We all get stressed sometimes, and for many people, stress is an all day, everyday occurrence. There’s good stress (going on a blind date or working on an exciting project) and bad stress (being in an unhealthy relationship, working 12 hours a day, or losing your job). Regardless of the source, long-term stress without any relief can be detrimental to your sleep and overall health.
There are several ways to relieve stress–we all know that exercise, meditation, and work-life balance can be a winning recipe–but we set out to find some that won’t get you fired, and don’t require you to take off your clothes or take a shower afterwards. In fact, you can just wear these solutions out and about like you would any other accessory.
That’s because wearables, like fitness trackers, and other devices can help you monitor and improve your daily activities, and some are even designed to reduce stress and improve sleep. As a general rule, relieving stress requires changes that, whenever possible, include eliminating the cause. These three wearables that we found and tested should help you on this journey.
I test a lot of products, and honestly, when I took the Cove device out of the box, I mistook it for one of the bone conduction headphones I was testing for the Best Headphones for Working Out article. That’s because the Cove fits behind my head and hooks over my ears, similar to bone conduction headphones. However, instead of supplying music from my iPhone, it uses very gentle vibrations–like an extremely soft massage–that really did seem to calm me down. (Cove actually has a study on how the device reduces stress by 41 percent for those who wear it.)
The battery only lasts 20 minutes, but the twice daily sessions are only designed to last exactly that long, so that’s not a problem. The Cove App helped me track progress and even sent reminders if I forgot to do my sessions. It also helped that I didn’t have to stop and assume the meditation position when wearing the device. Obviously, I wouldn’t wear it when on my treadmill or my Peloton-alternative bike, but it was really convenient to wear while seated at my desk.
I’ve been known to sleep through tornadoes, so I didn’t notice much of a difference in that area. However, after a month of wearing the device twice a day for most days, I did notice that in some scenarios where I would usually be quite agitated, I was more likely to respond with a nonchalant, monotone “OK” like Pete Davidson’s SNL character, Chad.
The month after trying the Cove, I tried the Embr Wave 2, and I received a lot of comments from people who mistakenly thought I’d finally converted from only wearing watches with leather bands. It looks like a watch and has an adjustable stainless-steel band. The Embr Wave 2 claims to do a lot of things, from calming hot flashes, to improving sleep quality, to relieving stress. While I’m not menopausal, I live in the Deep South where the average daytime temperature in the winter is between 55 and 60 degrees. In other words, it’s always hot. The ability to touch a button on the device and instantly feel a cooling effect on my wrist, was quite nice. It can actually be set for cool or warm, but I would never select the latter. The actual temperature–which can be set on a sliding scale of minimum to max, is done through the app, and that’s also where I could select different categories, like comfort, sleep, stress, hot flashes.