5 FREE Phone Apps That Help You Relax, De-Stress and Reduce Anxiety

Our attention is pulled in more than a dozen directions daily. It can be hard to find time to relax or justify doing so when you have so much on your plate during a typical day.

Meanwhile, if you’re like the vast majority of multi-taskers, your smartphone or tablet is probably never out of reach. Why not make the most of it and use it for something other than checking your email for the umpteenth time in 15 minutes?

Believe it or not, these devices do offer apps to help you relax, de-stress and reduce anxiety for a change. Busy as you are, these can help slow you down even if you only have a few minutes to spare-waiting at carpool, in line at the bank, or just a brief time you set aside for your own mental health when it feels like the day is spinning out of control.

Here are five of my favorites:

1. Breathe2Relax (free). Breathe2Relax help you practice diaphragmatic breathing, with a video demonstration of and even a breathing timer you set yourself to achieve the maximum impact of deep inhaling/exhaling. There’s also a lot of great information about the biology of stress, its consequences and coping mechanisms.

How it helps: Diaphragmatic (belly) breathing helps calm the body and focus the mind. This app walks you through everything you need to know to practice the technique incorporate it into your daily stress management.

2. T2Mood Tracker (free). T2Mood Tracker allows you to rate how you’re feeling in areas including anxiety, depression and general well-being at any given time during the day.

How it helps: Sometimes just acknowledging that you’re feeling anxious, sad, lonely or experiencing other painful emotions can bring some relief-you’re not crazy, but you are suffering, and healthy to be aware of it.

It can also charts your mood over time, so it can help identify triggers for stress or depression. Meanwhile, if you are in counseling and your therapist asks about your feelings over the past week, you can give a more reliable answer than just relying on your memory.

3. Take a Break! (free). This app requires a little more privacy-but not much more time-than some of the other apps mentioned here. Just choose one of two meditation programs (“work break” or “stress release”), plug in some ear phones, close the door and your eyes as a narrator quietly guides you through several steps of meditation.

How it helps: When you’re busy and feel like you have a world of responsibilities on your shoulders, this app helps remind you that you’re entitled to take a moment for yourself. And the steps it outlines can be effective in bringing calm and perspective into a hectic day.

4. Relax Melodies HD (free, with paid upgrades available). Relax Melodies is self-explanatory, with almost 50 calming sounds to choose from, including several choices among nature, music, and others like “Zen” and “white noise.”

How it helps: It instantly transforms your environment, making it possible to remember that there is a world outside of your office, chaotic household or even 5 o’clock traffic. (Tip: users say Relax Melodies is also an excellent sleep aid.) The $2.99 upgrade offers additional sound options and removes the ads, though the ads are easily enough ignored unless you’re staring at the screen.

5. Calm.com (free, with paid upgrades available). Calm.com offer seven guided relaxation sessions from 2-30 minutes. Topics include: posture, mindset, mind/body connection, and breathing. Premium programs are also available with varied prices, mostly around $1/month. These include programs focused on anxiety, confidence, creativity, energy, focus, and sleep.

How it helps: Calm.com emphasizes a no-pressure approach to learning the steps, with a guiding voice that assures the user it can be hard to find calm at first when we’re accustomed to living life in high-alert mode.

Try a few of these and see if there’s one you particularly enjoy so you’ll be more likely to keep with it. Whether it’s helping you be mindful of your breathing, slowing your thoughts or just going through the steps of a simple relaxation exercise, I encourage you to find some time for yourself today that is just for you to relax. It’s totally worth it!

Five Of The Best Free iPad Apps

A brand new iPad that you are so proud about that you can’t stop showing it off? But what is an iPad if it does not have the best of apps. But unfortunately, when you think iPad, you probably think money because all of the cool apps that you have been using for free on your iPhone will perhaps be a paid option in their incarnation for the iPad. But hang in there! What if we told you that you can get a whole host of iPad apps for free? Yes! You heard us right. We have taken the trouble to dig out some spectacular apps for you that come absolutely free of cost. So read on and be amazed!

Kindle

Are you a self professed bookworm who cannot think of life without an e -reader? Well, you no longer need an e-reader device if you have the kindle app on your iPad. In here you will literally find a whole host of books that will suit your palette. You can also get the option to optimise your reading experience via this app.

eBay for iPad

Are you an online shopaholic and find yourself on eBay more than you pop up on Facebook or Twitter? Well, needless to say then that the eBay for iPad will be an absolute delight for you? Not only is this app efficient and fast it displays the most important part of the product in the main results page. It also comes with speedy sorting options. Once you have used the eBay for iPad, you will never feel the need to go back on the full website on your PC or laptop again!

RJ Voyager

Do you always find yourself shuffling tracks for the parties that you throw for your friends and your pals simply groove to your beats? Here’s one app that will really get you going as a DJ. This is an app that lets you choose from hundreds of bundled tracks. You can turn the parts on and off as desired and can go wild with the edit parameters. In all, this is an app that is a must have for music lovers!

Epicurious

Do you often fancy yourself in the MasterChef kitchen and love cooking up a storm for family and friends? Well then, this is an app that is bound to delight you! Not only will you find thousands of recipes at your fingertips, you will also find a shopping list for most recipes that can be super helpful. As long as you have an internet connection, there is no stopping you on Epicurious!

Yell Search

This is an app that will delight the explorers who often find themselves in unfamiliar localities. When you are travelling in some place unknown, you no longer have to rely on just the locals for information. The Yell Search is an app that will help you find all the amenities that you are looking for in the locality and serves as a great guide. It’s fast and efficient and also helps you save favourites for you to access later.

This is a comprehensive list of the best free iPad apps you will find for free. Download them today and your iPad will be your best friend for life!

5 Free iPad Apps for Musicians

The iPad is a brilliant device that is made even more amazing by the huge volume of apps available. Your iPad can become hundreds of different thing is the right piece of software is on it. Today we concentrate on apps for musicians or aspiring musicians and beat makers.

  • Virtuoso Piano Free 2 HD If you’ve ever wanted to learn to play the piano or refine your already known skills then the Virtuoso Piano Free 2 HD app is a great choice. A keyboard appears on your iPad screen and you can play it just like you would a real one. They’ll teach you to play the basics and the sound is better than you’d expect. If you’re ready to move past the basics you can play chords with up to five fingers and it allows for shifting octaves. You can also duet with another player on the same iPad.
  • Classical Guitar Classical Guitar is an excellent free iPad app if you’re looking to right songs on the go and don’t want to carry around your bulky guitar. It mimics the sound and playing abilities of a classical guitar with nylon strings and the music it produces is lovely. You’re limited to six chords and it doesn’t really feel like playing a real guitar, but that’s not the point. It’s more like a replacement when you don’t have your guitar handy or a way to experiment before you take the leap into buying an actual six string. You can create your own chord sets and it’s free so you can’t beat the price.
  • Beatwave (universal) If you’re looking to create music with a few simple button presses (okay, it’s not really simple) Beatwave is a good choice. The free iPad app comes loaded with a big selection of instrument samples so you can create the soundscape you’re looking for. The selection is somewhat limited since they make money by selling your more instruments but you can still create a wide range of songs and sounds with the free version. It’s impressive and good for someone just getting into music creation in this realm.
  • LoopJ Interactive DJ Station LoopJ Interactive DJ Station is amazing when you consider that it’s free. This could easily be used by professional DJs and musicians to put together your sound. It comes with two virtual decks that always play together. The interface is easy to use and the results are always going to be stellar. If you know what you’re doing already you’ll be at home with this software.
  • RJ Voyager RJ Voyager is made for DJs and allows you to create great mixes using their synthesizers, drums, and great effects that you can make on your own with the mic or use the ones already built in. You can build your own tracks using the simple interface or you can tweak the pre-bundled selections.