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8 mindfulness apps to help you cope in this time of uncertainty

Take some time for your mental health

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Caring for your health goes beyond eating more whole foods instead of processed foods. Getting good sleep, working out, and practicing mindfulness are just as important for your overall well-being.

Taking a brief moment for your mental health is necessary especially at a time like this when stress and anxiety levels are high for a lot of people. Here are some mindfulness apps that can help you cope during this time of uncertainty, whether it’s guided meditation, breathing exercises, or looking for help to relieve stress.

Breathe

The Breathe app on your Apple Watch encourages you to set aside a few minutes a day to relax and focus on your breathing. Taking moments throughout the day to stop, relax, and practice mindfulness can help reduce stress and improve overall health. It’s also available as a watch face, so you can bring focus to your day just by raising your wrist.

3 Minute Mindfulness

If meditating for 20 minutes feels like too much, 3 Minute Mindfulness is the perfect introduction. 3 Minute Mindfulness helps you stop, pause and reset in just 3 minutes so you can remain calm and relaxed throughout the day. You can choose from a 7 Days of Mindfulness course to a range of breathing exercise that each have different benefits. In addition, 3 Minute Mindfulness connects with the Health app to save all the time you spend being mindful.

Ten Percent Happier

Want to sleep better, be more mindful, improve your relationships, and become just about ten percent happier? This is the app for you. The guided meditations, videos, talks, and sleep content will help you build (or boost) your meditation practice, and stick with it. Ten Percent Happier also integrates with the Health app.

Simple Habit

Wellness & sleep therapy sessions offer guided mindfulness & meditation, daily motivation, guided sleep sessions and coaching by world-renowned experts, personalized for the way you live your life. Whether you have 5 minutes in the morning or need to fall asleep quickly, start your Simple Habit today and live better every day. Optionally integrate your meditations with Apple Health by connecting your meditations with Mindful Minutes.

Headspace

Get happy. Stress less. Sleep soundly. Headspace is your guide to everyday mindfulness in just a few minutes a day. Choose from hundreds of guided meditations on everything from managing stress and anxiety to sleep, productivity, exercise, and physical health — including short SOS meditations for when you’re on the go. And to help you find some space during tough times, Headspace is here for you with the new Weathering the storm pack. Track your progress and time spent meditating while adding Mindful Minutes to your Health app.

Timeless

Multi-day courses, guided meditations, and a beautiful personal practice timer. Timeless is made by meditators, for meditators. The app provides high-quality guided instruction with practicing meditators, multi-day immersions for learning new techniques, and a personal practice timer that is elegant, easy-to-use, and fully customizable. Timeless is fully integrated with the Health app, making it easy to track Mindful Minutes.The app is also beautifully designed for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, honoring each device and its unique features while Cloud Sync and handoff ensure seamless experiences across devices.

Zen

If you want to live a happier, healthier and more balanced emotional life, Zen is the perfect app for you. On Apple’s list of ‘Best apps of 2016’, Zen offers a diverse and ever-growing amount of content and features such as HealthKit compatibility to save all health data on your Health app.

Stop, Breathe & Think Kids

Stop, Breathe & Think Kids is a mindful games app designed specifically for kids ages 5 – 10. Kids can check into how they are feeling using fun emojis and try recommended mindful missions and meditations tuned to those emotions. Stickers reward their progress and keep the mindful activities engaging. The kids meditation and mindful missions in Stop, Breathe & Think Kids were developed in collaboration with activity-based mindfulness expert Susan Kaiser Greenland, creator of the Inner Kids program and author of Mindful Games and The Mindful Child.

Apps

Ultrahuman: The essential app to get you through quarantine

Getting through isolation days through workout and meditation

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Taking care of our physical and mental health is very much important now more than ever. With everything that has been going on in the world, it’s not surprising that people are taking extra steps to advocate and practice self-care.

One way to do this is by adding good habits everyday and being disciplined to sustain these habits.

With self-care as one of their ultimate goals this year, Martynne and MJ decided to try Ultrahuman: an all-in-one fitness app that includes all the good habits they are currently incorporating in their lives — from workout to meditation.

For a few weeks, they put the app to a test and this is their verdict:

Meditation

Martynne: I am a huge advocate of meditation and it has been a life-changing practice for me, as someone who finds a hard time focusing and being in the present.

Ultrahuman has a wide range of course options that can match a specific mood or emotion. One of my personal favorites is the Managing Anger course, which helped me take a step back, consolidate my feelings and give compassion to myself throughout the process.

The Singles option with one-time meditation tracks helped me become more mindful and grounded whenever I feel overwhelmed in the middle of a workday. The productivity course, on the other hand, kept my eyes glued to my laptop screen until I finished what I needed to do.

The only thing I didn’t like about it, though, is the visuals seem basic to me, and the “dark” interface is much more fitting for the workout option.

Workout

MJ: When gyms are closed and home workouts aren’t fun anymore, how do you remain committed to your fitness goals? That’s what Ultrahuman did: Filling the gap by providing fun workouts and challenges that you can do in a span of weeks. It’s similar to how Nike Training Club presents their videos albeit more personalized.

The Ultrahuman app comes with guided videos from renowned trainers, and watching their instructions during your exercises felt like having a live session with a personal trainer. Unlike most fitness apps that offer video-on-demand workouts, Ultrahuman remembers that we are all beginners, offering a collection of videos through challenges that suit different levels.

After living a sedentary lifestyle, I knew I have to ease up when working out again. The app did wonders in helping me stay active by gradually increasing the difficulty of my challenges, without straining my body or having myself complain about how difficult a certain workout routine is.

Sleep

Martynne: There was an instance that I had a bad case of insomnia and I needed something to put me to sleep.

I tried listening to Ultrahuman’s Bedtime Stories and it reminded me of the sleep podcasts I used to listen to on Spotify.

The voices are relaxing, and the stories come with meditation and sound effects, but I realized I can be impatient with slow stories. I resorted to the app’s soundscapes and brain music, and they helped a lot to relax my brain and finally shut my eyes off.

I don’t exactly know what’s the science behind brain music, but they really work sometimes.

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You can now buy and sell bitcoin, ethereum within the Venmo app

You can’t pay with crypto though

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Cryptocurrencies are the most trending topic right now, and everyone wants to be a part of it. Well, PayPal-owned peer-to-peer money transfer app Venmo has rolled out a new platform that’ll let users directly buy or sell the cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin, within the app.

With more than 70 million active users, the app serves as a perfect destination for more users. They can hold a stake in cryptocurrency starting with as little as US$ 1. They can also share their acquisition of digital currency on their feeds.

According to the payments company, more than 30 percent of Venmo customers have already started purchasing cryptocurrency or equities. And 20 percent of those customers started doing so during the pandemic.

The Venmo app is straightforward to use, and everyone is habituated with it. Hence, it is easier for folks to get on board the cryptocurrency train without worrying about complex tools.

The announcement did not say anything about paying for goods or services with cryptocurrency, but that ability could come to Venmo later. Customers will choose between four types of cryptocurrency — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

PayPal recently announced it would let users pay for goods at checkout using cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, Tesla said it would accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. With wider acceptance on mainstream services, cryptocurrencies are become easier to grab for everyone.

Venmo is rolling the new crypto features gradually, starting today. They should be available to all customers “within the next few weeks.”

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Spotify will now let you download music on your desktop

You can finally play songs while working offline

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One of the biggest updates to arrives for premium members on Spotify is the ability to download music on your laptop or computer. While this has always been a must-have feature on mobile phones, it wasn’t extended to a full-fledged PC.

Music streaming has taken over the world, and Spotify is leading the market. Streaming lets you listen to anything within a tap, so you never have to download songs via pirated sites or torrents. But the biggest problem with Spotify was — you can’t download songs for offline playback on your computer.

The hurdle is now gone, and you’ll never have to think of piracy or a legal alternative anytime soon. Just fire up Spotify’s free desktop app, and you’re good to go. Similar to the mobile UI, you can choose to keep an album or playlist offline. It’ll download all the tracks and be ready for you whenever you need them.

While this may seem like a minor addition that should’ve been implemented long ago, it technically isn’t. Only the desktop app supports it, and you can’t access it via the website player.

Spotify redesign

Spotify is also rolling out a redesign for the web and desktop app that looks similar to the mobile app. The move was aimed to improve the app’s navigation, add new features, and make the experience uniform across platforms or devices.

The old search bar is now relocated and toned down visually and sits in the left menu section. The “Made For You,” “Daily Mix,” and more playlists now sit within your library section. The Recently Played tab showed playback history up to three months ago.

If you’re a playlist fanatic, there’s now an option to add a description, upload your own images, and drag-drop apps within existing playlists. The new update is aimed at improving your discoverability, in turn offering more opportunities to curators. The hybrid manul-AI setup gets perfectly tuned to understand your taste and offer the most relevant curations.

Read Also: Spotify launches Car Thing, a voice-controlled music player for cars

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