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You Can Stress Less With These Top-Rated Apps

Someone kicking back to relax with their phone.
Song_about_summer / Shutterstock.com

There’s no getting around it: Life can be stressful. While smartphone apps can’t make stressful situations disappear, some apps can help you manage or reduce stress. Whether you like to unwind with a guided meditation or feel empowered by affirmations, there’s an app out there to help you stress less.

To help you find the best app to manage your stress, we’ve reviewed the options out there to select our favorites. Read on to see our top picks for apps that focus on meditation, mood tracking, gratitude journaling, and more.

Best Paid Meditation App: Headspace

Three images show the Headspace app.

We could all use a little more headspace, and meditation is a great way to get it. As you start your search for a meditation app, you’ll discover many paid options. However, our favorite is Headspace for Android and iOS.

Bringing together mindfulness and meditation, Headspace can help you learn how to relax and better manage your stress. It can also help you improve your focus during the day and your sleep at night. This paid app consists of guided meditations of varying lengths, mindfulness exercises, informative courses, and even physical movement. Best of all, you can find information and meditation sessions for many different topics and needs.

Download on the Apple App StoreGet it on Google Play

Best Free Meditation App: Insight Timer

Three images show the Insight Timer app.
Insight Timer

If your budget doesn’t have room for a paid meditation app, there’s good news. The world of apps contains great free options. Once you check out Insight Timer for Android and iOS, you’ll see exactly what we mean (and why so many people have given it stellar reviews).

Both TIME Magazine and Women’s Health have included Insight Timer among the “Apps of the Year.” The offerings include guided meditations, sleep music, and talks that feature the world’s leading experts in mindfulness and meditation. Insight Timer also helps you build a wellness routine that includes breathwork, yoga, journaling, and affirmations. The result is healthier habits and less stress.

Download on the Apple App StoreGet it on Google Play

Best Option to Connect with a Licensed Therapist: BetterHelp

Three images show the BetterHelp app.

Sometimes, you need a little more support and assistance than a guided meditation app can provide. When you feel that stress, anxiety, or depression is affecting your life, therapy can help. If you’re looking for convenient online sessions, you should consider BetterHelp for Android and iOS.

When you sign up for the app, you can connect with one of the more than 20,000 trained and accredited therapists. You can find professional counselors who specialize in a wide variety of topics, including depression, anxiety, and family and relationship issues. The app allows you to meet with a therapist as often as you need and communicate with them using the secure messaging feature. Additionally, you have the option to attend educational group webinars on various topics.

Download on the Apple App StoreGet it on Google Play

Best App for Affirmations: I Am Daily Affirmations

Three images show the I am app.
I am Daily Affirmations

For many people, affirmations are powerful tools to manage stress and accomplish goals. You can always write your own affirmations. However, it can also be helpful to receive them on your phone. If you prefer this method, I Am Daily Affirmations for Android and iOS is for you.

I Am helps combat the negative thoughts that can pop into your head throughout the day by offering daily affirmations. These messages are designed to change negative thought patterns and build self-esteem. They can also affirm your dreams to help you make them a reality. You can visit the app whenever you need an empowering boost or set reminders so that you receive affirmations throughout the day.

Download on the Apple App StoreGet it on Google Play

Best App for Mood Tracking: Daylio Journal

Three images show the Daylio app.
Daylio Journal

It can be hard to change your mood if you can’t identify how you’re feeling. That’s why many people have turned to mood tracking to get in touch with their emotions. As far as apps for mood tracking, we love Daylio Journal for Android and iOS.

If you find traditional journaling to be daunting, you’ll love Daylio. The app allows you to privately journal and track your moods without typing a single line. Using the beautifully designed app, you can select your mood as well as different activities and tags. With this information, you can see trends to identify which activities and events make you feel a certain way so that you can make positive changes in your life.

Download on the Apple App StoreGet it on Google Play

Best App for Starting a Gratitude Practice: Gratitude Self-Care Journal

Three images show the Gratitude app.
Gratitude Self-Care Journal

There’s a lot of power in adopting a gratitude practice, and it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Just taking a few minutes each day to identify one or more things that you’re grateful for can improve your mood and outlook on life. While some people like to keep a physical gratitude journal, others enjoy using the Gratitude Self-Care Journal for Android and iOS.

This self-care tool allows you to keep a gratitude journal by offering a space to write and daily journaling prompts to inspire you. You’ll also find guided gratitude challenges to help you build consistency. The Gratitude Self-Care Journal also includes extras to help you stress less, including affirmations, a vision board, and daily content to motivate you.

Download on the Apple App StoreGet it on Google Play

Best App for Calming Tapping: The Tapping Solution

Three images show The Tapping Solution app.
The Tapping Solution

You might not have heard of tapping as a way to manage stress and anxiety, but it’s a simple technique that can help you feel calmer and more grounded. A great way to learn this technique is by using The Tapping Solution app for Android and iOS.

This app provides hundreds of guided tapping meditations that rely on the emotional freedom technique (EFT). Each meditation’s narrator will tell you where to tap on your body while saying certain phrases to yourself. Doing so can reduce stress and anxiety by 41%. Some people also find that this method even helps relieve pain and improve sleep.

Download on the Apple App StoreGet it on Google Play
Shannon Flynn Shannon Flynn
Shannon Flynn is a freelance writer for Review Geek. This attorney turned writer has been creating content ranging from blogs to eBooks for nearly a decade. She has written on topics in several industries, including healthcare, retail, and law. However, she has a special interest in writing about tech products, including smart home devices, e-readers, Apple products, and Nintendo gaming. She also has a passion for trying out different apps and all things LEGO. Read Full Bio »