The essential wellness apps every new business owner needs

Starting a business isn't easy and you're going to find it hard to juggle work/life balance. These apps promise to reduce stress and support your mental health

Headspace

Compatible with: iOS and Android productsHeadspace
Rating: ★★★★★(App Store)
Price: From £7.95 a month to £249.85 for a lifetime subscription

Describing itself as a “gym membership for the mind”, Headspace provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training that can be accessed online or through its app.

After a 10 day free trial, you can choose a subscription model that suits your own needs including £7.95 for one month, £4.99 a month for a year, £3.74 per month for two years or £249.85 for a lifetime subscription. For this, you unlock hundreds of hours of content, with collections designed to suit different moods, lifestyles and session lengths and are able to track your progress, access rewards and make friends through the app.

Founded in 2010 by Rich Pierson and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, the London-based service claims to have secured over six million users to date and major media endorsement on both sides of the Atlantic.

Additionally, researchers from UCL measured the effects of Headspace in two major corporations, finding that it increased well-being, reduced anxiety, depressive symptoms, sleep problems and blood pressure and even increased perceived job control.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

Science is beginning to understand the effect meditation can have on reducing stress and anxiety and improving sleep – it’s not hard to see how a business owner could benefit from Headspace.

My Happy Place

Compatible with: iOS and Android productsMy Happy Place
Rating: ★★★★★
Price: £0.79

The idea behind My Happy Place is a simple one: your own personal app for storing the photos, videos, quotes, songs or even journal entries that bring you happiness. If you’re having a tough day, the app makes all these things immediately accessible for a quick pick-me-up.

The app enables you to add photos or videos from your own personal library, Instagram or YouTube , add your favourite music, create a quote bank, create a daily gratitude message and a “happy alarm” to have different happy things appear on your phone throughout the day.

As a business owner the app offers an opportunity not just to mitigate the effects of a stressful day but to receive a quick boost of creative inspiration from the things that make you happy. Stress and anxiety are common amongst entrepreneurs and the app provides some respite from this.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

Don’t fall victim to the debilitating effects of stress and anxiety which are all to common with running a new business – simply open up My Happy Place to improve your mood and, in turn, your performance.

Sleepio

Compatible with: iOSSleepio
Rating: ★★★
Price: $300

Whether it’s working long hours late into the night or being unable to sleep due to decisions around your business, the life of a start-up entrepreneur rarely means healthy sleeping habits but good sleep is essential if you want to be in the right frame of mind to make your business a success.

Claiming to be validated in the “world’s first placebo-controlled clinical trial for a digital sleep intervention”, Sleepio uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to help improve its your sleep. Addressing lifestyle and environmental factors that affect sleep and teaching cognitive techniques tailored to individual problems, Sleepio builds you a personalised 24 hour schedule of sleep improvement based on your goals.

The company claims its techniques can result in a 54% reduction in time to fall asleep, 62% fewer awakenings during the night and a 58% boost in daytime energy and concentration, so that entrepreneurs are better equipped to cope with the stresses and strains of their daily business lives.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

While the app’s price might put you off, achieving better sleep can have major implications on your performance, concentration and general feelings of well-being. As a business owner, you need to be at the top of your game if you want to succeed – Sleepio can help you manage that.

Breathe2Relax

Compatible with: iOS and Android productsBreathe2relax
Rating: ★★★★
Price: Free

Stress management tool Breathe2Relax does exactly what it says on the tin: It offers instructions and practical breathing exercises to help you relax. After recording your stress levels on a sliding scale, a combination of graphics, animation, narration and videos guides you through the exercises.

Produced by US-based The National Centre for Telehealth and Technology, the app claims these so-called diaphragmatic breathing exercises have been found to decrease the body’s fight-or-flight stress response and improve mood stabilisation, anger control and anxiety management. So it’s not hard to see how this tool can be very useful for business owners!

While it can yield great financial and personal rewards, creating a business can be extremely challenging, time-consuming and high-pressured – Breathe2Relax says that with practice and regular use, you can learn to perform its breathing skills in any situation.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

An angry, stressed and anxiety-ridden entrepreneur is unlikely to perform at the top of their game; Breathe2Relax offers an opportunity to mitigate these.

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