Small Steps

Small Steps

  • A web based tool to reduce anxiety or stress and improve mood.
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Small Steps By Clearhead


  • Video recordings for guided relaxation or mindfulness.
  • Self-assessment tools.
Country of origin New Zealand
Clinical review 

4 star review

Read a clinical review below.

Security and privacy Does the app:
  • Collect medical information? No
  • Require a login? No
  • Have password protection? No
  • Have a privacy policy? Yes
  • 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
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How to get the app

Small Steps comprises tools or strategies which focus on positive thinking and mindfulness to manage stress or anxiety, and help when you’re feeling down. Examples of strategies include deep breathing, active listening, mindful watching, identifying signals, reframing thoughts and balancing mood. In addition users can access resources and information to support them to maintain or improve their wellbeing. Small Steps also provides information to help support friends and whānau but this is less well developed. 

For the complete description, go to the Small Steps website,(external link) or for a more detailed review, see reviews below.


Easy to navigate and pleasing to look at.

Content is based on evidence-based approaches for self-management of low mood and stress/ anxiety.

The experiential tasks are useful and easy to follow. 

Housed on a zero-rated website, which means you won’t use any data when you access this site, and you can continue to access the website if you run out of mobile data.

Attempts to make far more complex tasks; reframing thoughts, building self-worth, and understanding loneliness accessible, but in doing so simplifies them to such an extent that I do not think people would be able to take advantage of strategies. The difficulty with things like this is that it can decrease the impact of such self-help strategies with people writing it off as “not useful”.

✘ Missed out some key strategies that support wellbeing – structured problem solving (with links to accessing practical resources); assertive communication (for getting needs met); and self-compassion (I’d emphasise this rather than building self-worth).

✘ Intended to also give people guidance for getting help for whānau, but this part of the app is less developed.

Clinical review

4 star review

: Emma Sutich, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice and Central Region Eating Disorders Service.
Date of review: April 2022
Platform: Website

Comments: Small Steps is advertised as a “digital tool to help you maintain wellness, find relief, or get help for yourself or whānau”. It specifically looks at strategies to reduce anxiety/stress and improve mood. Small Steps appears to be based on broadly CBT type approaches. It is an easy to navigate and visually pleasing website. It also links people to other websites and I like that there is the option for accessing 1737.
The techniques that are especially good include mindfulness to the breath and guided relaxation. I also like the surveys that people can do to look at aspects of life that may be contributing to low mood. These would have some benefit for people with mild anxiety and mood difficulties and there are techniques in there that I would suggest a client work their way through.
Safety concerns: None. The ability to link into 1737 if people are feeling more overwhelmed is useful.
New Zealand relevance: Yes, relevant to a New Zealand audience.

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.