Apps that help you meditate, relax, sleep better, and fight off stress from your Apple Watch and iPhone
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One flick of a switch to 'Breaking News' channels will probably have you experiencing full-blown anxiety. We get it — in this current climate, it's totally normal to be on edge after seeing, reading, and hearing the everyday news. Especially when news about the novel coronavirus is as rife as the virus itself. Your mental health during these trying times is just as important as the physical. And while we could probably all do with a 5-star wellness retreat in paradise — pronto — a sanctuary retreat isn't the only way to unwind. The good news is you've already unknowingly got the solution in the palm of your hands — mindfulness apps.
In a time when our devices help to fuel the panic, you'd be surprised at how many apps are out there that help you take a moment and recuperate your mental health. From breathing exercises to guided meditation, our top picks will give you the tools to relax, sleep better and have a peaceful frame of mind amid a sweeping pandemic.
Apple Watch fans may already have become acquainted with this feature but for those unaware, here's the lowdown. Built into the watchOS, Breathe app lowers your body's stress levels by guiding you through a series of deep-breathing techniques. Through the use of animation on the watch face and virtual feedback, the Breathe app reminds you to stop, relax and just breathe — all with the flick of a wrist. Our favourite part? After you finished your breathing exercises, you'll be given a record of your breathing time and current heart rate for monitoring.
Zen: Meditation & Sleep
Featured in Apple's official list of top '10 Best Apps of 2016', Zen: Meditation & Sleep app transcends borders in its likeability. As its name suggests, this app offers weekly guided meditations that nourishes your mind and body. Whether its meditation for deep sleep, meditation for mood improvement or meditation for focusing better at work, this app has got it all and can save all your heath data on your Health app. We're talking ASMR audios for a cleansing metal massage, mantras for anxiety relief and even — get this — binaural beats therapy for better sex. Hey — if that's what it takes to rid ourselves of 2020's negative energy, we are here for it.
Anyone who's anyone knows about this app. And if you don't, it's very likely that you've been living under a rock. Frequented by A-listers, Headspace is a meditation app that even celebrities like Emma Watson swear by. Take your pick among the hundreds of guided meditations that manage not only your stress and anxiety levels, but also your productivity and physical health. Becoming more anxiety-prone these days? Headspace's 'SOS' sessions will provide moments of comfort when panic, anxiety or stress hits. And most importantly, you can track your progress by adding 'Mindful Minutes' spent into your Health app.
Ten Percent Happier Meditation
Apple's 2018 award winning app is a one stop shop for all things mindful, relationship boosting and jovial. Containing a library of over 500 guided meditations, this app doesn't fail to address niche topics like parenting and how to find the right meditation for the moment. And for folks dealing with insomnia, bury yourself in the sleep section with lethargic mediation sessions that will ensure you fall — and stay — asleep. Not in the mood for a meditation? Not worries — Ten Percent Happier Meditation stores a section for wisdom-filled and inspirational audio to gain mindfulness insight on.
Simple Habit: Meditation App
Designed for daily problems faced, wellness and sleep therapy sessions are this app's forte. Ranging from guided sleep sessions to coaching by world-renowned experts, Simple Habit's meditation content is nothing short of remarkable with over 5 million users to date. Plus, you can keep track of your wellness progress by utilizing the apps 'Mindful Minutes' function, integrating your meditations with Apple Health. All it requires is five minutes out of your morning or a couple of minutes out of your night to eliminate stress and catch those Z's.
Timeless | Guided Meditation
Invented by meditators, Timeless encompasses guided meditations and even a personal practice timer facilitating clear concentration. Drawing on traditional mediation, teachings on this app are focused on practical techniques for sleep, emotional well-being and relaxation — of course. Our personal favourite? Its multi-day courses. With useful content like yoga meditation, recommended readings and a beginner's course specially made for meditation rookies, you can never go wrong by starting your meditation journey here.
3 Minute Mindfulness
What's so unique about this app? It all boils down to its 3-minute meditation motto. Containing a plethora of meditation sessions and breathing exercises, this app keeps its users calm through its convenient short meditation sessions. If the idea of meditation has often felt like a drag, these fuss-free sessions will cut right to the chase. No matter what situation you are in, all you got to do is stop, pause, and reset for the next 3 minutes — protecting your time and sanity.
Stop, Breath & Think Kids
Parents, turn your attention here: Recent studies have shown that many kids face far more anxiety these days than ever before and this did not go unacknowledged by the Stop, Breath & Think Kids app. Developed with activity-based mindfulness expert Susan Kaiser, this mindful game app targets kids aged 5 to 10. Through a series of meditation and mindful missions, kids can check how they are feeling using emojis and recommend missions or meditation sessions that are in tune with these emotions. What excites children the most? Sticker collection. So, naturally Stop, Breath & Think Kids provides kids with fun stickers to reward their ongoing mindfulness journey progress.