In spite of the Biden-Harris inauguration offering something in the way of distraction (and hope), we are still living through incredibly stressful times as a result of coronavirus. With little else to do for entertainment, we are glued to our phones more than ever. While this probably does not help the spike in anxiety, at least our phones can provide some positive effects on our sleep, mood and mental health. Headspace has forged the way for mindfulness apps, but it's not the only one out there. See below for our curation of the alternatives, and let the brain cleansing begin.
Tell me more: It’s OK to not feel OK. And if you’re feeling lost and detached from yourself, we could not recommend Paradym more. It acts as a (virtual) life coach, guiding users through the chapters (each one 10 minutes) of content, from educating the user on the ‘why’ behind their psychological behaviour to presenting the user with a series of simple reflective exercises. Designed in line with Medical Research Council (MRC) framework, the app is an evidence-informed mental health intervention tool and builds on the foundational premise that emotional identity is the key to relationships, productivity and wellbeing.
Tell me more: Will lockdown ever end? For those suffering with cabin fever, Portal is a useful resource. From waves crashing on a beach to the rustle of palm trees and log fires in Switzerland, this app takes you to another place entirely and helps you chill out via the means of ambient sound. It also features guided meditation exercises to help you sleep, focus and relax. Yes please to all the above.
Listen: Happy Not Perfect
Tell me more: What am I doing? Where am I going? WHO AM I? This mindfulness app, founded by TV presenter and accessories designer, turned techpreneur, Poppy Jamie has useful exercises such as ‘compassion challenges’ to get you out of a ‘meh’ funk, asking you questions such as “what would you tell a friend experiencing the same thing as you?”
Listen: Insight Timer
Tell me more: This app has won awards for its approach to online mediation, which brings together expert advice in managing stress, reducing anxiety and calming the mind. It’s particularly ideal for those who need to squeeze sessions into a busy schedule, as short meditations can be selected based on the amount of time you have, making it easier to do them on the go.
Tell me more: Another app that fits into a full-on routine is Buddhify, which breaks down sessions into different sections of the day, meaning that it’s always possible to find relevant exercises. This includes a segment dedicated to work life, offering guided meditations that provide relaxing interludes (whether on the commute or at your desk) in the midst of a stressful day.
Tell me more: Colouring as a medium for mindfulness has been recognised for a while now, elevating it from childhood pursuit to gratifying and distracting adult activity. Colorfy takes doodling off paper and into the digital sphere, where you can lose yourself for hours of colouring in geometric patterns and pictures (or your own sketches, for extra artistic kudos).