10 apps to help you deal with pandemic stress and anxiety

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(WDTN) – Apps for dealing with stress have grown more popular with the rise of the smartphone, many of with exercises or guides to help you de-stress. The most popular focus on mindfulness training and meditation, but others feature quick ways to get help. For panic and anxiety attacks, see your doctor, but you can use these popular apps to help you relax:

Stop, Breathe and Think

Free on iOS and Android, 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. It offers several ways to benefit people looking for some stress relief: a daily check-in to get a gauge on your stress level and how you’re feeling physically, and a variety of ambient and guided exercises.

Stop, Breathe and Think Kids

Free on iOS, the kids’ version of Stop, Breathe and Think spends less time juggling the interface, with less complicated daily check-ins. There’s little instruction involved, and simplicity is a plus. The app is tailored to simple, present emotional states, and it’s easy for kids to operate. The app has a subscription component for $11.99 a month, but it has an abundance of free exercises.

Calm

Available with subscription content on iOS and Android, Calm is one of the most-used apps for dealing with anxiety or stress. It has guided mindfulness and meditation exercises and “sleep stories” from celebrities like LeBron James, Eva Green, and Matthew McConaughey. It also has a more focused approach to dealing with anxiety in the moment. Calm also works with the Apple Watch.

Ambi Pro

Priced at $1.99 for iOS, Ambi Pro specializes in ambient music, using algorithms to change tracks instead of looped recordings. 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.

Headspace

Available on iOS and Android, Headspace has free specific sessions for moments of panic, anxiety, and stress. There are also quick two- to three-minute meditation sessions, and special animations that teach skills and answer questions about mindfulness. 

Breathe2Relax

Free for iOS and Android, Breathe2Relax shows how diaphragmatic breathing reduces anxiety and stress while keeping you calm. The app focuses on breathing rather than meditation or mindfulness training, guiding users through breath exercises with support for the Apple Watch Health app. 

Colorfly

Available on iOS and Android with in-app purchases, Colorfly rides the trend of grown-up coloring as relaxation tools. Colorfly features 1,000 different pictures to color, works offline, and shares expert coloring projects on social media. 

Smiling Mind

Free on iOS and Android, Smiling Mind 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.

Solitaire

Free on iOS, Android, and Windows, the ubiquitous game is considered a stress-buster by many. If you aren’t into mindfulness, ambient noises or meditation, Solitaire is a go-to for anyone wanting a few minutes away from whatever has them stressed.

Buddhify

$4.99 on iOS and $2.99 on Android, Buddhify comes 80 guided meditations in mindfulness training that can help you deal with occurring and reoccurring stress.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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