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5 mindfulness apps to save you from creative burnout

Person holding phone displaying Buddhify app

Depression and burnout affect as many as one-third of workers, according to a study by charity Depression Alliance. In our culture of information overload, it’s important that you make an active effort to manage your stress levels to help prevent burnout.

From eating enough leafy greens to getting more shut-eye, there are plenty of tactics you can use to keep creative burnout at bay. Mindfulness – a proven method of helping to train your mind to more effectively manage anxiety and stress – is one of several strategies you can use to make yourself more resistant to burnout. 

Studies have shown that as little as 10 minutes of meditation a day can help reduce anxiety and stress, meaning that whether you slot yoga into your lunch break or realign your chakras on your commute home, small bitesize chunks of meditation could help significantly reduce your stress levels. 

And while your smartphone might be partially to blame for your soaring cortisol to begin with, there are apps available to help you hone your brain waves and keep you cool as a cucumber, no matter what life throws your way. 

Keep your creative mojo on point by taking steps to manage stress and burnout with these five nifty mindfulness apps.

01. Headspace

Trio of phone screens displaying Headspace

This design-centric guided meditation app could help you better manage the stresses of daily life

  • Platform: Android/iOS
  • Price: Some features free, subscription £9.99 a month, £74.99 annual or £399.99 lifetime

This self-proclaimed ‘gym membership for the mind’ is the go-to mindfulness app for creatives and non-creatives alike. A pocket-sized personal meditation coach, Headspace’s commitment to making meditation simple has won it millions of users worldwide. 

Created by sports-scientist-turned-monk-turned-entrepreneur, Andy Puddicombe, this iconic app makes meditation a breeze with fun, easy-to-digest videos. 

Dip your toe in the water with the free version or commit for the long-haul with the subscription version. 

Featuring short, simple meditations in a cute, whimsical style, this iconic, UX-centric app, is a must-try if you want to integrate mindfulness into your day.

02. Calm

Phone screen displaying Calm dashboard

Pairing picturesque landscapes with tranquil sounds, Calm creates exactly that

  • Platform: Android/iOS
  • Price: Some features free, £35.99 to unlock all (after seven-day trial)

With a focus on the natural world, Calm is a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of working life. Chosen as Apple’s App of the Year in 2017, Calm’s serene soundtracks and beautiful location snapshots will help you conjure up a mental ‘safe space’. Featuring music, meditations, masterclasses and sleep-centric exercises, this app is a more nature-focused alternative to Headspace.

According to a study by the Center for Humane Technology, Calm is actually the app that leaves users the happiest when rated against other popular downloads. So, take a deep breath, listen to the pitter-patter of rainfall and picture a beautiful sunset in your mind’s eye with the help of Calm.

03. Personal Zen

Personal Zen's positive outlook scale

Want to up your inner zen? There’s an app for that

  • Platform: iOS only
  • Price: Free

Simple and quirky, Personal Zen is a gamified version of Attention Bias Modification Training (ABMT), which has been shown to help the brain disengage from negative stimuli. 

Supported by clinical studies, this nifty app redirects your attention towards the positive. Simply trace the path of the friendly sprite through the grass quickly and smoothly – making sure not to let the grumpy sprite divert your focus.

If you’re prone to seeing the glass as half empty, this sweet, if somewhat low-fi, app is a breath of fresh air. And the best news? From a quick scan of the stunning visuals on its website, it looks like a design overhaul is in the pipeline.

04. MindFi

Trio of phone screens displaying MindFi applications

Short and sweet, MindFi is meditation for those who struggle to sit still

  • Platform: Android/ iOS
  • Price: Some features free, subscription £5.49 a month, £39.99 annual, £174.99 lifetime

MindFi Founder Bjorn Lee is on a mission to make us more productive. A self-confessed struggling meditator, the app is designed with fidgeters in mind. 

Whether you want to slot meditation in on your break, commute, or at a meal, this app, which is designed specifically for ‘busy humans’, aims to make it easy to find time for meditation in your hectic schedule.

These short three to five-minute meditation exercises, covering everything from deadline blues to mindful typing, will help you find a moment to breathe.

05. Buddhify

Person holding phone displaying Buddhify app

Be mindful on the go with this app, which will help you become an app-free meditator

  • Platform: Android/iOS
  • Price: £4.99

Whether you want to get a taste of mindfulness with Meditation 101 or can’t sleep and are looking for some exercises to help you drift off, Buddhify’s colourful meditation wheel makes it simple to pick and choose exercises to suit the situation. 

Championing people over profit, this husband and wife business has strong values at its heart. Avoiding the subscription model, Buddhify has a one-off cost, meaning it can work out significantly cheaper than some of its subscription-based competitors. 

If you think of meditation as a bike, then Buddhify is your stabilisers – and the app’s ultimate aim is to make you an app-free independent meditator. Look, no hands!

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