Modern life is all busy, busy and stress with little time for much else. It's important to remember to take time out and find some moments of peace to ensure you stay happy and mentally healthy. These apps are convenient and can help you become more zen.

For the sceptics: Headspace

What is it:

Headspace has been around since 2010 with one simple goal: “to teach the world to meditate so that everyone can live a happier healthier life”.

They engage in all kinds of scientific research to ensure their guides are as helpful as possible.

The Headspace ethos is centred around the following: focus more, stress less, smile more, sleep better, love better, listen better, eat better.

 

Best bits:

To set you off on your meditation journey, Headspace offers a wonderful free feature: Take 10. It challenges you to take ten minutes out of your day for ten consecutive days so you can begin to feel the benefits of meditation. It's certainly one for the sceptics, who can choose to leave it if they feel it isn't for them (although we're convinced at RD HQ).

From here users can opt to continue with a subscription, which then offers a further understanding of meditation, as well as getting into specific meditations surrounding health, relationships and motivation.

 

Drawbacks:

The subscription is a little pricey, although buying over a year or more will provide a decent discount. Plus it would make an excellent gift for any stress heads out there!

 

What the users say:

“I have been using Headspace for nearly two years now and would heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to meditate on specifics affecting their lives.”

Available for both Android and iPhone.

 

A solid night’s sleep: Digipill

Digipill for a good night's sleep

What is it:

Within the Digipill app is a ‘pill store’ which allows you to purchase various recordings to help you with various ailments.

It uses psychoacoustics—which is a scientific study of sound, particularly speech and music—with the aim of tapping into your subconscious in order to change your perceptions. 

I can almost hear the sceptics among you sighing, but wait…

 

Best bits:

Among the pills prescribed for peace of mind, motivation, and smoking habits, is ‘Sleep Deeply’. Reviews on iTunes and Google Play are full of rave reviews for its effectiveness.

A calm voice soothes and eases your breathing and utters suggestive language alongside peaceful music and sounds. The listener is fully absorbed in a soundscape that gently leads to the land of nod.

 

Drawbacks:

Although ‘Sleep Deeply’ is effective, some of the other, more expensive pills seem to play on people’s desires and insecurities. Soundscapes like ‘Mind of a Genius’, 'Babe Magnet’, and ‘Slim to Thin’, rouse the sceptics and are probably more effective for those who believe in hypnosis. But the sleep pill works!

 

What the users say:

“Every night I toss and turn unable to sleep for hours but since I got this app I'd be out within 5 minutes. Not only that but I am not disturbed until morning. I've never before experienced such solid, quality rest and I recommend anyone to try it.”

Available for both Android and iPhone.

 

A moment’s peace wherever: Buddhify

Buddhify app from meditation

What is it:

Buddhify is a meditation app specifically designed to fit in around your lifestyle. Unlike other apps, where you generally need to be alone or in a quiet space, this app takes into consideration the variety of places you may encounter stress, and the variety of activities one might find meditative.

 

Best bits:

There are 80 custom options, you can use this app at work, while eating, or taking a walk. You can choose the duration of your meditation, you can even delve in and begin to understand it more completely.

It may be slightly less comprehensive than some other meditation apps, but if you want flexibility and an affordable app look no further.

 

Drawbacks:

Perhaps one of the reasons it is possible to do shorter meditations is because of the pace of the speaker. There isn’t as much time to focus the mind and breath when the speaker talks so quickly. In this case, opt for the longer meditations.

 

What the users say:

“Great as an introduction to mindfulness meditation, as it encourages applying mindfulness to everyday activities, such as walking, travelling, waiting etc by following the guided meditations. Solo practice is possible too.”

Available for both Android and iPhone.

 

Someone to talk to: 7 Cups of Tea

7 Cups of Tea calming app

What is it:

Therapy can be an expensive treatment, some people simply cannot afford it yet need someone to talk to and that’s where 7 Cups of Tea comes in. This is a community-based app which means it’s free to sign up, it relies on public volunteers to be listeners, and for others to talk.

It is secure and anonymous to use.

 

Best bits:

This app is all about community. You can chat as a part of a group, or if looking for something a little more confidential you can go into a one-on-one chat.

The best bit about this is that you don’t have to pluck up the courage to actually talk, you can type it out and there will always be an active listener online ready to offer support.

Anyone can sign up to be a listener and volunteers are put through an online course and series of tests before being accepted.

 

Drawbacks:

Although 7 Cups of Tea trains its listeners, quality cannot always be assured. The listeners are rated, so it’s worthwhile trying to browse for a higher rated one otherwise you may encounter some not so helpful advice.

 

What the users say:

“As a listener and a standard member, this has helped me in so many ways. I can honestly say that the listeners are all incredibly kind and loving. If you in any way what to talk to someone who cares but aren't sure about therapy, this is a must have.“

 

Sort out your breathing: Breathe2Relax

Breathe2relax app to help destress

What is it:

Breathe2Relax describes itself as a portable stress management tool. It makes use of something called diaphragmatic breathing. This is a deep breathing technique commonly used in complementary and alternative medicine.

 

Best bits:

The practice of breathing to reduce stress is so simple it's surprising we don't regulate or bodies to do it naturally. But it's OK that we don't because this app can take you through it and find ways to relieve most internal stresses.

Breathing techniques can be adopted anywhere and generally don’t require the silent spaces that meditation requires.

It can also be used alongside treatments directed by health workers. 

 

Drawbacks:

The design leaves a lot to be desired, reminiscent of the pre-iOS7 iPhone update, but it's functionality over style as far as this app is concerned.

 

What the users say:

“This has helped me immensely in calming down my deep obsessive thoughts and past memories. I feel a lot more tranquil, alert and accepting of my circumstances than ever before.“

Available for both Android and iPhone.

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