Trying to relax? VR apps can help.
There are many excellent VR apps for relaxation. They can produce a truly meditative state of Zen.
In my big guide to the best meditation apps I discussed how apps can help get us into the meditative state.
VR apps do the same thing, but many of them are even better.
Don’t have a VR viewer? No worries. All you need is a viewer like Google Cardboard.
Google Cardboard works by placing your phone at a slight distance away from the lenses. You then place your eyes up to the viewer to see a 3D effect. Easy. Once you’re experiencing the 3D view you can move your head around to see different angles of the images. It’s a simple, 3D virtual reality experience.
There are many apps that help with relaxation, and they’re available on the Play Store. There are apps that can help you to meditate, to relax, to stop anxiety and stress, and ultimately to feel that beautiful state of Zen.
Let’s take a look at some of the best VR apps for relaxation.
Relax VR is an Australian start-up group who want to use virtual reality to relieve stress at work.
40% of employees state that they find their job stressful, and stress is a leading cause of mental health problems. So naturally, any steps we can take towards eliminating stress at work are more than welcome.
Relax VR’s application, which is now available on iOS and Android, let’s you get away from stress at work by taking you to relaxing virtual reality scenes. The locations include Great Ocean Road in Australia, and beaches in Portugal. And the scenes are viewable in 360 degree. Plus, there’s beautiful relaxing music and a tranquil voice to help you unwind.
As a meditation teacher I’m often teaching people visualisation meditations to help them to relax. And they do wonders. But sometimes you don’t want to use your own imagination to visualise. Sometimes you want the zero-effort solutions. Sometimes you just want to watch a movie, or look at some pictures, something easy. Relax VR makes relaxation a doddle.
There are lot of apps for relaxation, as you probably know, but the majority are very basic. Relax VR is a much more professional product. The company has gone to lengths to make their app as healthy as possible. They’ve hired a clinical psychology, Ivan Alsina Jurnet, to conduct scientific research so that the company knows that the app is working. And one of the company’s founders, Sourabh Jain, is a yoga and meditation teacher. I don’t know about you, but I always feel better knowing an app I’m using is approved by an actual meditation teacher and a psychologist.
Relax VR has been available for consumers since Q2 2016. And now, the company is moving in a new direction. They are seeking to get corporations to use Relax VR as part of their wellness programs.
The company has also spoken about how valuable virtual reality could be in hospitals. Already there are virtual reality apps designed to help doctors. And it is easy to see how a relaxation app like Relax VR could help patients to unwind.
Personally, I will stick to my traditional meditation schedule, as in my experience nothing compares to genuine meditation. However, if you are interested in a relaxation app, then Relax VR is definitely one of the most professionally produced available. For a couple of bucks (the app is $2.79 on iTunes), there’s no reason not to try it out.
You can learn more about the app over on the official website.
And as a final note, lots of people have commented that the developers are very good at listening to customer feedback. So if you’ve got any idea on how to improve the app, be sure to let them know.
Lanterns for Google Cardboard
Let’s start with a simple relaxing virtual reality application. In Lanterns, you are chilling out sitting by the water and listening to the slosh, as floating lanterns breathe ambience into the sky.
The serenity of the scene is simply splendiferous. The music is utterly relaxing and the ambient sounds truly bring out your inner Zen. Plus, the graphics are stunning.
Some people have commented that this app even helps to cure insomnia.
Get it on the Google Play Store.
Guiding Star VR
Guiding Star VR is a unique app that provides a new kind of meditative experience. Plus, it was custom-designed for VR.
Anyone who loves space (I know I do!) will love Guiding Star VR with its calming music, shooting stars, and beautiful visuals.
The whole thing is free, too and it doesn’t require a controller. You just move your eyes to look around.
A bunch of clever human-beings with PhDs created this app from deep within the Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lib and in the Framestore VR Studio.
Turned out pretty neat, too.
Lumen is a fantastic app when you want to relax. It begins with a breathing exercise. After the exercise you’re taken to an interactive luminous forest. There, you can help the trees grow. It’s a beautiful scene that will help you get to sleep.
VR Tropical Meditation 3D
VR Tropical Meditation takes you away on a free vacation to the tropics. Move your head and you will walk in the direction you’re looking.
As you look around the scenes you’ll experience the beautiful sun and blue sea, and the sounds of the island.
The one minor hiccough with this app is that there should be a way to stop walking. Nevertheless, it’s a truly enjoyable experience.
The Evolution of Verse on WITHIN
You know what it feels like when you lucid dream? WITHIN creates a similar experience.
At the beginning of the app you are standing beside a lake as the sun rises. Around you are dragonflies, moving clouds, a snow-capped mountain… nature, that’s basically what I’m saying. Nature is all around you.
A few moments later you feel like you’ve stumbled into a heavenly mirage. And in case you’re wondering: Yes, this app does deserve its indulgently poetic title.
Available on Cardboard, Gear, BeThere Book and many other VR systems, this is one is a real treat.
VR Guided Meditation App
VR Guided Meditation App offers free guided meditations in a VR experience. The app teaches meditation lessons with easy-to-follow instructions designed to help you let go and relax.
There are lots of different locations to choose from in this app, including a beach, office, snowy landscapes, and mountains. When you download this free meditation app you get a lot of different options to enjoy once you put on your Google Cardboard viewer!
The developers state (very optimistically) that this app will help with sleep, stress, and other problems. Eh, not so much. It is good fun though.
Relax VR Rest & Meditation
Relax VR is a truly beautiful meditation app full of gorgeous visuals. The production values here are some of the best. Period. The way the beautiful scenes come to life before your eyes is truly magical.
No wonder more than 100,000 people have downloaded and installed this app.
There are tons off great features to enjoy here:
- 4K 360 videos
- 3D audio
- Relaxation techniques like Yoga Nidra
- Guided meditations
- Beautiful music
Caribbean VR Google Cardboard
Caribean VR is a VR app for relaxing and is available on Google Cardboard
Caribbean VR Google Cardboard (full title) lets you take a free vacation to the beautiful Caribbiean (minus the pina-coladas).
This is another app with delightful visuals and staggering production values. As you visit Pinel Island, Mt Maarten, St Barts and Sandy Island you will feel like you’re really there (eh, not really, but it is very relaxing nonetheless).
This VR app is available for Homido, Zeiss VR One and GearVR, Color Cross and View Master 3D.
MonarchVR: Meditate in VR
I love this app.
MonarchVR: Meditate in VR is set in a stunning 3D butterfly sanctuary (I mean, who doesn’t love butterflies)?
While you watch those butterflies fluttering around you, you can’t help but relax and feel the stress melting away.
As a neat little bonus, the proceeds from this app go to a non-profit that helps protect bees and butterflies!
- Randomly generate landscapes
- Relaxing music
- Save bees and butterflies!
Monarch3D works on Google Cardboard, Freefly VR, Homido, Merge, Pasonomi, IncrediSonic Vue, View-master, Lakento, Tepoinn, Archos, Durovis Dive 5 (so basically, a lot).
Eden River VR
The fifth game made by Unello (a developer that usually makes ultra violent games), Eden River is a surprisingly relaxing virtual reality app.
In Eden River you cruise down a river meeting various forest wildlife. It’s a simple, chilled-out, Zen experience that is truly relaxing. Definitely a healthy alternative to this developers usual horror
This one works on Google Cardboard, Durovis Dive, -ImmersiON-VRelia GO, and most other smartphone VR viewers.
BONUS: Sunset and Aurora in Alaska
Alaska. A truly beautiful place. And it has been timelessly recreated through the videography of William Briscoe.
Briscoe show a time-lapse of a sunset aurora at Hatcher’s Pass, a mountain pass through the southwest part of the Talkeetna Mountain.
In this 360 video you get to see the perfect sunset leading to the dark night and the magical green aurora across the sky. Breathtaking.
I always say that one of the best type of meditation is just to enjoy nature. This is that type of meditation. It is a stunning recreation of nature’s divine beauty.
Check it out below.
Try these relaxing meditation techniques for total tranquility!
So which application is your favorite? Leave a comment.