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The science behind Sanvello.

Sanvello is rooted in widely-used and empirically-supported treatments for anxiety, depression, and stress. Numerous studies show these practices to be effective in addressing a variety of psychological disorders that get in the way of living a happy life. 1,2

By putting treatments in people’s hands right when they need it, Sanvello makes a measurable difference. In a randomized study of 500 adults with mild to moderate anxiety and depression, our tools were shown to decrease their symptoms, with effects that lasted even after participants stopped using the app.13

How it works.

Stress, anxiety, and depression are caused by an ongoing cycle of negative thoughts, which can influence our physical feelings, emotions, and actions. Sanvello works to break this cycle with techniques that help you shift perspective in the moment and feel better over time.

Sanvello helps everyone find a path that works for them. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) used in electronic applications has been shown to help with conditions including insomnia3, social anxiety4, depression5, and bulimia6. Mindfulness meditation7 and mood8 and health9 tracking are both used widely to treat mental and physical health conditions.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is based on the idea that our interpretations of events shape our thoughts and feelings. By learning to think about things differently, reframe your thoughts, and change some of your behaviors, you will feel better, and be more able to live the life you want.


Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness11 is the practice of focusing one’s attention and awareness on a specific target (usually the present moment) and acknowledging and accepting one’s thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations in that moment. It’s used widely in both mental and physical health treatments.


Mood & Health Tracking

Tracking your mood over time allows you to notice trends and causes, and so better prepare yourself when things get challenging. Sanvello also lets you track your health habits such as sleep, exercise, and caffeine. Research suggests that self-monitoring health behaviors has a positive impact12 on them by promoting awareness and self-efficacy.

Symptom improvement in 30 days

In a randomized, wait-listed controlled study of 500 adults, Sanvello* was clinically proven to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression over the course of 30 days. Participants also reported increased self-efficacy.A

Anywhere, anytime

Participants interacted with Sanvello nearly five times more often than traditional therapy.B

Effects that last

Effects lasted even after participants stopped using the app.C

“Sanvello leverages the proven effectiveness of CBT in new ways. They’ve created thoughtful, rich experiences that engage users with relatable, bite-sized concepts on multiple sensory levels. By reading, listening, watching, and interacting, I believe users will be in a better position to change their thoughts and feelings, manage behavior patterns, and build on those skills over time.”

Patrick Raue, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, UW Medicine

  1. Butler AC, Chapman JE, Forman EM, Beck AT. The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: a review of meta-analyses. Clin Psychol Rev. 2006 Jan;26(1):17-31.
  2. Hofmann SG, Asnaani A, Vonk IJ, Sawyer AT, Fang A. The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses. Cognit Ther Res. 2012 Oct 1;36(5):427-440.
  3. Espie CA, Kyle SD, Williams C, Ong JC, Douglas NJ, Hames P, Brown JS. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of online cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia disorder delivered via an automated media-rich web application. Sleep. 2012 Jun 1;35(6):769-81.
  4. Hedman E, Furmark T, Carlbring P, Ljótsson B, Rück C, Lindefors N, Andersson G. A 5-Year follow-up of internet-based cognitive behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder. J Med Internet Res. 2011 Jun 15;13(2):e39.
  5. Kaltenthaler E, Parry G, Beverley C, Ferriter M. Computerised cognitive-behavioural therapy for depression: systematic review. Br J Psychiatry. 2008 Sep;193(3):181-4.
  6. Pretorius N, Arcelus J, Beecham J, Dawson H, Doherty F, Eisler I, Gallagher C, Gowers S, Isaacs G, Johnson-Sabine E, Jones A, Newell C, Morris J, Richards L, Ringwood S, Rowlands L, Simic M, Treasure J, Waller G, Williams C, Yi I, Yoshioka M, Schmidt U. Cognitive-behavioural therapy for adolescents with bulimic symptomatology: the acceptability and effectiveness of internet-based delivery. Behav Res Ther. 2009 Sep;47(9):729-36.
  7. Spijkerman MP, Pots WT, Bohlmeijer ET. Effectiveness of online mindfulness-based interventions in improving mental health: A review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Clin Psychol Rev. 2016 Apr;45:102-14.
  8. Mossavar-Rahmani Y, Henry H, Rodabough R, Bragg C, Brewer A, Freed T, Kinzel L, Pedersen M, Soule CO, Vosburg S. Additional self-monitoring tools in the dietary modification component of The Women’s Health Initiative. J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Jan;104(1):76-85.
  9. Victoria Hollis, Artie Konrad, and Steve Whittaker. 2015. Change of Heart: Emotion Tracking to Promote Behavior Change. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2643-2652.
  10. Bush NE, Dobscha SK, Crumpton R, Denneson LM, Hoffman JE, Crain A, Cromer R, Kinn JT. A Virtual Hope Box smartphone app as an accessory to therapy: proof-of-concept in a clinical sample of veterans. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2015 Feb;45(1):1-9.
  11. Baer, R. A. (2003), Mindfulness Training as a Clinical Intervention: A Conceptual and Empirical Review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10: 125–143.
  12. McDole M, Ralston PA, Coccia C, Young-Clark I. The Development of a Tracking Tool to Improve Health Behaviors in African American Adults. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved. 2013;24(1):171-184.
  13. Moberg C, Niles A, Beermann D. Guided Self-Help Works: Randomized Waitlist Controlled Trial of Pacifica, a Mobile App Integrating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression. J Med Internet Res 2019;21(6):e12556