Have you ever felt overwhelmed by stress, anxiety, or the demands of daily life? If so, you're not alone. Many people struggle to find the time and space to relax and recharge. But a simple and effective solution can help you manage your stress levels and improve your overall well-being: breathing exercises.
Breathing exercises have been used for centuries in various traditions, from yoga and meditation to martial arts and relaxation techniques. The basic idea is simple: by focusing on your breath and controlling your breathing patterns, you can calm your mind, relax your body, and reduce your stress levels.
But why do breathing exercises work? The answer lies in the science of breathing and its effects on the body and mind. When we breathe deeply and rhythmically, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's rest-and-digest response . This, in turn, lowers our heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension, leading to a sense of calm and relaxation.
But there is more to it. Studies have also shown that regular breathing exercises can have various health benefits, including improved respiratory function, better cardiovascular health, reduced inflammation, and enhanced mental clarity and focus . Researchers have found that specific breathing techniques even help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) .
Given the many benefits of breathing exercises, it's no surprise that dozens of breathing apps, like Mesmerize, Bliss, or Soundly, are now available. These apps use guided meditations, visualizations, and biofeedback to help you develop your breathing skills and incorporate them into your daily routine.
We've handpicked the best breathing apps on the market based on factors such as effectiveness, ease of use, range of features, and user reviews. Whether you’re new to breathing exercises or a seasoned practitioner, these apps help you achieve your goals and feel more relaxed and centered. So, if you're ready to take control of your stress levels and improve your overall well-being, read on to discover the best breathing apps for iOS and Android devices. With the help of these powerful tools, you can learn to harness the power of your breath and find peace and calm amidst the chaos of daily life.
Mesmerize is a breathing app that stands out, offering a unique and captivating experience to help you breathe your way to better mental health. It does so through unique visuals specifically designed to hypnotize and mesmerize you. You can control the speed of the visuals using the pinch-to-zoom gesture, allowing you to personalize your meditation experience based on your breathing pattern, making the visual breathing exercises feel like an effortless experience.
The app uses psycho-acoustic music to ease your body into relaxation, a principle based on clinical studies proven to help achieve deeper relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety . The music also plays in the app's visual breathing feature, where the speed allows you to synchronize your breathing with the visuals.
Visual breathing, along with the other features offered by Mesmerize, is a great way to improve your breathing and relieve stress and anxiety. But overall, it's not an app that only improves one's breathing techniques: it's a mindfulness platform that can help you achieve better focus and self-awareness in the long term. Download Mesmerize on the App Store or Google Play to discover the power of intentional breathing, enhance your overall well-being, and experience deeper relaxation and focus.
Similarly to Mesmerize, Bliss is an innovative app that helps you quell stress and anxiety through the power of visual breathing, involving stunning visuals to guide you through each breathing exercise. The app's visuals are specifically designed to enhance the calming effects of the exercises, helping you enter a state of relaxation more easily.
Breathing at a special rate for extended periods can be challenging and tedious. Bliss, however, has found a way to make the experience enjoyable and engaging by using beautiful visuals to guide you through resonant frequency breathing exercises. These exercises involve breathing at a specific rate known to improve heart rate variability, a key indicator of overall health.
Alongside its unique approach to breathing exercises, Bliss is also user-friendly. The app is easy to navigate, and you can customize your breathing sessions based on your preferences and needs. Whether you’re new to breathing exercises or an experienced practitioner, Bliss is an excellent tool for anyone looking to improve their health and well-being.
So if you're considering a new routine to improve your energy levels, reduce your stress, and elevate your breathing, download Bliss on the App Store or Google Play and test out their free trial to know if it's the app for you. Bliss also runs a financial assistance program for anyone with trouble affording their subscription.
Breathing exercises are an effective way to calm the mind and body, and Soundly is a functional music app that offers a unique approach to doing just that. Their app's library of sounds, music, stories, and meditations is designed to help you achieve better sleep, focus, relaxation, and more.
Soundly's world-class sounds, music, stories, and meditations are built from the ground up by expert research and audio teams. The app's customizable features allow you to choose the perfect combination of sounds, stories, volumes, and narrators for your preferred breathing exercises. The playlists feature lets you create your perfect list of audio mixes with individual timers or alarms. These mixes will transition smoothly between one another with seamless crossfades.
Soundly might be the unique functional music app you're looking for to help manage your energy levels through breathing exercises. Its customizable features allow users to create their perfect mix of sounds, stories, music, and meditations for their preferred relaxation techniques.
Othership is a breathwork app that combines music and guided breathwork practices to help you regulate your nervous system, improve focus, reduce stress, and cultivate mind-body connection. With just a few minutes of conscious breathing, you can shift your state, feel energized or relaxed, and experience a transformative journey that lasts up to 60 minutes.
One feature of Othership involves daily sessions set to music and guided by professionals with a background in psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, spirituality, or life coaching. The Othership sessions combine ancient traditions and modern science to create a practical and playful experience.
Othership offers five types of daily breathing styles with unique benefits, including:
The app also offers a curated weekly practice designed to give you a complete release and reset from the stressors of modern living. These practices may involve different breathing styles, like diaphragmatic breathing, the Wim Hof method, or 4-7-8 breathing.
Overall, Othership ticks all the checkmarks to help regulate your lifestyle through breathing. With its daily breathing sessions and transformative weekly practices, engaging with its platform on iOS or Android is a good choice for anyone looking to incorporate conscious breathing into their daily routine.
Simple Habit offers guided mindfulness and meditation sessions that can be as short as five minutes, making it perfect for people with busy lifestyles who need a quick relaxation fix but are still looking to reduce stress and increase their sense of mindfulness.
The app offers meditation sessions guided by experts, with coaching content and motivational talks to help you stay on track. Using the app regularly will build a meditative habit that teaches you to focus on your breath to become more mindful of your body's sensations, helping you to calm down and relax at the end of a long day.
Whether you're dealing with a particularly stressful situation, need to relax before bed, or want to feel more centered and focused throughout the day, Simple Habit's guided breathing exercises help you achieve mindfulness on the go. The app's wellness sessions are designed to tackle different life challenges in a calm, focused manner, helping you to be happier, more relaxed, and calm in any situation.
You can access their suite of breathing exercises and meditation tools through the App Store or Google Play and discover if it's the right platform for you before paying for the Premium membership.
Calm is a well-known app that offers a variety of features to help individuals improve their breathing and manage their anxiety. Calm provides a variety of breathing exercises to choose from, including mindful breathing, deep breathing, and equal breathing. Each exercise is designed to help you regulate your breathing and focus on the present moment. Mindful breathing, for example, involves focusing on your breath and observing your thoughts without judgment, while deep breathing involves taking slow, deep breaths to calm your body.
Calm also offers different exercise lengths to fit your schedule. Whether you have a few minutes or half-hour, you can find a breathing exercise that fits your needs. The short exercises are great for a quick break during a busy day, while longer exercises can be useful for relaxation before bed. The app includes animated visuals that show you when to inhale and exhale, which can be helpful for individuals who have difficulty following their breath on their own.
Overall, Calm is a good breathing app because it offers a range of exercises to fit different needs, is backed by science, provides visual aids, and is user-friendly. Whether you're looking to reduce stress and anxiety or want to take a few moments to relax, Calm's breathing exercises, available on both the App Store and Google Play, can help.
Lastly, Breathwrk is a top-rated app that offers various breathing exercises tailored to different needs and situations. For example, the app offers exercises for energizing, calming, and balancing the body, as well as exercises for improving sleep and focus. These guided breathing exercises are easy to follow, even for beginners, with clear instructions and visual cues to help you stay on track. The app also offers customizable breathing sessions to set the exercise's duration, rhythm, and style to suit your preferences.
But one of the standout features of Breathwrk is its emphasis on personalization. The app tracks your progress and adjusts its recommendations based on usage patterns and feedback, which means the app can help you build a consistent breathing practice that suits your unique needs.
Breathwrk also offers a community feature where you can connect with other app users and share your experiences and insights, a helpful way to stay motivated and engaged with your breathing practice and learn from others using the app. If this sounds like the right app for you, you can download it on the App Store and Google Play before considering their premium membership that unlocks all features.
Breathing exercises have been used for centuries to help people relax and recharge. Focusing on the breath and controlling breathing patterns can calm the mind, relax the body, and reduce stress levels. Breathing exercises also have various health benefits, including improved respiratory function, better cardiovascular health, reduced inflammation, and enhanced mental clarity and focus.
Through these apps, you can incorporate breathing exercises into your daily routine. Mesmerize, Bliss, and Soundly are just three of the best apps available to help you harness the power of your breath and find peace and calm amidst the chaos of daily life.
Identifying one "healthiest" breathing technique is difficult since different techniques may work better for different people and situations. However, slow and deep diaphragmatic breathing, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth, is a commonly recommended technique for reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. It is important to note that breathwork techniques should be practiced under the guidance of a qualified practitioner, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.
Breathwork can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and anxiety, but certain situations may not be appropriate. For example, suppose you have a history of respiratory problems, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or any concerns about your breathing. In that case, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before trying any breathwork techniques. If you experience any discomfort or dizziness during breathwork, it is important to stop and seek medical attention if necessary.
While breathwork is generally considered safe when practiced properly, there are some potential risks and side effects to be aware of. Hyperventilation, or over-breathing, can lead to symptoms such as lightheadedness, tingling, and muscle spasms. There have also been rare cases of people experiencing seizures during breathwork. It is important to start with simple and gentle techniques and to avoid pushing yourself too hard or too quickly. If you have any concerns or experience any adverse effects during breathwork, it is important to seek medical attention.