Technology gets a lot of flack when it comes to our mental health.

The truth is, it has actually done a lot of good for developing our mental faculties (video games included, believe it or not). Sure, not every kind of game is great for us, but many help improve important mental processes that help us live and work better.

Apps, in particular, are a form of technology that has exploded in recent years with many great options for improving and developing mental qualities like focus and problem solving as well as reducing stress.

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Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

– Thomas Jefferson

Over the years, I’ve used a lot of great apps centered around developing or improving some aspect of the mind, from scientifically-backed brain games to meditation and mindfulness apps.

Below are five of what I consider to be the best apps to help you improve focus, reduce stress, and strengthen the mind in various ways. Each of the below apps have been tested extensively and subjects have repeatedly shown some level of positive improvement through the use of said apps (for more information on a particular app’s studies, visit the links below).

Here are five apps to improve your focus, reduce stress, and strengthen the mind:

1. Lumosity

Lumosity is the very first “brain game” type app I experimented with, some eight years ago at this point.

Designed to be easy to pick up with several fun and interesting game modes, the app is separated into several main skill categories: memory, attention, problem-solving, processing speed, and flexibility.

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It’s easy to pick up and the games are simple enough to get the hang of quickly. Plus, there’s a nice sense of progression that makes you want to keep working and trying to get a higher score as it will tell you what percentile you’re in compared to all other users.

Get the app:

2. Personal Zen

Built along with a team of leading neuroscientists, Personal Zen is a highly effective but… slightly odd app. However, don’t let that fool you, as it’s highly effective for reducing anxiety and building resilience.

According to Dr. Dennis of Hunter College and the City University of New York and one of the developers of Personal Zen, a single ten-minute session with the app each day can help build lasting resilience the help you better manage life’s challenges.

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Get the app:

3. Headspace

Headspace is the quintessential guided meditation app. The app offers daily mindfulness meditation exercises with the ability to select sessions based on a variety of different goals from stress to improving sleep and focus. There’s even a version for kids.


I’ve used Headspace quite a bit and can personally attest to it being one of the highest quality meditation apps available on either the iOS or Google Play store, which is saying something considering how many of them there are (and how many I’ve tried…).

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Get the app:

4. Happify

Happify is another app I have a lot of experience with and it’s unique compared to the others on this list because it involves more activities than it does games per say. However, the activities included in the app have been shown to build resilience, cope with stress, better empathize with others, and develop gratitude (an incredibly powerful emotion in itself).

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Happify is also great because it offers a pretty extensive system for tracking your progress. Whether you focus on using the gratitude journal, guided meditations, or games the app has a wide-variety of activities that can be used to develop invaluable skills that contribute to a happier life.

Get the app:

5. Eidetic

Eidetic is a newer app that is pretty unique. It uses a method referred to as “spaced repetition” to help the user improve their memory, with a focus on practical uses such as remembering important events or phone numbers.

Eidetic’s notification system is great because it will space out reminders in a specific way to help you maintain pieces of information within your long-term memory, something I find infinitely useful.

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Get the app:

Technology gets a lot of flack for hurting our mental health, but there have been several great technological developments that actually help our mental health, apps being one of the most notable.

Whether you’re interested in improving your focus, reducing your stress or anxiety, building resilience, or sharpening your memory, there’s an app for that. Use them wisely to develop your mental faculties and take your game to a new level.


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