In this day and age, there are countless tools for finding help in a pinch. We've previously talked about a free-to-use app that helps with battling self-harm and the response to the coverage was overwhelmingly positive. It's because of that connection with our audience that I wanted to share another helpful tool I've found - and tried - with all of our readers. 

The app is called Calm and while it does offer a Pro version with more options, so far I've found the free version more than enough. When you first download the app, available on Android and iOS systems, it asks a series of questions to garner what you might be looking for when using Calm. For myself personally, I selected the Stress, Anxiety, and Sleep options. 

Once selected, the app will automatically play a selected scene for you between three options: a nighttime landscape with animated water and cricket sounds, a daytime landscape with animated water and chirping birds, or an up-close plant scene with the sound of raindrops and a similar animated effect. Personally, the rain is my favorite but honestly, each scene offers something special. 

If you're looking for something different, there is a menu option you can pull up by swiping upwards. The app will greet you by name with a few options to choose from, each option housing more specific sub-options to choose from: 

  • Quick & Easy - Mood check-in, breathing exercise, (paid) body scan, (paid) 90-second meditation, (paid) deep concentration, (paid) calm light, and timed meditation
  • Mental Fitness - Train your mind, how to meditate, the confidence series, (paid) extended rain
  • Sleep Stories - Stephen Fry Blue Gold, (paid) Matthew McConaughey, (paid) Tamara Levitt The Waterfall, (paid) Nick Offerman The Big Bad Wolf Learns Anger Management, (paid) Alan Sklar A Cruise on the Nile, (paid) Jerome Flynn Rumpelstiltskin Learns to Meditate, (paid) Erik Braa The River Wild, (paid) Alan Sklar Beauty and the Beast, (paid) Bhavnisha Parmar A Little Princess, (paid) Lucy Liu Festival of the First Moon
  • Meditations - 7 days of calm, how to meditate, 7 days of calming anxiety, (paid) deep sleep, 7 days of managing stress, (paid) gently back to sleep, (paid) anxiety release, 7 days of sleep, 7 days of soothing pain, train your mind
  • As well as a rotating carousel of music options

Many of the tab scenes above will offer a playlist, including one that features Lebron James for a "champion's mindset." Some of them may seem a little gimmicky, but even good 'ol Lebron helped me when I needed it in a pinch. 

While I don't recommend this app to replace therapy, I would recommend it alongside therapy. I know a lot of people tend to balk at the mention of therapy, but it doesn't mean you're broken or need somebody to "fix" you, therapy offers an outlet to a trained professional whose sole purpose in that moment is to help you. They are trained to listen, they are trained to connect the dots to formulate patterns if your life in order to help navigate the ones that may cause daily harm. They're there to help you process what's going on in your life, past or present, they are there for a lot of beneficial reasons that deserved to be valued beyond the stigma. 

I was active duty for 5 years and served overseas during both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Though it's been a while, there are still challenges when assimilating to civilian life - it's an entirely different world with different thought patterns, different rules. It's hard and that confusion oftentimes makes me feel less than human and out of control. It also leads to massive depression and anxiety about all areas of my life including work, relationships, and what lies ahead. 

In those moments where I need to recenter, I often look for little tools to keep in my pocket to utilize while on the go. So far I'm really glad I've stumbled upon this app and I hope that if you're interested that it helps you in the same way it helps me. 

This is NOT a sponsored post, just something we hope helps.