Launch into Leadership

The best apps to conquer your anxiety

The app Daylio allows users to journal their moods daily to help determine patterns of behavior and mood. Photo by Vanessa Johnson | The Signal

Our phones are constantly at our fingertips. With the sound of a “bing!” our attention is grasped by a notification telling us something new is happening.

Unfortunately, we have become slaves to our devices and our minds are on continuous alert for what could happen next. Whether it be miniscule, like a friend going through a break up, or major, like a crisis happening in another country, our thoughts are never fully at rest.

While some apps produce anxiety, others have been created to reduce stress. After scrolling for hours through current events or texting about a sensitive topic, it can feel like the world is on your shoulders.

Take a break from all the worries and redirect your energy to focus on mindfulness with these anxiety-busting apps.

1. PACIFICA

If you’re looking for an app that will relax you, look no further! When you open Pacifica for the first time, you are prompted to “pause, and think of a place that relaxes you.” Then, you are asked to choose a background setting that reminds you most of it. Users can choose from city lights, mountain views, ocean sunsets and more.

This acts as more than just personalization for the app. Every time you open Pacifica, it places your mind in a setting that calms you.

Pacifica also encourages users to connect with others through the app. On a day with extreme anxiety, it can sometimes feel like there is no one who understands what you are going through.

However, if you chat with others using the app, you can discuss your worries and fears with someone who is going through the same troubles. No one wants to go through anxiety alone, so Pacifica focuses on unity.

Similarly, for those visiting a mental health professional, you can connect with your doctor through the app for extra care.

2. DAYLIO

If you’re not sure what the root of your anxiety is, Daylio works to identify it.

While other apps focus on meditation and mindfulness, Daylio acts as mood tracker by asking you a series of simple questions each day. Not to mention, it’s as quick as the push of a button—literally!

For example, Daylio will ask, “How are you?” and users will answer by clicking one of the answer buttons that say “rad, good, meh, bad, awful.” However, you can always add notes if you need to get something off your chest.

Daylio can help you realize patterns in your life you may have not noticed before. On the app’s calendar, you can see your average mood and the color of how you’re feeling (for example, green for good). This allows you to see if you need to make a change in your life.

Daylio will also ask, “What have you been up to?” For users searching for the reasoning behind their anxiety, this will lead you to the answer. If you are answering “work” daily and feeling “awful,” you can evaluate your work life and determine how to decrease your anxiety.

3. WORRY WATCH

While Worry Watch might not be free, at $2.99, you are investing in an app that will truly help you find the source of your anxiety.

Made for people with constant fears of “what ifs,” Worry Watch is an interactive journal that allows users to document their initial uncertainties and then answer later if what they were dreading actually happened.

Users will answer if the outcome was as bad as the worry, giving them a way to track if their worries are as present as they seem.

For those who struggle with mental illnesses that induce irrational thoughts, like OCD or generalized anxiety disorder, this app can be a life changer.

4. CALM

The name of the app says it all. Calm focuses on meditation and a healthy sleep cycle to ease anxiety.

This app offers, for free, a series of sleep stories (bedtime stories for adults) and relaxing sounds of rain, thunderstorms and fire crackling to tune out the rest of the world.

You can also try seven days free of the paid version of the app. Unfortunately, after your free trial, the price increases to $59.99 a year. But if you find the app works wonders for you, there is no price tag you can put on living a healthy, anxiety-free lifestyle.

If you opt to sticking to the unpaid version, you are still receiving sounds and stories that will help calm you down, especially if your anxiety is decreased by closing your eyes and listening to something to distract your thoughts.

After a stressful day at work, plug in your earbuds and listen to your favorite sounds to experience the entirety of this app.

5. HEADSPACE

Get your head out of the clouds! Headspace is an app dedicated to training your mind with breathing and walking exercises.

This app works by killing two birds with one stone. While using this app, you will find mindfulness and exercise go hand-in-hand when trying to cut out anxiety. The app offers many guided walks, runs and even cycling options for when you’re on the go.

These exercises distract your mind from anxiety and focus your energy on health, which is much more worth your time.

For Georgia State students, try the “In the City” walking exercise to practice being present within your own thoughts even when there are things constantly happening around you.

Headspace has a free version, but it only allows you to listen to introductions to exercises. You are getting the biggest bang for your buck by paying for the $19.99 student discount for a year which unlocks all the meditations and exercises on the app.

Whether you’re chomping on your nails waiting to begin a difficult exam or having an anxiety attack, these apps will help you calm down and ease your mind. Try them all to see which one works best for your lifestyle.

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