Use this meditation headsets and stress trackers to upgrade your mood


Marie Kondo has us all finding peace of mind through decluttering and Prince Harry told a Buddhist monk that he practices meditation every day. But in 2019 the solution to chilling out is smart.

Muse’s high-tech headband gamifies your meditation. It works by giving you real-time audio feedback on what’s happening in your brain and awards you points for controlling your breathing. Choose from beach, rainforest, desert or city noises as a background — the wind gets louder when your mind gets more active and you’ll hear birds when your mind is quiet.

Muse’s founders say it’ll help you de-stress in three minutes.

Meanwhile, the Pip’s mindfulness device tracks your everyday stress levels over five minutes, with the aim of retraining your mind to respond better to triggers. The pocket-sized gadget is held between thumb and finger to detect your electrodermal activity, then connects to your phone so you can visualise changing stress levels in real time.

Spire’s mindfulness tracker, Stone, focuses on breathing. Clip it to your jeans and it’ll monitor your activity throughout the day, notifying you to sudden changes via your phone so you can calm yourself down.

Other gadgets are targeting depression. British surgeon Charles Nduka is working on a pair of face-reading glasses that flag early warning signs, and Swedish start-up Flow has a new headset that aims to treat depression. It stimulates the frontal regions of the brain through gentle electric pulses applied to your scalp, in a technique known as transcranial direct current stimulation. It links up with an app that encourages complementary measures such as meditation and exercise.

The mindfulness device Pip tracks your everyday stress levels over five minutes (Pip)
New app Clear Fear is for managing anxiety. Developed by clinicians from mental health charity stem4, it uses cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help you reduce your physical responses to a threat, whether that’s through breathing, relaxing or learning to change your behaviour.