Six of the best gadgets to help you unwind and relax
Getting exam results, stressed at work or juggling too many tasks? These are the ultimate gadgets to help you unwind and take your mind off all those unnecessary stresses.
Break out the bubbles
Bubble Bath Machine, £14.95, from www.prezzybox.com
After a long, hard day there are few greater pleasures than relaxing with a soak in the tub. However, if you find your bubble bath doesn't really erm, bubble, this gizmo could be the solution. Easy to operate, pop in three AA batteries into the slot, fill the tank with your usual bath foam or soap and it will react with the water to send out a constant stream of bubbles. It's not quite a Jacuzzi experience, but should make a nice addition to your soaking session.
Dreamate Sleeping Aid, £49.95, from www.prezzybox.com
If you find it hard to unwind, and even harder to fall asleep, this wrist accessory will help you visit the land of nod. It gently vibrates on pulse points providing acupressure to nudge you into a deep sleep. Even if you don't experience those craved-for zzzzz's straight away, the massaging band also helps to reduce stress, which in turn will help prepare you for a restful slumber. It can be a bit noisy, but the contraption activates for 30 minutes and then automatically turns itself off.
Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser, £49.99, from Fenwicks
With spa-like qualities, you'll be able to transform your home into a calming retreat with this gizmo. The latest in the line of diffusers from madebyzen, the pretty tool serves two purposes: one, it provides a scented mist to bring some peace and serenity and two, it features a colour-changing mood light to relax you. It's unbelievably simple to operate - there are different buttons for the two functions and you can have either or both on at the same time. All you need to add is some tap water and your favourite essential oil. Madebyzen have plenty of oils to choose from, and you can't go far wrong with the Relax and Unwind options.
Remote Control Candle Set (two pack), £9.99, from www.menkind.co.uk
It's the simple things that can relax us. A candle can conjure up images of a cosy restaurant meal with friends, or an evening curled up on the sofa with a loved one. However, there's also something a little angsty about them. Will the wax drip on the carpet? Will you accidentally set the place on fire? That's where this gadget can help. You get the joy of a candle without the annoying bits - like trying to find matches. The set of two remote controlled candles are straightforward to operate (standard on/off buttons and a remote control for the LED lights), so even if you're not 'technologically minded' this will still be a breeze.
Take a load off
Deluxe Shiatsu Heated Foot Massager, £64.99, from www.homedics.co.uk
When you've been on your feet all day, a foot massage is heavenly. However, if you can't afford a masseuse to rub your tootsies on a daily basis, this makes a great substitute. With 18 massage heads, just plug it in and press the switch once for a normal massage and a second time to add heat to the mix. To turn it off, just press the button a third time. Leave your socks on, partly to keep the machine clean, but also so the rotating shiatsu balls don't tickle your feet. Then it's just a case of sitting back and enjoying the massage.
PIP Stress Away, £145, from www.thepip.com
This tear-shaped device is rather clever. Simply charge it up, download the free apps and connect to your phone/tablet via Bluetooth. PIP uses a sensor to analyse your stress levels (the science behind it is it reads your 'electrodermal activity'), and you can also use the apps to help you unwind. There's the Stress Tracker and two games; The Loom, which shows you a picture of a landscape that changes as you de-stress, and Relax and Race; the more you unwind, the faster you'll get to the finish line. The apps and device are essentially a tech-way of practicing CBT and mindfulness. Want extra help? There's an additional app called Four Steps to Mindfulness (£1.49).
App of the week
Flowy, free from iTunes and Google Play
Nominated for the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards 2015, this free app is aimed at people who suffer panic attacks and moments of anxiety. The aim of the game is to guide a boat back home, passing obstacles en route. However, as you make your way through the game, you'll be practising breathing techniques to help you when you have an attack.
Top 10 bestselling apps
1. Minecraft - Pocket Edition by Mojang
2. Five Nights at Freddy's 4 by Scott Cawthon
3. Goat Simulator by Coffee Stain Studios
4. The Chase by Barnstorm Games
5. Golden Boots by Entertainment One
6. Dark Angels: Masquerade of Shadows by Alawar Entertainment
7. Tipping Point by Barnstorm Games
8. Terraria by 505 Games
9. Eggheads by Barnstorm Games
10. Plants vs. Zombies by PopCap Games