I love technology and social media, but I’ll confess: sometimes it really frustrates me. Occasionally, I’ll close out my Twitter feed or Facebook timeline feeling grumpier than when I opened it. Somewhere between the sub tweets and angsty status updates, I feel worn out and over it.
Some people think unplugging completely is the way to go – ditching the phone for a few hours and decompressing. But that leaves me feeling antsy and anxious – what if I miss a distress call from my sister, and she’s abducted/falls off a cliff/dies of hypothermia because I didn’t answer the phone?!?
The most helpful tools I have for chilling out and being present are actually on my phone. Below are three of my favorite apps for being calmer and happier, especially in the midst of not-so-happy situations (i.e., riding in the car with annoying people, post awkward family dinners, right-before-bed irrational freak outs, etc.)
Try them out, if you’re into that sort of thing.
1. Yoga Studio ($2.99): Whew, am I bad at yoga. Like, horrible. For years I periodically would give yoga another chance by going to a class, only to wind up wobbling around, sweaty and frustrated. Definitely not a chill experience.
Yoga Studio has me (finally) in a loving relationship with yoga. The app lets you download classes to your own personal studio, where you can access them at any time. The guided sessions can be anywhere from 15 – 60 minutes, beginner, intermediate or advanced. You listen to an instructor and watch them on the screen, plus it plays chill music so it really feels like a studio experience. Minus your face being inches away from a stranger’s butt in downward dog. No, thanks.
2. Buddhify ($1.99): Meditation sounds like something a washed up, graying hippie does after her morning doobie. But, really, it can be much more modern than that. Buddhify is a great app for starting a meditation practice, especially if you’re on the go. I use it when I’m driving, at the gym or while trying to fall asleep. These are usually times when my mind runs wild with a million random thoughts or worries, and this app helps me turn those anxious, useless thoughts into relaxing, useful thoughts. I just put in my earbuds and continue on with what I’m doing. It doesn’t get any easier.
3. Youversion Bible App (free): I love this app even more with every update. It’s crazy organized, easy to navigate and complete with about every translation imaginable. Whenever I’m reading Eckhart Tolle or Gabrielle Bernstein, I can look up biblical references in seconds through this user interface.
I use these apps everyday, and for a few bucks they are totally worth the peace of mind. I also like that they help and guide users in ways that make taking that time for yourself super easy. You don’t need and hour and a half at a gym or on a meditation pillow or in prayer. You can spend as little as 5 minutes in any of these apps and feel clearer and happier for the rest of the day.