8 Best Apps to Combat Stress, Boost Productivity, and Improve Mental Health

Struggling to be productive or feeling stressed? There’s an app for that! Balancing school, work, and home isn’t always easy.

By: Lainey Nielson & Jake Hreha

Struggling to be productive or feeling stressed? There’s an app for that! Balancing school, work, and home isn’t always easy. According to a study done by Gallup, over 50% of U.S. workers are mentally checked out and more than half of the American population reported feeling stressed during the day.

You might think what can stress management apps do to really help me? How can a productivity app actually make me more productive? These are valid questions. Managing stress, boosting productivity, and other mental health challenges are not easy to face. Rather than thinking of these apps as a perfect solution think of them as a helpful aid pushing you in the right direction.

Mental health is being talked about more and more today. For example the use of a mindfulness app or meditation app has become increasingly popular. These apps are made to help you take time to relax, relieve stress, and manage stress you feel on a regular basis.

If you struggle with procrastination or being productive a productivity app could be helpful. These apps not only help you manage your time and energy they can also help with your stress levels. Stress relief can be found when we feel a sense of organization and rhythm in our lives. A productivity app is just one of many stress management tools available.

Whether you have experience using meditation apps, a stress management app, a productivity app or other mental health apps these resources can help you.

We’ve put together a list of our favorite apps to help you increase productivity, reduce stress, or just take a brain break!

Apps for Stress Management and Productivity


Friday is a productivity and organization app that features team updates, goal setting, and daily planning. This planner-type resource brings your Google Calendar, Outlook, Zoom, and other tools to one easy, accessible spot.

*Free to download.

Available on iPhone and Chrome Extension.


Todoist is a simple way to organize and keep track of your daily to-do list. The app allows you to organize and sort tasks, set dates and reminders, and even monitor your progress and collaborate on projects with others.

*Free to download.

Available on iPhone, macOS, Windows10, Desktop, Linux, and Android.


Toggl is a resource that helps you keep track of how much time you’re spending on different tasks. When you know how much time you are spending on certain tasks, you can learn to make the most of it and plan your schedule accordingly.

*Free to download.

Available on iPhone, macOS, Windows10, Desktop, Linux, and Android.


Breathe2Relax is a stress management resource. It features a variety of breathing exercises and information to help users learn stress management techniques.

*Free to download.

Available on iPhone and MacOS.

What’s Up?

What’s Up? is a free app that uses various methods to help you cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and more! It features activities that provide awareness of your thinking patterns, offer grounding activities when feeling stressed, and gives you the opportunity to journal about your day!

*Free to download, In-app purchases.

Available on iPhone.


Forest is an app that helps you stay focused on your important tasks. Whenever you want to focus, open the Forest app and plant a tree. The tree will grow as long as you are focused and not touching your phone! This app is a fun way to stay focused and boost productivity.

*$1.99 to download. In-app purchases.

Available on iPhone and Chrome.

Stand Up!

Stand Up! is a fun, flexible break timer. You can customize your work schedule and set reminders at any interval to stand up and take a quick break. This encourages effective work intervals and boosts productivity.

*Free to download

Available on iPhone.


StretchMinder is a workplace wellness guide. It provides guided break routines that are designed to increase productivity and move your body! Using Stretchminder is a great way to re-energize, improve your performance, and achieve more in your workday.

*Free to download, In-app purchases.

Available on iPhone.

We hope these apps are useful to you and improve your well being. With a busy schedule it's easy to feel stressed an overwhelmed. These apps can be a step in the right direction to help reduce stress, improve your mental health, and help you live a healthier life. Whether you are feeling stressed, needing organization, or just need a break from your work, download one of these apps to help!

Lainey Nielson

Copywriting Assistant, IWU-National and Global

Lainey Nielsen is currently a Senior at IWU studying Strategic Communication and Business Administration. She is passionate about storytelling and building connections with others. Lainey enjoys being outdoors, exploring local coffee shops, and spending time with family and friends.

Jake Hreha

SEO Copywriter, IWU

Jake Hreha is a graduate of Ball State University, where he majored in advertising with a concentration in media presentation and design. He is passionate about design, and in his free time he enjoys cycling, traveling, and reading.

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