Illustration I @sophiemoates
In a pattern of indecision? Have an unhealthy relationship with your phone? Questioning your purpose? We get that modern living can feel relentless, but fear not: in the words of the late, great professor Louise Wilson “the problem contains the fucking solution”. If we can't switch off entirely, then 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 there is a wealth out there to try. To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, see our curation of the alternatives putting the tools for a more mindful life into our pockets. Let the brain cleansing begin.
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 yourself 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, which offers guided meditations to give 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).