7 Apps To Help You Manage Stress & Anxiety

Felix Yim

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Everybody suffers from stress and anxiety from time to time. While some of us may be better at disguising the toll it takes on our mood and mental health, it none-the-less affects us all. Between family, friends, and work, sometimes stress is unavoidable. The trick to keeping stress and anxiety from adversely affecting your mental health in the long-term isn't avoiding it completely (more often that just hides it), but rather learning how to manage it and take care of yourself when stressful and anxious situations arise.

Technology has brought many wonderful improvements to our everyday lives, from making it a breeze to keep in touch with friends and family to ordering food in an instant after a long day, and health is no exception. With wearable fitness trackers, digital records tracking, and tailored workout routines, it's easier than ever before to keep on top of our physical well being. But what about our mental health?

Just like physical wellbeing, the best thing for your mental health when something is wrong is to seek professional help—you wouldn't ask your smartphone to set a broken bone and likewise shouldn't expect it to be a cure-all for your mental wellbeing. Just like we use apps and smart technology to help keep us healthy in a preventive way, and alert us when an unhealthy trend may be developing, we can benefit from mental health apps to help us keep on top of the everyday stress and anxieties before they build-up into something more serious.

Headspace

The idea behind headspace is a simple one: the happier you are the less stressed you will likely feel. Headspace helps you start each day with a short series of inspiring and uplifting videos, before continuing on to provide activities and relaxing guided meditations throughout the day to help to stay feeling upbeat. Finally, it wraps everything up with some tranquil and sleep-inducing music from top composers and artists around the world to help you drift off for a good night's sleep—a vital element to feeling more relaxed and stress-free.

Cost: Free with Optional Subscription

Platform: App Store / Google Play

Daylio Journal

Daylio Journal is all about introspection and progress. Rather than focussing on teaching you how to handle your stress and anxiety—there are already a number of great options for that—Daylio Journal's goal is to offer a streamlined way for you to report and record your moods, thoughts, and feelings on a regular and ongoing basis.

Cost: Free with In-App Purchases

Platform: App Store / Google Play

Stress & Anxiety Companion

Stress & Anxiety Companion is an easy to use app to help guide you through the steps of managing stress and anxiety levels when they start to rise. Incorporating CBT techniques, the app offers a range of different ways including interactive breathing exercises, audio guides, written material to aid you in de-stressing and relaxing. It is also officially endorsed by the British NHS.

Cost: Free with Optional Subscription

Platform: App Store / Google Play

DARE - Break Free From Anxiety

DARE is an all-round app solution to help you get a handle on anxiety and panic attacks. Based on the popular and best selling book by the same title, it incorporates a number of lessons and guides in audio format to help you work through even the toughest of panic and anxiety-inducing situations. It also includes helpful advice on overcoming stress and anxiety-induced insomnia, and a helpful mood journal to keep track of your progress.

Cost: Free with Optional Subscription

Platform: App Store / Google Play

Calm

Calm is all about promoting overall, long-term mental health and well being. Endorsed by numerous mental health professionals, it's series of guided meditation sessions and relaxing bedtime stories, told by the likes of Stephen Fry, Matthew McConaughey, and Bob Ross, are sure to help you lower your overall stress and anxiety levels. It has exercises and mindfulness sessions designed to help you cope with whatever life throws your way from work life to home life, relationships to self-esteem, and helpful advice on how to break bad habits that may be contributing to your stress and anxiety.

Cost: Free with In-App Purchases

Platform: App Store / Google Play

Moodnotes

Moodnotes is a collaboration between the ever-talented design experts ustwo and clinical psychologists to offer you a way to identify patterns and stressing factors over a period of time. Moodnotes doesn't offer a quick-fix to anxiety and stress, but with regular use, it will help you to learn more about yourself and how to reduce and eliminate the factors and thoughts that add extra stress and anxiety to your life through CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) techniques. Android users should check out Daylio Journal, also on this list, as a similar alternative.

Cost: Free with Optional Subscription

Platform: App Store

Prune

This entry is a bit different to the others on the list as it isn't specifically targeted at providing help with stress and anxiety, but it is a none-the-less worthy mention. Prune is a meditative experience in the form of a simple puzzle game. The goal is to grow your tree towards the light by careful pruning of the excess branches. With the metaphoric premise of pruning branches holding you back combined with the tranquil graphics and music, Prune is a perfect way to take a few minutes to relax and destress.

Cost: $5.99

Platform: App Store / Google Play

Unlike applying a bandage to a cut, a universal treatment, the best treatment methods for mental health vary with the individual. When it comes to finding the best app to help deal with unwanted stress and anxiety, some experimentation is likely going to be required, trying out different offerings to find what works best for you. For that reason, many of the entries in this article provide a very similar service, but each with their own unique take. Don't be discouraged if the first option you try doesn't feel right for you; continue to try a few different offerings or even consider blending a couple together for different days and stress levels.

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Felix is the founder of Society of Speed, an automotive journal covering the unique lifestyle of supercar owners. Alongside automotive journalism, Felix recently graduated from university with a finance degree and enjoys helping students and other young founders grow their projects.

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