Being a student can be stressful. The exams, the homesickness, the constant essays... but we're here to help. Since students spend most of their time playing on their phones, a few key apps are crucial to help melt that stress away. Here are the best relaxing/distracting/brain-boosting apps for students to have just a tap away.

It’s a busy time for students. Some are breathing sighs of relief (or sobbing in despair) after finding out the results of their GCSEs and A-levels – we’re hoping the former, while others are getting ready to face new academic frontiers (Reception! Sixth Form! University!).

Wherever we look, everyone seems to be getting into that slightly panicked, manic-spending spree frame of mind… otherwise known as back-to-school mode.

For those heading off to university, there’s so much to discover, and so many hours to spend binge-watching your favourite television shows, movies and music (thankfully our Go Binge service ensures unlimited streaming without eating into your data plan).

You’ll also be super-busy socialising, partying and joining every single student committee and sports club during Fresher’s Week (to ensure more socialising, of course). Oh and there is that small matter of mastering your subject and studying to attend to…

For those times when your head isn’t buried in a book or staring at a computer screen mid-essay crisis, when you’ve gotten through your exams and need a mental break or just want to keep student stress and anxiety at bay, your mobile phone can be your most reliable friend. Especially when you’ve got the right apps on it.

We’ve also got a brand-new SIM offer for students only: get a 12-month, 30GB SIM for only £16 a month with all the perks of being a Three customer (roaming abroad, unlimited streaming, all-you-can-eat texts and minutes).

 

Here are our picks of the apps to help you relax, distract you from any troubles (aka Fresher’s Week hookups gone awry) and de-stress. You’re welcome.

 

Apps to help students relaxVia Three

 

Windy, App Store, £1.99

One thing university isn’t? Quiet. In fact, we bet you have a skateboarding drum ‘n’ bass obsessive living a few rooms away from you. Or something equally fun but annoying when you need to sleep. Even uni libraries are notoriously noisy, chatty places. The solution? A white-noise app like Windy, which features seven different soundscapes recorded in stereoscopic 3D and optimised for headphones. Ah, the sound of relaxation.

Headspace, App Store, Google Play, free to download, then from £9.99 a month

Everyone’s favourite mindfulness app has made meditation a core part of our daily ritual – even if we only have five minutes to spare to tune out. With themed sessions covering everything from X to Y to Z, meditation can help relieve daily stress and anxiety, improve focus and even boost compassion (according to studies, meditating with Headspace for three weeks may enhance compassionate behaviour towards others). Which may be what the uni student needs more than anything else on the planet: a reminder that they’re not the centre of the universe.

Emoodji, App Store, Google Play, free

Designed by mental health charity Mind to target university students and their emotional wellbeing, Emoodji is an app that lets you track your mood and let others know how you feel. And it uses a medium uni kids feel most comfortable with to do so: emojis and selfies. From dealing with exam stress to getting over homesickness, this app is also packed with tips on how to stay mentally strong at uni.

Peak, App Store, Google Play, free, from £3.99 a month

If you’re looking for the perfect distraction app that simultaneously makes you smarter, you’ll love how Peak helps improve your focus, problem-solving skills, mental agility, memory and more, with fun games that track your progress and let you know where you can keep improving. Warning: you may get so addicted that you feel you’d be capable of reading a maths subject even if you’re a humanities student. Don’t believe it for a second…

Happify, App Store, Google Play, free, from £8.99 for Happify Plus

Think of Happify as a games-based happiness trainer, with scientifically backed activities, quotes, audio tracks and articles to help you banish any negative thoughts and start feeling sunnier. A must-have when you’ve got about 17 essays and exams coming up and the future is looking distinctly gloomy.

Stigma, App Store, coming soon to Google Play, free

This mood-management app encourages journaling, where you can off-load any worries or anxieties and anonymously share them with a group of supportive penpals – perfect for when you need to brain dump and are looking for advice. You can also plug your moods into a Mood Calendar, while the Word Cloud highlights the emotions that recur most often in your writing.

Sidewords, App Store, £2.99

If your idea of heaven is sitting down with a Saturday crossword, then why not sit down with your iPhone 8? you’ll love Sidewords, A must for wordsmiths and logic lovers.