Stop Breathe & Think

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Clinical Aim(s)
Enhance Well-Being, Anxiety & Stress Management
Incorporated Strategies
Mindfulness/Meditation
Target Audience
Teens, Adults, Elders
Setting
Standalone, Supplement
Cost
Free with some in app purchase
Language
English

Stop, Breathe & Think is a web- and mobile-based mindfulness and meditation app intended to help users cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. The program provides textual information on how to meditate, along with 27 free meditation audios (with more available through subscription) lasting from 2–20 minutes. The mobile version offers some different meditations compared to the web version (e.g., meditation for children, pregnancy, etc.). The meditation audios have customizable timers and contain either chimes (a melodious series of ringing sounds, e.g., a bell) or soundscapes. The developers suggest that users take a few minutes every day to meditate in order to fully feel the effects of the program. While users have the freedom to practice any meditation exercise they choose, they also have the option to “check-in” and record their current physical, mental, and emotional state. The program uses this information to provide feedback on suitable meditation exercises. Charts and graphs available in the “My Progress” section allow users to track the number of consecutive days they have used the program, their most frequently self-reported emotions before and after meditation, their weekly progress, and the total time meditated.

Expert Evaluation

   
Program Quality
3.4 out of 5
Source Credibility
Fair
Privacy Explanation
Almost Transparent
Pros
Meditation recommendations based on user self-report/Free version has a good number of meditations/Appealing design.
Cons
Lack of step-by-step tunneling for inexperienced meditators/Introduction is not highly engaging.


Summary

Stop, Breathe & Think is an easy-to-use meditation app. The basic free version provides a good number of meditations for users to practice. For beginner meditators, the app provides a text-based introduction, laying the foundation for learning the practice of mindfulness meditation; however, this introduction could be more engaging if presented using a non-text-based medium. Furthermore, although the program recommends meditation exercises based on user reports, beginners might lack some step-by-step tunneling of meditations and information based on their current experience. On the bright side, the app’s overall design is well thought out: The audios are clear and pleasant to listen to, and the app’s graphics are nice. The “check-in” step is engaging and gives the user a moment of self-reflection before meditating. The option for users to compare their state at the end of the meditation could provide positive reinforcement. This app would probably appeal most to a teenage-adult age group. The children’s program contains only 3 exercises, and parental guidance is advised, at least for the first few practices.

Notes for Clinicians

Stop, Breathe & Think is a good option for a free practice mindfulness app – for those who don’t require step-by-step guidance. The app could be used in between sessions to supplement treatment that incorporates relaxation techniques and meditation practices, preferably for the teen-adult age group. It could also be added to treatment where meditation is not explicitly taught but would benefit the patient’s progress. The therapist could incorporate in-session analysis of the app’s mood tracker.

Evaluation date:
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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