I don’t do well with mindfulness apps. Actually, I don’t do very well with mindfulness exercises. I’ve learnt it, I’ve done it, I think it’s good, and I’ve benefit from them. I just can’t get into the habit of doing it.
So instead, I’ve replaced it with Duolingo. It’s not the same thing, mindfulness and learning a new language… but it helps me keep my mind off things and distracts me in a way that gives me nourishment.
I started using it heavily back when I was travelling to France and French-speaking Canada and I wanted to learn some basic French. Then I lost the habit, but the nice thing about having Duolingo is that you can pick up from where you left sort of.
It’s ironic that I find Headspace quite competitive and stressful (be mindful! now! breathe! 30 seconds! relax! now!) which is not what it’s supposed to be. I find thinking about Headspace more stressful than thinking about Duolingo.
However, there’s one app I absolutely love, which is great for mental health and requires very low intervention. It’s from Action For Happiness, who do monthly calendars and has an app that sends you daily advice from their calendars, but the app is also used for people to share encouragement and reflections with one another around each day’s advice. Every day I get the day’s piece of advice and each time I read it, I do feel better about life and so on.
No clicking. No breathing. No timers.
It’s simple, it works, and it’s free!
I like free things that work well. The world should have more of these things.
Like fresh air and sunshine.