With our lives getting busier and busier with each passing day, we all need breaks especially in times of stress and anxiety. I find myself at times overwhelmed with the world around me. There are times where we need to sit on the couch and binge watch mindless television. We could all use something that quiets our minds even if for a short time. Those on the autism spectrum often times have sensory sensitivities which can amplify these stressors and anxiety. I have found a few apps that might be handy to keep on your phone for just these types of occasions. When my anxiety levels are high it helps for me personally, to play puzzle type games such as Tetris or Doctor Who: Legacy. It forces my brain to think differently and eventual allows my nerves time to calm down. Not all apps will work for everyone, but I’ve listed enough to cover a wide variety of needs.
Pocket Pond– This app is free for Apple and Android devices. It is essentially your very own koi pond at your fingertips. This app allows you to feed, breed, play with and sell several types of koi fish. These koi are interactive and will nibble your finger if left on the screen. The nature sounds are very relaxing and this is one app that has made a permanent home on my phone. There was also a sequel released at the beginning of this year that improves on many aspects of the original, with added support for Android.
Android: Pocket Pond 2
HeatPad– This app is free app for apple devices. This app simulates heat sensitive surfaces. This app is surprisingly soothing and the background music is a nice “touch”. You can share your heat sensitive creations by saving them to your camera roll.
Fireworks– You can create your own awesome visual fireworks show by simply touching your screen. Fireworks Arcade is a free Android and Apple app, that in my opinion, delivers the most captivating and interesting show.
iOS: Fireworks Arcade
Android: Fireworks Arcade
Swirl City– This free Apple app is a particle drawing, swirling, and twirling app based on the physics of fluid dynamics. This app is fun to just watch after you have created a drawing. Listening to the ambient background music while you watch your drawing swirl, repel or attract can be very soothing.
Fluidity HD– This is another particle type app. If you enjoyed playing with slime as a kid but didn’t like getting your hands dirty then this app will be perfect for you. It reminded me of slime that I could interact with, without the mess!
Zen Bound 2– Zen Bound 2 is a mesmerizing puzzle game where you wrap rope around wooden sculptures. As with all puzzle games, this was extremely addicting to me and it was also a very good distraction with over 100 levels. Zen Bound remains one of the highest rated games available for iOS thanks to its engaging gameplay and rich graphics.
Dropophone– This app allows those who are musically soothed to create songs that sound like drips and drops falling on a tiny orchestra of instruments. It is a lot of fun to play with even when you are not as musically inclined (such as myself).
Monster Chorus– Despite the curious name, Monster Chorus is a fun app that allows you to create beautiful music with a cute monster chorus. You can also record your own voice as one of the monsters too. A songbook of four classic children’s songs are included.
Paint Sparkles Draw– Who doesn’t love a good coloring book? Paint Sparkle Draw is an awesome coloring book/drawing app available on Android and iOS. This app is exceptionally good for those who choose to doodle in their spare time, but also has a couple of coloring pages with the free app.
iOS: Paint Sparkles Draw
Android: Paint Sparkles Draw
UZU– Uzu is your best combination of drawing, light sabres, lava lamps and a rave all wrapped into one. There are many ways to interact with the app, and the possibilities are almost endless. Uzu is available now through the app store for $1.99
Sound Drop– This free apple app combines drawing lines with making sound. Ball fall on the lines you have drawn to create your own unique sounds.
iOS: Sound Drop
Relax Melodies-This is a free app for android and iOS. Relax Melodies uses calming sounds to help with sleep,relaxation and meditation.
iOS: Relax Melodies
Android: Relax Melodies
The Mindfulness Apps– This app is available on both Android and Apple for $1.99. Mindfulness app boasts stress relief and increased health by guided meditation.
Calm– Available on Android and Apple for free. Calm app can help with meditation, sleep, relaxation and focus. There are programs for such things as calm, anxiety release, compassion and confidence.
Stress Baal– This fun and free app is available on Android and Apple. Stress Baal is a minor devil that you can take your stresses out on. He responds to your touch and it will be hard not to smile when interacting with him. Adorbs.
iOS: Stress Baal
Android: Stress Baal
Squeeze And Shake Stress Relief– Rather than taking out your stress on friends and family you can take all your stress out on this $11.99 app for apple devices. You can actually squeeze your device to hear a rubber ducky like sound and if you have an iPhone you can shake and you can get a vibrating hand massage.
GPS For The Soul– This free app is designed to track heart rate and stress levels. It then offers selected music or comforting photos of dear ones as a means of reducing stress. Syncing breathing to relieve stress is also available with this app.
iOS: GPS For The Soul
Android: GPS For The Soul
Colorfy– This app is an excellent free app available on both platforms. This is one of the best digital adult coloring books ever. It is handy with lots of beautiful floral and mandalas to choose from.
And then there are the games you love to hate…Candy crush, Bejeweled, Puzzle Quest, and Bubble Shooter. These games are often good distractions from anxiety and stress, however, they can also dominate all of your free time as well.
We all live in a stressful world and many times an app may not be the answer, in fact, the best stress relief might be to just unplug for a bit and enjoy some quiet time in a peaceful place.
(Then plug-in and play candy crush and send your friends invites)