About 7 Cups of Tea

7 Cups of Tea is an online platform where you can go during those times when getting a little support from a friendly listener means a big difference.

Using a secure, anonymous bridging technology, the platform connects those in need of emotional support with a network of Active Listeners. The website also invites visitors to find support in online groups or begin defining a path to feeling better with a questionnaire that digs into the details of what’s wrong.

How Does 7 Cups of Tea Work?

Landing on the 7 Cups of Tea homepage presents visitors with two choices: talk to someone or begin with some simple exercises.

To choose either, you must first confirm that you are over 18 years old, or between the ages of 13 - 17 with parental consent. Additionally, you must confirm that you are not in crisis, homicidal, suicidal, or abusing anyone.

If You Choose To Talk To Someone On 7 Cups

If you want to connect with someone for emotional support, you can either choose from the following options:

  • Connect Now to be put in touch with the first available Active Listener.
  • Browse Listeners to read through the profiles of those available and select someone who best suits your needs.
  • Group Support Chat where you can find a forum of supportive individuals.
  • Chat With An Online Therapist gives you the option to speak with a licensed mental health professional.
  • Find a Therapist Near You will help you locate someone nearby for an in-person visit.

You’re probably already familiar with the general idea behind group support and speaking with a therapist. But, what’s an Active Listener, and how can they help?

About 7 Cups of Tea Active Listeners

7 Cups of Tea describes their Active Listeners as individuals from all walks of life who want to provide compassionate care. And, there are a lot of them! 7 Cups of Tea claims to offer hundreds of thousands of trained Active Listeners from 189 countries, providing support in 140 languages.

To experience chatting with an Active Listener first hand, I selected Connect Now and was sent to a chat page. Once there, an automated bot asked me to make a few selections that best described the trouble I was having. You can pick from a wide range of emotional ailments, from ADHD to drug abuse, anxiety, and depression.

The wait took almost 20 minutes, and during that time I was prompted to complete a questionnaire. (More on that in a bit.) However, eventually an Active Listener with the handle MechEng popped on and allowed me to ask him/ her some questions.

I learned that Active Listeners aren’t paid for their time. Basically, they’re just regular folks like you and me who feel the drive to lend a supportive ear to those in need.

Active Listers aren’t supposed to give advice, judge you, or criticize you. They are given training on how to provide an empathetic ear and guidance on what to do if things get too serious. (Divert the chat to a counselor.)

How To Connect With An Active Listener On 7 Cups

7 Cups members connect with their Active Listener via the website, but you don’t meet in person—or even over the phone.

Instead, all communication is done through chat-based messaging. It’s a similar format to other chat platforms, like Facebook Messenger or Gchat. Members can also connect on their smartphones, using 7 Cups’ iPhone and Android apps.

7 Cups of Tea Groups and Feeds

Beyond opening up to an individual Active Listener, 7 Cups offers additional avenues for finding a sense of community through their activity feed and support forums.

The feed activity appears to be pretty similar to that on Facebook, in that people give shoutouts, share appreciation for one another, post victories or milestones they’ve accomplished, and share their favorite images.

Following 7 Cups of Tea’s Simple Exercises

While waiting for an Active Listener to appear, I was prompted to complete a short questionnaire so that the service could better be tailored to my needs. As we mentioned above, first you’re prompted to select the most accurate category of what’s bothering you from a list of approximately 30 issues.

I selected ‘anxiety’ and, after being asked my gender and age, was prompted to answer “How often or how severely do you feel like the following effect you daily?” and asked a list of questions. For example:

  • How often do you feel that you are rather touchy?
  • How often do you find it hard to wind down?
  • How often do you find yourself getting agitated?
  • How often do you experience trembling (e.g., in the hands)?
  • How often do you feel that life is meaningless?

There are about 30 questions in total. At the end, you’re given a score that rates your general sense of well-being.

7 Cups Wellness Test7 Cups of Tea Wellness Test Screenshot

What’s A Growth Path?

After completing your questionnaire, you’ll be given one or more suggestions for a growth path. (As you can see from the image above, my suggested growth paths included Anxiety: Overcoming Worry, and Calm & Strong.)

Designed to carry you forward as you grow stronger, growth paths are made up of simple steps. Some are designed to increase your gratitude and calm, such as listening to music. There are also fun steps, like watching adorable animal videos, or reading a heartwarming story.

7 Cups claims that all of their paths are easy to follow and that, with each step, you’ll find yourself becoming more confident.

It’s not just growth paths that encourage 7 Cups uses to keep you moving forward in pursuit of a sunnier outlook. Every action you do on the website gives you growth points. The website claims that these points track how you’re moving up through the levels, learning to solve problems, and developing new skills.

How Much Does 7 Cups of Tea Cost?

Speaking with an Active Listener service is free. However, throughout the chat, prompts to make a donation did appear.

According to the website, 7 Cups will “always be free for everyone.” But they do need support to make this sustainable, and ask that anyone using the service consider making a donation.

7 Cups of Tea Costs7 Cups of Tea Price Comparison Chart

However, “always free for everyone” isn’t exactly the case if you want to progress through additional levels of growth. 7 Cups of Tea offers different membership levels for those interested in receiving extra support.

  • Monthly at $12.95/ month: This plan is a recurring bill with the option to cancel your 7 Cups membership at any time.
  • Yearly at $7.99/ month: Total of $95.88 paid at one time. 30-day money back guarantee. Automatic rebilling at the end of one year.
  • Two years at $6.24/ month: Total of $149.76 paid at one time. 30-day money back guarantee. Automatic rebilling at the end of two years.
  • Forever at $419.95: Unlimited access to the 7 Cups Collection forever. 30-day money back guarantee.

The full list of what’s included with a 7 Cups of Tea upgrade can be found here. In short, paid users get access to additional levels of growth path learning, and the complete series of paths, including those addressing eating disorders, self-harm, social anxiety, and even one addressing the anxieties of college life.

Note that upgrading your membership does not give you free access to a trained mental health professional. Nor does remaining an unpaid member mean that your hours of chatting with an Active Listener are numbered. Instead, an upgrade simply allows you to unlock information on different growth paths and a variety of series.

Can 7 Cups of Tea Fill You With a More Optimistic Outlook?

At first glance, 7 Cups of Tea might sound like a modern twist on traditional talk therapy. After spending a few minutes chatting, I could see how the opportunity to share with a nonjudgmental person, even a stranger, could be cathartic.

However, there are some big differences between using the 7 Cups of Tea platform and booking an hour with a therapist. The most obvious of which is that using 7 Cups of Tea doesn’t provide those struggling with serious mental health issues with the opportunity to be assessed by, or learn different coping mechanisms, from an experienced mental health professional.

Additionally, 7 Cups focuses not just on individual members, but on building a community experience through activity feeds and support forums.

This community aspect left us wondering whether or not the focus of 7 Cups is solely to provide a valuable safe place for anyone going through a hard time to connect with a trained listener? Or, possibly, if they’re another tech team looking for an angle to copy Facebook and other social media platform’s success.

Can 7 Cups of Tea help you through a difficult time?

I remember my grandmother once told me of a time when she was feeling down, and how she’d got up the courage to enter the self-help section of her local bookstore. On a shelf, she saw a book titled “I’m Okay, You’re Ok,” then turned around and left. When asked why, she said that reading that phrase was all she needed.

There’s no way to quantify the difficulty of any individual’s emotional turbulence. But it’s safe to say that 7 Cups of Tea isn’t going to be enough for those going through a really difficult patch.

If, however, you’re like my grandmother and just need an extra nudge of encouragement, the support material, Active Listeners, and growth paths available at 7 Cups might be just the ticket you need for to develop a sunnier outlook.

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12 Customer Reviews for 7 Cups of Tea

Average Customer Rating: 2.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 4 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  8
Bottom Line: 33% would recommend it to a friend
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  • Liars!

    • Missouri,
    • Jul 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    They say that if you sign up for their "free" three-day trial with an actual therapist, they won't charge you anything if you cancel within three days of sign-up. This is a blatant, bald-faced LIE.

    The therapist assigned to me only replied once and very briefly and generically, so I canceled on the second day (the day after I signed up) and received a cancellation confirmation email. I happened to look at my bank account the next day, and they had taken $150 out of it! They never notified me of this, but why would they notify me that they stole my money, I guess?

    They haven't responded to my online inquiries, they have not refunded my money, and there is no phone number to call. They are a bunch of liars who take advantage of people who are emotionally unwell. Despicable.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • I thought this would help me

    Personally, I'm an extremely depressed, extremely anxious, and extremely suicidal person. Well maybe not extremely suicidal, but I do consider it often and think of trying. I can't afford normal therapy, so I tried this website out. Unfortunately, I didn't research it enough, and I thought it was $5 a day. Then suddenly, I'm short $150 in a single day.

    I tried to look up how to get a refund. You can't. And the therapist I have is no help. She barely responds, and when she does, she's not much help. Waste of time and now I'm broke and even more stressed.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Three-day trial billing trick!

    My daughter started using 7 Cups of Tea a few months ago. It went really well until we decided to try the three-day trial. I read how it works and how to cancel, so we were not charged a $150 monthly fee. We canceled in a month, and we were charged $150. This is where the scam comes in.

    The therapist also was not there half the time or took too long to get back with us, and we have some serious issues going on and really thought we could trust them. This has happened to numerous people. You need to watch out because billing the three-day trial is a trick! It may not happen to everyone, but it happened to me, and with everything going on in our lives, this was devastating and a slap in the face. Thank you 7 Cups of Tea.

    I feel like such a fool. I normally do not fall for such a thing, but I thought I could trust them. Some people had a good experience and their trial was canceled, but imagine if it wasn't and you had to pay $150 for nothing? Just beware, this is happening to a lot of people, and they don't go back and look into it or anything! If you can't trust your shrink, who can you trust?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Disappointing

    • France,
    • Jul 6, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was at the lowest point in my life and at a really vulnerable state when I was frantically looking online for some help. Any support really.

    I ran into the 7 Cups of Tea website and signed up for the trial version (there is just so much fine print here, that they somehow make this your fault).

    I now have $450 taken away from my credit card and I do not have anyone to reach out to for assistance. I haven't used this service in over two months, but I am completely ripped off my money.

    This is definitely a huge business scam, which has resulted in me being extremely anxious and stressed out about the huge amount of money. It is unfair taking advantage of people in such a state with their money. They don't even send you an email about the charges, etc. So if you don't see your credit card statements, you are really screwed, like I am now.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Cleaned me out

    I signed up for a trial, was having a very hard go of things. The trial was around $5. I thought "Awesome! I can find someone who'll help!" I signed up and foolishly gave my banking info. I spoke with a therapist for about 45 minutes and the next thing I knew they took almost $200.00 from my bank account! Be careful with this site!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    I was seriously harassed

    I went to a chat room just to feel like my issues weren't unique and to commiserate with others. It was not what I expected. There was no conversation about the topic. The listeners are very young people and not trained for anything. The chat room attendees harassed me when I asked to talk about the subject, and then the moderator joined in, and I believe even posed as a listener. It was gang mentality.

    How messed up is that? I spilled my guts to this listener and came away more upset than when I arrived. The person that runs this should be more careful. Some people are on the edge and don't need that kind of harassment.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 5 people found this review helpful

    I like being a listener

    I find that being a listener in this service to be really good. It feels good to help people.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Came for the free listener, stayed for the professional therapists

    • San Francisco, California,
    • Apr 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I found 7 Cups to be a great source of compassionate and trained listeners where I could find someone to talk to and have a sense of community for the anxiety issues I face. Lately, they added professional online therapy, and I found a great friend that helped me solve my problems. Thanks 7 Cups!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Amazing!

    • Virginia Beach, VA,
    • Apr 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    This service has helped me out tremendously. I chat with people whenever I'm going through a hard time, and they help put things in perspective for me. I can use it whenever and there is always someone there to listen. Exercises help me as well.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 4 people found this review helpful

    The best support service!

    • Lexington, KY,
    • Apr 18, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I stumbled upon this community almost two years ago now, in the summer of 2015, and have been a listener ever since. I am now a Teen Star (Teen equivalent to their Mentor programs), an Internship Graduate, and I have many more leadership roles on this site. Although many people complain about the listener quality, 7 Cups of Tea is aware of this, as there are quality coaches (both teen and adult) to help listeners reach their full potential (I am also on this team). This community has grown exponentially and only continues to do so, and I'm very proud of all what the community has achieved!

    This site has changed my life for the better, and I have met some amazing people I would've never had in my life otherwise. Go 7 Cups!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Wasted money

    • Montreal, Québec, Canada,
    • Apr 12, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    First of all, the therapist I got never seemed to offer any useful insight and it felt like talking to someone who didn't feel like talking to you. It was going nowhere.

    I requested a refund and received this:

    Thanks for reaching out!! As you saw during the sign-up process, we offer a free 3-day trial. If you cancel your online therapy service within 3 days, then you will not be charged at all. It is a 100% free trial. However, if you do not cancel within 3 days, then your account will be charged. You can think of this like you would think of a gym membership or any other kind of subscription service. Once the 3 days is up, you will have purchased one month of online services - just like you might purchase a gym membership. You can use it as little or as much as you like, but pay for the month regardless of how much you choose to take advantage of it. Given that our records show that you did not cancel within the free trial period (in fact, you still have not cancelled), we are not able to offer a refund at this time. For your convenience, I will include some screenshots here of how we explained this during the sign up process. We try to ensure to make this very clear.

    I DO NOT recommend this service.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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