We love that mental health is making a comeback — especially when it means that people are finally starting to talk about anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety affects just over 18 percent of American adults, making it the most common mental illness in the country. Unfortunately, as much as we’d love to use coloring books for stress or practice stress relieving yoga poses, anxiety doesn’t always have our feelings in mind and often hits when we’re not safe and cozy at home. For anyone dealing with anxiety on-the-go, we’ve got 12 apps that will help you find a little more zen throughout your busy day.
1. Calm: Simple and easy-to-use, this meditation app is the perfect remedy for a sudden anxiety spell. With over 25 calming sounds — like rain on leaves and a crackling fireplace — it’s just the soothing background noise you need to get through the workday. Plus, it comes with a ton of free meditation programs to really set your mind at ease.
2. Colorfy: It’s no secret that coloring books have made a huge pop culture splash as the new, trendy anti-stress miracle cure. But who really has the space or willpower to lug around a full pack of pencil crayons and a chunky coloring book with them? That’s where Colorfy comes in. With dozens of free coloring pages, it’s a convenient way to make use of this popular mindful activity for stress relief on-the-move.
3. Essence — Breathing Relaxation: When you’re having an anxiety attack, it can be extremely difficult to keep your breathing in check. Luckily, this minimalist app makes it easier to breathe deeply with the proven 4-7-8 method.
DL it: Free on iOS
4. White Noise Ambience Lite: Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid chaos, whether that’s a crowded 8am bus or a hectic day at the office. This free white noise app is great for tuning it all out and comes with tons of different sounds to soothe your anxious mind.
DL it: Free on iOS
5. Pacifica: Whatever you need to calm your anxiety, this app has it. From tracking your mood to setting daily goals and chatting with other users who understand the struggle, it’s an all-in-one stop for online anxiety relief.
6. Headspace: If you want to learn about meditation but are a little put off by the complex YouTube videos and professional lessons, this is the app for you. Just ten minutes a day lets you understand the basics and develop your fundamental skills one step at a time. Plus, their one-time meditations are conveniently targeted for mini meltdowns and mindfulness on-the-go.
7. Personal Zen: Although this app might seem like another data-wasting game at first glance, it’s actually a clinically proven way to reduce anxiety. Developed by a professor of psychology and neuroscience, the game is instantly engaging and reduces anxiety within minutes. Trust us.
DL it: Free on iOS
8. Seven-Minute Workout: Working out is a great way to cut stress, but most people just can’t spare an hour every time they feel anxious. Using nothing more than a chair, a wall and your own body weight, this series of seven-minute workouts (yes, you read that right) can be tailored to whatever helps you relieve the most stress — talk about a productive lunch break.
9. Happify: Short quizzes, games and activities make this app ideal for anyone trying to ditch the crying face emoji for a toothy grin. More of a long-term program, this app has been scoring some amazing feedback on the App Store, with most people saying that they feel significantly happier in just two months after using the app.
10. Diaro: Writing down your feelings when anxiety strikes can be a great way to target your triggers and learn how to be more mindful of them looking back. But getting lost in a mishmash of random notes is a pain in the butt, and bringing a physical journal everywhere we go just seems a little too impractical. This virtual diary is the perfect middle ground — it even sports a security code to make sure that all your entries are private and secure.
11. Muse: Okay, this wearable might look a tad bit dorky, but its benefits are totally worth the extra headgear. By putting on the headband tech and syncing to the app, this wearable measures your brain activity and gives you feedback on your meditation in real time. Just like other wearables, you can set goals for yourself and track your progress all on the free app — just be warned, the Muse Band itself will cost you a pretty penny to own at $249.
12. The Mindfulness App: This isn’t just another mediation app — it’s the meditation app. With meditations that range from silent studies to instructions from the world’s most influential teachers, it’s definitely worth the two bucks for anxiety relief on the go.
Do you have a favorite app to reduce anxiety? Tweet us your suggestions by mentioning @BritandCo.