Meditation apps offer easy, accessible ways to handle stress

LOS ANGELES -- A growing number of studies show how much stress impacts your health, and you probably wouldn't think of your phone as a way to get a little Zen in your day, but new meditation apps are proving to be all the rage.

Cheryl Davies was looking for a better way to handle stress, so she started meditating and doing yoga.

As an acupuncturist and massage therapist, she was a little skeptical about a meditation app but decided to give it a try.

"If you can't disconnect from your phone, at least use your phone in a way you can connect with yourself," she said.

The "Calm" app offers relaxing sounds and scenes and encourages meditation goals.

With "Headspace" - described like a "gym membership for the mind" - users are guided through daily meditations from beginner to non-beginner.

Expert Julian Walker feels this "zen trend" makes meditation more accessible.

"I think that technology is just a tool and you can use tools in a variety of different ways. And if the app, in this case, is well designed, it can seamlessly be a wonderful tool that supports meditation," he said.

Apps like "Checky" are all about being mindful. It tracks how many times you check your phone every day.

Tech expert Dan Ackerman said the influx of meditation apps makes sense since the popularity of all health-related technology is on the rise. However, he does suggest to do a little research before downloading just any app.

"You should see if you want to have a lot of guided meditations basically listening to recordings of teachers talking you through things, or if you just want something that'll track how long you've been meditating," he said.

Experts also said while some apps are free, others cost per month.
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