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Apps to Manage Holiday Stress

While the notion of good tidings stems from a positive place, societal expectations make December an emotionally charged time (especially if you're feeling anything less than jubilant). The holidays also have a tendency to magnify stress and contribute to anxiety.


Thankfully, there are a handful of apps that exist solely to make your life a little kinder and gentler. Here are our favorites. 



Just looking at Gaia's galaxy of options is enough to expand your mind. Decompress and explore classes, workshops, movies and shows, as well as original ad-free content, on neuroscience, history, astrology, tarot, tapping and more, all aimed at self-growth and mindfulness. To stretch and soothe your body and mind, there are yoga, and meditation classes, centered on themes, in numerous styles, taught by luminaries such as Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman, Seane Corne, and Cyndi Lee.



When it comes to boosting your mood, exercise offers a natural remedy. Get your endorphins flowing, stay in shape, and beat the winter blues; Peloton has the feel of a posh indoor/outdoor gym, at home. And while the company encourages you to purchase their own exercise bikes, you can easily enjoy the App without it. Choose from spin, yoga, strength training, cycling, running classes and more.



Mindfulness expert, Andy Puddicombe, is a former Buddhist monk who created Headspace with the intention of spreading health and happiness to the world, through meditation. Mini mindfulness exercises and videos help you relax and tune into the present; you'll also find hundreds of guided meditations on sleep, focus, and anxiety, intended to assist you on the path to inner harmony. FYI: Headspace offers a free basic course in mindfulness and meditation, with the choice to continue on and subscribe.



When life feels overwhelming, Shine is like having your own personal self-care coach available any time of the day or night. Co-founders, Naomi Hirabayshi and Marah Lidey created an inclusive community vibe. Shine’s team is 80% BIPOC, geared toward personal growth and empowerment. Discover an audio library with an abundance of meditations, sounds, and unique stories, all aimed at making self-improvement and positivity part of your daily practice.



Return to the days of childhood comfort, when fairytales and lullabies could tame your busy mind. The powers of a well told story can be transformative. Audible's beauty lies in allowing yourself time to rest your eyes, lie back, open your mind and simply listen... Give your imagination the chance to engage and go deeper. Escape into the world of your choosing. It's all here. Listen to fiction, nonfiction, podcasts, guided wellness, and original content.


Simple Mind

When your thoughts feel jumbled or cloudy, it can seem difficult to focus on ordinary actions. Simple Mind is here to bring you back to your peaceful core. By walking you through the steps of mind-mapping, along with specific sounds and images intended to optimize concentration, the goal is to deepen awareness of your thoughts and feelings by uncluttering your mind. Along with gaining emotional clarity, Simple Mind shows you productive ways to channel and organize your thoughts. The App also gives you the framework to generate new ideas, and brainstorm at will — a valuable tool when working on new creative and business projects.



Happify’s goal is to you to infuse your days with more joy, through the science of giving. Translated into everyday acts of kindness, this unusual App's philosophy is rooted in the belief that it is infinitely more satisfying to give than receive. Infuse your mindset with positive energy through evidence based exercises, activities and games. With a foundation revolving around mindfulness, positive psychology, and cognitive therapy, Happify helps you break destructive patterns and replace them with healthier alternatives.



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