Brightside Health Review: Best Online Therapy Platform?

Brightside Health Review: Best Online Therapy Platform?

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Brightside Health is one of the most popular telehealth companies in the US. The brand describes its service as "life-changing care" and provides treatment for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and more.

But is Brightside a medication prescriber or an online therapy platform, or both? Is only therapy even shown to work in research studies? How do real users rate and describe their experience using Brightside Health? And how does the price of this service compare to other companies in the telehealth space focused on mental health?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we explain what types of services Brightside offers.

We'll share our thoughts on whether or not online therapy is likely to be effective based on research studies, feature unsponsored Brightside Health user reviews, and provide a cost comparison to show how Brightside stacks up to the competition.

What Does Brightside Offer?

Brightside offers both psychiatry and therapy. All of the brand's services are remote and virtually-accessible.

This means that customers can get treatment from the comfort of their home.

Psychiatry service on Brightside refers to the treatment of mental health conditions using pharmaceutical agents like anti-depressants.

Online therapy service on Brightside refers to the treatment of mental health conditions through talk therapy, in a private 1-to-1 setting with a licensed therapist.

Patients can choose to be treated with medication, therapy or both on Brightside.

But is online therapy really as effective as in-person therapy? We'll discuss that question in the next section of this article.

Does Online Therapy Even Work?

Given that the concept of online therapy is relatively novel, patients are often curious about how its effectiveness compares to traditional, in-person therapy.

This will depend on the individual, but the two modalities of treatment have been studied in medical research, and online therapy has generally been shown to be equally effective.

A meta-study published in the Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy journal analyzed data from over 100 clinical trials on online and in-person therapy, and found both types of treatment to be significantly effective for mental health.

The researchers concluded the following:

"Clinically, therapy is no less efficacious when delivered via videoconferencing than in-person."

And while the effectiveness may be similar on average, the convenience of online therapy dramatically outperforms the convenience of in-person therapy in clinical trials.

As we documented in our TalkSpace reviews article, one clinical trial reported that 98% of patients considered online therapy to be more convenient than in-person therapy.

Because online therapy is so much more convenient, it may increase adherence to a regular therapy schedule which can in turn improve overall patient results.

Real Patients Review Brightside

A TikTok creator named Madison Shreve shared her experience using Brightside Health for anxiety:

@medicallymadison 10/10 recommend Bright Side!!! Not sponsored at all! #brightside #onlinetherapy #anxiety #gad #sad #pots #spoonie #potsie #invisibleillness ♬ I'M FEELING LUCKY - Ellen Once Again

A TikTok creator named "Raleigh Cheesy" claims to have had a worse experience on the platform:


HIPPA who??

♬ original sound - Raleigh Cheesy

How Much Does Brightside Cost?

Pricing is where Brightside really stands out from the competition in our opinion.

The company works with some of the biggest insurers in the US including Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross and more.

Many online therapy platforms that we've reviewed to date on Illuminate Health don't accept health insurance at all, so this is a major plus.

Brightside Health's website has an Insurance Checker page that patients can use at no cost to check if their insurance is covered.

Insurance may subsidize or fully cover the cost of treatment.

Brightside also accepts out-of-pocket payments.

Here's an out-of-pocket price breakdown for monthly psychiatric service, therapy service and combined service on Brightside compared to other companies in the space, at the time of publishing this article:


Brightside: $95

Talkspace: $60-100


Talkspace: $396

BetterHelp: $240-$360

Brightside: $299

Psychiatry & Therapy

Brightside: $349

Brightside's pricing model is much more transparent than competitors. The brand's website clearly states the price for each service, while competitors often publish ranges or publish minimum prices, but not maximum prices.

Brightside is also the only major telehealth provider in the US that we can find that offers a clear, discounted price for psychiatry and therapy services combined.

People interested in beginning their mental health journey can check out Brightside's services at this link to the brand's official website.

Therapist Answers Difficult Questions

A YouTube video from the popular "BuzzFeedVideo" channel features a therapist answering tough questions like "how do I break up with my therapist?":

Pros and Cons of Brightside

Here are the pros and cons of Brightside Health in our opinion:


  • Online therapy is equally effective to in-person therapy
  • Online therapy is significantly more convenient
  • Should improve mental health
  • Offers both psychiatry and therapy depending on need
  • Transparent pricing
  • Accepts many major health insurers


  • Out-of-pocket costs can be expensive
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


Brightside Health is one of the top telehealth companies in the US for a reason. 

The brand has clear and transparent pricing that is better than most competitors, accepts major insurance companies, and has a clean and intuitive website.

Online therapy is an exciting new treatment modality than can enhance compliance, and which is clinically shown to be equally effective (but more convenient) than in-person therapy.

In-person therapy may still be the best option for some patients.

Paying for therapy or psychiatry out-of-pocket can be somewhat expensive, but Brightside's fees are still lower than most in-person providers.

We consider Brightside to be the best overall online therapy and psychiatry platform in the US at the time of publishing this article.