The best mental health wearables to help with stress

Ongoing concerns about health care, rising costs of living, political conflicts and two years of isolation have increased stress levels around the world. Reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that anxiety and depression worldwide increased by 25% in the first year of the pandemic, with Americans found to be the most stressed.

As the demand for therapeutic tools increases, various technology companies have launched a wide range of wearable devices and apps to help with growing mental health issues. These tools can never replace therapy and medication, but they can complement your treatment. These wearable devices can also help you with everyday stressors that don’t necessarily require seeing a mental health professional.

We’ve rounded up a wide mix of the best wearable mental health devices you can try. We’ve included everything from more expensive devices that support a lot of features to simple, everyday trackers that get the job done on a budget.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Oura Ring

advantage

  • Light and comfortable to wear.

  • Detailed and informative sleep tracking

  • Long battery life with easy charging

  • Stylish, with a choice of finishes

  • Well designed app

Cons

  • Limited Activity Tracking

  • Expensive compared to other wearable fitness devices

If you hate going through the day with a clunky band around your wrist, you’ll appreciate the Oura Ring, which is an activity tracker in the form of a subtle ring. It looks like an everyday accessory, but it tracks sleep, workouts, downtime, and everything else typical fitness trackers measure.

What sets it apart is the Readiness Score, which focuses on how your body is dealing with stressors and how prepared you are for the day. Oura Ring does a great job of measuring drops in his energy levels, changes in temperature, and inefficient sleep patterns, which can indicate that he is sick or not feeling mentally well.

During the pandemic, researchers from several universities conducted joint research and found that wearable devices like Oura can predict symptoms of depression and anxiety. Of course, a wearable device can’t diagnose you with a mental health condition, but if it can make you aware of the symptoms, you can use this data to seek professional help.

The biggest drawback is that, like most activity trackers, the Oura Ring has a hard time detecting fidgeting and counts it as low-intensity activity, causing your fitness measures to top the charts when you’re just lying on your bed playing pop-its.

Oura Ring
Apollo™ Wearable.

Apollo Wearable

advantage

  • relaxing vibes

  • discreet use

  • Various modes for different moods.

Cons

  • Really expensive

  • doesn’t measure anything

Apollo Neuroscience launched its expensive but effective wearable device to deliver touch therapy on the go. Backed by science, this ingenious watch-like device sends soothing vibrations to your wrist or ankles, depending on where you choose to wear it and the vibration mode you select.

You don’t have to wear it all day, just 15 minutes of vibrations focused on boosting energy levels, feeling focused, or calming down will do the trick. The app is silent and can be clipped to your clothing so you can enjoy the vibrations discreetly, whether you’re having a hard time concentrating during a work meeting or feeling anxious before going on stage.

The downside is that the device doesn’t really provide you with metrics. If you spend hours studying the graphs that activity trackers provide, you will be disappointed. There is no stress score and you can’t objectively measure any improvement since you don’t see any numbers.

apollo wearable
Apple Watch Series 8 best smartwatch.

apple watch series 8

advantage

  • Elegant and comfortable design.

  • The screen is big and beautiful.

  • Excellent health characteristics.

  • Fast upload speeds

  • WatchOS 9 is better than ever

  • car accident detection

Cons

  • Temperature sensors are limited

  • Almost identical to the Series 7

If you love the traditional feel and features of an activity tracker, your best option is to get an Apple Watch Series 8. It’s easily one of the best activity trackers on the market, offering some of the best fitness tracking options around. and even mental health.

While it monitors typical metrics like heart rate, blood oxygen, and sleep stages, women will especially love the Apple Watch for its period predictions and ovulation tracking features. This data can help you understand changes in your mood and notice and prepare for changes in your body. Also, the Apple Watch pairs well with various mental health apps like Headspace, Calm, Moodnotes, AutoSleep, Sleep Cycle, Water Reminder, etc., so you can see all your mental health data and tools in one place.

However, the Apple Watch is designed to be a comprehensive activity tracker, so it doesn’t focus as much on detecting stress and symptoms of anxiety or depression, nor does it offer specific treatment options like the Apollo Wearable. But if you want something more subtle that people won’t ask probing questions about, then the Apple Watch is a great option.

apple watch series 8
Ivy health tracker.

bellabeat ivy

advantage

  • Track periods, ovulation and emotional health.

  • Wellness score focuses on personal care

  • Hydration reminders

Cons

  • No screen to view metrics

  • You need to buy a premium subscription for workouts

The Bellabeat Ivy is specially designed for women to safely track their physical and mental health. It focuses on the menstrual cycle and tracks periods, ovulation, and emotional health. It also tracks your body’s stress response and gives you a readiness score with suggestions for improvement. This is similar to the Oura Ring, which tells you when you’re ready for intense activity and when it’s best to stay calm.

The Ivy also measures your fitness levels like a typical activity tracker, so you can monitor how movement affects your mood. Buying a premium membership for their app also gives you access to new workouts and recipes.

A unique mental health feature is its Wellness Score, which focuses on self-care activities like drinking enough water, exercising, meditating, sleeping well, and taking care of your period. You can also set hydration reminders for those days when you’re too busy to stop and grab a glass.

The downside is that there is no screen, so you always have to open the app to see the metrics and control the tracker. Purchasing a separate premium subscription also adds to Ivy’s already high price.

ivy health tracker
Young woman wearing Muse 2 headband in bed

Muse

muse headband

advantage

  • real-time neurofeedback

  • Understanding patterns of brain activity

  • More than 500 guided meditations

  • It helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Cons

  • Pay extra for app subscription

  • No tracking options beyond meditation and sleep.

If you don’t want to wear any accessories on your hands, consider this Muse headband which, as the name suggests, you can wear on your head to feel your brain’s electrical activity. The wearable device, once paired with the Muse: Meditation & Sleep app, gives you real-time neurofeedback so you can notice, understand, and change your meditation patterns for best results. You also get access to over 500 guided meditations so you can find something that works best for you.

Insomniacs, attention. This band can do more than just enhance your meditation sessions. It can also send signals to your brain to help you fall asleep naturally, and will even lull you to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night. Data nerds will also enjoy the post-session reports to help you understand your performance and notice any improvements.

These features are ideal for people who struggle with anxiety and want to feel grounded, focused, and connected to their bodies. But the downside is that you have to pay extra for the app subscription and the app doesn’t offer much value to users who don’t want to meditate or fix their sleep.

Muse: The Brain Sensor Headband, Black
garmin forerunner 945 mem2 review

garmin smart watch

advantage

  • All-day stress tracking

  • Indications for guided meditation

  • Excellent fitness tracking

  • Pairs well with mental health apps

Cons

  • Really expensive

  • Suitable for active users

Another traditional activity tracker moving forward to offer mental health monitoring is the Garmin smartwatch, which measures stress levels based on heart rate variability. If the smartwatch detects a stress response in your body, it will prompt you to do a guided meditation to help you calm down. You can also see personalized graphs of your stress levels throughout the day, so you can understand what’s affecting you and how to prepare for and minimize it. The device adapts to its baseline over time, so stress detection is more accurate the longer you use it.

Because it’s a Garmin tracker, you also get the best of fitness tracking, sleep monitoring, and breathing pattern data so you can understand how your body responds to activities and stressors. You can also access workouts in the app, as well as link the smartwatch with other exercise, meditation, and mental health apps for additional features.

However, this is one of the more expensive wearable devices and is more focused on activity tracking, making it more suitable for active users. However, Garmin has a wide range of products so you can choose something more suitable for your budget.

Garmin Forerunner 945

Editors’ Recommendations






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