Does anyone else miss the phase in the pandemic where happy hour started at 2 pm every day? Oh, no? Me either …
I wish someone would’ve told me (almost 2 years ago) that we’d still be in this flaming hot dumpster fire of a mess, perhaps saving me from regaining the long-lost freshman fifteen and developing a serious chocolate dependency.
It took me a few decades to realize that there had to be healthier ways of beating stress than bringing the entire wine bottle into the bathtub.
And guess what? There is. In fact—there are a multitude of ways to beat stress, be it through meditation, exercise, nutrition, or 15+ hours of uninterrupted sleep. But did you know that there are also a handful of free apps out there to help you get the job done?
Contrary to popular belief, your smartphone can actually be utilized as a platform for stress relief *gasp*.
So—in order to help you jumpstart your wellness journey I put together a list of 6 of my favorite apps intentionally designed to help improve your mental health and overall wellbeing.
Note: All of these apps are available for download for free––some may have paid tiers or add-ons available; but trust me, they’re well worth it. All apps are available in the Apple App Store or Google Play, suitable for either your iPhone or Android device (whatever way you roll.)
Ready, set, namaste
Price: The Calm app is available free for download. The initial 7 Days of Calm, include unguided sessions, some guided sessions, and tracking features are included, cost-free. A subscription to access the entire Calm catalog costs $12.99/month, $69.99/year, or $399.99/lifetime.
WHY WE LOVE CALM
Calm is a great app for helping you ease into sleep after a long and hectic day running around the event floor. Calm offers, well … calming sleep stories guided by ataractic celebrity voices, like Mandy Moore and Matthew McConaughey. While the morning calm meditation sessions give you peace of mind to start your day fully refreshed, ready to take on the day.
Price: The Colorfy app is available free for download, including most basic pictures. Opt-in for a subscription of $7.99/week to get access to the full range of images and features.
WHY WE LOVE COLORFY
Fact: Adult coloring books are more fun.
Colorfy puts a new-age digital twist on this meditative and calming childhood activity. You can color images ranging from flowers and animals to famous works of art. Simply tap each section of the picture to fill it in with an array of vibrant colors.
Don’t worry, no one is expecting a Picasso debut. Once your artwork is completed, easily share your masterpiece with friends, social media, or with the trash can.
Price: Available for download for free for the first few days, then annually at $99.99 /year. Special deal: Gift three months to family or friends for $45!
WHY WE LOVE WAKING UP BY SAM HARRIS
According to one undisclosed Swoogo Meditation Guru—Waking Up by Sam Harris is hands down, the best meditation app under the sun. Harris helps you to better understand the practice of meditation and the theory behind it. Just getting started? We recommend you journey through Harris’s entire ‘Waking Up’ course.
But, wait … who is Sam Harris and why should we listen to him?
Sam Harris is a world-renowned author of five New York Times best sellers, including Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, meditation, moral philosophy, religion, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.
Price: Enjoy your first 14 days free, then pay $12.99/month to get full access to the entire library. Alternatively, you can pay an annual price of $69.99/year. Keep your eyes peeled too, they often run promotions
WHY WE LOVE HEADSPACE
Several ~zen~ members of the Swoogo team have been using Headspace for years. Headspace allows you to tackle individual hardships and challenges through the art of meditation.
This app helps with relieving stress and anxiety. When you first subscribe, make sure to begin with the “Take 10” course to give you a full introduction to meditation.
The best part? Headspace allows you to meditate virtually anywhere—while walking, driving, cooking, paragliding, etc. Get in the headspace, anywhere (just maybe keep your eyes open if you’re in motion.)
Price: Insight timer offers a limited free version or a 30-day initial free trial with a renewal price of $60 annually (50% of app income goes to teachers.)
WHY WE LOVE INSIGHT TIMER
Insight Timer offers a vast variety of guided meditation recordings. Rather than just listening to one voice, you can choose between males and females amongst many accents and styles (also including celebrity narrators.)
Let’s face it. Listening to the same annoying voice whilst trying to find your inner zen—sucks.
Insight Timer also offers an online community and a unique sense of togetherness. When completing a meditation you can see a map of how many other people were meditating with you all over the world.
Price: The basic version of Down Dog is available for download for free. The Pro version costs $9.99 /month or $59.99/year (currently offering a 33% discount.)
WHY WE LOVE DOWN DOG
A personal favorite and recommendation from our go-to company yogi and very own Director of Sales, Erin Smith. Down dog offers a range of workouts from yoga and HIIT to barre and meditation (exercise of the mind).
Need to fit in a quick workout before kicking off your next conference? Clear your mind and get your body moving—simply select your time, level, focus, voice, and music, and Down Dog will create a unique, personalized yoga practice for you every. single. time.
We truly hope that you’re just meditating and that you’re not asleep after giving this a read. Events are stressful—heck life is stressful. So just remember to take some time for yourself today and in the wise words of Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford, don’t forget to treat yo’ self.