Stress Relief Apps can help in anxiety and depression especially during the ongoing pandemic situation. We have listed the top 10 Stress Relief Apps for 2020 which have been tested and used by many users and found to be somewhat effective in providing some soothing comfort.
Have you ever heard about stress management apps? Have you ever used a stress management app to boost your mental well-being and reduce your stress levels? Well, if you search the app store with either of the words like stress relief, anxiety, or mental health, you’re likely to find a thousand options.
The apps you’re likely to come across are stress management apps, depression apps, meditation apps, self-help skills apps, bipolar apps, among others. These apps are designed to help you cope with mental health problems. However, that is not always the case.
How to Choose a Stress Relief App?
One thing to remember is that most of the Meditation Apps also serve as stress relief apps. Some of the apps are beneficial, while others might be harmful. For instance, some apps can help you be more aware of your mood, behavior, and triggers. Some mental health apps reinforce skills learned in therapy, while others can teach you healthy options for handling stress and depressive episodes.
On the other hand, researchers discovered a harmful and overhyped bipolar app known as iBipolar. The app had instructed people to consume hard liquor during bipolar episodes to improve sleep.
You must utilize mental health apps with a lot of caution with that in mind.
Before choosing a stress relief app, it is essential to ensure it is validated. The app should represent widely used best practices. It must have proven value for your mental health.
Knowing what you hope to achieve by using a particular app is critical because not every app is right for everyone. Understanding how to use an app can also help you reap more mental health benefits.
In this article, we will primarily focus on stress relief apps. Please keep reading.
What is a Stress Management App?
Stress management strategies aim to help you effectively manage stress and its symptoms. Some of the symptoms might include anxiety, moodiness, emotional outbursts, self-isolation, anger, irritability, low self-esteem, headaches, just to mention a few.
Once you become aware of what causes your stress, you can be able to control it. Strategies for stress management that can help you eliminate stressors and develop de-stressing habits include:
- Exercising regularly
- Getting adequate sleep
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Taking a walk
- Engaging in breathing exercises.
- Simply relaxing with Music
- Setting aside time for self-relaxation activities such as meditation, yoga, or even a bubble bath.
You can incorporate stress relief apps into your stress management treatment and routine. Stress management apps can also be used on their own.
What are the Best Stress Relief Apps in 2020?
In-app Products: $1.99 – $199.99 per item
Pacifica incorporates existing best practices for stress management. The app aims to empower you to self manage your stress levels. If you decide to use the app, you will choose the tools you want to use.
The tools include discussion boards, thought records, meditation, relaxation exercises, and behavioral activation. These tools are also in use in well known psychological practices. The app also works as a mood tracker allowing you to recognize negative thought patterns and emotions to replace them with positive thoughts and emotions.
In-app Product: $1.99
Zen Lounge is a Free Meditation App with an option for premium sounds and tracks with a one-time purchase. The app is ideal for those who wish to relax and unwind with zen music and nature, atmospheric sounds. The sounds are soothing and mostly composed by Zen Masters.
This is one of the most simple and easy to use app with meditation, relaxation, and focus music which can be matched with moods and then mixed with white noise or nature sounds like birdsong, waterfall, wind, river, chimes, chants, etc.
In-app Products: $11.99 – $139.99 per item
Happify app depends on positive psychology and neuroscience. The design is based on the input of happiness and health experts. The app equips you with exercises, gratitude prompts, games, and activities to improve your mood and reduce stress levels.
It helps you develop resiliency and healthier coping habits, thus ensuring you are happier, motivated, fulfilled, and less stressed. Happify is one of the first generation stress relief app
The Breathe2Relax app features educational videos on the impact of stress on your body. It also equips you with diaphragmatic breathing skills and practice exercises. The breathing exercises help to stabilize your mood, reduce anger and anxiety levels.
The app also features logs to record your stress levels and customizable guided breathing exercises. It lets you know when, how, and how long you need to inhale and exhale, making the process simple.
This app uses the principle of biofeedback to help you determine your stress levels and achieve a happy state of mind. It helps you manage stress with meditation tools, which include calming pictures and music.
The app works by converting your heart rate into a stress assessment anytime you press your finger on the camera. The app can rate your stress level from red (stressed) to green (calm). It equips you with a variety of guides and deep breathing exercises to help you regain calmness and well-being. While some get confused with this stress relief app for some it serves as a good indicator for stressful moments.
Mindfulness Apps for Stress Relief
Mindfulness can alleviate your symptoms of stress. Mindfulness takes away your mind from the flight-or-flight response. It also helps you to become aware of your thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness teaches you to accept your experiences instead of avoiding them.
That said, mindfulness apps can help you cope with stress. Below are evidence-based mindfulness apps for stress management:
In-app Products: $0.99 – $399.99 per item
The calm app aims to help you cultivate more happiness and peace in your daily life. It offers guided meditation exercises, which range between 3 to 25 minutes. It covers various topics, including how to calm anxiety, stress management, happiness, and self-esteem, among others.
The stress relief app also offers breathing exercises and 25 soothing sounds, which can boost your sleep and help you focus on the here and now. The calm app also has unguided meditations, as well as sleep stories. You can also practice the 10 minutes Daily Calm in the morning or evening. The app comes with great visuals but relies on the old school of guided meditation mostly.
Stop, breathe and think
In-app Products: $0.99 – $249.99 per item
We tend to get caught up in our day-to-day activities, meaning we never get enough time for self-care. That said, this app allows you to take a break from your busy schedule. It will enable you to cultivate awareness, kindness, and compassion towards yourself through mindfulness, meditation, and compassion building activities.
Identifying with your thoughts and feelings can reduce the intensity of stress. The app has more than 50 guided meditation options. It also allows you to record your meditation activities so you can keep track of your yearly progress.
In-app Products: $6.49 – $119.99 per item
Headspace is one of the widely used meditation apps across the world. The app aims to take you through the basics of mindfulness and meditation. It helps you cope with stress, anxiety and improve your sleep habits.
It features animations and progress reports, which keep track of your stats. It also has reminders to ensure you don’t miss your meditation sessions. The buddy system feature helps to ensure you get motivation from friends and like-minded individuals.
Insight Meditation Timer
In-app Products: $1.99 – $59.99 per item
Insight timer features 3000 free guided meditations and customizable features to help you keep track of your meditation practice. Some of the guided meditations are inspired by neuroscientists, mindfulness gurus, researchers from Harvard, and psychologists.
The app allows you to select your preferred meditation practice from different categories, including focus and concentration, stress, anxiety, addiction recovery, and sleep. Besides guided meditations, the app also contains a journal, music tracks, talks, and courses.
Smiling mind app is designed to help children, teens, and adults cope with the demands, stress, and challenges of everyday life. It is a tool that was developed with the help of educators and psychologists.
As an empathy-building app, the app’s role is to help you cultivate kindness, compassion, calmness, contentment, and clarity. It has a feature that enables you to track your progress with regard to the sessions you’ve completed, as well as emotional changes.
The app gives you access to programs for 7 – 9-year-olds, 10 – 12-year-olds, 13 – 15-year-olds, 16 – 18-year-olds, and adults. It also has mindfulness programs for classrooms, people in sports, and the workplace.
The Mindfulness Daily app aims to help you practice mindfulness daily. It encourages you to practice meditation for a few minutes in the morning, afternoon, and nighttime.
The app also checks whether you’ve been adhering to your mindfulness routine. If you are a beginner, this app can kickstart you on your meditation journey. It has structured, guided training that you can integrate into your daily life.
Final thoughts on Stress Relief Apps
Stress can affect your ability to function optimally. Strategies for managing stress include therapy and self-care activities like exercises, adequate sleep, and a healthy diet.
In addition to seeking therapy for stress, you can consider using apps to enhance your coping mechanisms. It is important to note that apps are not meant to replace other stress relief interventions but complement them.
In this article, we have looked at evidence-based stress relief apps and meditation apps that you can use to relieve stress. The apps include Pacifica, Personal Zen, Happify, Breathe2Relax, Smiling Mind, Calm, Stop, Breath, and Think, Headspace, Insight Meditation, GPS for the Soul, and Mindfulness Daily.
The list of apps above is not exhaustive. Other useful stress relief apps worth noting include Fitbit, My Fitness Pal, Omvana, iCBT, Virtual Hope Box, and Mind Shift. All of the above apps work differently for different people.
Therefore, you must choose one that works best for you. To be able to select a suitable app, you need to understand what you hope to achieve.