10 apps to help you deal with stress and anxiety during COVID-19 outbreak

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Apps for dealing with stress have grown more popular with the rise of the smartphone, many of which have exercises or guides to help you de-stress. The most popular focus on mindfulness training and meditation but there are others that feature quick ways to get some help. Here are 10 popular apps currently available:

(If you’re experiencing greater than normal stress or anxiety, please contact a physician).

  1. Stop Breathe and Think (free on iOS and Android with subscription content). This was one of the first and continues to be one of the most popular mindfulness and meditation apps available. It’s available on iTunes and Google Play. The app works in several ways that could benefit people looking for some stress relief, whether it’s COVID-19 related or not. It features a daily check-in to get a gauge on your stress level and how you’re feeling physically. Or you can go straight to selecting a variety of exercises whether its ambient music or guided.
  2. Stop, Breathe and Think Kids (free on iOS with subscription content). This app is much like Stop, Breathe and Think except it’s focused on children, with less time juggling the interface and the daily check-in is less complicated. There’s little instruction involved and simplicity is a plus. The app is more tailored to current emotional states, according to the website psyberguide.org website than other apps and it’s easy to operate by kids. The app has a subscription component for $11.99 a month, but it has an abundance of free exercises. There’s not much in the way of explanation, it gets to down to business with the exercises. 
  3. Calm App (free or 7-day trial on iOS and Android with subscription content). The Calm App and the Stop, Breathe and Think app are the two most used amps for dealing with anxiety or stress. It has far fewer free options than the Stop, Breathe and Think app, but it also has additional options if you pay the subscription. There are guided mindfulness and meditation exercises as well as ‘sleep stories’ from celebrities like LeBron James, Eva Green and Matthew McConaughey it also has a more focused approach on dealing with anxiety in the moment. Both apps use many of the same meditation and mindfulness techniques. The app also works with the Apple Watch and is more visually appealing than Stop, Breathe and Think. 
  4. Ambi Pro ($1.99 for iOS). Ambi Pro specializes in ambient music, using algorithms to change tracks instead of recordings that are looped. The app also blends tracks together so one doesn’t end abruptly. For those who relax with music or the sound of nature, this is considered a top app.
  5. Headspace (free with subscriptions available iOS and Android): Headspace has free specific sessions for moments of panic, anxiety and stress. There are also quick 2-3 minute meditation sessions and special animations that teach skills and answer questions about mindfulness. 
  6. Breathe2Relax (Free for iOS and Android): To quote MakeUseOf.com, “Breathing from our diaphragm has shown to reduce anxiety and stress while helping you stay calm.” And there’s an app for that – Breathe2Relax – which focuses on breathing rather than meditation or mindfulness training. The app guides users through breathing exercises and it offers support for the Apple Watch Health app. 
  7. Colorfly (free for iOS and Android with subscriptions and in-app purchases). Some adults have taken in the recent trend of grown-up coloring books to relax. Now those are available on Colorfly and other apps. Colorfly features 1,000 different pictures to color, is capable of use offline and you can share your coloring expertise on social media through the app. 
  8. Smiling Mind (free on iOS and Android): Smiling Mind is free – no subscriptions, no in-app purchases – and is built specifically for children and adults seeking to deal with daily stress. The app is based on mindfulness courses that train people to deal with stress in the classroom or workplace.
  9. Solitaire (free on iOS, Android and Windows) – Solitaire, the ubiquitous game app that’s accompanied PC computers for three decades, is considered a stress-buster by man. If you aren’t into mindfulness, ambient noises or meditation, Solitaire is a go-to for people wanting a few minutes away from whatever it is that has them stressed
  10. Buddhify ($4.99 on iOS and $2.99 on Android): Buddhify gets past the barriers of trying to figure out what’s free and what’s paid by requiring payment upfront. But with it comes 80 guided meditations in mindfulness training that can help you deal with occurring or re-occurring stress. 

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