You may think that the moment you slip off your work shoes and flick on the TV, you unwind. That the ball of yarn in your stomach, which has been winding tighter and tighter all day, will begin to unravel all by itself. Sadly, that’s not always how it works. You need to actively seek out that rest. You deserve it. It’s not easy to find a spare moment in which to have some much-needed “you time.”

By using these six apps, you can ensure you give yourself every possible chance to chill out whenever and wherever you happen to be.

1. Meditation made easy – Headspace

Sometimes, life gets caught in fast-forward mode. You’re watching the scenes play out, but things are going faster and faster, and you have a grand total of zero control. You want to hit pause. Well, you can. Headspace allows you to do just that. Rather than diving you head-first into the deep world of meditation, the app offers a simple introductory course. For the first 10 days, you have to spare just 10 minutes. Soothing sounds accompanied by a calm voice take you through every step. This course should guide you and teach you some of the basic strategies you’ll need, should you wish to incorporate mindfulness into your lifestyle. After the introductory period is up, you’ll have the option to pay a small subscription for the full version. Failing that, you can simply keep using the free app. The bite size meditation sessions can fit seamlessly into even the most hectic of lifestyles.

2. Wind down – Sleep Easy by Shazzie

Similar to Headspace, the Sleep Easy app offers a step-by-step course, which promises to teach you how to meditate and, ultimately, switch off. Shazzie is the writer and founder of the app. She is also an expert in so-called “life transformation programs.” The app features a 26-minute recording which seeks to help you drop off to a meditative sleep state. By the end of the sound bite, the app creator promises you will be “refreshed, renewed and resonating so much more from your heart and a place of stillness.”

3. Slumber in peace – Infinite Storm

infinite stormInsomnia is an increasingly common problem, and one which is oh-so-densely related to stress and anxiety. Spending the twilight hours counting sheep and praying to nod off to never-neverland is no healthy way to rest. According to one intriguing study, introducing white noise into the bedroom environment encourages 73% of children to drop to sleep naturally. There’s no reason that should not apply to adults as well. White noise can be anything from mechanically generated sounds to natural noises, such as rainfall. Infinite Storm is a free app that allows you to choose from a range of sound effects which will help you slumber peacefully. From “heavy storm” to “tin roof rain,” there’s a broad array of options. Choosing the right one for you is most certainly a game of trial and error. It’s worth experimenting with the choices a while, until you find the one that aids your sleep best.

4. Simple breathing tips – Breathe2Relax

This easy-to-use app describes itself as a “stress management tool,” but it can be so much more than that. In times of great pressure, your breathing becomes more and more shallow. Simply put, your brain fails to get the oxygen it needs, and this issue serves to exacerbate the problem. The solution is simple: diaphragmatic breathing. This app teaches you how to control your breathing by using straightforward self-training devices. You may not think that you need an app to help you do what comes naturally; but once you start using it, you’ll reap the rewards.

5. Find your Zen – Calm

calm appIf you’ve ever visited, you’ll find the premise of this app is much the same as the site. The web page offers an array of calming sounds, which you can set to a timer on the background of your desktop. While the app version offers this function, it also includes a rather interesting “7 Steps to Calm” program. The instructive guide will teach you vital meditation skills, such as maintaining the correct posture and taking the time to evaluate how you really feel. If you’re new to the world of meditation, this app is a beginner’s crash course in the astounding art.

6. Drift off fast – Power Nap App

power nap appDo you feel drained and slovenly at times? Well, you’re not alone. Many of us experience these feelings, especially when we don’t allow ourselves the rest we need to function. Having a quick power nap may make all the difference. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a 20- to 30-minute sleep can increase alertness and help you rejuvenate your mind. Of course, there is always the unfaltering fear that you will fall into the deepest of sleeps and not wake up on time. The Power Nap App helps you avoid just that problem. You can set a timer of up to 30 minutes for your sleep. During that time, the app plays you pleasantly soothing sounds, such as birds and thunder. When the time is up, you’ll be awoken by your chosen alarm, such as bells or even soft piano music. If you’re struggling to fit a quick sleep into your day, this could be the app for you.