Anxiety is such a weird thing to have. I’m talking Anxiety with the capital A. I know it’s illogical. I know it’s not useful. And yet my brain decided to play the Kill Bill siren on repeat for the last near decade of my life. Well, my whole life really. It just got better speakers.
By now I’ve learned pretty well my triggers, my responses, and my coping mechanisms. My recovery journey is well down the path. But honestly, the best advice I can give someone struggling with Anxiety is don’t ever get comfy. My biggest relapses have been after really good periods because I got complacent with my recovery.
“I’m doing well, I’ll be fine, I don’t need to go to therapy this week, I can take on that extra project, I can ignore my usual self care routines, who cares, I’m doing fine”. Nuh-uh. Don’t skip therapy. Don’t mess with your meds. Don’t endanger your recovery. Pride comes before a fall, trust me.
So, even though my Anxiety has been pretty baseline lately, I’m not giving up my efforts. Actually, I’ve doubled down on them. I’m putting a real focus on my health: physical, mental, and emotional, and it’s doing wonders for me. Part of this has been scouting out some new apps to use to help monitor my mood, anxiety levels, and give me some good exercises to help me. I found a ton of apps and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you all!
At first I was going to do a round-up post but once I started typing out the review I realised it was going to be way too in-depth to cover multiple apps at a time so I’m going to turn this into a series. I’ll try to go back and post the previous/subsequent reviews on each post so that you can follow along. I hope this series helps you find something that works for you!
Some notes before we start: I use the iPhone 6 and all the apps will be free or free versions because, let’s be honest, I’m broke!
1| The Mindfulness App: Meditation for Everyone
Price: Free, with premium version
App Store Rating: 4.5
When I first opened up the App Store, this was right there on the homepage. It was featured in the ‘Hot this Week’ section and so I thought I’d check this out first. The reviews are all really positive and there’s a decent enough number and range that I trust them pretty well.
When you first open the app you’ll see the screens below:
I like that they offer the first month of premium free because I’ve had apps before that are all or nothing and to be honest they can be pretty hit and miss. I usually don’t buy something without trialling it first so this is definitely a positive for me. It lets you skip right over without pushing premium on you which is also great.
The next screen you’ll see is this one:
When you click on the “Get Started” it’ll take you to a short introduction . The voice is natural and relaxing. The circle slowly moves around as the audio continues so if you need something visual to focus on while meditating, they got you covered.
There are 5 different background tracks: Beach Forest, Rain; Streams, and Waves or you can choose to have nothing, just the voice playing. They also let you balance the volume between the background noise and the voice which is a feature I love!
Once you’ve listened to the instructional audio, you can start off on the meditations. They’re split into 5 days, and while they say you can miss days and do them out of order, they encourage you to follow the order they provide them in. They’re totally guilt free about you missing days as well which is something I’ve struggled with before, getting together my routine and sticking to it and then feeling terrible and having it cause more problems than it fixes.
Just to review the app I tried Day 1 – The Breath. Again, you can change the background noise and level.
Honestly, I was about 20 seconds into the meditation when I realised I loved this app and I was keeping it. The meditation is so lovely and encompassing and I genuinely felt so relaxed and connected afterwards. The first meditation is only 5 minutes long, so it’s perfect for if you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate or if you need a quick fix.
At this point, I checked out the rest of the app.
There’s a reminders feature to help you keep a routine but reading some of the reviews, this might be a bit buggy. If you’re determined to keep to it I might suggest setting a reminder on your actual phone as well, just in case.
Your ‘Profile’ section let’s you track your stats and they also have an inspirational quote image at the bottom, which I assume is the ‘Daily Notice’? You can schedule this to be sent daily as a notification, which is also a nice feature.
The search tab let’s you…search for a specific keyword. These link to the premium courses that you can buy.
When I went back to the opening page I realised you could keep scrolling down and it would take you to this:
These are all premium features.
I looked a little further into the ‘Timed Sessions’ which are all part of the free app. They have 3, 5, 15, and 30 minute meditations, and then there is a 5 minute body scan and also a personalised option.
The personalised option let’s you pick how long the chimes that signal the start and end of a session play, the length of the session, whether you want a guided intro, and also the background tracks again.
It also let’s you save you favourite meditations and premium courses for easy access.
Overall, I think this is a great app. The free portion is decent enough that I can use it alone and the meditations themselves are perfect for me. I like the overall design and feel of the app: it’s stylish, calming, and easy to use. I think it’s a great place to start if you’re new to mindfulness and meditation.
I’ll have to update the review once I’ve used all the meditations but as a first impression, I’m sold.
You can find the app’s website here: The Mindfulness App
Have you tried this app? Have one to recommend? Let me know in the comments!