Want to wind down at the end of a busy day with your children? Or are you feeling stressed and anxious at the moment? Here are ten mindfulness and relaxation apps for parents to help you unwind, de-stress, sleep well and keep you, and your family, calm.
Mindfulness and Relaxation apps for parents – our favourite five:
What does it do? Calm is a mindfulness and relaxation app for the whole family, to help you with relaxation, meditation and sleep. It includes guided meditations, breathing programs, stretching exercises, and relaxing music. The app also features Sleep Stories, relaxing bedtime stories for both adults and children, narrated by celebrities including Stephen Fry and Matthew McConaughey. The guided Mindfulness Topics include deep sleep, calming anxiety, stress and concentration among many others.
Where can I find it? It’s available on all major app stores.
How much does it cost? It’s free for seven days, when you can access a free guided meditation course. The app then costs £7.99 per month or £29.99 for a year.
What does it do? Headspace is an app that teaches you how to meditate, with the aim of helping you stress less, focus more and sleep better. It contains a library of thousands of different meditation clips that you can access on and offline. The Headspace for kids section features five major themes specifically for children, to help them focus, sleep and stay calm.
Where can I find it? Headspace is available on all major app stores.
How much does it cost? It’s free for the first two weeks, where you can access a basic guide to meditation. It then costs £49.99 for a year or £9.99 for a month. You can also subscribe to the family account, which gives you access to six accounts for £74.99 a year.
3. Insight Timer
What does it do? Insight Timer is a free meditation app with a wide library of guided meditations and talks from mindfulness and meditation experts, which you can select by time using the meditation timer. Over 80 new free guided meditations are added a day and there are also community features such as discussion groups.
Where can I find it? Insight Timer is available on all major app stores.
How much does it cost? It is free, but in-app purchases are available.
4. Amazon Echo - Alexa Skills
What does it do? The Amazon Echo audio devices with the Alexa voice guide give you several different options for mediation and relaxation, and as they are played through the speaker the whole family can listen along. The Amazon Sleep Sounds skill have different ambient and relaxing noises, from rain sounds through to city noises and thunderstorms. You can also access the One Minute Meditation skill, which plays a 60 second guided meditation clip based on relaxing sounds such as storms and gongs.
Where can I find it? Ask your device to play each skill (you may need to install some first via the control panel on your phone, they will be listed under the ‘health and fitness’ section).
How much does it cost? Providing you already have the device, the skills are free.
5. Breathe App
Where can I find it? The Breathe app is included with the Apple Watch
What does it do? The Breathe app is very simple; it’s a prompt for you to stop everything and concentrate on your breathing, with the aim of making you relax, become more grounded and in tune with the present moment. The app displays a rotating flower animation for you to inhale and exhale in time to, and while you’re using the app, your Apple Watch will also mute all other calls and notifications so you can focus your attention. You can set how long you want to breathe for, and how many times per day, and then your phone will nudge you when it’s time. This app is great for parents as it’s already on your wrist, so you don’t have to put everything down to pick it up.
How much does it cost? It’s free.
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