: Wait for match and begin therapy

Determined by their algorithm, you will then be matched with a therapist within 24 hours.

talk space therapy comparison


Step 1: Take an assessment 

After signing up through their website or mobile app, you will be directed to a private chat room with a consultation therapist. You will then be asked routine questions about your needs and desire for therapy.

Step 2: Find the therapist you want to work with 

Following assessment, the consultant will suggest several therapists. 

Step 3: Start your therapy 

Once you select a therapist you feel is right for you, you may begin therapy. The type of sessions available will depend on your payment plan.

Step 4: Complete payment

Talkspace’s base payment plan is $65 per week for text-only therapy, paid monthly. Plans including live video appointments are more expensive but may be covered by health insurance.

emote life logo


Step 1: Sign up and choose the best option 

Before signing up, you’ll be asked to complete a short and easy quiz to assess your needs and available therapy options. As with BetterHelp, you may use a preferred name or alias. 

Step 2: Get connected with a qualified therapist that’s right for you

After registration, you will be matched with an experienced therapist versed in your therapy needs. You may switch to a different therapist later if desired. 

Step 3: Start your therapy

Once matched with a therapist, you may set up your first virtual appointment. Therapy can be conducted over chat sessions or live video.

Step 4: Complete payment

Your first week with Emote will cost only $35. After which, text therapy services will be available for $50 per week with additional fees for 30-minute or 60-minute video chat appointments. You may also select text/video or video-only subscription plans. Therapy with Emote may be covered by your health insurance. 

BetterHelp vs. Talkspace vs. Emote: Final Thoughts

Online therapy is an effective alternative for those interested in therapy, but without the means or time to attend in-person therapy. Alongside a virtual therapist, you may have real-time conversations over the phone, video, or through unlimited text messaging.

However, just as every client is different, so are online therapy platforms. 

BetterHelp offers financial aid and weekly live video sessions, but downsides include lack of insurance coverage and personalized experiences. 

Meanwhile, Talkspace’s therapy services are versatile and intuitive but more expensive, with video sessions only available at higher prices. 

Emote, on the other hand, is currently only available in four states, but offers an intimate experience for users with a focus on comfort, confidentiality, affordability, and convenience.

With Emote, you’re not alone. 

Start today and receive a week of therapy for only $35. Subsequent plans are affordable and versatile—without compromising quality or ease of use. 

To learn more, visit our FAQ page or contact us at [email protected] for further questions.

Top Couples Counseling Exercises You Can Try At Home Today

A man and woman performing couples counseling exercises.

Couples Counseling 101

We all struggle with relationships. No matter how much we love someone—or how much that person loves us—conflicts arise, mistakes are made, feelings get hurt. 

Oftentimes, counseling is the best way to work through our problems.

Under the moderation of a licensed professional, relationship issues can be navigated and resolved in a controlled, safe space. 

While this may sound very clinical, it’s not!

When applied with techniques such as emotionally-focused therapy (EFT), couples therapy boasts a 75% success rate. Furthermore, couples therapy can be practical—you can sign up for affordable counseling online without ever leaving your home.

Through attention, care, and communication, counseling can serve as the foundation to a healthy relationship. 

In this article, we’ll go over some couples counseling exercises to try right at home.

Couples Counseling Exercises to Try with Your Partner

Several strategies are used during couples counseling and family therapy. For example, a family therapist or couples counselor may recommend exercises. Some benefit from supervision while others—such as those listed below—can be done at home. 

Whether you’re interested in marriage counseling, premarital counseling, or general couples therapy, these exercises can strengthen your romantic relationship.

Discover Each Other’s Love Language

As described in The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, a love language is someone’s preferred way of receiving affection. By identifying yours and your significant other’s love language, you can connect on a deeper level and find new ways to express yourselves.

The five love languages are:

  • Acts of service (such as chores or buying them a coffee).
  • Words of affirmation (“I love you” or “I’m proud of you,” and other verbal affirmation).
  • Receiving gifts (gifts specific to your/their interests, handmade gifts, cards).
  • Quality time (watching a movie together, going on dates).
  • Physical touch (hand-holding, cuddling, and casual touches).


If you’re unsure what your love language is, you and your partner can take the official Love Languages quiz.

The Book Swap

Sharing our interests with someone is not only a meaningful form of intimacy but a show of trust. 

Be it a book from childhood or something they’ve read more recently, by reading someone’s favorite book, you can gain a glimpse into what they value, what they love, and what inspires them. 

Even if the revelation is not deep—or if you don’t find the book all that interesting—by taking the time to engage with something important to your partner, you’re showing them you care about what they care about.

The Questions Jar

A question jar is an easy way to stir conversation between you and your partner. You can also think of it as a game; just as you needed an icebreaker when you first met, a question jar will help you get to know your partner a little better.

To start, get a jar and create a list of questions. 

These questions can range from simple to deep. Write them down on a piece of paper and remember to number each one. Cut each question into individual slips then fold and place them in a jar. 

Next time you two are hanging out, feel free to break out the jar and get a little personal.

Some ideas for questions include:

  • “What do you like best about our relationship?”
  • “What did you want to be when you were little and why?”
  • “What would be the last thing you do before you die and why?”
  • For parents, “Who do you think our kids take after, you or me?”
  • “What’s the first thing you noticed about me?”
  • “What are some qualities you like about yourself?”
  • “What’s your idea of a perfect day?”

Soul Gazing

Gazing deeply into someone’s eyes is not only romantic, but it can help build trust and motivate us to listen to each other better.

To start this exercise, look at your partner. You may either stand or sit on chairs facing one another. Be close enough to touch without actually touching. 

Then, gaze into each other’s eyes. 

This isn’t a staring competition—you’re free to blink, laugh, and fidget, but try not to talk or look away. Maintain eye contact for 3 to 5 minutes. A timer or listening to a song in the background can help you stay focused.

Once a few minutes have passed, take a breath and evaluate how you feel it, then vocalize it. 

What do you think about your partner? What are you grateful for? Say whatever comes to mind, even if you feel vulnerable.

The Good Qualities List

This couples therapy exercise is fairly straightforward. To check in with your emotions and remember why you and your partner love each other, write down what you like about your relationship.

You may come up with prompts such as “The things I love the most about you are…,” or “You bring a lot to the relationship by…”

You can even fill out a therapy worksheet like this. Try to label at least three things for four different questions. This way, you have something to look back on after an argument or a bad day.

Extended Cuddling

Cuddle time—perhaps the most important time of the day!

Not only is cuddling fun, but it’s also good for you! Cuddling releases a chemical called oxytocin, which in turn relieves stress, improves sleep, and alleviates blood pressure. 

Through the mere act of physical affection, you’re not only reaffirming your love for your partner, but you’re helping them feel better!

Try to carve out time during your routine to cuddle. You can make it a part of date night or put on a film at the end of the day and get comfy. If there isn’t time for either, cuddle before bed.  

Remember, cuddling doesn’t have to be a sexual act. 

Rather, by cuddling, you’re expressing your care and affection for your partner without the need for words (though words are nice, too!).

The Gottman Method

Created by Drs. Julie and John Gottman, the Gottman Method is a counseling technique aimed at developing healthy communication skills, managing conflict, increasing intimacy, and building trust, empathy, and friendship within the relationship.

With decades of research behind it, this method is often used during couples counseling. Under the moderation of a relationship expert, you and your partner can grow closer in a way you never expected. 

As this isn’t a simple exercise but rather a series of steps completed over a determined amount of sessions, it’s best to reach out to one of Emote’s licensed couples therapists or marriage counselors to try this method out.

Couples Counseling with Emote

No matter how strong or fractured your relationship is, you and your partner can always grow closer. Be it through communication exercises or self-help tools, no relationship is unworthy of nurturing. 

You can take your relationship to the level with the help of a couples counselor or therapist. As a mental health professional, a counselor or therapist is well-versed in communication, moderation, and empathy. 

And the best part is that it can be done virtually!

Through Emote’s online therapy services, a counselor is available to you from the comfort of your own home. No need to plan an appointment a month in advance or shuffle around a busy schedule. You and your significant other may simply text or set up a video chat session when it is most convenient. 

Online therapy is also affordable. With Emote, your first week will only cost $35. After which, you’re free to select any of our flexible subscription plans.

With Emote, you’re not alone. To learn more, contact us at [email protected] or visit our FAQ section.