7Cups Review

7Cups is a unique online therapy site, for better and for worse. On the plus side, this is the only place where you can receive both free and paid therapy. The downside is that no live sessions are available on the 7Cups platform – which reduces the effectiveness of treatment by a lot. Still, if you are looking for the most affordable therapy solution online – this site might be the perfect answer.

This 7Cups Review will help you figure out whether or not 7 Cups is worth your time. Getting the cheapest possible treatment is great and all, but it can’t be the only consideration. In this review we’ll do our best to explain what we like and don’t like about this site – so you can decide on your own whether it’s worth using or not.

7Cups Rating Breakdown 2021

Overall Rating

Overall Rating - 3.5 Stars

The good thing about 7Cups is the price. Also, we have found most of the listeners to be very attentive, friendly and kind. That said, we simply can’t give a score higher than this to a therapy site with such limited treatment options.

Price

Price - 5 Stars

If you are looking for someone to listen to you who will let you pour your heart out, here you can do that for free with one of 7Cup’s trained volunteers. You can replace the free volunteer with a licensed therapist and only pay $150 a month. Yes, the therapist will only engage you in chat, but it’s still almost 50% cheaper than the same package over at Talkspace.

Treatment Options

Treatment Options - 2 Stars

The trained volunteers are really great and do their best to provide support, but they are not professional therapists. Even if you opt for the paid version, there’s only so much help you can get by chatting with a psychologist a few times a day.

App and Software

App and Software - 3 Stars

7 Cups have a mobile app but it is not very good and has some bugs which make it hard to use. The software on the other hand, runs smoothly and is easy to use. That said, it is all somewhat outdated and lacking in features when compared to other online therapy sites we review.

Customer Service

Customer Service - 4 Stars

Customer support is very good. The site is huge and gets a ton of traffic, so sometimes replies are a bit slow – but still, you can reach them by phone or mail and they are always super friendly and helpful.

Safety and Privacy

Safety and Privacy - 5 Stars

7Cups has been featured on mainstream media, is hipaa compliant and follows strict data safety regulations. You can remain completely anonymous while signing up, as well as when you are chatting with the volunteers. It is as safe as it gets.

Should I use 7 Cups?

Is 7Cups Legit?

7 Cups is a private company operating out of San Mateo, CA. The founder and CEO, Glen Moriarty, is a licensed psychologist turned entrepreneur. His mission is to bring affordable and accessible therapy to every person around the world. The company currently only has 40 employees at their main offices, but is growing at a rapid pace.

7Cups is fully licensed and certified to deal with mental health related issues in the U.S. It is hipaa compliant and follows the General Data Protection Act. If the numbers the company provides are to be believed, 2 million subscribed users and more than 300,000 volunteers worldwide – this makes 7Cups one of the largest online therapy providers in the world (2nd only to Betterhelp who has 3 million usersalthough it is tough to compare a fully commercial company with the 7Cups freemium model).

In case you are curious, the name 7 Cups of tea comes from a famous Chinese poem written around 800 AD by Lu Tong.

7Cups in Numbers For 2021

Year Founded2013
U.S Based CompanyYes
Number of Licensed TherapistsUnknown
Accepts Insurance?No
Hipaa CompliantYes
Therapy ModesText Only
Available TreatmentsPrivate and Group Counseling
Average PriceFree or $150 a Month
Sign Up TimeLess Than a Minute
Response Time24/7
Mobile AppYes
Websitewww.7cups.com
Customer Reviews92% positive
Our Editorial Rating3.5 Stars
Current PromotionNone

How 7Cups Therapy Works

Signing up to 7Cups is really easy and quick. If you only go for the free version, it literally only takes 5 seconds to complete. All you have to do is fill in your email address and choose a password – no other information is required. You can then click the ‘Live Chat with a Listener’ button and get started immediately.

If you click that button, you’ll be redirected to a chat room with Noni – the platform’s automated bot. Noni will ask you a few questions to understand your specific situation, and then proceed to recommend the most suitable available volunteer to help you out. Alternatively, you can click the ‘Browse Listeners’ button to view all profiles and pick one yourself.

We really like having the option to choose your listener on your own. Being able to view their profiles first, read a bit more about each and see how other users rated them, really improves the chance of finding a good match that can actually help you out. In fact, we liked it so much that we never even bothered with the bot any longer.

If you choose to upgrade to the paid version, you’ll have to provide quite a lot of personal details first. 7Cups wants to know your full name, phone number and complete address – things which are usually not required on other therapy sites. You will then also be asked to provide your payment information as well.

Once payment is complete and you have chosen your preferred therapist, a designated private chat room will be opened for the two of you. You can leave messages over there, and your therapist will read them and reply at least twice a day. Therapists usually reply 5 days a week, but we have found that many of them are much more responsive than the bare minimum guaranteed, which was definitely a pleasant surprise.

7Cups Unique Features

Another big difference between 7 Cups and other therapy sites is the social aspect they try to incorporate into the platform. You get badges and perks for making progress on your journey (which normally means just using the site often) and you can also view other profiles and see what they managed to accomplish during their time on 7Cups.

While the badge system is cute, we don’t feel it offers enough substance and value. After all, you didn’t come to a therapy site to compete for milestone achievements with other users right? That said, other social features such as the group chats and the Q&A section can be very useful – they let you interact directly with other people who deal with the same issues you are, which can be very comforting and helpful.

7Cups Pricing

Free Therapy

$ 0 Per Month
  • Chat With Volunteers
  • Available 24/7 All Days Of The Week
  • You Can Choose Who You Chat With

Paid Therapy

$ 150 Per Month
  • Chat With Licensed Therapists
  • Available 24/7 Five Days A Week
  • Choose Your Own Therapist

7Cups Therapy Available Treatments

One of the good things about the 7Cups community is its size. There are over 300,000 listeners and 2 million subscribed users – many of which are very active on the Q&A forum, or participate in group chats. This means that no matter the situation you are dealing with, you are extremely likely to find more than one person who can relate and knows what you are going through. Some common issues the site deals with on a regular basis include:

  • Addiction
  • Anger
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Bipolar
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Family Issues
  • Trauma and grief
  • LGBTQ+
  • Parenting
  • Religion
  • Self-Esteem
  • Insomnia

How Do You Become a 7Cups Active Listener?

With more than 300,000 volunteers, you can probably guess the requirements are not very strict. All you have to do is pass a short online training course and then successfully complete an exam. Listeners are then constantly monitored, and their profiles are visible along with user’s reviews – so there is at least some kind of supervision but it is not very strict.

For that reason we strongly advise you to pick your listener on your own. Take some time and scout for the better profiles – it is well worth it. There are quite a few negative reviews online where people complain about the quality of support being given by volunteers – some of them ignore your texts, while others can be judgemental and unsupportive. This is the risk you take when you choose to use a free service – so just be prepared to have a mix of hits and misses.

The paid therapists have a much stricter vetting process of course, and are also monitored much closer. They are all required to present a valid certificate from their state’s board, as well as a minimum of a Masters degree in a relevant mental health field and 1 year of proven clinical experience.

What Our Readers Have To Say About 7Cups

It's great that you don't have to pay anything, I love it!
quotes
John F.
Been using 7Cups on and off for a few years - usually the people i chat with are really nice and show genuine interest.
quotes
Alina Nastarenko
It's great if you are bored or stressed and just need someone to talk to. Not really therapy, but helpful anyway.
quotes
David Chan

7Cups Review - Frequently Asked Questions

Is 7Cups the best place for online therapy?

7 Cups is the best free therapy site, but not the best overall. While nobody can beat their price, the software is outdated and the quality of treatments vary greatly. Not being able to participate in live sessions is a big downside as well.

Is 7Cups legit and safe to use?

Yes it is. In fact, since it is free it might be the safest - you literally don’t need to give out ANY personal details before you can start using the platform.

Does 7Cups accept insurance?

No they do not. Even if you upgrade to the paid therapy plan, it is not covered by insurance. Your best bet is to check directly with your insurance provider and see if you are eligible for any type of copay.

How can I pay for 7Cups Of Tea Therapy?

Payments are made through credit card only.

7Cups Review - Final Verdict

If you are new to the world of online therapy and still reluctant to pay for any type of service – then 7Cups is the perfect place to start. Out of all the free therapy apps out there, 7 Cups is the largest and also the best. It is a great place for people who just need someone who will lend an ear and listen to their worries.

Our experiences with 7Cups have been mostly positive. Almost all listeners and therapists we engaged with were friendly and eager to help as much as they possibly can. That said, it was sometimes a hit and miss, which is to be expected when dealing with a 100% free service. All in all, we do believe 7Cups is a great place to get a limited amount of support, and you will feel safe and comfortable while doing so.

With all that in mind, we still do question the effectiveness of the platform in helping out people who are dealing with real mental health difficulties. Therapy through chat only is simply not as effective and doesn’t produce positive, long term results. 

We tried our best to showcase all the other issues we found throughout this 7Cups review, but the lack of live sessions alone makes us convinced other therapy sites such as Betterhelp and Talkspace are a much better choice for most people. You can also read our guide for finding the best cheap therapy online, and see how 7 Cups compares to other free or low cost services.

7Cups Logo

Overall rating 86.0%

Updated June 28th, 2021

Overall Rating
Price
Treatment Options
App and Software
Customer Service
Safety and Privacy