Life can take its toll, that much is certain, but the same technology contributing to the stress of modern day living -- namely the web and the smartphone -- can also provide some sweet relief when required. In honour of the upcoming weekend, we present a few of our favourite apps and sites for chilling out.
Noisli is a versatile sound generator available on the web and iOS devices that can produce the sound of ocean waves or rustling leaves in a couple of mouse clicks. Whether you prefer the noise of a crackling log fire or distant rain, slip some headphones on and let Noisli take away the stresses of the day.
Upon arrival, Calm presents you with a tranquil scene that lets your mind drift and your spirits soar. There are moving, looping backdrops to pick from (most involving either clouds or water) and there's the option of a guided meditation if you need it. Calm is available on web, iOS and Android.
You don't have to sit down and do nothing to get yourself relaxed -- Silk is an interactive art tool for web and iOS that lets you get creative with some random doodlings. You can mix colours, add symmetry, and more, and every time you put paint down on the virtual canvas something different happens.
A little like Noisli but with a focus on rain, don't bother with this one if sunshine is your favourite type of weather. Watch the raindrops splatter down the window and the clouds scud by overhead -- there's also a daily tune from YouTube you can listen to alongside the rain. Rainy Mood is only available on the web.
This iOS app offers a combination of physical and mental exercises to help you improve mindfulness and switch off more easily: Guided meditations are available if you want them and you can keep track of your mood over time too. The app plugs into Apple Health and it works with the Apple Watch as well.
Sorting your head space out is an essential part of effectively chilling out, and this app for iOS and Android teaches you the basics of meditation and focusing on your own well-being. There's a basic course you can use for free, plus some paid upgrades if you want to take your mindfulness further.