Six apps to cut life’s distractions and help you get more mindful.
You rely on your smartphone for just about everything. But if your apps are limited to games and social media, you’re missing out on some positive scrolling. There are a bunch of apps that can help you quiet your mind and find your personal zen. And that’s a good thing, says Kate Sciandra, author of The Mindfulness Habit. “Being more in tune with the here and now helps you pay better attention to things in your life that really need your focus. Being more mindful also helps you take everyday knocks in stride. It’s about participating more in life, not less.”
Curious? The following apps are a good place to start.
Day One (dayoneapp.com) Journaling is one of the best ways to clear your head and keep stress in check. Day One lets you ditch the pen and paper so you can write as you go, no matter where you are. Plus, you can add things like photos, current location and weather data into your entries. Need a reminder to journal? Day One can give you a nudge.
Flipd (flipdapp.co) If you’re constantly being distracted by games, social media and other apps on your phone, you’ll want to download Flipd. The app helps you disconnect by locking your screen for a set amount of time—it will hide social media apps and games—and it can remind you to stay on task. Bonus: You can track the time you’ve saved.
Headspace (headspace.com) This app is great for meditation newbies or those who are curious what all the buzz is about. You’ll be led through daily meditations in as little as 10 minutes. Start with the free Take 10 program, where you do a 10-day guided meditation, 10 minutes at a time; once you’ve completed it, you can subscribe, unlocking more features and options. (Subscriptions start at around $6/month.) You can even download sessions and use the app offline. Got kids? Headspace for Kids has options for three different age categories: 5 and under, 6 to 8, and 9 to 12.
Stop, Breathe and Think (stopbreathethink.org) Look no further than its name to understand what this app does: It literally asks you to take mindfulness breaks during the day. First, it prompts you to stop what you’re doing and check in with yourself about how you’re feeling; then, based on your answer, you’ll be led to appropriate (simple!) breathing and meditation exercises. Total time investment: Five minutes.
White Noise (tmsoft.com) Staying on task in a busy day can be tough. For some individuals, though, white noise can block out background noise and improve focus. Some even use white noise to meditate or sleep better. Choose from dozens of sounds—think pouring rain or waves on a beach—or create your own. You can set the noise for a certain amount of time and even use it as an alarm.
Yoga Wake Up (yogawakeup.com) As the name implies, Yoga Wake Up aims to help you start the morning off being mindful. The app replaces annoying alarm clocks by waking you up with short breathing exercises, basic yoga poses or guided meditation, all of which you can do straight out of bed.