Take a Breather: Apps for Finding Peace & Quiet in the City

published Mar 18, 2014
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(Image credit: Sherrie and Oliver)

I’m a city dweller through and through, but sometimes the noise and bustle of the city can become a bit much. More often than not, this happens when you’re on the go and don’t have the option of retreating to your home. Here are several apps I’ve found that might help you find the retreat that you need.

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1. Breather: I’ve often longed for a place that I could go for a quick 20-minute nap in the middle of the day, and Breather has answered this plea. With Breather, you can rent a relaxing space for a half hour at a time, making it possible to catch some quick zzzs or to take a moment to yourself. Your phone unlocks the door, the spaces are regularly cleaned, and they emphasize that their rooms are not “that” kind of place, if you catch the drift. Currently Breather rooms are available in Montreal and New York, but they have plans to expand to San Francisco and other places in the near future.

2. Stereopublic: This crowdsourced app, which calls itself a “sonic health service for built environments,” invites users to tag their favorite quiet spots in the city. You can share photos, sounds, or mood categories with other users, and the app was designed to maintain a “slow” experience for the user, such that they could slow down and experience the quiet around them. The New York Times has a similar concept available through their Quiet City Map.

3. At Ease: The At Ease app is designed to help relieve anxiety and worry through a series of guided breathing exercises. A journaling option exists for those who wish to document their progress with the app.

As a note, I haven’t used all of these, so I can’t personally attest to their efficacy, but they’re options that seemed worth mentioning. Do you have any recommendations to add?