2023 has been a difficult year health wise. As a result of some of those events, much has been made of my need to destress.

I’m a technology guy so naturally when my doc tells me to reduce stress I look for an app for that, and have found two in a category I previously didn’t know existed called mindfulness apps.

The first one I’ll mention is Calm. It’s the first mindfulness app that I encountered, and was impressed enough to pay for a subscription so that I can use it to the extent of its abilities. And they are vast.

Calm makes some pretty bold claims. On one web site it says “Calm contains sleep stories, guided meditations, soothing sounds and more. Transform your life with just a few minutes a day. There’s something for everyone. Meditation for kids. Backed by science. Helps reduce stress. Mental health is health. 7-day guided practice. Made for all levels. Unique 10 min meditaions. Track sessions.”

At the core Calm is a guided meditation app. Instructors or coaches guide you through some breathing exercises and talk about the topic of the day. Those topics vary, but are all centered around self improvement and are not overly spiritual.

The other app I’ve been using is called Headspace, and like Calm it does guided meditations but I found the style to be more teaching as opposed to having a focus on meditation.

Both apps have a place in the wellness space that I’m learning more and more about. And while they’re different enough that they’re both worth trying, there’s also a good bit of overlap, so if you only used one or the other, that would work as well.

But like there are different makes of cars that suit our preferences, I think there’s a good place for each of these apps.