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The best apps to help you relax and reduce stress

Derek Walter | June 22, 2016
Instead of only stressing you out, your phone really can help you get some peace if you use the right apps and strategies.

Stop, Breathe, & Think: Meditate

Yes, that’s the name of the app, in fact, and I liked the simplicity and good design of this one. Like the others, you go through 10-minute meditation sessions. (What’s up with this ten minute thing? Clearly it’s the magic number in the world of meditation.)

stop breathe think
Stop, Breathe, and Think offers many different themes for focused meditation.

I did find the voice in Stop, Breathe, & Think: Meditate to be a little robotic. OK, so not everyone can hire a great voiceover artist, but there should have been some more inflection to make the whole session feel more natural. 

But the big differentiator was all the focused sessions on items like falling asleep or mindful breathing. They coach you through these specific areas of focus—though I find just about any of them would be decent enough for helping you go down for the night.

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There are plenty of good tutorials and background material to introduce you to this world of mindfulness.

There’s plenty of good background material and specialization, though I feel like sometimes all you need is some time to be quiet and think instead of always being soothed with the sounds of nature or talked through a life skill. However, I did appreciate that instead of a subscription model you can just buy a particular package, which is $2 each.

The service also works in a dedicated web app, so you can try it out now if in the browser if you’d rather.

So is this worth it?

Deciding to fork over money for a subscription unfortunately isn’t a rare decision these days. The good news is all of these apps give you ample time to test out their take on meditation to see if it’s worth it.

If nothing else, my mindset shifted from thinking this was pretty weird, to instead that maybe there’s a lot more to this whole mindfulness thing. I can’t promise that I’ll start faithfully meditating 10 minutes a day, but I do believe there’s value in unplugging and giving your mind some space, even as much as I love technology tools. So I recommend you give at least one of these apps a try, as you might be surprised that your phone may actually be a tool to help you relax.


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