For many, de-stressing at the end of the day goes hand in hand with a long binge session of your favorite series and a nice glass of wine. But, nowadays, as we spend more time indoors away from hectic commutes and long office hours, the days tend to blend. What’s more, because we’re at home most of the time anyway, we might feel like there’s no particular need to put an emphasis on relaxing.
However, in times like these, when the world is challenging for all of us, mental well-being should be prioritized. And, there’s no better place to begin than with a clear mind and a positive attitude. So, we compiled a list of apps available on Android and iOS to help you de-stress and reset. From games to quick yoga and meditation sessions, check out these seven apps to help you clear your mind.
Headspace tends to top many lists of mindfulness apps, and for good reason. The free basic package is enough to give you an idea of what Headspace wants and can do for you. Get your very own guide to mindfulness and meditation tips, plus learn more about your sleeping pattern and how to improve it. Most important, the app is designed to help you relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and learn how to relax, in general. It’s most helpful for those with hectic routines in big cities like Chicago, Houston, or San Francisco, as well as for those who a slowed-down pace doesn’t necessarily spell relaxation. It also claims to be able to increase your happiness level by 16%. With all that’s going on in the world right now, we’ll take it!
It’s in the name. The people behind the Calm app believe calmness to be the foundation of our wellbeing, and we can only agree. The first thing you do in Calm is tell it why you need it in the first place, which personalizes the content and caters it specifically to your needs. Like most mindfulness apps, you can sign up for content on how to reduce stress and anxiety, but Calm knows our happiness often lies in the little things. So, the app goes a bit further and offers to teach you how to build self-esteem, improve your performance and develop a sense of gratitude in your everyday life.
3. Stop, Breathe & Think
Admit it. You’d rather be doing anything else than meditating for an hour at home, even if you have nothing better to do. That’s why if there were an app to help you rewire your brain and find peace and quiet in five minutes, you’d use it. Well, Stop, Breathe & Think promises to do just that. The strategy is simple: you just have to stop and analyze yourself, breathe and understand yourself, and then think about how to better yourself. Furthermore, the app offers sessions and exercises to help you along the way while keeping track of your progress. All you have to do is stop and download the app, breathe as you choose what to start with, and think no more about postponing your well-being.
4. Insight Timer
Insight Timer prides itself in being the largest free library of guided meditations, while also providing you with a cool collection of meditation music to accompany the sessions. Choose what suits you best from hundreds of titles that teach you how to manage anxiety, improve your sleep and cope with stress. The one feature that might just win you over is the meditation corner for kids. Because it’s never too early to start understanding and taking care of yourself, the app offers nearly 500 meditations to teach our children how to cultivate peace, explore and understand emotions, and so much more. If you’re still on the fence, check out the Insight Timer blog for interesting and soul-searching reads before making a decision.
At first glance, Sworkit looks like your typical workout app — until you realize it’s made the lists of best science-backed fitness apps for years, competing with the best in the business. So, what keeps Sworkit on top? For starters, it promises to get you in shape and keep you that way, no matter your level of commitment. And, it does this even if you have no time, no gym access and no personal fitness equipment. You choose the length of a session, and the app provides you a customized workout plan to give you the best results within that timeframe. Then, just select your goal (weight loss or maintenance, increased flexibility or endurance, muscle gain or toning) and how to get there (cardio, yoga, stretching or strength). There’s even a kids version!
6. Two Dots
Reducing stress through workouts and meditation is great, but nothing beats a good old game to keep you alert while also taking your mind off everyday hardships. The calming power of Two Dots lies in its simplicity. All a player has to do is connect at least two dots, make moves and advance to the next level. The app has been updated numerous times to add more attractive graphics, music, side quests and new levels, but the principle of it hasn’t changed much. If you need a dose of serotonin at your fingertips, this is the game for you.
7. The Unic
There are plenty of relaxing games out there, but another excellent choice to help you unwind and keep the stress at bay is The Unic. This one is special because it boosts not only your serotonin levels, but also your creativity. An observation game, it requires the player’s attention to distinguish between duplicate patterns and identify the one that’s unique. Pretty simple, right? This free game just might become your greatest ally in tuning out the real world for a few minutes. Plus, the results are actually more satisfying than a quick review could reveal.
As COVID-19 demands more and more of our attention, we all need a little downtime and break from the news. We hope some of these apps will help you enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.