When you’re caught up with uni, work, social events and everything in between, it’s easy to forget to take some time out for yourself to de-stress and make sure you’re in a good place. If you’re someone who struggles to find time to deal with stress and anxiety, apps can be a great place to start! There are so many apps out there solely targeted at helping you figure out how best to calm down, whether that be through meditation, mindfulness or just playing a fun game. Here are some of our personal favourites:
Bliss is your digital gratitude journal. It prompts you to complete a quick reflective activity and is a great source of positivity. If you find yourself worrying or engaging in negative thoughts, Bliss is a great way to break up that anxiety with some positivity. There are a lot of different activities available, and you can pick and choose how regularly you do each of them
Available on: Android
Calm is a very helpful app for sleep, meditation or just relaxing. It offers soothing images, sounds, and guided meditations. It operates on a course-style system, allowing you to develop your meditation practices over a few sessions. Most of these courses are only available with a premium account, but you can try some for free and see if it’s going to be a good option for you.
Headspace is a really simple app that guides you through meditation sessions for ten minutes each day. It heavily focuses on teaching you the basics of meditation, so once you’ve gotten past the initial Take10 session you can either choose to continue on to a subscription or use what you’ve learnt to meditate without any extra help. If you choose to subscribe, you’ll be given access to a heap of meditation packs focusing on things like health and relationships. You can also track your progress, and invite your friends to join in.
Pacifica looks like a simple mood monitoring tool, but it’s so much more. It’s a powerful and diverse app that allows you to better understand what factors contribute to your mood. It prompts you to input your mood, take a few notes about what’s happening, and then offers you a quick activity to improve how you’re feeling. You can also set goals and limitations for yourself related to sleep, caffeine, exercise, time with pets, water intake and so on. There’s also a heap of social groups you can join to discuss your goals and challenges.
5) Relax Melodies
Relax Melodies is similar to Calm, in that it focuses on providing you with soothing auditory experiences. It allows you to layer different sounds to create your own personal, calming soundscape. You can choose from options like rain, wind and birds. While some sounds are only for premium users, the selection of free sounds is still great!
6) Smiling Mind
Smiling Mind offers accessible and customisable mindfulness activities. You select your age, and download activities designed for that age group. With all of the short, guided meditations you do, you have the option of using a backing track or just a narrator.You can also track your progress over time, and earn points and badges by doing more activities.
7) Super Better
Super Better is a bit more complicated than most stress-related apps, but it is pretty great. It uses game metaphors to help you feel better. You fight ‘bad guys’ (such as laziness) and go on quests as a way to combat stress! The design is lovely, and it offers a wide range of quest activities. This app is ideal if you need some help de-stressing, but meditative mindfulness activities aren’t your thing.
MindShift is designed to help people living with anxiety deal with their symptoms and develop more helpful ways of thinking through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The app has information about anxiety, a self-report section where you can fill in your own symptoms, advice for different situations (such as test anxiety or dealing with conflict) and tools to help you calm down, like breathing exercises and mindfulness strategies.
9) Shuffle My Life
Shuffle My Life isn’t directly stress-related, but it’s a great tool to help prevent you from falling into a bad place. It offers you a randomised activity to complete each day – anything from ‘smile at a stranger’ to ‘buy something new’ is on offer.You aren’t punished for declining a task, but it’s a really simple way to inject some novelty into the uni-study-sleep cycle. You can also customise the tasks to set a price limit if you’re on a budget!
Available on: Android
Happify uses a collection of short activities to give you a lift and help you manage your stress. The visuals are cute and the app goes to a lot of effort to help you understand the science behind each activity. Frequent mood assessments help keep you honest and on-track with how you’re feeling and are quite detailed. Quite a few of the features are only for paid users, but the free version will give you a good idea of whether it’s worth upgrading to Happify premium.
Did we miss your favourite stress-busting app?
Let us know in the comments!