Many people suffer from anxiety, but luckily there are different ways to deal with it. Sometimes, all you need is a little help to calm your mind and get your creative juices flowing. Modern technology offers a variety of innovative apps for phones, desktops, and tablets to help you do just that. These apps can help with everything from falling asleep to sparking your imagination.
We've rounded up 10 of our top picks for calming and/or creative apps which are as useful as they are well-designed. Scroll down for our soothing selection.
Calming and Creative Apps for De-Stressing
Happy Color is a free app brings all the fun of the childhood classic paint-by-numbers into the digital age. With designs that will appeal to both adults and children, pick from a huge library of adorable illustrations. Simply tap the numbers corresponding to your “paint” color and watch your masterpiece come together.
With a 4.9 out of five stars over 14,000 ratings, Breathwrk: Breathing Exercises boasts a large library of guided breath patterns. Do you want to fall asleep? Relax your muscles? Focus on a task? This app has the answer. Try certain exercises for free, and subscribe for full access.
The pioneering calming app Calm is popular for a reason. With bedtime stories and guided meditation, the app is perfect for anyone who is looking for an introduction to mindfulness for anxiety. The free version of the app offers soothing sounds and a brief intro to meditation, while for $69.99 a year you can access daily new content.
Missing spending hours in a cafe? Studies have suggested that the ambient noises of coffee houses can actually increase productivity. Based on a study conducted at the University of Chicago, light ambient noise can be helpful for focus and cognition. Coffitivity mimics that helpful murmur with a choice of recordings hosted on its website and open-source desktop app.
Rain Rain Sleep Sounds
Do you dream of falling asleep to the sound of rain gently drumming on skylights? If so, Rain Rain Sleep Sounds is the app for you. Relax your mind and body with free soundtracks such as “crackling fire,” “cat purring,” and “harbor seagulls.” For $3.99 a month, you can access premium sounds such as “walking in snow” and “boat on the lake.”
Inspiration is just around the corner with Brainsparker. This free app presents you with rainbow cards to shuffle and turn over. Each card holds an inspirational sentiment or quote meant to bust the doldrums and spark creativity. You can even save and send these tidbits of wisdom.
Do you have an Apple Arcade subscription? If so, you need to try out tint. While technically a game, it's probably the most relaxing game you can think of. There are no time limits on the puzzles, just try to mix the right color from your watercolor palette while relaxing natural sounds surround you.
Moshi Kids: Sleep and Meditation
Kids get anxious, too. If your kiddo is having trouble sleeping, Moshi might be the answer. You can create custom playlists of child-friendly stories, meditations, and soothing rituals. Try it for seven days for free. If this app helps your little ones, a subscription is $12.99 a month or $59.99 annually.
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Slumber is here to help! The app has countless glowing reviews among its 14,000 ratings (with an impressive 4.7 average). Choose from a sleep meditation, soothing sounds, a calming story, or a children's story for the little ones. The stories are subtly geared to help you relax. Try a week for free to see for yourself. After a week, the app is only $3.33 a month, billed annually.
Shine: Calm Anxiety & Stress
A daily self-care app for everyone, Shine was founded by two women of color and is shaking up the “wellness” industry. An Apple Best of 2020 pick, it features meditation and mindfulness content guided by and inclusive of BIPOC listeners. Shine is an “inclusive self-care toolkit” according to its mission. For free, you will access a daily meditation and be able to log your gratitude. For a $64.99 annual premium membership, you will discover hundreds of meditations and even options customized for you specifically.