Screen time has earned its title as the enemy in recent years, and in many cases rightfully so. But while a mindless Insta-scroll isn’t gonna do your mental health any favors, there are ways to find relief on the screen. What if we used the devices we can’t seem to put down anyway and let tech work for us, not against us? Combined with a holistic approach – focused on healthy exercise, adequate sleep, a nutritious diet and mindfulness – apps can prove to play a profound role in managing symptoms of stress and anxiety. Here are eight apps to help you take a breather, remain calm and better manage anxiety.
If your anxiety levels tend to rise in the evening and crescendo when your head hits the pillow, Aura may be your tool for better sleep. The app provides 3-minute daily mindfulness meditations, life coaching, stories, nature sounds and music all personalized to you based on your mood. Check out Aura.
Calm down in moments of anxiety using one of Pacifica’s audio exercises set to relaxing soundscapes, including deep breathing, muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditations, and more. The app also provides a space for you to track your moods, health and anxiety-related habits, offering personalized relaxation techniques and mindfulness exercises along the way. Check out Pacifica.
Developed by leading scientists and experts who’ve been studying evidence-based interventions in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy for decades, Happify’s science-based activities and games can help reduce stress, overcome negative thoughts, and build greater resilience by providing effective tools and programs to improve emotional well-being. Check out Happify.
Sometimes you just need to talk it out. Talk Space matches you up with licensed therapists in minutes. Through a matching questionnaire you’ll be able to select a qualified therapist and treatment plan (the cost of which is typically 80% lower than the average co-pay for traditional, in-office therapy appointments) then message, video chat, or call your therapist immediately. Check out Talkspace.
Great for both beginners and experienced practitioners, Insight Timer connects you with music tracks, guided meditations, talks and courses led by the world’s top meditation and mindfulness experts, neuroscientists, psychologists and teachers from Stanford, Harvard, the University of Oxford and more. Check out Insight Timer.
Worry warts, rejoice. Often many of us worry and get anxious over everyday things, then realize most of those worries were totally unnecessary in hindsight. Use Worry Watch to track your mental state over time and discover more about your anxiety patterns and triggers to gain better ways to manage moving forward. The app generates charts and stats to help you analyze your own thought patterns and gain better perspective. Check out Worry Watch.
I Love Hue
I Love Hue is an aesthetically pleasing way to calm the mind and redirect your attention from an overwhelming or negative thought spiral. Essentially a gentle journey into colour and perception, users are prompted to arrange mosaics of coloured tiles into perfectly ordered spectrums. Great for anyone who could use a few moments of visual tranquility. Check out I Love Hue.
More than a party trick, people are becoming increasingly hip to hypnosis as a powerful tool for healing and self-transformation. HelloMind provides tools to overcome self-sabotaging lifestyle patterns and work through negative thoughts by using a technique called “Results Driven Hypnosis” to get to the root of each issue. By using self-hypnotherapy, HelloMind helps to guide the subconscious toward the solution while you relax into a deep meditation. Check out HelloMind.