5 of The Best Stress-Busting Apps

Global Shakers has prepared a list of five applications to guide and support you through global lockdown.

16.04.2020 | by Christy Romer
Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash
Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

Every day that passes is a day closer to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we pull together to support those in need and collaborate on finding a solution, it’s always helpful to have a bit of extra support at the touch of a button.

The five smartphone apps below are trusted by millions of people and proven to help us relax, switch off and heal.



Wysa, stress


More than a million people use Wysa, the penguin-like, “emotionally intelligent chatbot.”

Wysa reacts to the emotions users express in an empathetic, helpful way, without judging. People can just vent or reflect on their day; practice CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or DBT; deal with loss, worries or conflict; or use mindfulness exercises to relax and sleep peacefully.

While the application normally runs a tiered pricing system, costing $99.99 a year for access to the tools, and $99.99 a month with added coaching, the developers have decided to offer the lower level for free during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wysa was designated the best health and care app for 2020 by ORCHA, the world’s leading health app evaluation and advisor organisation.

Petit Bambou


Petit Bambou


Led by a loveable mascot, a charming, smiley monk, Petit Bambou has become the number 1 free meditation app in France, with almost 4.5 million downloads.

It offers a selection of guided meditations organised by theme, containing more than 270 lessons on sleep, stress management and “benevolent parenting.”

Petit Bambou was co founded in 2014 by Benjamin Blasco, former director of global business development at Paypal. During the lockdown, it has tripled the number of daily downloads.

It offers live mindfulness sessions in English, French, Spanish and German, and even dedicated mindfulness classes for kids.



Calm app


Formerly Apple app of the Year, Calm aims to be the “mindfulness app for beginners” while equipped with guides and music intended to serve intermediate and advanced users.

A paid subscription gives access to hundreds of hours of guided meditation, exclusive music tracks, and over 100 before bed ‘sleep stories’ read by famous faces, including Stephen Fry and Matthew McConaughey.

Following an $88 million funding round in February 2019, Calm is now officially a ‘unicorn’—with a $1 billion valuation.

As a sign of its growth, Calm is partnering with XpresSpa at major US airports to get exclusive gifts for Calm users. The app is also being offered to teachers for free, leading to schools like Okmulgee in Oklahoma using the app to teach students how to meditate.

Anti-stress games


Anti stress


JindoBlu’s oddly addictive collection of anti-stress mini-games have been downloaded more than 10 million times on the Google Play store.

Users can choose to eat through as many corn on the cobs as possible, mow the lawn with a finger-controlled machine, make swirling patterns of music through a MIDI-style loops…or play any of the 61 other mini-games offered for free.

A premium version also offers access to sand art, ping pong, and a fence painting game.

JindoBlu’s real name is Moreno Maio. On his contact page, he writes that if he doesn’t respond to an email in 15 seconds, he’s probably “busy making games. Or just relaxing.”



Headspace image


Headspace is the no-frills wellbeing application that has convinced millions of people to give meditation a try.

Users are offered a selection of personalised meditation and mindfulness techniques for use during the day and sleep-inducing support in the evening. After just a few minutes’ use a day, the application promises a “healthier, happier, more well-rested life.”

The app was created by Andy Puddicombe, a man who lived for 10 years as a Buddhist monk in Asia and meditated for up to 16 hours a day. A BBC Mundo report reveals that his journey began after a series of tragedies in his personal life that happened in quick succession, yet taught him the importance of bringing happiness to others.

The application, funded via a monthly or annual subscription, has had more than 54 million downloads. The Times reports that its most recent valuation from 2017 was $320 million.

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