2020 has been a ridiculously stressful year for most people. Between the pandemic, political and social unrest, and the economic fallout from COVID-19, lots of people are just trying to get by and keep their families safe. That takes its toll on our mental health.

If you’re feeling stressed, especially with the holidays coming up, know that you’re not alone. We all could use a little bit of relaxation right now. The good news is that there are lots of great tools available for reducing stress and making life a little bit easier, including a huge range of great apps.

Looking for something that will help you manage your stress as we head into 2021? Here are some great app choices.


The benefits of meditation are well-documented at this point. Studies have shown that meditation can be beneficial for people who are struggling with anxiety and addiction. It’s also a great tool for people who want to manage their stress and feel calmer in their daily lives.

Meditation requires no special equipment or experience, but it can be tough to start a consistent habit without a little help. Full benefits of meditation, like reducing stress and anxiety, usually require some dedication to a daily practice, even if the sessions are short.

Headspace is a great app for getting started with mindfulness meditation. It offers a free Meditation 101 course and has lots of other mindfulness and meditation training options, whether you want to try mindful eating, sports and fitness meditation, or meditation for better sleep. The app’s paid version has a huge range of programs designed to help you live your best life.

Insight Timer

Insight Timer bills itself as the “#1 free app for sleep, anxiety, and stress.” In addition to offering meditation and programs to help you sleep, the app also has free yoga classes and live events. With over 70,000 free meditations and over a thousand sleep programs, you can turn to this app whenever you’re feeling stressed or anxious.

For many people, finances are tight right now, causing even more stress. A free app like Insight Timer offers you full access without requiring a subscription. Whatever your struggles are, Insight Timer can probably help you feel better so you can meet them head-on.

Neurodiversity App

We’re learning more and more about the human brain all the time. In the past, people who were diagnosed as autistic, dyslexic, or otherwise atypical thinkers, were considered to be slow, disadvantaged, or disabled.

Today, we know that these differences in thinking can be very valuable and simply require a different approach to learning. This is a concept known as neurodiversity. Neurodivergent adults often feel stressed out because they’ve been told that the way they are is “wrong.” Parents of neurodivergent children may feel helpless because their child has been labeled negatively for the way they’re wired.

The Neurodiversity app can help. If you’re feeling stressed or worried about the way you think and relate to the world, it can be very helpful to know that someone else “gets” you. The Neurodiversity app will help you understand the way you think—and allow you to find your strengths and challenges.


Mental health support is something everyone needs. Stress, anxiety, and depression can easily take over your life and make it difficult to just get through the day.

Sanvello is an app that is designed to support your mental health in four different ways: through self-coaching, community support, formal coaching, and professional therapy. Some insurance plans cover Sanvello, although you can also get started for free.

Take Care of Yourself

If you’re struggling right now, it’s important to acknowledge your stress. You need to take care of your mental health so you can get through the challenges in your life.

Folks of different backgrounds have disproportional access to mental health resources. If you don’t have access to a therapist, these apps might be able to give you at least some support and stress reduction until you can speak to a professional.

There’s no shame in seeking help for your mental health. Almost everyone struggles with stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns at some point during their lives. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re having a difficult time or you find yourself in crisis.

Your mental health matters. You matter.