Stars like Naomi Osaka, Selena Gomez, and more have been incredibly open about their struggles with their mental health. After an anxiety-inducing year (or two), their experiences may sound even more familiar. Luckily, they’ve also talked about how they cope, and many of them use science-backed methods for dealing. If you often buy things in pursuit of quelling your anxiety, here are a few things you can shop, download, and gift that might help.
Celebs love to meditate! Stars like Miley Cyrus, Naomi Osaka, Kendall Jenner, and Lady Gaga credit their calm and balanced demeanors to the practice. Naomi Osaka has a whole room in her house dedicated to meditation, and Olivia Culpo carves out 15 minutes daily to meditate. “You have to put something back into yourself so you have something else to give,” Kelly Rowland told the Cut. “I’ve been meditating for a year. When I had my son I realized how important it was [laughs]. I do it whenever I get a second.”
As far as anxiety management goes, meditation is pretty accessible, doesn’t require equipment, and is (mostly) free. Meditation is one of those things that seems easy enough, but if you can’t seem to quiet your mind (and who can?) there’s an app for that. (Even Kelly Rowland uses one). There are more than a few options right at your fingertips.
Taraji P. Henson told the Cut meditation doesn’t have to be a complicated process. “When you say ‘meditate,’ people think that you’ve got to be like: ‘oooohm oooohm.’ Meditation is just peace.” She explains, “You’re sitting with your thoughts and letting them play out in your mind until there’s total quiet. You can do that in the house. I find myself being in a meditative state all the time.” She’s called out the Mindfulness app as one of her go-tos; it offers over 300 guided meditations with calming background sounds.
Probably the best-known meditation app is the Calm app. At around $70 a year (with a two-week free trial), it’s a comprehensive, easy-to-use app that offers meditation and plenty of other aids. There are guided mediations geared toward alleviating stress, anxiety, and whatever else ails you; ambient tunes; and sleep stories narrated by your faves, like Harry Styles. And if you’re not sure where to start, they have a course for beginners.
While this app does offer guided meditations and sleep meditations, its three-minute mini meditations and SOS sessions are perfect for a quick balm. If you’ve tried it all and have decided meditation just isn’t for you, it also offers expert mindful fitness sessions to boost your mood and get you moving.
As evidenced by the last few years, consuming constant news from social-media apps can be exhausting. Even beyond headlines, the data for how social media affects our mental health is pretty bleak. Celebs are no stranger to these pressures; we can’t imagine having a huge platform and a couple million followers is easy. Selena Gomez has gone on record about her social-media deletion, crediting her absence from apps like Instagram, along with DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), with an improvement in her mental health. While screen-time limits on your phone can come through in a pinch, there is also an app for that.
Forest turns digital detoxing into a cute little game. You’ll start by planting a seed, and the more you stay off your phone, the more it grows. You can go to new levels and unlock rewards, all while spending less time on social media.
Flipd is more focused on productivity and focus but if you find yourself ignoring your screen time limits, this is for you. This app will lock down pretty much any non-essential app on your phone so you can focus on everything else.
Turns out there’s a right way to breathe, technically. You’re not doing it wrong, but you could be doing it better. Certain breathing techniques and exercises like diaphragmatic breathing or alternate-nostril breathing can help calm anxiety. And while those practices might sound complicated, they boil down to breathing deeply and methodically and paying attention to how you feel. Even Tracee Ellis Ross recently took to Instagram to share de-stressing breathing exercises she swears by.
Breathwrk guides you through breathing exercises that are as short as a minute long. Target anxiety or use it for an energy boost. Track your habit and connect with coaches in the app to keep you on track.
If you really need to be away from your phone to de-stress, you can keep this book on hand. This easy-to-follow primer on breathwork breaks down the practice and features exercises for different moods. Each exercise is accompanied by simple instructions as well as additional notes on the exercise, like advice on modifying it to fit your skill and comfort level.
Sometimes the fix for anxiety isn’t sitting still but getting up and going. Exercise gets your heart pumping, distracts you, and releases serotonin to help stabilize your mood. Jonathan Van Ness turns to yoga, Gabrielle Union starts her thigh-toning workouts with cardio, and Ellie Goulding uses kickboxing to prevent panic attacks. No matter how you decide to get moving, here are some workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home or in a studio.
This app from yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley is focused on inclusivity and cultivating community. Offering new yoga classes every month, its motto is “be well, your way,” so these aren’t the kinds of classes where you push yourself past your limits. You can try a free two-week trial and pay $10 monthly or $90 annually after that.
With plans starting at $49 a month, ClassPass offers an extensive catalog of both on- and offline fitness classes, from kickboxing and cycling to rowing and yoga. If you want another way to de-stress, put your points toward services like facials, manicures, massages, and other beauty and wellness services.
You can reap the benefits of Peloton even without the bike (and get started with a 30-day free trial). The comprehensive app offers classes in cardio, strength training, yoga, Pilates, and more.
It’s time to get back to your teen pastime. Journaling has proven helpful for managing anxiety and stress, and it’s a favorite for celebs like Camila Mendes, Jessica Simpson, Sutton Foster, and Bella Hadid. There’s no right or wrong way to do it — you just write it all out. But if you’re stumped staring at a blank page, a guided journal might be more your speed.
A favorite of Bella Hadid, this book features a number of creative tools and exercises, including the Morning Pages ritual she swears by. “Every morning, I would have to write three pages, basically a stream of consciousness of whatever I woke up thinking about,” she told the Cut. “I think it’s especially important to journal in the morning because we wake up and whether we had a bad dream or you have anxiety over something that you feel is going to happen — or anxiety over something that already happened — those are things that you carry the whole day.”
The Five Minute Journal is a favorite among stars like Camila Mendes. The undated gratitude journal features daily prompts, like listing three amazing things that happened, to help you reflect and be grateful throughout the day.
Another guided journal, this was developed by therapists and uses CBT techniques. It features daily prompts and a tracker for your emotions and asks you to challenge your thought patterns.
When it comes to journaling, any old book will do, but rather than scribbling in marble and spiral notebooks you might grab something with a little more flair. Shop this journal in three styles — lined, unlined, or dotted — and even add your name to the cover. We can’t guarantee this journal will make you write more, but at least you’ll like looking at it.