We all know that money can't buy us happiness (or can it??), but what about zen? From simple aromatherapy scent pods, to high-tech stress-tracking wearables, here are some favorite products designed to help you find your calm, happy place.
For the Aromatherapy Enthusiast:
ESYM creates mini scent pods that use essential oils to curate a "scent experience" that claims to help with everything from meditation, to stress reduction, to sleep. Caught up briefly in the aromatherapy craze, I bought one of these magical pods last spring. I got the aroma "Tenkawa Passage," which is fresh and focused. And does it work? It's definitely a nice break from routine—when I remember it's in my bag! Scent Pod, $25 each.
For the Nostalgic '90s Girls:
If mood rings were your jam back in sixth grade, then Moodmetric's emotion-tracking ring should be your wearable tech of choice. Rather than changing color, the ring measures your level of stress on a scale of 1 to 100, and at night, it doubles as a sleep monitor. While the idea of continually measuring your stress level might seem a little, well, stressful, you can also wait to check the report at the end of the day, similar to how you might use a step tracker. $250 per ring.
For the Techie:
Thync has created a 3-part system that claims to help calm down (or rev up) your brain by targeting nerves on your head and neck. A module attaches to your forehead, while strips connected to your head and neck send out tiny electrical impulses to stimulate nerves. Using the Thync app, you can select more specific modes, such as "Sleep," "Zen" for meditation, or "Surge" for an intense burst of energy. The next generation of the device, set to release in Spring 2017, will focus solely on the stress-less slowdown, and early testers claim it works wonders. Tell us: Would you ever try it? Thync Module, $199.
For the Accessory-Obsessed:
Feel is the company behind the FitBit-style tracker intended to monitor moods rather than activity levels. By measuring electrodermal activity, blood volume pulse, and skin temperature, the bracelet translates physical responses into emotions that are tracked on an app. And when the app realizes that work is your trigger or that interaction with your mother-in-law sends your stress into overdrive? It suggests exercises to help you calm down. Feel, $149.
For the Visual Learner:
Based on the belief that recognizing your stress is the first step to managing it, the Pip is a tiny device that visualizes stress. Here's how it works: You hold the teardrop-shaped Pip between your thumb and forefinger while connecting to the device's app. Based on changes in your electrodermal activity, the imagery on the app changes to reflect how you're feeling. The more you relax, the better you'll progress. The cost of turning your stress into a phone game? $179 per Pip.
For Stressed-Out Insomniacs:
Stress and insomnia tend to go hand in hand. The Aroma Zzar attempts to beat both with a combination of soothing sounds (choose from four nature sound options or plug in your own music) and aromatherapy. Seven light settings also help set the mood. Try this soothing combo: Lavender essential oils, blue light and connect to a free white noise app using your phone. Sweet dreams.