I’ve reviewed dozens of stress-reducing, relaxation apps. Here are a few of my favorites. And the best part… they’re all free! It’s time to turn your smartphone into a device that promotes positive thinking.
Stop, Breathe, & Think
For this app, you have to practice patience. I’ll be the first to admit that this is not one of my best virtues, but I’m trying. The app first asks “How are you?” and encourages you to check in with yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. It then suggests a series of meditations to choose from, each approximately 5 minutes long.
For those who prefer a spiritual practice in times of stress, enjoy a daily reflective prayer retreat whenever you need it most with a 3-minute retreat, featuring soothing music, verses from Scripture, and questions to ponder.
365 Happy Days
This app allows you to set a daily, weekly, or monthly notification to receive motivational quotes or daily activities that will help you to live a happier life. Today, I was reminded to help another person because “no kind act is ever too small.”
This app will encourage you to answer the question “What am I truly grateful for in my life?” Create a daily entry and list anything you are thankful for that day. Choose a photo to represent that day! The calendar view shows all of your “gratefulness photos” at one time. There is a $1.99 option as well, which includes additional features.
While originally created for Veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, this app can benefit anyone. It includes 9 practices ranging from 5 to 10 minutes in length that will help to increase mindfulness. The practices can be audio guided or self-guided.
Here’s another app designed for Veterans and Service members, but honestly, it can be used by anyone. It’s an educational and life coaching program that teaches tools and skills to cope with difficult issues. My favorite part is the “Assessment” section, which includes a Problem-Solving Style Quiz and a How-Stressed-Am-I-Now? Quiz. It also tracks your stress over the months in a nifty little graph. The app also includes various relaxation and visualization exercises to help reduce stress.
Today, this app asked me a question (a gentle reminder)… “What have you done for yourself lately?” The app allows you to create a menu of suggested activities to generate more happiness and create a sense of wellbeing and balance in life. A few suggestions include doing yoga, writing a blog entry [check], and uncluttering your life. With the free version, you can choose 5 items to work on, but for $2.99, you’ll have access to unlimited activities.
This app is all about meditation. Step #1… Watch a few animations (like this one called Blue Sky) that demonstrate how our minds work – the dynamics of our minds – and how meditation can create a calming, natural space of rest. The app refers to the meditation process as Take10 — 10 minutes of meditating for 10 days. Easy, right? Did I mention that patience isn’t my strong suit? I’ll work on it.
Move aside Facebook! This fun, social gratitude app helps you find new ways to be happier and promotes collecting (and sharing) happy moments! Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the negativity on other social networking sites, but with Happier, there’s always a bright side. There are Happier Courses like Yoga to Go, Everyday Grateful, and Meditation Vacation. And everyday there’s a new challenge and a happier tip. *Check out Nataly Kogan’s TEDx Talk about sharing joy through her innovative app.
*Activity: In the comments, share a happy moment in your life (big or small).