Whether it’s something recurring in your daily life at work or home or an unexpected event, we all experience stress and anxiety in life. You may not have thought about it, but if you have an Apple Watch, there’s a great tool on your wrist to offer some peace and calm. Follow along for four ways to reduce stress and relax with Apple Watch.

A lot of the spotlight for Apple Watch being a health-focused device lands on features like the heart rate sensor, ECG app, heart rate notifications, and activity tracking. But Apple Watch is also a really useful tool to help you relax in a variety of ways.

Let’s dive into some native options as well as some third-party apps to relax with Apple Watch, even when you’re right in the middle of a stressful situation.

Four ways to relax with Apple Watch

Breathe app

Built into watchOS is the Breathe app, and it’s as simple as it sounds, but it’s a really well-done app that uses a proven technique to reduce stress and help you relax.

The Breathe app uses nice haptics to signal when to inhale and exhale, and it also reads your heart rate during the one-minute mini sessions.

Here’s the science behind focused breathing to relax from Headspace:

By shifting our breathing rate and pattern, we can stimulate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, and trigger a calming response, which decreases our heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.

How to relax with Apple Watch walkthrough 1

The Breathe app on your Apple Watch has a light blue overlapping circle icon. Tap it to get started. Customize the app, head to the Watch app on your iPhone to set up alerts, haptic feedback preferences, and more.

Meditate with Apple Watch

Going a step further with the mindfulness, there are some great meditation apps for Apple Watch. Two of the most polished and robust are Headspace and Calm.

How to relax with Apple Watch walkthrough 2

Headspace on watchOS

They both feature some limited free content with subscriptions to unlock everything.

A really neat feature in the Headspace Apple Watch app is an SOS three-minute “Feeling Overwhelmed” meditation that you can quickly pull up anytime you need it.

Headspace and Calm are free downloads from the App Store.

Yoga and exercise

If you’d like to incorporate some full-body movement to find some calm, you can access yoga right on your wrist. Daily Yoga is a nice option that offers both free and paid plans.

How to relax with Apple Watch walkthrough 3

You can also just use the Exercise app to track a Yoga or Mind & Body workout and do a series of self-led stretches/poses.

Also, you might find more active exercise like a run, bike ride, HIIT workout, or something else that might help you shift your focus away from what created your stress and help you feel better as you create a flow of endorphins.


If none of the above sounds like the right fit for you in a given moment, don’t forget about the power of music. Use your Apple Watch to play a song or album you love. It’s amazing how listening to a track you associate with positive feelings can quickly line you up with them and melt away your stress in just a few moments.

If music doesn’t feel right, perhaps listen to one of your favorite comedians to shift how you’re feeling.

Do you have another way you like to deal with stress? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.