How to Use This Guide

  • Within this section of the guide, you will find resources for mindfulness
  • Highly recommended resources are denoted with a star (★)
  • Each resource also notes practical recommendations or strategies to help
  • This guide is a "living document" and may be continually updated over time. The date of last update is 9/22/20.

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Mindfulness & Other Tools Summary

A wealth of virtual, home-accessible tools (apps, podcasts, videos, etc.) are now available to support mindfulness, relaxation and movement. Here, we list a selection of resources that offer substantial content for free—or have made their content available—to support coping during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In this guide:

Mental Health

Resource: COVID Coach
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Free app to support coping and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes tools for tracking mood, managing stress, navigating caregiving, staying healthy and connected and connecting to further resources as needed

Resource: PTSD Coach Online (website/app)
From: National Center for PTSD

  • Repository of free resources for anyone who needs help with upsetting feelings. Specific materials geared for worry/anxiety, anger, sadness, sleep problems, and trauma. 
  • Videos
  • Handouts
  • App for those with PTSD

Resource: Sanvello (app)

  • Free access to premium content during COVID-19 for this self-management app focused on stress, anxiety and depression, which includes daily mood tracking, guided journey of relevant cognitive-behavioral strategies, coping tools for specific concerns and virtual peer support community if desired

Resource: Mindshift CBT (app)

  • Free interactive cognitive-behavioral tools to manage anxiety, develop more effective ways of thinking and take positive action

Resource: Prezence (app)

  • Free app (for download before June 1) with guided mindfulness and relaxation resources, designed to support stress reduction, healthy habits, sleep, and being present in the midst of life stressors. Developed by a Boston-based company, with Dr. Blaire Aguirre from McLean as Chief Clinical Officer

Healthy Habits

Resource: Operation Health@Home
MGH Home Base Program

  • Library of video-based coaching tips (updated daily) for enhancing fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and mental health while coping with COVID-19 stress. Tips include easy home recipes; mindful eating; guided fitness workouts; coping techniques; and mindfulness meditations. Developed for the military community and their families, but applicable for anyone

Resource: Whole Health Action Management Guide
Source: SAMHSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions

  • A guided workbook with practical strategies for building and maintaining 10 whole health and resiliency factors (e.g., health eating, sleep, physical activity, service, optimism, purpose) in the face of stress. Originally developed for individuals with mental health or substance use concerns, but applicable for anyone

Resource: Eating for Physical & Mental Health During COVID-19
Source: MGH Department of Psychiatry

  • Expert tips from Dr. Uma Naidoo, Director of Nutritional & Lifestyle Psychiatry at MGH, for healthy eating, meal planning, and snacking to support mood and mental health during stressful times
  • Additional tips via Harvard Health Blog



Resource: Free Online Meditation Resources for COVID-19
From: The Awake Network

  • List of free meditation resources from a variety of sources and organizations, including guided meditations, video sessions, apps and classes

Resource: Coronavirus Sanity Guide (website includes videos and app)
Ten Percent Happier

  • Resources on this webpage include: guided meditations, podcasts, blog posts and talks focused on managing coronavirus-related stress and anxiety. These resources will be updated over time
  • Dr. Luana Marques of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders program is interviewed with other experts for a one-hour podcast, sharing practical tips for “How to Manage Coronavirus Anxiety”
  • Guided meditations include: centering/grounding for coronavirus responders; relaxation; self-compassion; and finding ease
  • Talks include: handwashing mindfully; caring for others during time of coronavirus; coping with anxiety; releasing fear; etc.
  • Free access to Ten Percent Happier app is now available for healthcare workers

Resource: Mindfulness for Wellness (website)
MGH Department of Psychiatry

  • Free 8-session online program developed by Dr. Louisa Sylvia and team from the MGH MoodNetwork, introducing mindfulness skills to help with coping with COVID-19 stress. Each session takes about 15-20 minutes, focuses on a specific skill, and can be completed on your own time

Resource: Headspace (app)

  • A set of free brief meditations focused on stress reduction and walking at home, along with resources for employers and an extensive library of articles on meditation, managing stress and anxiety, healthy living and mental health.

Resource: Insight Timer (website and app)

  • Free library of over 30,000 recorded meditations for sleep, anxiety, stress, mindfulness, self-compassion, calming music, for kids, etc.

Resource: Calm (website with recordings)

  • Curated free recordings include: soothing meditations for mindfulness and self-compassion; sleep meditations; calm music; relaxing soundscapes; mindful movement exercises; mindfulness for kids; daily mindfulness activity calendars; journaling resources; ideas for social connection

Resource: Mentalization-Based Guided Imagery and Mindfulness Practices
 Fern Hill Center

  • Guided imagery and mindfulness resources from HMS/MGH-affiliated faculty Dr. Felipe Jain and colleagues, that rely on principles of mentalization, i.e., how we understand our own minds and that of others. Registration required to access free recordings

Positive Emotions

Resource: Positive Psychology Exercises (app)
From: Mass General Center for Addiction Medicine

  • Dr. Bettina Hoeppner’s team at the Mass General Center for Addiction Medicine has developed a freely available app that engages users in daily positive psychology exercises focused on noticing and fully engaging with positive experiences even amid life challenges. While this app was originally developed to support smoking cessation (for scientific validation, see this paper), the happiness exercises can be used as a stand-alone module (simply tap “Happiness” on the homepage of the app) and can be used by all
  • Positive psychology exercises focus on noticing kindness (e.g., teachers putting together homeschool tools); doing kind things (e.g., leaving toilet paper in the shelf for the next person to buy); savoring (e.g., taking 5 minutes to sit in the sunshine); reliving positive experiences (e.g., looking at photos and recalling joyful events); and noticing good things that are also happening (e.g., whole communities engaging in social distancing for the greater good)


Yoga and Movement

Resource: Wakeout (app)

  • Free app with hundreds of quick and easy 30-second physical exercises that can be completed in the home, while sitting, or outdoors

Resource: How to Stay Active While You’re at Home (website)
From: Sport England

Resource: Down Dog Yoga & Exercise Apps (app)
From: Down Dog

  • Free access to all exercise apps (Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre and 7 Minute) until April 1 (and extended to July 1 for all students and teachers signing up with an .edu address)

Resource: Online Yoga Resources (website)
From: Breathing Space Yoga & Mindfulness Studio

  • Free online yoga resources, with videos as well as audio guided meditations to assist with stress and sleep

If you have comments or would like to suggest an addition to the guide, contact: Karmel Choi, PhD and Jordan W. Smoller, MD, ScD.