Five apps to calm your mind and body


When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, finding a sense of calm can be difficult. One way to soothe yourself is to use a mind-body app that guides you through exercises to quiet your mind and relax.
Meditation and relaxation apps easily live on your mobile device and go anywhere with you. That means you can take a moment to reconnect your mind and body at almost any time or place.
Exercises and meditation programs on the apps give you a great a way to complement your everyday relaxation routine. If you are new to mind-body relaxation, most apps include an introduction that walks you through the basics.
Some apps are free. Or you can download a trial program to see if one of these fits your personality, interests and goals.
Here are five mind-body apps with content on deep breathing, guided meditation, and finding your calm, happy place.

  1. Smiling Mind is simple to use and makes mindfulness an accessible tool for everyone. In the introduction to the practice of mindfulness, the app touches on scientific benefits of meditation and relaxation. You can tailor the program to fit different age groups – even children as young as seven years old. Options give you safe ways for your child to choose from a range of mindful meditations.

  2. Calm selections range from 3- to 25-minute sessions. The app includes breathing exercises, meditations, sleep stories, nature scenes, inspirational quotes and more than 25 soothing sounds to help you improve your sleep. Meditations are broken down by categories: self-care, personal growth, anxiety, sleep and more.

  3. Insight Timer has a library of more than 4,500 free guided meditations. The app also offers music, talks and courses focused on breathing, managing anxiety and more. Insight Timer is like a social network for meditators. Options give you ways to invite friends to join you in meditations or discuss topics related to mindfulness.

  4. Stop, Breathe & Think is great for beginners! It has a personalized touch that gives you a way to check in with yourself. Just record how you’re feeling, and the app chooses the exercise best suited to your mood. Meditation topics include sleep, compassion, depression and anxiety. You can choose your own chimes and sounds to fit your mood. The app includes options to record your daily practice and track progress throughout the year.

  5. 10% Happier offers a great introduction to mindfulness practice. It is designed for skeptics who want to try meditation with simple, easy-to-apply content. The free version kicks off with seven introductory sessions. Each one contains a short video and a guided meditation.

 Rita Gingrich is a mind-body counselor and certified oncology social worker at Goshen Center for Cancer Care. She helps patients with cancer and their families cope with diagnosis and transition from active treatment to survivorship. Through her knowledge, skills and compassion to actively listen, Rita helps patients deal with the psychological, social, emotional and spiritual issues that are part of living with cancer.