Take the stress out of mindfulness and meditation with our update on the apps you need to download now

The busy nature of modern life means finding the time to look after yourself isn't easy. Realistically, most of us don't have the luxury to spend 15 minutes wolfing down our breakfast in the morning, let alone the time to roll out a yoga mat and meditate in the lotus position.

Thankfully, there's been a revolution for frazzled smartphone owners: new technology is making it easier to get a slice of peaceful reflection while on the go.

From sleep trackers to meditation methods, here's how to make your downtime more mindful this season.

Sleep Cycle: sleepcycle.com

Once we bragged about all-nighters, but now getting enough sleep has never been trendier. To help you measure the quality of the hours you're clocking, there's Sleep Cycle. This omniscient app monitors your nighttime habits from your bedside table and uses its findings to gently nudge you awake at the least disruptive time possible (a definite upgrade if you're still relying on the iPhone's shrill clarion call). The morning after, it'll present your sleep patterns to you in easy-to-understand graphs and detailed notes, so you can further obsess over your unconscious bedtime habits. Fascinating stuff.

Happify: my.happify.com

Run out of reasons to be cheerful? You really need to download Happify. This self-improvement programme believes positivity is a skill you can both control and learn over time, through levelled activities. Users can brain-train their way to a more fulfilling life by scoring points on a checklist of games that draw on psychology, mindfulness and CBT techniques, designed to boost mood on a long-term basis. If nothing else, it's a significantly less stressful alternative to Candy Crush.

Calm: calm.com

If you're looking for a beginner's guide to meditation, Calm is the place to start. It has a huge range of guided mindfulness programmes designed to help with a whole checklist of mental health issues: from managing stress and anxiety in the workplace to improving disrupted sleep. The meditations are created with all kinds of different lifestyles in mind, so whether you've got a full half an hour or just three minutes to spare, you'll always be able to squeeze the practice into your day.

Relaxtopia: iTunes

If you don't have the patience for meditation but you're looking for some calming sounds to zone out to while answering emails, there's an app for that. Think of Relaxtopia as the Spotify of ambient noises, with a library of soothing sounds inspired by nature. Next time you've got a deadline looming, block out your noisy colleague's conversation about the weekend's X Factor result and type away to the sounds of Zen gardens, rain and thunder.

10 Percent Happier: 10percenthappier.com

Bestselling author Dan Harris' meditation app has carved out a niche for those interested in mindfulness, but "allergic to woo woo". Don't expect to burn incense or chant in Sanskrit during the sessions. Instead, you'll get simple daily meditation practices delivered straight to your device, led by some of the most respected mindfulness gurus in the game - like Joseph Goldstein and George Mumford. The video lessons will teach you the essentials of the practice in simple, layman's terms - without the need for hackneyed spiritual lexicon. Easy peasy.