Chill out! 8 gadgets and apps to help you lower your stress levels

8 gadgets and apps to help you lower your stress levels
Be nice to your eyes - take a screen break from time to time

We're all staring at our screens too much. For hours on end, we click through web sites, type up Word documents, and "pin" images.

Fortunately, there's a way to break the tedium. These hardware products and apps force you to put the tablet down or look away from a browser. The relief on your eyes, not to mention your back, will help you be more productive.

1. 20 Cubed

Designed for the Chrome browser, 20 Cubed installs an extension. A message pops up every 20 minutes telling you to look away for 20 seconds. If you follow the advice, your eye strain will lesson.


2. HeartMath Inner Balance

HeartMath Inner Balance is a trainer which includes an adapter you connect to an iPhone (requires an adapter for the iPhone 5) and a clip for your ear. The app reads your breathing levels and can show help you relax. Instead of just measuring beats per minute, the app measures the space between heart beats. That leads to more accuracy - and more data about your health.

HeartMath Inner Balance

3. Thinking Putty

Thinking Putty is an upgrade to the original Silly Putty which comes in a variety of colors and designs. Setting one on your desk as you work, you'll grab the putty throughout the day for a quick thinking session, helping to relax your fingers and look away from the screen.

Thinking Putty

4. Zensorium Tinke

Like the HeartMath, the small Zensorium Tinke adapter attaches to the iPhone 4/5. You place your finger on the reader and it can measure your pulse and stress level. You can use breathing exercises to reduce stress - helpful for battling the fatigue created by browsing the Web all day.

Zensorium Tinke

5. Steelcase Gesture

The upcoming Steelcase Gesture performance chair is designed for those in an office who don't want to sit perfectly upright all day. The chair pivots into a lean-back position but stays put so you can tap on a tablet or check your phone. The feet are on a five-leg spindle for a no-rock feel.

Steelcase Gesture

6. Mindful Moon

The Mindful Moon app shows pop-up reminders on your iPhone to help you calm down. There are quotes and affirming statements, but the biggest benefit is in just stopping what you are doing for a moment and reading the message. Alerts are accompanied by peaceful audio clips.

Mindful Moon

7. JumpStart

The JumpStart iOS breathing app does not require a sensor for your ear or finger, but it does walk you through a ten minute breathing exercise. If you use it consistently, it helps distract you from the daily grind. You measure breathes by holding your hand by your nose.


8. Pip Biosensor

Crowdfunded on Kickstarter, the Pip Biosensor thumb sensor reads your tension level. Sweat builds up in your fingers when you get nervous, due to blood moving to your extremities. With the sensor, you can find out if your stress level is too high and take a break.

Pip Biosensor

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.