In an always-connected world, smartphones can be synonymous with stress just as much as they are with productivity. For every fitness coach helping track kilojoules, there is a 2:00AM email notification interrupting sleep.

Track your stress

Created by Ariana Huffington, mindfulness advocate and founder of The Huffington Post, GPS for the Soul uses your smartphone camera as a heart rate sensor, indicating harmful stress levels and offering solutions to relieve it. A similarly holistic all-round indicator, Pacifica offers meditation and relaxation exercises, allowing you to record your thoughts and track health goals while rating your mood over time.

For short-term techniques, SAM (Stress & Anxiety Management)was developed by researchers at the University of West England to reduce overall mental pressures, offering quick solutions like breathing exercises and muscle relaxation techniques. It even has a social share feature that connects you to a like-minded community of users and researchers for further assistance.

Breathe2Relax guides you through diaphragmatic breathing processes to help relax through stressful situations streamlining anxiety-inducing events like track work or dreaded aircraft turbulence. Speaking of turbulence, WhiteNoise streams calming background noise through your headphones so you can disengage from stressful surroundings. It can even be timed with your alarm for a less abrupt wake up.

Designed as a graphics showcase for iOS8, Epic Zen Garden lets you explore and interact in a soothing floating island – an immersive experience you can really lose yourself in.

Energise and refresh

For many, meditation is the key to a clearer frame of mind, with studies showing just 15 minutes a day is enough to re-energise and refresh. The idyllically named App is your personal meditation, sleep and relaxation guide, accompanied by soothing music and video scenes. 

Beneficial for both physical and mental wellbeing, the world of yoga has been amplified with phone apps to assist your technique. Yoga Studio (iOS, $3.99) delivers a comprehensive guide arranged by level, with added iTunes music compatibility. Pocket Yoga (iOS, Android, $2.99) offers heart-rate syncing with Apple Healthkit so you can really monitor your progress, whilst 5 Minute Yoga (iOS, $0.99) sorts your asanas into bite-sized exercises, perfect for a quick break in-between meetings.

Turn positivity into productivity

A happy mind is a productive one, with your phone a hard-working middleman throughout. Keeping a diary has been known to reduce anxiety and contextualise your worries. Diaro allows you to keep a virtual log with added photos, location tags, and cross-device support. Whilst also an excellent meditation guide, subscription-based all-rounder Headspace helps you apply mindfulness to everyday activities, with specific exercises to help with everything from creativity to relationships. There’s even S.O.S sessions to quickly guide you through a potential meltdown. You can track your progress and compare it with friends, with each subscription matched by a sponsored subscription to someone in need.

Those in office environments often struggle to avoid a sedentary lifestyle, sitting for (on average) up to 9 hours a day. Supported by Vodafone Foundation, heart and diabetes institute BakerIDI is developing the Rise & Recharge app to remind you to stand up and take a few minutes walk for every 30 minutes of sitting.

Finally, Vodafone Foundation partner Hello Sunday Morning is a charity with a mission to change Australia’s relationship with alcohol. HSM’s award-winning app and online program has already helped over 40,000 Australians change how they drink.

The premise is simple: use the HSM community to get perspective on your drinking. Then, trade a big night for a big morning.

Don’t you feel better already?

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Alyssa Jones

Alyssa Jones