Any busy bride knows there's an app for everything, whether it's for aimlessly scrolling through inspiration photos or updating your registry. Though your phone seems like the last thing you want to grab when your wedding to-do list keeps piling up, it can actually be beneficial to help relieve stress.
If you've found it difficult to make time for self-care between balancing wedding planning with your schedule at work and at home, it could be time to pick up the phone. Self-care doesn't have to be pricey or time-consuming, so we've rounded up the best apps to relieve stress so you can unwind in no time. Best of all, they're all free to download and include plenty of free benefits and quick, easy activities.
1. Happy Not Perfect: Meditation
This daily app offers a great mix of fun, mindful games to help reduce anxiety and relieve stress; keep tabs on what you're grateful for, channel your inner artist and draw from one of its prompts or take a few deep breaths with its breathing exercises. Follow up with a short guided meditation or choose from one of its 300+ mindful exercises. The app is free, but a monthly subscription (which unlocks more features) costs $12.
2. KYO: Daily Reflection
Keeping a gratitude journal is said to be a great way to relieve stress and shift your perspective. Enter the KYO app, which is great if you find it hard to journal daily. The app makes it easy to sit back and reflect with thought-provoking prompts—like listing 10 things you're grateful for or logging the best things that happened to you that day—or you can simply create entries on your own. The app also makes it easy (and pretty!) to log your thoughts with a options to add a cover photo (upload your own or choose from the app's well-stocked gallery of stunning images). For $2.99 per month you can unlock features like reminders and its entire collection of prompts and questions.
Answer a few quick questions about what you're looking to gain, i.e. stress relief, confidence, positivity, etc. The app will choose a path to guide you to your goal via games and activities. (For example, a game that challenges you to "pop" the positive words and avoid the negative ones.) The app helps you track your progress, checks in on your "happiness levels" every two weeks, and has plenty of personality quizzes. Happify is free, but for an additional $15 per month you can unlock more features within the app.
4. Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety
Pacifica starts by letting you analyze how you feel by selecting a general feeling like great or okay, after which you're prompted to pick a few more specific feelings to describe your state of mind, from anxious or sleepy to delighted or ecstatic. The app will then suggest an activity based on your mood, such as meditating or spending time on a hobby. It even has an option to set a reminder just in case you can't get to the activity just yet. You can track your moods and progress, write in a journal, add a mood entry, or even connect with other users on the app by sharing goals, tips, and quotes. You can also use the app to find a therapist or connect with your therapist.
You've probably heard people go on and on about the benefits of meditation, but if you can't seem to stick to it, Calm is the app to try. Calm isn't just a meditation app, though; it's split up into parts like meditation, sleep, and music. Browse the meditation topics for sessions on relationships, managing stress, focus, and more. Have difficulty sleeping? App reviewers swear by its relaxing Sleep Stories, that you can access with a premium account starting at $8.99 a month. With it, you can drift off to the sounds of ASMR or to fictional stories read aloud by celebrities. Finally, the app offers premium users music to relax or focus, and stretches and poses to unwind.
Everyone can use a digital detox every once in a while! If you find yourself constantly on your phone, whether for work or wedding, it may be time for a break. Mute makes it easy to track your phone usage—it's a step up from iPhone's Screen Time option—letting you challenge your friends and family to see how long they can also stay off their devices. Try proposing that your 'maids or partner spend some evenings without their phones, because nothing ruins a girls night or a date night like someone being glued to Instagram.
7. Stop, Breathe & Think
This app wants you to take a break and check in with yourself, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Once you've figured out how you feel, from "great" to "rough," the app will suggest mindful activities to improve or sustain your mood, like going for a walk or taking a few deep breaths and following a gratitude meditation. The app has plenty of free features, but paid premium members have access to additional activities, like acupressure for stress, at $9.99 per month.