The Complete Guide to Stress Relieving Apps

There’s no question technology has greatly improved the quality of our lives in immeasurable ways. And while it seems like a new app is developed every five minutes, there are so many apps that greatly improve our well-being.

If you struggle to deal with stress, it may be having a significant impact on your mental health, but you may find yourself without enough time to do what is necessary to find some balance. While seeing a professional therapist or psychologist is an ideal solution, you may also find some apps you can use for daily support that can supplement or enhance your treatment.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best apps available to help relieve stress. From meditation and relaxation apps to sleep support and journaling, there’s something for every mood or taste.

meditating girl icon

Meditation

man meditating in nature

The ancient art of meditation is the process of developing the habit of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. Often times it’s our thoughts about things that cause us more stress than the things themselves. Learning to redirect and quiet your mind can have tremendous healing and stress relieving benefits. These are the most highly rated meditation apps available.

mindfulness app logo

The Mindfulness App - Meditation

mindfulness meditation app screenshot

iPhone | Android

With five star ratings, this meditation app works well for beginners or more advanced practitioners, and can be integrated with other health apps. Begin your practice with 5 minutes of meditation a day, followed by mindfulness reminders throughout the day. Premium services include 250+ meditations and courses, by some of the world’s most renowned teachers. As the gold standard of meditation apps, you’ll find all the fundamental tools to achieving more balance throughout your day.

calm app logo

Calm

Calm app screenshot

iPhone | Android

Voted “App of the Year” by Apple in 2017, and “Happiest App in the World” by Center for Humane Technology, Calm provides guided meditation, relaxation stories, and breathing exercises, all to help reduce stress. Guided meditations range from 3 to 25 minutes, so you can pick the length that fits best with your schedule. It even features a “Kids” section to help foster childhood mindfulness.

Headspace app logo

Headspace

Headspace app screenshot

iPhone | Android  

Headspace is a great tool for beginners in meditation, with a free basics course teaching the fundamental techniques of mindfulness and meditation. With a subscription you can choose from their meditation library, utilize the SOS tool in the moment for panic or anxiety, and get a better night’s rest with their new sleep experience. The playful graphics and interface of a whimsical element to your new meditation practice.

Buddhify app logo

Buddhify

Buddhify app screenshot

iPhone | Android

Buddhify offers a depth of meditation in the free format, with an affordable monthly subscription expanding the meditation library. It features over 200 guided meditations, easy to follow guide for any situation, from waking up and falling asleep, to on the go support with at work or walking meditations. They also features a kids section to help the little ones in your life with mindfulness. Find calm in any situation with Buddhify.

10% Happier app logo

10% Happier

10% Happier app screenshot

iPhone | Android

Designed for those skeptics unsure of how to integrate meditation in to their schedules, 10% Happier features some of the coolest most respected meditation teachers in the world. There is new content weekly to keep your practice fresh and quick exercises to fit into any busy schedule. You can even access guided meditations and videos offline with the premium services. If you’re seeking a clear, simple approach to meditation, this is the app for you.

Sattva Meditations & Mantra app logo

Sattva Meditations & Mantra

Sattva Meditations and Mantra app screenshot

iPhone

The perfect blend of old and new, Sattva is based in the ancient Vedic principles of meditation delivered by Sanskrit masters. Learn ancient mantras, and be guided by renowned meditation leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. It’s goal is to motivate you to meditate every day, including progress trackers and challenges to keep you on track. If differentiates itself from other meditation apps but thoroughly explaining the benefits of meditation on your well-being.

Stop, Breathe, and Think app logo

Stop, Breathe, and Think

Stop, Breathe, and Think app screenshot

iPhone | Android

With meditations tailored to a variety of needs from depression and anxiety to sleep and deepening compassion, Stop, Breathe, & Think expands on just offering guided meditations by allowing you to check in with your emotions for a tailored practice. It has expanded to include a journaling feature and journaling prompts. In addition to meditation is provides guidance on yoga and acupressure to enhance the meditation benefits.

sleeping person icon

Sleep & Relaxation

girl sleeping in bed

Stress can have a detrimental impact on sleep, causing insomnia and in turn increase stress. Beyond formal meditation there are a variety of apps available to help calm the mind through various techniques to fall asleep or simply relax. Whatever is keeping you up at night, these apps can help.

Sleep Well Hypnosis app logo

Sleep Well Hypnosis

Sleep Well Hypnosis app screenshot

Android

While guided meditation can certainly help calm the mind for sleep, Sleep Well uses Hypnosis audio calmly delivered by a certified hypnotist, and a sleep booster that induces your brainwave frequency into an optimal state for deep sleep. The free options will provide all you need to achieve restorative sleep, while the premium service, available through an affordable one-time purchase, includes the Sleep Booster and the option to expand the hypnosis options.

Pzizz app logo

Pzizz

Pzizz app screenshot

iPhone

Another unique approach to aiding in falling asleep, Pzizz is based in psychoacoustics, providing “dreamscapes” - a sleep optimizing mix of voice overs, music, and ambient sounds that change each night customized to your needs. This highly customizable, clinically validated program, offers nap and focus options beyond support for night time sleep. It also boasts some pretty popular fans, from J.K. Rowling to the Duke of York.

Relax Melodies app logo

Relax Melodies

Relax Melodies app screenshot

iPhone | Android

This combination ambient noise/ guided meditation tool, allows multiple levels of customization to design the perfect soundscape to falling asleep. The standard free version includes 50 relaxing sounds, while the premium version expands to over 100 including various white noise, nature, water, and music options. In addition to guided meditations to fall asleep, it also provides a bedtime timer, binaural beats, and isochronic tones, perfect for deep restful sleep.

Sleep Genius app logo

Sleep Genius

Sleep Genius app screenshot

iPhone | Android

The Sleep Genius app was created from decades of research to develop algorithms that trigger your brain into sleeping quicker, deeper and longer than ever before. They believe white noise programs can be detrimental to overcoming sleep issues and instead use the same neuroscience that helps NASA astronauts fall asleep by helping your brain get ready for sleep than guide it through each step in the sleep cycle, until you awake refreshed with a gentle alarm.

brain with waves icon

Mental Health

figure with brain regions drawn on

While an app certainly can’t replace the support a trained professional in mental health can provide you, it can certain supplement your treatment with daily support and coping tools between visits.

7 Cups app logo

7 Cups

6 Cups app screenshot

iPhone

Connection and feeling heard is an excellent resource for overcoming stress and anxiety. While a trained professional is best when dealing with serious mental health issues, sometimes you need additional support between sessions. Enter 7 Cups a chat based platform that anonymously connects you with trained volunteers for emotional and counseling support through listening. You can access a 1-on-1 listener anytime, gain support from chat rooms and forums, find calm with over 300 free mindfulness exercises, and learn and grown from the short video library. Your care is personalized with the free wellness test and you can access online massage therapy with a licensed therapist.

SuperBetter app logo

SuperBetter

SuperBetter app screenshot

iPhone

Consider SuperBetter your personal coach and cheerleader to encourage you to stay strong and develop resilience in a game structure. Teaching you to stay optimistic even against the greatest of life’s challenges, it’s powered by the science of games, positive psychology, and behavior change. From overcoming depression to developing new habits or achieving personal breakthrough goals, you’ll see proven results in just 10 days.  

Moodnotes app logo

Moodnotes

Moodnotes app screenshot

iPhone

This innovative approach to journaling helps you identify your mood and improve your thinking habits. In addition to mood tracking, it helps you avoid common “thinking traps”, and increase happiness by developing new perspectives. Founded in cognitive behavioral therapy and positive psychology, it will help improve your self-awareness of your mood and thinking patterns, empowering you to approach life’s stresses in a new way.

Moodpath app logo

Moodpath

Moodpath app screenshot

iPhone | Android

Moodpath empowers you to access your mental health, track and reflect on your mood, while learning to improve through audio and written exercises based on cognitive behavioral therapy. If you’re dealing with depression and or anxiety, Moodpath offers a place to reflect, and get information, encouragement, and guidance.

Pacifica app logo

Pacifica

Pacifica app screenshot

iPhone

This psychologist designed tool to address stress, anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation, and mood and health tracking. Featuring meditation exercises, guided self-help paths, mood tracker, daily challenges and goal tracking, health tracking, and a community to connect with peers, you can break the ongoing cycle of negative thoughts and achieve real progress one day at a time.

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