Who can live without their mobile nowadays? We wake up with the alarm we had set up on the phone the night before, we look for directions to get anywhere, we buy groceries, flights or clothes with just a click... An unimaginable world only few years ago is now just a click away, not to mention that we are constantly bombarded with information 24/7. Surely this small device is a source of stress in itself, but it can also come in handy to wind up and disconnect.
Not that we are advocating you bring your phone on holiday (quite the contrary: we are seriously considering a special digital detox Yacht+ Yoga week- get in touch if you are interested), but we thought we’d help you choose among the many apps that are available on the market to disconnect. Here are our favourite ones to help you find quiet moments in our busy lives.
Calm’s main idea is to help you to de-stress thanks to guided meditations, breathing programs and so-called “sleep stories”. Based on a freemium model, a lot of great content is available free of charge, like guided meditations, breathing exercises, sleep stories with music, sound effects and soothing voice tracks to let you go into dreamland with Morpheus. Unique to Calm is the presence of a wide selection of nature sounds recordings, which you can select and listen to anywhere.
The paid-for service also offers the very interesting-sounding ¨tools for a happier life¨, with a mindfulness approach to forgiveness, self-esteem and loving-kindness.
The only downside to using Calm is that you eventually run out of free content. If you are hooked on the app, you can sign up to a monthly subscription to get access to more tailored meditation plans like walking meditation, deep concentration or programs to relieve anxiety.
Aiming to be your personal trainer- like a gym membership for your mind-, Headspace is one of the most complete mindfulness apps. It offers content for a wide range of different situations, to help you out with big life events like pregnancy, relationships conflicts, sports milestones or performance-related objectives.
Most of its content is beyond a paywall, but once you purchase it, it is very exhaustive, with every programme offering between 10 and 30 sessions to help you to improve your wellbeing. Some of the programmes can be used on the go and are linked with daily activities, like eating or cooking. There are also special sets for meltdowns or in case of fear of flying, for example.
If you have little ones running around the house, Headspace might be the best investment: it offers mindfulness programmes for children according to their age (between 5 and 12 years).
Stop, Breathe & Think
Stop, Breathe &Think is probably one of the easiest mindfulness apps to use on the market. With a very intuitive interface, you can choose scrolling up and down to find the kind of meditation you need every day. It also gives you a progress counter for you to see how you feel before meditating and just after it, monitoring your emotions. Your progress is also tracked in monthly and weekly reports.
This app gives you the option of paying to get longer meditation sessions or for special packages, but you don´t have to pay a full subscription to use it daily. Most of the content is open for everyone. Yay!
Smiling Mind is an Australian charity that works to make mindfulness and meditation accessible for all. This app is different from the other ones we mentioned above because it is designed for schools. Programmes are tailored to the curriculum and to each age level between 7 and 18 years old. It also offers a program for workplaces and for adults, but you have to request a special access code.
Everything else in this application is free, so you can check it out and use it during class if you are a teacher, as well as ask for more resources on their website.
Apps are great, but there is nothing like taking some time away from our usual surroundings to focus and progress in our practice. Come and sail with us to unplug, meditate and live in the moment.
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