OUr favorite VR programs
Therapeutic VR program recommendations
There are now thousands of VR programs that claim to provide health and wellness benefits. Our team has culled the wheat from the chaff and selected programs that meet our high standards, meaning the programs are supported by either published studies or have shown benefits with our own patients. In the list, below, we present VR programs in alphabetical order and provide a brief description for each one. Some of these programs are available to anyone through YouTube or the Oculus Store, while others must be obtained directly from the company or used in partnership with a healthcare provider (denoted by "Rx" icon). We've included icons under each program indicating how to obtain more information, whether the program is directly available to consumers online, and what type of headset runs the software (for example, some programs will run on Oculus Go but not Oculus Quest). We will expand this list over time as we test out more software. Contact us if you have a recommendation for other evidence-based therapeutic programs for us to consider including in our list.
Important note: Please be sure to review all instructions provided with your VR headset before using the device. This list of programs is not designed to serve as medical advice or to make diagnoses. Therapeutic VR is not right for everyone and may cause side effects. We are providing this resource as a convenience to our visitors, but you should always speak with your doctor if you have questions about your condition, its treatment, or the appropriateness of therapeutic VR.
EaseVR by AppliedVR
EaseVR is a digital pain management program that delivers virtual reality as a therapeutic tool for chronic pain sufferers managing their symptoms at home. The program combines pain education, breath training, relaxation training, and principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help manage chronic pain. It is available directly from the company or in partnership with participating healthcare providers. Our team at Cedars-Sinai has tested this program in published research and continues to use it in NIH-sponsored clinical trials.
Experience your entire music collection in VR. Audioshield puts you at the point of impact for every hit in your music. Beats glide in slowly for mellow parts of songs, then ramp up for intense parts of songs with cross-body, double-shield, and high-altitude hits. Audioshield uses an advanced version of Audiosurf's music analysis system to automatically sync with any song from your collection. Audioshield offer a fun, interactive way to support healthy physical activity and support mental health. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider if you have any concerns about engaging in high-intensity activity.
Beat Saber is among the most popular VR games in the world. This rhythm-based, highly interactive experience allows users to practice hand-eye coordination, maintain physical activity, and play an enjoyable game with mood-boosting potential. From a healthcare standpoint, it offers an interactive opportunity to engage in positive physical activity and support mental health. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider if you have any concerns about engaging in high-intensity physical activity.
BehaVR’s Dynamic eXperience Engine enables VR sessions to be personalized and dynamically controlled from the cloud, with all patient experience logs and responses captured and analyzed. This novel architecture enables full clinician visibility into patient progress, integration with other clinical systems and EMRs, and telehealth scenarios where patients and clinicians are separated by distance.
Dolphin Swim Club
Swim with wild dolphins in your own home through virtual reality. This 360-degree video is a popular and effective way for many people to achieve a sense of relaxation and calm. A short version is available for free directly through YouTube and can be experienced in VR using any headset with an internet browser. Use the links, below, to access the short online version or contact the organization to learn more about the full version. Our team has used this footage at Cedars-Sinai for years with beneficial results.
Forest of Serenity
Originally developed by clinicians in the UK to assist with pain management, the Forest of Serenity app takes you to a beautiful place where you can leave your pain and troubles behind. Listen to Sir David Attenborough as he guides you through a calming forest full of relaxing, interactive experiences. This free app is available on the Oculus Go.
Guided Relaxation VR
Recharge in nature by relaxing in beautiful global locations. The program is available on Oculus Go through the online app store and features a wide library of guided meditations in various relaxing environments. In our experience, this is among the most comprehensive VR meditation apps currently available.
Healium features a unique library of VR apps that train and reward your ability to achieve calm and focus. It can be used together with the Muse EEG sensor to combine brain waves with VR, offering an innovative and effective combination of immersive technologies. The full library is available on the Oculus store for the Oculus Go headset.
Karuna Labs Inc. creates digital therapeutics programs designed to address chronic pain through a combination of physical and cognitive retraining. Among the most widely-used VR programs for retraining mind and body, the Karuna software is used by a growing number of rehabilitation clinicians worldwide. Contact the company to learn more about the Karuna network of healthcare providers using the software.
MindCotine is among the first evidence-based VR programs designed to address tobacco addiction using a combination of VR, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and health coaching. The app has been tested in a published clinical trial and shown to be effective. Contact the company to learn more about how to access the software
Nature Treks VR
Explore tropical beaches, underwater oceans and even take to the stars. Discover over 20 different animals. Command the weather, take control of the night or shape your own world. Immerse yourself into the Nature Treks VR experience and escape into a world of relaxation. Available directly to consumers using either Oculus Quest or Go, NatureTreks VR is one of our favorite VR escapes to support calm and tranquility for a quick escape.
Based on scientific research, TRIPP helps you feel calm and focused. A regular mindfulness practice can help you reduce stress and build the resilience you need to stay healthy inside and out. TRIPP offers beautiful, immersive environments that deliver a "cyberdelic trip" to users. The accompanying smartphone app allows users to personalize the VR experiences with photographs, offering a unique opportunity to tailor the therapeutic experience. Definitely one of our favorites.
Within offers a library of extraordinary cinematic VR content. Although many of the experiences are geared towards entertainment, several have mood-boosting potential. We especially recommend “Conscious Existence, “Tokyo Light Odyssey,” “Evolution of Verse,” “BreathPeace World,” “Gorillapalooza,” and “Longing for Wilderness.”
The XRHealth portal includes a wide range of immersive applications, games and content enhancing the physical and cognitive well-being of users through fun and engaging VR experiences. The program allows users to track progress and can be used in partnership with a healthcare provider to tailor treatment for a range of conditions.