It can be difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance when so much is at stake. But — surprisingly — your phone can be a source of relief (instead of endless notifications). Here are apps that will help you find your happy place, take a moment to breathe, and (finally) get a good night’s sleep.
Ready, set, download.
Take control of your mind with meditation and focus apps
1. Breathe2Relax: Inhale and exhale your way to calm
When the event planning process gets overwhelming, sometimes you just need to stop and breathe.
Breathe2Relax was created by the Department of Defense’s Center for Telehealth and Technology. It teaches stressed users how to practice the diaphragmatic breathing, a technique that’s been scientifically proven to help you calm down and reduce anxiety.
If you’re an Apple watch wearer, the app even works in tandem with it to track your heart rate during the breathing exercises.
2. Headspace: Train your brain for relaxation
Mindfulness meditation has been proven to positively impact mental and physical health. It’s a skill that takes practice to get comfortable. And thanks to Headspace, even people with hectic schedules — like you — can get into the habit.
The free version gives you 10 free on-the-go sessions, and then you can decide if you want to subscribe. The app’s promise is that in just a few minutes a day, you’ll learn how to train your mind and body for a stress-free and happy day where you can perform your best.
3. Calm: Unlock your personal Zen
There’s a reason why Calm was Apple’s app of the year in 2017. When you’re having one of “those days,” the app offers a variety of methods to help you approach your next event crisis with a calm demeanor.
Choose from soothing visuals and sounds, like gently flowing water or crickets chirping in the distance, or follow along one of their many guided meditation exercises.
4. Freedom: Block distractions, find your focus
What eats up your day and leaves you feeling stressed (besides the vendor you’re playing phone tag with?). It’s most likely digital distractions like social media.
Freedom lets you block your biggest time-suck culprits so you can focus on important tasks related to your event. And since it works across your devices, you can take back your day and be productive anytime, anywhere.
(Download a free trial on your Mac, PC, or iOS device; then choose a monthly or yearly subscription if you decide to keep it.)
Find your center of happiness with these positivity apps
5. Happify: Change your mindset
At the end of a hectic day, appreciating the wins — no matter how big or small — can help you remain grounded and sane.
That’s what Happify is for. Using science-based games and activities, Happify helps you tap into your own resilience so you can kick negative thoughts to the curb. So the next time you think “this event will be the death of me!”, this app will help you look on the bright side of life.
6. Pacifica: Understand and boost your mood
When your event is three days out and your emcee has laryngitis, don’t just scream — write it down.
Journaling — the habit of writing down your thoughts and feelings — has been proven to make a positive impact on mental health. But don’t just use your phone’s default note taking app to examine your state of mind.
More than a journal, Pacifica gives you insight into how your daily activities affect your mood. Once you can identify what’s triggering you, and which times of the day you hit your low, you can turn to the app’s relaxation and mindfulness tools and exercises to deal.
Get a good night’s sleep with these sleep apps
7. Pzizz: Sounds to lull you to sleep
When your to-do list is never-ending and everything’s a priority, falling asleep can be difficult — if not impossible.
Enter Pzizz, an app that’s designed to quiet the ideas, worries, and event-related details that swim in your mind at the end of the day. Pzizz uses a mix of sound effects, music, and soothing voices to help you fall asleep and start the next day well rested.
8. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock: Sleep soundly, wake gently
Staying asleep can also be a challenge during the event planning process. And when it happens frequently, studies show sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your decision-making.
Sleep Cycle helps you track and analyze your sleep patterns so you can break the cycle and wake up feeling energized and refreshed to tackle the day. Using your phone’s microphone, the app analyzes your sleep stages and gently wakes you during the light phase. You can finally retire your old, battered alarm clock.
Your pre-event de-stress checklist
In addition to using these apps to find peace of mind, this handy checklist will help you stay organized before your event. Set aside a few hours to go through these items one by one to set yourself up for (de-stressed) success.