Exam Stress: Free Apps to help deal with Stress

A bit of stress isn’t always bad and sometimes can keep you motivated and productive. However, too much stress will have the opposite effect and may take a toll on your exam performance and, more importantly, your mental wellbeing.

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With exams right around the corner, it’s entirely natural for students to find their stress levels at an all-time high. A bit of stress isn’t always bad and sometimes can keep you motivated and productive. However, too much stress will have the opposite effect and may take a toll on your exam performance and, more importantly, your mental wellbeing. 

A bit of support is always appreciated when we’re under pressure. To give you some ideas on how to transform your phone into a device to help you navigate exam stress, try some of these free apps on iOS and android. 
Insight Timer

Insight Timer has a huge free library of guided meditation tracks. The app has over 100,000 tracks to choose from, from categories such as stress, anxiety, and self-compassion. This means that you’re bound to find a helpful guided meditation track to help you target any negative or stressful emotions you’re currently facing. It also has a range of calming sounds such as nature, classical, and binaural beats, making for excellent study music.    

iSleep Easy

Studying for exams often leads to many late nights and, coupled with stress, can often lead to students struggling to get sufficient high-quality sleep. A lack of sleep can, in turn, affect the effectiveness of your study and increase stress – which, left alone, may create a vicious cycle. iSleep Easy is an app that can help with this. The app contains a range of guided meditation tracks to help users fall asleep and achieve better quality sleep. You can customise your sleep playlist and even add audio tracks. The app also goes a step further by suggesting tips for creating a more relaxing sleep environment. 

Breathe2Relax

As a busy student revising for exams, your mind is filled to the brim, so you probably don’t spend much time thinking about something as autonomous as breathing. However, proper breathing techniques are a simple and often underutilised method to help relieve stress. Breathe2Relax is an app that teaches a breathing technique called “diaphragmatic breathing” to induce relaxation. Before and after each practise breathing session, the app will prompt you to rate your stress and graph these results to help you track your progress over time. The app also has information on how stress affects your biology and various parts of your body and the techniques that you can use to help reduce some of these effects.

Happify

Happify aims to improve your well-being and happiness by prompting you to complete daily brain training activities based on positive psychology, mindfulness, and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). Upon using the app, you’ll complete a questionnaire that the app uses to suggest a track for you to follow. The track consists of a group of activities that will help you achieve your desired well-being goals. Overall, this app has fun games designed to help you feel happier – a combination that is impossible for a stressed student to turn down.
MyLife Meditation

MyLife Meditation is a mindfulness app targeted at those under 25 – making it the perfect app for students in school and university. The app has basic information on mindfulness, meditation, stress, and managing negative thoughts. Each day, you’re encouraged to check-in and record your physical and mental state. Upon your check-in, you are directed towards selecting tailored mindfulness exercises based on the information provided. You can also choose activities on your own and choose from categories such as breathing, sleep, stress, finding focus, and building resilience – all of which are incredibly useful during the exam period. 
Easy Study

An organised student is usually a calm student. When you’re well organised, you have a clearer idea of when and how you’ll meet your study goals – eliminating a lot of stress caused by uncertainty. Easy Study is a scheduling app that can help you create and stick to a study plan. With Easy Study, you can add your different classes or subjects and when you want to study for them and for how long. When it’s time to study, you’ll get a reminder notification on your phone. You can also note down tasks you would like to complete during your study session, making the app great for staying on top of your study plan.
Study Bunny

Study Bunny is an adorable study tool to help you time and manage your study sessions. When it’s time to study, you can use the app to set a focus timer. As the timer counts down, the animated bunny will study along with you. Once your session is complete, you’ll receive coins as a motivational tool that you can use to buy items for your bunny. Other features included in Study Bunny involve creating to-do lists, flashcards, a study tracker, and a selection of study music. This makes Study Bunny the swiss army knife of study apps, with the bonus of being cute and entertaining. 
Brainscape

Studying effectively can relieve a lot of exam-related stress, as you feel that your sessions have been productive and helpful for improving your exam performance. Brainscape is an app that uses spaced repetition to improve the efficiency of your study method. Brainscape is used to make flashcards, which you can then use to quiz yourself. As you test yourself, you rate your confidence for each flashcard. The flashcards you’re less confident in are repeated more frequently; thus, the app creates a study session tailored for you without much additional effort on your part. 
For students in school and university, the exam period can be stressful, even for the best of us. It’s common for us to turn to our phones during our study breaks to entertain ourselves and relieve our stress through social media, videos, or games. Even though these are great distractions, they don’t always target the root of exam-related stress. Using apps that help you study efficiently and practise mindfulness is a much more effective way to manage your stress. We hope that these suggestions for free apps will help you have a calmer, happier, and more productive revision period. Happy studying!
-  Wendy Xu, Nxtstep Content Writer

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