I was showing a coworker some of my phone apps the other day and he had never seen them. So I thought I might share a few of these with you, in case you need a little desk-time Zen break at work too.
These apps pertain specifically to the iPhone and iPad, but I believe there are universal apps out there for the various different phones.
I like the Volume 2 and 4 versions. Vol 2 has different fireplaces and water scenes and Vol 4 (Sakura) has cherry blossom scenes. This is for the iPad only. Vol 2 has a free version but I upgraded to get the ocean scene (worth it!) and additional fireplaces. It has sound effects too. It’s a short loop video, not a photo, so it’s very effective. Like looking out a window. There wasn’t an iPhone version, so I downloaded Sakura Photobook Vol. 1 from Tokyo Apps – the slideshow scrolls through 50 pictures of cherry trees (yes, I love cherry blossoms!) Very soothing when I am on a boring conference call.
Pocket Pond (iPhone & iPad)
I think most people know about this app, but my friend didn’t, so I’ll mention it. I have the free version – it’s a koi pond with goldfish – you can add more lilypads, fish and dragonflies. If you tap the screen it makes a splashing noise with a ripple effect and the fish swim away. You can release dragonflies and then tap them to make them fall in the water and the fish swim over to eat them. There’s also an option to make it rain. This is all in the free version. I believe the paid version has additional pond backgrounds and different fish, frogs etc that you can add.
Zen Garden 2 (iPad/iPhone)
They have a free version but it’s pretty bare – worth upgrading -you can choose sand color, items like stones and shells, and then “rake” the sand. There’s even a butterfly that flies around the screen. Surprisingly soothing. Better on the iPad due to size.
Zen of Snow (iPhone/iPad)
I had the free version for a long time and just upgraded. It’s a snowglobe. You shake your phone and the snowflakes come down on a peaceful house in the woods.- you can scroll to a couple other views. In the upgraded version you can see it at nightime also with Xmas lights and an optional rabbit you can feed. It also plays Christmas carols.
This app has a selection of soothing nature photos and you can combine different nature sounds and music from a “soundboard” to create your own custom mix. I actually used the “owl” sound to try to chase a mockingbird out of the tree near my yard (he was serenading me at 3 am when I was trying to sleep). It didn’t work though – those mockingbirds are stubborn! My pet parakeet Wasabi loves this app – I can choose a mix of different nature noises and he chirps along to it. Great for meditation too.
Simply Being (iPhone/iPad)
This app is from Meditation Oasis, if you are familiar with their podcasts. It’s a guided meditation app. You can choose the length of the session, eg. 5 minutes. You can also add nature sounds or music to the background. Very simple but effective. Good for a mental health break at lunchtime.
The Pandora radio app also offers new age radio channels in addition to more mainstream stations. I have one channel called “Spa Radio” that is very soothing. I have also downloaded some ocean and rainforest tracks from iTunes to my phone for a soothing environment anytime I need it. Check out Darwin Chamber for some good tracks.
Let me know if you have some favorite apps that I didn’t mention, or for products other than Apple!