There are oodles of recommended techniques to relieve stress and anxiety — meditation, bubble baths, vacays. One of the most important ways to decompress is to step away from the screen and, you know, get back in touch with the whole human interaction thing. But, when I heard about Personal Zen, an iPhone app that’s been scientifically proven to relieve stress and anxiety, I lunged for my phone faster than you can say “Xanax.”
I’m one of those dedicated train wrecks: The only time I’m not filled with a sense of panic and dread is when I’m drunk or unconscious. My anxiety gives me anxiety, and on the rare occasions where I do feel half decent, I spend my day checking for anvils. According to research published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, however, playing Personal Zen for 25 minutes can reduce anxiety — which means there’s a good chance this app and I will become romantically involved one day.
“Millions of people suffering from psychological distress fail to seek or receive mental health services,” lead researcher Tracy Dennis of Hunter College said in a statement. “A key factor here is that many evidence-based treatments are burdensome — time-consuming, expensive, difficult to access and perceived as stigmatizing.” Indubitably, which is where the app comes in.