April is National Stress Awareness Month, and while no one is immune to the stressors that life has to offer, a survey of 67,000 college students found that three in four had at least one stressful event during the past year and one in five reported enduring six or more stressful events in the same period of time. Finding ways to reduce stress while getting your education can go a long way in protecting and even enhancing your mental health. With this goal in mind, here are some of the top free stress management apps for college students.
Stress Management App #1: Personal Zen
The Personal Zen app is based on years of neuroscience research and helps reduce stress and anxiety by rewiring your subconscious habits. It works by engaging you in a variety of games designed to release tension and improve mood. The Personal Zen app also provides access to several tools known to improve mental health, such as journaling, mood tracking, breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices. This free stress management app is available for both iOS and Android users.
Stress Management App #2: Happify
While the name of this stress management app gives some insight into the effects it can provide, you may be wondering how it works. Like the Personal Zen app, the Happify app uses games and activities to help users gain more control over how they think and feel. This app, too, is based on years of scientific research conducted in the fields of psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy. It even gives you a happiness score that you can work to increase, which only takes using Happify a couple of days per week. Knowing that you are making progress can help you get through some of your more stressful days.
Stress Management App #3: Breathe2Relax
This stress management app was developed by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology. Breathe2Relax helps lower stress levels through the power of breathing exercises, also helping to ease anxiety and reduce symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It teaches users the art of diaphragmatic breathing, an effective stress management technique. If you have an Apple watch or HealthKit, it works with them to measure your heart rate during the breathing exercises, providing progress you can see. The Breathe2Relax app can be downloaded via the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Stress Management App #4: Insight Timer
How does the Insight Timer app help college students relieve stress? Through meditation. Research shows that engaging in a meditation practice for just 30 days can help lower stress, improve sleep quality, and increase overall well-being. Once you download Insight Timer, you gain access to guided meditations that take you through this relaxing practice. If you’re interested in learning more about meditation or mindfulness, in general, within the app are also talks by some of the top experts in this space. Insight Timer is available for both iOS and Android users.
Stress Management App #5: Simply Yoga
Do you prefer yoga over meditation? Then the Simply Yoga app may be just the thing you need to bring your stress down to more manageable levels. This app was designed for both novice and experienced yoga practitioners. If you’re a beginner, it teaches you how to do the various yoga poses with good form. For those familiar with yoga and looking for a more advanced stress-relieving practice, Simply Yoga provides access to full yoga practices in varying levels of difficulty and for different lengths of duration. This stress management app is available for Android and iOS devices.
Stress Management App #6: Colorfy
Have you ever watched a child color and noticed how at peace they seem? The Cleveland Clinic shares that coloring as an adult can provide the same type of results as it helps relax your brain. It also has meditative properties in that it keeps your mind engaged in the present moment and, since it is a low-stakes exercise, if you color outside of the lines, so what? The Colorfy app is one option for coloring anytime, anywhere. All you need is your phone or tablet to color your way to a more stress-free life. Colorfy can be downloaded from the Apple Store or through Google Play.
Stress Management App #7: Mind Tools
Maybe the stress you’re feeling is caused by concerns about your upcoming career. If this is the case, the Mind Tools app can help. This app provides access to the information that can help college students succeed as they enter their field of choice. It includes articles and videos designed to give you clear, easily digestible advice across a variety of industries. So, while it’s not a stress management app per se, it can help lower your worries related to your future career by providing the knowledge and skills that can lead to higher levels of success.
Download one or all of these apps today and you may notice that you feel less stressed by tomorrow…if not before.