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April 29, 2021
Our modern lives are noisy, fast-moving, and often anxiety-inducing — especially because we’re living through a freaking pandemic right now.
Whether you live in a big city or a chaotic suburban household, this is probably a stressful time for you — and relaxation might not come as easily as it once did.
While there’s a lot of scientific analysis about what this stressful existence does to us (um, and none of it’s good), most of us try to cope as best we can — finding little ways to relax and take care of ourselves within our hectic schedules.
And one of the easiest ways to do that is with a soothing relaxation app.
We use apps for basically everything these days, so it’s no wonder we can also use apps to help us relax. Whether you’re stressed, anxious, or just need a nudge to remember to breathe, we’re rounding up our fave relaxation apps so you can give them a try …
Calm is one of the most popular meditation apps. It offers guided meditation sessions from just a few minutes to almost half an hour.
Calm organizes its meditation by theme and goal. You’ll find sessions designed to reduce stress and anxiety, sessions to help you be mindful, sessions to help you fall asleep, and just simple breathing exercises. They also have multi-day programs and are adding new sessions all the time.
Calm is free, but it offers premium sessions with an in-app subscription.
This is one of the most heavily marketed relaxation apps available, with hundreds of meditation sessions for all kinds of situations, tasks, and goals — even meditations specially designed for kids.
Headspace also offers soundscapes and music to help you sleep. The app offers a week-long free trial, with subscriptions starting at $13 U.S. per month after that.
White Noise, as the name suggests, is a white noise generator app — and one of the more popular ones on the market. The app actually comes in three versions: White Noise Lite (which is free and available on both Android and iOS), White Noise ($1, iOS only) and White Noise Pro ($3, iOS only).
Each version has a white range of pre-recorded white noises, from rain, running water, and sea waves to electronic static, crickets, and even the sound of a vacuum cleaner. There are more options on the paid versions (and you can even record your own favourite sounds) but the free one is excellent.
My Mood Tracker takes a different approach from meditation apps to assist with relaxation. It’s actually a full-blown tool to track your mental and emotional well-being. It will nudge you to check in with how you’re feeling and help you identify sources of stress. The only downsides are that it’s only available on iOS and it costs $10 U.S. per month.
MyLife (formerly known as Stop, Breathe & Think) is a guided meditation app with the handy functionality of My Mood Tracker. It suggests meditations for you based on your reported mood and state of mind, using a daily emotional check-in feature. The base app is free for both iOS and Android, with full access to their library costing $5 U.S./month or $42 U.S./year.
If you’re experiencing difficult days right now, you’re not alone. We’re not promising miracles from these relaxation apps, but using them in conjunction with other forms of self-care can make a meaningful difference.
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