7 Stress-Busting Apps to Help You Regain Control of Your Mental Health

Use your phone as a retreat when your relatives kick your anxiety into high gear.

Let’s face it—the holidays are stressful.

Sure, it’s the “most wonderful time of the year,” but before you can even think about chowing down on toffee, watching White Christmas on an endless loop, and enjoying a week out of the office, you have to get through the pre-holiday rush. We’re talking about the Christmas shopping, last-minute projects at work to tie things up for the fourth quarter, and the endless parade of relatives stomping through your kitchen.

The holidays should be characterized by quality time with those you love, appreciation for the year behind you, and intention setting for the 365 days to come. But all the noise can make you forget to breathe, relax, and take the necessary pause from everyday life. That’s why we’ve rounded up seven apps to download before all your relatives begin moseying into town for the holiday shenanigans.

So press pause on the gift wrapping, hit download, and take a few minutes to de-stress. Whether you’re stuck in traffic or a mile-long line at the department store, the key to dialing down stress will be waiting in your pocket.


Alter your mental well-being with games and exercises. Happify uses techniques developed by experts in fields such as mindfulness, positive psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy to bring you an app experience for the days when you’re feeling sad, anxious or downright depressed.


Personal Zen

This “stress-resilience” app will teach you how to manage anxiety over long periods of time by coaching you through daily games and exercises. Created by the ultimate stress-busting dynamic duo—a neuroscientist and a professor of psychology—this app will help you play your way into a better mental state.


My Mood Tracker

Knowing how you actually feel is half the battle. That’s why mood tracker helps you record your mental state throughout your various daily activities, including exercising, eating and sleep. After a month, a week or even a couple of days, you can export your data to a spreadsheet and take note of any patterns you see regarding how your mood shifts throughout your daily routines.


Pay it Forward

In the wise words of Anne Frank, “No one had ever become poor by giving.” This app sends you a kindness suggestion each day that’s designed to be as simple as it is meaningful. You can record your good deeds, and even see a map of everyone around the world who’s doing so as well.



When in doubt, be your own acupressurist. This app guides you through which pressure points to show some love to whenever you stress levels skyrocket. Packed with 90 pressure-point combinations for every stress symptom including headaches, high blood pressure, and upset stomachs, this app has your back during your most frazzled moments.


Worry Watch

How many times have you worried about something incessantly, only for the situation to come to fruition without any of your anxieties coming true? We know we have. This handy app lets you track all of your worries and their results, so that you can begin to notice your own vicious patterns of thinking.


What’s Up?

This app uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy to bring you a comprehensive understanding of what you’re feeling when anxiety overtakes you. Featuring 10 metaphors to help you get over negative feelings, a catastrophe scale, a grounding game, and many more features, “What’s Up” will help you turn that frown upside down, or at least help you understand why you’re so stressed in the first place.



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