Did 2020 stress you out, frighten or leave you feeling — at least occasionally — bleak and depressed? Of course it did. That’s why Verywell, a repeat winner in this category and a health source for 36 million unique U.S. visitors each month, turned its considerable resources to mental health, even as it kept readers well informed about the physical risks of COVID-19. 

Leading with empathy became the company’s primary goal. It signed up psychotherapist Amy Morin as editor-in-chief of Verywell Mind. With content such as  “Ask a Therapist” and a new The Verywell Mind Podcast, it gave consumers plenty of compassionate opportunities to cope with uncertainty.

To answer questions about COVID-19 in the most helpful ways, it harnessed audience insights to zero in on the biggest pockets of confusion. And it tracked vaccine distribution and public sentiments about vaccination in easy-to-follow coverage.

It offered coaching on the best ways to talk to healthcare providers through telemedicine and cordially engage the
vaccine-resistant. It took the year’s social unrest to heart, finding deeper and more meaningful ways to reflect all kinds of readers. 

Our judges love how these strategic shifts make Verywell friendlier, more focused and easier for users to take action on behalf of their own health.

Empathy helped Verywell, launched in 2016, make plenty of new friends. Downloads for The Verywell Mind Podcast have grown 52% month over month since the launch in March. And Verywell Mind’s online therapy content grew 173%, reaching some 70,000 unique U.S. users each month.