Virtual Hope Box app

An app to help people cope with strong, unpleasant emotions.
Virtual Hope Box By T2
  • Cognitive Behavioural Principles
  • Games
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Activity planner
  • Motivational quotes 

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Country of origin USA
Clinical review

Read a clinical review of this app.

Security and privacy  Does the app:
  • collect medical information? No
  • require a login? Yes
  • have password protection? Yes
  • have a privacy policy? No
  • require internet access? No
Read more safety tips around health apps.
Cost Free

What does the app do?

The Virtual Hope Box app was originally developed for military service men and women (and their families) by the US Department of Defense. It contains simple tools to help people cope with strong, unpleasant emotions. The app is divided into four main sections.

  • Distract Me has four types of  short games you can play to distract yourself from negative thoughts and feelings. You can choose your own photo to use in the photo puzzle game, play sudoku, do a word search or play mahjong solitaire.
  • Inspire Me has lots of inspirational quotes or you can add your own quotes.
  • Relax Me is an interactive feature with a variety of exercises to help you manage stress such as controlled breathing, meditation and muscle relaxation.
  • Coping Tools allows you to create coping cards and plan activities. The coping cards help you identify specific situations or triggers that you struggle with. You can identify the problem, the emotions you feel when that problem comes up, and skills you can use to cope. 

The app also allows you to add your own photos, videos and songs that make you feel happy and inspired, and allows you to add support contacts who you could call when you’re feeling down or having an emergency. For a more detailed description of the app, see Google Play(external link) or iTunes(external link) and for a detailed review, see Reviews.


✔ Easy to access progressive muscle relaxation exercise (PGM).

✔ Complements commonly prescribed strategies for anxiety such as tools to support diaphragmatic breathing and PGM.

✔ Gives choice to people wanting to practice different relaxation strategies.

Great distress tolerance tools to use when coping with very strong, uncomfortable emotions.

✔ Able to customise tools by adding own photos, videos, music or emergency contacts.

✔ A
ctivity planner helps people schedule pleasant activities by suggesting activities, making it easy to invite others and adding activities to personal diary.

✔ Has had a successful clinical trial showing improvement in stress coping skills.

✘ Many functions of the app only work if permissions are given to access other media and contacts list on your phone when installing app.

Facility to access You Tube videos not working at time of review.

✘ Emergency contacts provided are all US based. 

Review details

  • April 2022; Version 1.5.9; Android
  • July 2018; Version 1.4; Android

Learn more

The following links has more information on the Virtual Hope Box app:
Virtual Hope Box(external link) PsyberGuide

Related topics

Consumer guide: how to choose a health app
Clinicians guide: how to choose a health app
NZ Health App Library
Mental health and wellbeing apps overview
Mental health conditions
Depression topics | Mate pāpouri
Anxiety | Mate māharahara


  1. Denneson LM, Smolenski DJ, Bauer BW, et al. The mediating role of coping self-efficacy in Hope Box use and suicidal ideation severity.(external link) Arch Suicide Res. 2018 Apr 6:1-13.
  2. Bush NE, Smolenski DJ, Denneson LM, et al. A Virtual Hope Box – randomized controlled trial of a smartphone app for emotional regulation and coping With distress.(external link) Psychiatr Serv. 2017 Apr 1;68(4):330-336.
  3. Bush NE, et al. Development and evaluation of a Virtual Hope Box for reducing suicidal ideation(external link) National Center for Telehealth & Technology, US
App developer: If you are the developer and would like to provide updated information about this app, please email the app library manager at

Disclaimer: Healthify’s 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

Reviewed by: Kris Garstang, Clinical Psychologist, Life Mind Psychology

Last reviewed:

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