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Can your phone help you de-stress? It can with this app

We don’t care what your daily routine is. Whether you work from home or in a bustling office, you’re dealing with cranky children or a badly-timed car breakdown, stress has a way of finding you.

Conversely, you’ve got to actively look for peace and quiet. You can find a little zen in a sudden rainbow, a setting sun or the sound of waves. And sometimes, you can find it in some pretty surprising places, too. But the most surprising place to find serenity might be your smartphone.

Yes, we know. We normally associate our phones with distraction and communication (sometimes of the unwanted kind). Amusement, maybe, but peace of mind? Yet that’s exactly what the Aura mediation app offers.

There are a lot of meditation and mindfulness apps on the market, but Aura has all but perfected the format. Its 3,000 5-star ratings in the App Store and “best of” accolades from Apple itself can testify to that.

For those who haven’t thought of using their smartphone to meditate before, Aura makes it not just easy but personable. Before you even get into a guided meditation session, Aura checks in to ask you how you’re feeling. That helps it determine what kind of session to run — something soothing and calm or maybe geared to focus your distracted mind. You’ll benefit from a 3-minute mini-session once a day, and you can choose from longer exercises ranging from 3 to 10 minutes as you need them.

The more you use it, the better Aura gets at meeting your mental needs. Machine learning lets it predict and offer choices based on what you like.

Lest you think this is one of those “New Years resolution” apps that you’ll never use, Aura encourages active participation. You can keep a daily gratitude journal to remind yourself of what’s important. And tracking software lets you see how your mood ebbs and flows from day to day and hour to hour, letting you take the steps you need to improve it.

And there’s a lot more than meditations, too: Aura users have access to coaching sessions, short stories, music and other audio snippets that can help you do everything from fall asleep faster to tackling big projects with confidence.

Right now, Komando readers can try a premium subscription to Aura for a full 83% off the MSRP.

Prices subject to change.

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