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5 Wearable Tech Devices for Anxiety and Stress Relief

In the age of Fitbit, a growing number of wearable devices now claim to do much of the same, only for mental health. Their fast proliferation within a relatively short span of time suggests there is a market for them, but are their claims true and do they really work? 

When the National Institutes of Health conducted a review of wearable tech for anxiety and depression in 2023, it found these products worked best as complements to standard, evidence-based interventions. In other words, these devices did achieve positive results, but not enough to replace medication and therapy.

An abundance of wearable tech for mental health makes it impossible to feature every one of these devices in one article. This short list of five helps to show some of the different options out there and their applications. Some of these have appeared in Rolling Stone and The Men’s List.

Apollo Neuro – Worn as a bracelet on the wrist or the ankle, this device is supposed to help reduce stress and anxiety, by sending soothing vibrations along the wrist or ankle that calm the mind and balance the nervous system. The results were an increased sense of calm and better sleep, among other positive effects, in studies by the manufacturer. This is what makes the Apollo Neuro different from many wearables, which mainly only monitor bodily functions rather than act on them to improve mental health.

Oura Ring – “Your finger provides the most accurate reading for over 20 biometrics like heart rate, body temperature, blood oxygen, and more,” according to the Oura website—hence the smart ring. It tracks these various metrics to gauge stress levels and the body’s resilience to stress, so that users can better self-regulate and create goals to improve their resilience. The ring supposedly can encourage a healthy circadian rhythm as well, for more restful, restorative sleep.

Muse Brain Sensing EEG/Muse EEG-Powered Meditation & Sleep Band

This device, worn as a headband, employs the same EEG technology that neuroscientists use to analyze brain activity and, in essence, retrain the brain for better health and productivity. EEG sensors in the headband supposedly provide real-time information about brain activity. As the description on Muse’s website puts it, “Muse reads your brainwaves and translates them into real-time, gentle audio feedback. Think of it as a personal brain trainer.” Over time, the results can be reduced stress, better sleep, and more mental calm and focus.

Thync utilizes advanced technologies in non-invasive, electric neurostimulation to reportedly improve brain health. The device works by targeting specific areas of the brain with a low-grade electrical current. Results from different, separate studies have found increased energy, reduced stress, and improved mood and sleep after use. 

EMBR, either in the form of a ring or a wristband, claims to regulate temperature for better sleep. The wrist band known as Embr Wave, for example, reportedly warms or cools the body upon the press of a button and can provide relief from menopausal symptoms that disrupt sleep, such as hot flashes and night sweats. The device works by stimulating the nerves that sense temperature.

These are some of the now many wearable— (and non-wearable)— tech devices that claim to support mental health. Most of them, much like the Fitbit, monitor and record certain metrics or benchmarks to encourage the user to exercise better self-care and have more self-awareness. As the above list shows, though, some devices now promise to do even more, by achieving positive mental health effects like reduced stress and anxiety, more calm, better mood, and improved sleep. 

With time, there will only be more such wearable tech devices. That’s encouraging: While they can’t substitute for therapy and medication, they may still be able to play a supportive role in relieving stress and anxiety.

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