4 Meditation and Mindfulness Apps That Will Help You Feel More Zen This Year

Ways to be that well-adjusted person in 2017.

If you've ever wondered how that impossibly calm, resourceful colleague or friend keeps a level head under pressure—while juggling a full schedule and not pitching a fit about it—chances are she's already up to speed on mindfulness and daily meditation exercises.

Studies show that breathing exercises and daily meditation can actually affect your brain in the long-term, shrinking the area of your brain that triggers the flight-or-flight complex. The result? According to experts, increased health benefits, enhanced creativity, and a generally glass-half-full way of considering life and relationships.

Below, find four of the best apps to help you have more chill, sleep deeper, and get more crafty all at once (we're sure you'll hit at least *one* of your new year's goals this way).

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1 Stop, Breathe & Think

Those who have already made the move to Amazon's voice-activated devices (the Echo and the Echo Dot) can have Alexa guide them in daily mediations with a simple voice command from this Webby Award-winning app

Stop, Breathe & Think helps you monitor the highs and lows of your weeks by having you "check in" at different times of the day with your moods (so you can review your anxiety and creativity levels). It also works with you on targeted wellness areas like falling asleep faster, improving focus, and alleviating anxiety

2 Welzen

One guided meditation app to keep in your pocket is Welzen, the app that offers everything from 5 minute sessions to lunch break-sized calm-downs. Each cuddly-looking creature corresponds to a targeted area for meditation, from stress relief to enhanced relationships and improved creativity. 

Plus, the app does much to teach you about the science behind meditation and how it alleviates certain mental stressors, which makes it a great one for beginners who are just getting into breathing exercises. 

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3 Headspace

One of the first and most widely embraced wellness apps, Headspace takes mental health as seriously as it does your fitness goals. It's attributed for helping to draw more people into the practice of meditation and for shifting the way people think about it.

Like any good fitness app, people can draw up a wellness plan that works for them by selecting mediation sessions to fit their mood and lifestyle, then learn how to apply their sessions to becoming a more mindful, compassionate person.

4 Calm

Bookmark this one for your next subway ride: Calm is like a gentle noise machine that blocks out all external commotion. Using different sound themes (like the patter of rain, the gentle animal sounds of a rainforest, and the crackle of a fireplace), the app transports you to a happier, calmer place while you meditate. It also works on improving the quality of your sleep and teaches you how to focus on your breathing. 

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