7 of the best self-care apps for when life gets a little too much

20 March 2019
By Fashion Quarterly

When life throws you a curveball, these relaxing apps will help you de-stress.

The game of life most definitely can be overwhelming; whether it’s relationships, work troubles, study stress, bad news or everything else in between, naturally, sometimes our emotions do get the better of us and simply put, things can get a little too much.

When it feels like the world is constantly throwing curveballs and you find yourself struggling to cope with high emotions, anxiety or the unknown, it’s important to remember that you’re never alone and that there are people and coping methods out there to support you and get you back to your best self.

Getting on top of your to-do list, achieving goals and having gratitude are all factors that help one to stay calm, but often with stress in the mix, these priorities can go out of the window. But, luckily technology has your back and there are some great coping mechanisms out there in the friendly form of an app.

With something out there for everyone, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite self-care apps, for when you need that pep-up right from your pocket.

These will help you bounce back to your norm in no time:


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If you’ve always wanted to dip your toes into meditation but were unsure how, Headspace is a great app that guides you from the get-go and eases you into a concept that can be perceived as somewhat scary.

Whether you’ve got an abundance of free time to practice meditation, or just a few minutes a day, there are hundreds of mindfulness techniques at your disposal to choose from to get you into relaxation mode and de-stressing.

Find it here and here.


If you find yourself struggling to stay present due to mindless scrolling and you’re more often than not generating feelings of social media envy… well, there’s an app for that.

Moment tracks how much time you spend on your phone and what apps you’re spending it in, in order to coach you through ways on reducing screen-time and changing your negative engagement patterns.

By forming new habits and enabling yourself to engage more positively, Moment encourages you to expand your outlook on life, without always having your phone in your hand.

Find it here and here.


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The Five Minute Journal

With the Five Minute Journal app, you’re able to track your happy thoughts, be met with inspiring quotes and be encouraged to capitalise on your feel-good moments in future days to come thanks to the apps’ quirky features such as a one-photo-a-day feature to snap your best daily moment.

By taking five minutes out of your day to reflect, collect your thoughts and have gratitude for what you do have, you are bound to increase your positivity and productivity rather than moping or feeling negative—why wouldn’t you sacrifice a mere 300 seconds to get that feeling?

This app reminds you that things aren’t always as bad as they may seem by reminding you of your own tiny victories.

Find it here and here.

There’s also an awesome alternative made by New Zealanders called The Journal by Sir John Kirwan. This is in a similar vein, but is more of a workbook style format that can help you work your way through feelings of depression or anxiety. Find it here.


Got a presentation at uni coming up? Feeling swamped with bad news? Whatever it may be that is causing distress, the Calm app helps you re-centre yourself and do just what the name suggests: be calm.

When there are stressful situations in life hitting left, right and centre, it can become increasingly hard to remain your most relaxed self – more often than not, this seems unachievable. By using the Calm app, you will learn daily meditation techniques, uncover masterclasses on topics to educate yourself on how to live your best life and with a handy sleep timer encouraging you to hit the ZZZs, you will no doubt feel steadier in taking your challenges on.

Find it here and here.


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Adult colouring books are all the rage – so why not try the digital version?

Colouring in is proven to reduce anxiety, create focus and bring mindfulness, so it makes sense to dabble in that childhood tradition you know and love and reduce your stress at the same time.

Find it here and here.


Life is all about making progress and setting goals to be the best version of yourself which both bring about growth.

Streaks is designed to help you set tasks, form good habits and remind you of your goals daily to ensure you stay up to speed.

Whether it’s needing to meditate for ten minutes, get fresh air, drink more water, or write a gratitude journal every day, the app tracks your progress and helps you build a streak of the days in which you’ve achieved a task.

Streaks is an empowering app that enables you to stay on track of your goals—especially if you’re undergoing stress and experiencing brain mush—which helps reduce any stress or anxiety you may have about failing yourself. You’re one step closer to mindfulness here.

You can find it here and here.


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All Right?

The All Right? app initially started to support and improve the mental health of the people of Canterbury after the Christchurch earthquakes but has since expanded to be a national movement. All Right? encourages you to do more of what makes you happy, by choosing areas of improvement and what you want to work on.

The app sends a daily mini mission that inspires you to achieve your task and focuses on building a positive mental space from the little things. It’s the simple things you do each day that can really make a difference and this app helps you to realise that.

Find it here and here.

Words: Maxine Fourie
Images: Instagram, Getty Images


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