These 5 Apps are some of my favorites for calming my jets when I’m stressed or anxious! They’re available for ios and android. . .and best of all, they’re FREE!! Now that’s what I’m talking ’bout!
Calm is one of the top apps for promoting mindfulness and meditation. With breathing programs, guided meditations, and changeable sounds and scenes, the app offers a variety options for the beginner or the experienced. Meditations are available in sessions of 3- 25 minutes each so that you can choose a program based on the amount of time that you have on any given day. Calm offers a free and a paid version to use for mindful breathing and for meditation and has programs for specific challenge areas such as calming anxiety, managing stress, achieving deep sleep, self-esteem and lots more. Calm even offers sleep stories—adult bedtime stories that the app guarantees will have you drifting off to Dream Land.
The app allows the user to set a mindfulness reminder so that you never miss a day. It tracks your stats including: Your longest streak of days meditating; The longest time meditating in one session; and Your total number of sessions to date. You can even share your stats with others or save them to your smart phone.
The free version has a number of great options, but a ton more programs and options are offered on the premium version from $4.99/month for the annual subscription, $12.99/month for the monthly version if you don’t want to commit to a year, and $299.99 for the lifetime option if you start using it and realize that this is something that you never want to be without
The National Center for Telehealth and Technology for the Department of Defense designed this free app to promote resilience and recovery for servicemen. Diaphragmatic breathing (Belly Breathing) is one of the most basic tools for reducing anxiety and other overwhelming emotions quickly. Check out my blog on Belly Breathing for more information on why this tool works!
The app offers videos to teach the skill and give you some great information of how stress affects the body. It allows the user to pick a relaxing scene to focus on with sound and allows the user the choice to pay or not play relaxing background music, instructions, and/or a breathing metronome.
In addition, the user can set inhale length, exhale length and number of breathing cycles. You can even track your stress level before and after sessions to see how your body is reacting over time.
- Virtual Hope Box
I recently found this FREE gem while looking for virtual coping kits for my clients. I LOVE THIS APP!! Feeling overwhelmed, depressed, irritable, out of sorts? There’s an app for that! Virtual Hope Box offers an area for you to distract yourself from emotions that are taking a negative toll, an area with free guided meditations, breathing, and muscle relaxation, and an area to get inspired by some cool quotes that are sure to put things into perspective. My favorite tool, however, is the Coping Tools section which allows you to create your own Coping Cards. Ever learn a great technique for calming that overwhelm, for example, but couldn’t remember it when tensions were high? That’s pretty common since our brains aren’t meant to think clearly and our problem-solving areas are essentially turned off in times of stress. That’s where these cards shine. Just enter the problem area, the emotion or symptom that comes up that you want to control, and the coping skill you learned. When you are in the midst of a challenging emotion, just go to the app and flip to the card that you need, and voila, instant calm. . . well, maybe not instant. . .but a lot better. There’s even an activity planner to plan for self-care activities. . .you can even invite your friends directly from the app.
- Colorfly: Coloring Book for Adults
Color away your stress with this coloring app. Be creative even if you don’t think you have a creative bone in your body. Free and Premium options of gorgeous masterpieces with loads or colors and gradients. Save or share your finished pieces or save uncolored versions to your photos to print and color by hand. Mandalas, masterpieces, line art, and everything in between.
You can also print from Colorfly if you’d prefer to color by hand, or you can save and print out the FREE TEEN and Adult Coloring Pages on my website. I add new ones constantly.
- OMG, I Can Meditate
Offers a 7-day meditation challenge and a bunch of other guided meditations for free with the option of loads more Premium content covering such series as Feeling Happier, Stress Less, Weight Loss, and Mindfulness & Social Media. The app offers FREE meditations for kids, teens, and tweens (and adults too!). Under the Teen section, for example are free meditations that can help with focusing for tests, reducing anxiety, and self-esteem. Kids age 6-9 will find FREE, age-appropriate exercises that help with focus and calming.
Bonus: Download my FREE meditation and mindfulness audios here! While you’re at it check out other FREE tools and resources. Questions? Feel free to contact me here.
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