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Stress

6 calming apps to help you relax and unwind

Chill out – Relax – Calm down.

Why is it so much easier said than done?

You rush around at 100 miles per hour, fuelled by deadlines, appointments and must-do lists that are impossible to complete.

And at the end of the day, all you need is some R&R.

But getting there isn’t always as easy as you’d hope. A busy mind, crowded thoughts and feelings of stress and anxiety can get in the way of your precious relaxation. It can really help to have a clever little pocket app to help cut through all of the stress.

So go ahead, give yourself a little minute and look at the best apps to help you find a moment of calm inner peace…

Best for Stress Relief
iBreathe – Relax and Breathe

Sometimes, we just need to remember to stop…. And breathe. An act so simple has such powerful results. Deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing, paced respiration… whatever you call it, filling your lungs slowly and fully with air, and then softly exhaling does to stress what a hot bath does to the chills. It may feel unnatural at first, which is why iBreathe is such a simple and welcome tool to counter stress and help you to relax. Follow the halo’s instructions to get comfortable with the four breathing techniques, or set your own custom settings.

With the guide at the tip of your fingers, you can find a minute or two anywhere to help calm your nerves, or even to just take a break and reset.

Best for Meditation
Ten Percent Happier Meditation

This really is a lovely little app, and you will feel happier just knowing that it is always in your pocket, just within arms’ reach. Meditation doesn’t have to be challenging, and the team behind TPHM have designed an app that sets out to dispel any outdated meditation myths. Lead by world-renowned teachers, you can fit small blocks of mindfulness into your day at times that are convenient to you.

Best for Mindfulness
HeadSpace

After practising as a Buddhist Monk, founder of Headspace, Andy Puddicombe combined the teachings of Buddhism and combined them with a scientific approach to create the world-renowned app that soothes anxiety, stress and worry. It helps that Andy has a buttery smooth voice that makes listening to his guided meditations feel a bit like the personification of hot tea and biscuits. Super comforting and familiar.

Meditations are categorised, making it easy to find a meditation to suit your mood or needs. With the help of notifications, the app will give you a gentle nudge to remind you to check back in and keep up your practice.

They’ve also recently partnered with honey-vocaled John Legend to include a section on mindful music and artists. Swoon.

Best for Sleep
PZIZZ

Pzizz is a dreamy app, both literally and ascetically speaking. After a busy, stressful day, it can be hard to quite your mind as it reels over the day’s happenings. This is not conducive to restful relaxation, which where you want to be to encourage a deep and delicious slumber. Pzizz quickly and calmly helps you quiet your mind, leading you into dreamland with a beautiful array of dreamscapes. A selection of voiceovers, sound effects and music that will cradle you soundly to sleep.

If it’s beginning to sound a bit too woo-woo, let’s take a look at the science behind it. The calculated sound sequences and layered voice narration is designed to boost somatic awareness, deepen breathing and relax muscles. Our favourite feature is the nap module, because who knew that you could be taught to nap better!

Best for creativity
Color Therapy

Do you ever wonder why children love colouring in so much? It’s because it’s therapeutic. Colouring is also good for kid’s motor development but that’s for another day. For adults, colouring focusses our attention away from what’s going on in our mind and into the act of colouring itself, having an instant calming effect. Color Therapy takes the simplicity of colouring in and creates mindful art therapy that’s accessible on the go.

You get 30 free colours in the basic colour palette, and 24 free gradients. You can upgrade with a one-off payment, or purchase individual packs for an additional cost.

Best for feeling good
Happify

It’s not easy to relax and unwind after a stressful day; your thoughts are buzzing around your head at full speed. Happify encourages you to write your thoughts and feelings down, enabling you to off-load in a positive way, giving your mind space to unwind without interruptions.

The app provides you with a variety of powerful tools that put you in charge of changing your thoughts, emotions and behaviours to help improve your quality of life.

The basic version gives you access to 12 tracks to unwind to, Instant Play; games and activities to help train your brain and promote happiness, Happify Daily; daily content of feel good articles and videos that encourage general wellbeing, and connection with the Happify community.

Chill man x

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