RS Recommends: What Are Stress-Relief Wearables, and Do They Really Work? – Rolling Stone
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With many of our stress levels rising in the past two years (for obvious reasons), it’s no wonder that we’re all looking for more unique ways to cope with both lingering pandemic anxieties, and the stressors of everyday life. Believe me when I say we’ve tried everything from sipping adaptogen-filled bevvies, to pounding our faces with massage guns, but a number of companies have been grappling with the question of whether wearable technology can actually help with our anxieties.
The best wearables for stress relief work a lot like fitness trackers — the technologies vary, but some devices are designed to help you monitor and improve your sleep, while others are made more for helping you calm down in a stressful moment. Wearable tech for stress relief shows a lot of promise, especially when many gadgets use sensors and provide biofeedback data (such as heart rate, interrupted sleep, and excess sweat), to help you get a better understanding of when and how stress effects you.
For skeptics currently scratching their heads, these gadgets don’t claim to be “cure-all”, or eliminate the root cause of your stress (and if they do, turn the other way). They’re more for helping you on your self-care journey in the same way that exercise, mindfulness, and work-life balance would. Most wearable devices either aim to help provide a kind of therapy at-home (such as meditation or breath work), or work like an activity tracker to give you insights on how to manage your stress.
These are the best wearables that we’ve found and tested to help on your mental health journey, whether you’re looking to calm your nerves, or find new ways to unwind after a long day. (Note: Tracking biological measures of stress is a fairly new area of tech, and we don’t profess to be medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe mood swings or debilitating anxiety, it’s always best to speak to a doctor).
1. Apollo Stress Relief Wearable
If you’re stressed out, and already know you’re stressed, it might not be as helpful to have an app telling you every point in the day when your heart right spiked. But Apollo’s wearables give you a helping hand towards actually relieving stress.
We like how easy it was to incorporate the Apollo into our daily routing — it works by delivering smooth, gentle vibrations to your wrist or ankle that the brand says activates a nervous system response, helping get you out of a “fight or flight” state of stress. It connected smoothly over Bluetooth to the Neuro app, which features seven modes based on how you want to feel. While “Clear and Focused” had a stronger buzz, I personally felt like the “Sleep and Renew” setting was most effective for getting me ready to hit the hay. You can customize settings for duration (the battery can handle up to 8 hours of continuous use) and intensity.
We’re still testing out the Apollo, but it’s recommended you use it for at least 2 hours a day for 30 days to feel the full effects. Consistency is key here, because you’re essentially retraining your nervous system so that you can eventually manage stress a little easier on your own.