Anxiety and stress can take a huge toll on your life. If you do not learn how to master your feelings and thoughts, you cannot control your behaviour. This can lead to long periods of negative feelings, depression and an overall poor-quality lifestyle.
Different people deal with stress in different ways. Some try to ignore it with avoidance behaviours. Some will use physical exercise as a way to gain clarity. Some will turn to a new experience such as skydiving or getting a complete body wax at a male grooming salon. Others will seek professional help (which is recommended).
Accessing a trained counsellor (such as those from New Vision Psychology) may be difficult depending on where you are. Thankfully, most people have access to the Internet and apps via their smartphone. According to OPPO, 9 out of 10 people in Australia own a smartphone and by 2023, it is estimated that 90 percent of the entire world’s population will have a smartphone. Therefore, as long as you have a smartphone, you can access apps that can help you manage your stress levels. Here are the best 20 apps for stress management and anxiety relief no matter where you are and what time it is.
Best Overall App
Happify takes an edutainment approach to reduce stress. You will learn life-changing habits and techniques to help you cope with stress. The solutions are deeply personalized. You begin your journey with a series of questions based on which the app customizes daily tasks. You’ll also go through quizzes and steps to reach your goal and overcome negative thoughts.
Happify is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
Best Free Apps for Android
If you are one of the active 2.5 billion Android device owners, here are 6 free apps to help manage stress and anxiety wherever you may be in the world.
Stop Panic & Anxiety Self Help is your partner against panic attacks. A built-in diary helps you track and identify thoughts, which lead to panic. Audio and written content teach you therapy techniques so you can shut down any anxiety episodes. The app helps you to reprogram your thoughts to attract calm and balance.
Calm comprises sleep, guided meditation, and relaxing therapeutic sessions. It’s suitable for both beginners and veterans. You’ll enjoy a wide range of natural sounds and stories to help you rest. It’s an efficient technique, which you’ve experienced during childhood. Stories help you relax and sleep.
GPS for the Soul leverages biofeedback to establish your stress levels. And through a variety of meditation tools such as calming music, breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and images, it helps with stress management. Although you can choose predefined guides, you can create your own photo boards and add music or different motivational quotes.
Stop, Breath & Think is a mindfulness app which encourages you to record your feelings. Choose your mood and it’ll suggest specific meditations, yoga sessions or acupressure exercises. You can also track your progress through the check-in feature.
The Worry Box is a virtual box where you can place all your worries and abandon them forever. It’s like a letting go exercise. And it will help you identify practical ways to control your feelings and cope with your thoughts.
Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep helps you slow down your thoughts and clear your mind. The app comprises different nature sounds such as thunder, fire, waves, and birds singing. While listening, you slowly relax and overcome any anxiety or panic episodes.
Best Free Apps for iOS
Personal Zen is an exciting and science-based therapeutic game. The rules of the game are simple. In a garden you’ll find two faces, one’s happy and the other’s sad. The happy face makes a grass trail, which you must follow with your finger. The more you play, the faster you’ll learn to pay attention to the happy face instead of the sad one. The app is based on attention-bias modification training (ABMT).
Relax Melodies is great to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. The app comprises 48 ambient and nature sounds and relaxing music. You can also enjoy guided meditation episodes to help you manage stress.
Rootd (no, this is how it is spelt) focuses on improving your abilities to control your feelings. It helps you fight against anxiety through mindfulness sessions and deep breathing exercises. However, if you’re having a panic attack, you can use the emergency button to call a family member or close friend.
Sleep Time capitalizes on the main role sleep has in people’s lives. The app analyzes your sleep patterns and creates customized ambient playlists. By positioning the phone on your bed, you can track sleep cycles and times. It helps you identify when you get the best quality sleep and what keeps you awake.
Pacifica offers a guided meditation exercise involving deep breathing. It’s developed to help you relax your body. The app has a variety of tools such as the mood tracker. And it helps you register your thoughts to identify thinking patterns.
Best Paid Apps for Android
Relax & Rest Guided Meditations helps you focus on your body, deep relaxation, and mindful breathing. You don’t need any prior experience, just listen to the mediation sessions. The app teaches you to control your mind and body.
Happify focuses on improving the quality of your life through optimism. Everyone has different points for happiness, but it can also be offset. So, people are in full control of how happy they are. The app comprises exercises and games, which support positive emotions and promote optimism.
Acupressure: Heal Yourself is based on the ancient acupuncture technique, which stimulates your body’s self-curative and natural healing abilities. It helps you identify pressure points to alleviate symptoms and teaches you how to apply pressure.
Brain.fm is built around the concept that music influences people’s thoughts and cognitive state. You can choose the outcome you’re aiming for and the app will generate specific tunes. You’ll achieve your goal in about 15 minutes.
Best Paid Apps for iOS
Pay It Forward is developed on the act of being kind. Kindness is a tested way to reduce stress. And it helps you build meaningful relationships. You’ll be part of a community, which believes in the principles of generosity.
Gratitude Journal helps you reflect on things you’re grateful for. It’ll help you reach a higher determination, motivation, enthusiasm, and energy. You can register specific times of the day and take pictures to help with visualization.
Pocket Yoga uses yoga exercises to help you relax and relieve stress. You can search through single exercises or build routines. Mix up different yoga styles and establish the difficulty levels.
The Mindfulness App allows you to select from a list of 5 different guided meditation sessions. You can either listen to relaxing music or white noise and nature sounds.