BY JESSICA REDWINE
Everyone struggles with stress, some more than others. And as the mercury rises outside, you may find that tempers are flaring inside as well. When you’re stressed, sad, or in any way upset, it can be easy to let it eat away at you. But no more! Technology comes to the rescue, and never has the saying been truer: “There’s an app for that.”
Here are the best mental health apps for when you need to find your focus (and your chill).
1. Stop, Breathe, & Think-Free
This meditation app is geared for those who are just starting to learn how to meditate. It will walk you through simple breathing exercises that fit in your schedule. Choose how you’re feeling, and the app will direct you to a meditation that will bring you back to your center. You don’t have to be a guru to figure out the intuitive user interface and bring a little peace to your life.
2. 7 Cups-Free
Let’s just be honest: therapy can be expensive. And with our busy schedules, sometimes meeting with a professional isn’t an option. 7 Cups of Tea, originally a well-reviewed website, has moved to the smartphone. Speak with trained listeners (not therapists) and talk through your problems with someone who’s there to hear you out, no matter what. And if you’re looking for a professional therapist, you can connect with one through the app who can work with your schedule. Get the help you need to heal.
3. Breathing Zone-$3.99
If you just need to take a moment to focus your breathing, look no further than the Breathing Zone app. With easy to understand breathing guides, this app will help you focus on your breath and become more in tune with your body. Follow the visual cues or close your eyes and listen to a male or female speaker walk you through a simple, calming breathing exercise.
If you’re one of the many people who loves the sound of rain and thunderstorms, you’ll adore Thunderspace. This app uses 360 degrees of sound recorded during real thunderstorms from different parts of the world. Listen to the sounds of rain hitting a lush rainforest, or relax to the sound of thunder rolling through the desert. There are options for everyone. This app is great for those who need to focus during the day or need a little help getting to sleep. Bonus: The company that created Thunderspace also created another app called Windy that plays relaxing the sound of, you guessed it, wind.
5. Relax Melodies-Free (with the option for a premium subscription)
If you’re the kind of person that needs sound in order to sleep or focus, Relax Melodies is a great option for you. Customize the sounds you want to hear from a staggering variety of options, ranging from the hum of insects to the clack of a train rolling over the tracks. In addition, this app utilizes binaural beats, an assortment of frequencies thought to affect the brain in different ways.
These days, adult coloring books are all the rage. They’re credited with soothing stressed minds and calming frazzled nerves. But if carrying around a coloring book and pencils seems a bit too childish, look no further than your phone. Pigment is a great coloring app with lots of different images to color. Simply tap to place color and use the different tools to make a piece of digital art that is all your own. Or, if you want something more like real coloring, use the tools to fill in the spaces all by yourself.
7. Headspace-Free (with the option for a premium subscription)
HeadSpace is the talk of the town right now, and with good reason. It provides guided meditation focused on subjects like relationships, sports, or general anxiety. The guided meditations are invaluable and the speakers are wonderful to listen to. It’s easy to find a meditation that will fit your exact needs, and you’ll never need to sit through a session and only hope that it will help your mental state.