Headstrong app

Headstrong app

  • Headstrong is a chatbot for 13–18-year-old adolescents who want to strengthen their mental wellbeing, build their resilience, and manage life’s challenges with confidence.
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Headstrong app app By Kekeno Tech


  • Goal setting: Users can set goals as they begin courses. Their goal choice is then used to inform which content is most relevant to them (eg, which skills will be most helpful in supporting them to reach their goal) and are then presented to them in the “for you” section of the courses within the app.
  • Tracking: Users are prompted to answer a daily question about their mood in some of the courses within Headstrong (eg, Stress Detox, Foundations).
  • Reminders: Users are reminded to engage with the app via notifications that prompt a daily mood “check-in” with the chatbot. The chatbot then suggests that users try a new skill.
  • Meditations: Meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises (audio recordings and written exercises) support wellbeing enhancement.
  • Badges: To reinforce engagement and motivation to use the app, users earn badges when they complete skills.
Country of origin New Zealand
Clinical review 

5 star review

Read a clinical review below.

Security and privacy Does the app:
  • Collect medical information? No
  • Require a login? Yes
  • Have password protection? Yes
  • Have a privacy policy? Unknown
  • Require internet access to use? Yes

Read more about safety and security when using apps.

Tips to improve your privacy and security [PNG, 200 KB] Health Navigator Charitable Trust, NZ
Staying safe online(external link) Netsafe, NZ

Cost Free
Advertisements This app contains no ads.
How to get the app

The app teaches a variety of proven skills and strategies to help teens improve their mental wellbeing, manage stress, resolve conflict, and deal with negative thoughts and strong emotions. The app uses an engaging conversational style of short interactions with a chatbot. Skills are taught using stories, motivational whakatauki (proverbs), audio tracks, infographics, and mini-games to make the information more relatable and teen-friendly. Te Whare Tapa Whā guides the content to ensure a holistic and bicultural experience.

When users start the app, they are prompted to choose a ‘course':

  • Foundations (general skills for thinking and feeling better)
  • Stress Detox (21 ways to be stress and worry-free)
  • Kia Haumanu (connecting rangatahi with te Ao Māori).

Users can do more than 1 course at a time. Each course teaches a range of skills, and users can personalise their wellbeing journey by selecting the most relevant ones. Each skill earns them a badge. Users can get reminders to encourage them to return to the app to learn more.

For the complete app description, go to the app website(external link), Google Play(external link), App Store(external link) or, for a more detailed review, see reviews below.


Developed by mental health experts in consultation and co-design with young people.

Culturally responsive/bicultural app – grounded in Māori, Pacific, and Western science, Headstrong provides a holistic approach to mental well-being.

Content in the Kia Haumanu course uses English and te reo Māori.

Available 24/7.

Teaches proven psychological and coping skills to enhance mental health and prevent psychological ill-health.

Content is broken down into micro-skills (organised as skill sets eg, mind skills, problem-solving skills etc.).

Users are free to navigate the app any way they want.

Easy and quick to do (5–10 min per skill).

Award-winning design.

✔ 100% free.

It's not intended to be used as ‘therapy’. Instead, it is a mental health-enhancing tool. It can be used alongside other psychological/counselling support.

✘ There is limited opportunity for users to enter free text into the chatbot exchange. Conversation with the chatbot may sometimes feel “unsophisticated” due to the prescriptive nature of the chatbot’s responses.

Clinical review

5 star review

: Jasmine Murphy, Registered Psychologist (Private Practice)
Date of review: 2 October 2023
Platform: Apple
Version: 4.17.0
Comments: This is an excellent app and developed specifically for the population that it is intended to support (secondary-school aged students). The app is easy to navigate and provides evidence-based strategies and techniques to achieve the app’s mission which is “help you build resilience, foster a positive mindset, and navigate life’s challenges with confidence”.
Safety concerns: None.
New Zealand relevance: Yes – developed by New Zealand mental health experts in collaboration with rangatahi.

Disclaimer: The NZ Health App Library is a free consumer service to help you decide whether a health app would be suitable for you. Our review process is independent. We have no relationship with the app developers or companies and no responsibility for the service they provide. This means that if you have an issue with one of the apps we have reviewed, you will need to contact the app developer or company directly.

Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.