Feeling the need to get away from it all? These mind-calming apps will help.

Our screen time is often under scrutiny, blamed for insomnia, stress and anxiety. Yet amongst the zombie scrolling and blue light effect, are there any positives we can draw from our devices for our sense of relaxation and wellbeing? What if our phones could offer us a window into a world of calm and escapism from the day-to-day, in the palm of our hand?

This week we round-up seven apps that offer just that. Whether you long to be transported out of your four walls, even just for a moment or you’re in need of a meditative, visual puzzle game to distract and calm, we have the download for you.


This year, more than ever, the idea of a ‘portal in your pocket’ that could transport you anywhere around the world in a flash sounds very appealing. The Portal app does just that, offering a video and audio stream from a varierty of wonderful locations. Want to listen in to the crashing waves on the beaches of Hawaii? Head for the wild Scottish Highlands? Or experience a thunderstorm in the Amazon? Portal allows you to feel immersed in nature across the four corners of the planet for the ultimate in escapism. A great tool to use as a focus during meditation or as white noise to help you concentrate on a task – or even drop off to sleep. Download it here.


Visual, mindful puzzles are a great way to switch off, and a brilliant alternative to scrolling aimlessly through your social media feeds. They are brain taxing enough to keep you engaged and sharpen your mind, but meditative enough to have a calming effect. Wordscapes is a hybrid of crosswords, anagrams and word searches, all set against Zen backdrops to help set the mood. Download it here.


The Breathwrk app is a great tool to keep on hand to help you tune in to the power of your breath. Be guided through a vast library of science-backed breathing methods that use music, vibrations and visuals to help you tackle a whole range of issues – from insomnia to fatigue, stress and low mood. You can tap in when you need it most or follow a structured daily routine to build the capacity and performance of your lungs. Download it here.

Mindfulness Art Therapy

Mindful colouring has long been a creative activity recommended to help you switch off, whilst keeping your mind occupied. The Mindfulness Art Therapy app allows you to tap into this absorbing practice on the go. Choose from a range of intricate geometric patterns, mandalas and animal drawings and open your digital paint pot to unleash your creative mind. Download it here.

Alto’s Odyssey

Gaming is not conventionally thought of as a means of ‘de-stressing’, but immerse yourself in the Zen landscape of Alto’s Odyssey (the follow up to the popular Alto’s Adventure) for a beautiful, immediately transporting experience. Set to an original musical score and with beautiful scenery, the ‘endless sandboarding adventure’ can be set to ‘Zen mode’, which eliminates any of the point-scoring elements of the game and allows you to drift through the ever-changing landscape with a simple one-touch control. Download it here.


Mesmerize does exactly what it promises. Through the use of hypnotic visuals and soothing ‘psycho-acoustic music’, it helps aid your body into a state of relaxation. There are guided meditations to help you with visualising, as well as nature sounds such as rain, thunder and the ocean to help you drift off. If you’re keen to be enlivened rather than relaxed, they’ve got that covered too, with music designed to help you zone out from distractions and concentrate on the task in hand. A great multi-function, mindful app that gives you all the tools you need for switching off. Download it here.


Cove is a brilliantly innovative tool used by mental health clinicians to help people express their emotions through music. You don’t need to be a composer. Far from it. The app uses intuitive shapes, instruments and visual representations to make and record sounds, until your ‘mood soundscape’ takes shape. A clever, accessible way for people to creatively unlock and convey how they are feeling if they can’t find the words. Download it here.

By Lydia Mansi
April 2021

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.