How to Turn the Amazon Alexa Into Your Own Personal Zen Coach
And not just because monotone robot voices are the ultimate de-stressor.
AI robot friends are becoming better and better at helping you crush your health goals. (Just check out all the ways Alexa and the Google Home can help you live healthier.) And since everyone in America is basically a walking stress explosion, according to the American Psychological Association (in not so unscientific terms), it's the perfect time to put AI to good use. With any Amazon Alexa–enabled device, you can channel inner peace without even pressing a button. (Stressing about a health problem? Great news: Alexa has a new doctor friend that can help you out.)
Don't have an Alexa-enabled device yet, or want to give yours an upgrade? Now might just be the best time to snag one: Amazon Prime Day (think: like Black Friday but exclusively for Amazon Prime members) is coming up on July 16, and you can get killer deals on the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Spot, or new Echo Show. (If you're not a Prime member yet, they're offering a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime as part of the Prime Day hype.)
To get started with any of these commands, you'll need to enable the skill on your device by either going to each skill page on Amazon.com and clicking "Enable," doing so on your Alexa app, or even just by saying "Alexa, enable Yoga Trainer," so that she'll be ready to serve up some ~chillness~ whenever you ask.
"Alexa, tell Headspace I'm ready to meditate."
If you're already a Headspace app devotee, you'll love being able to cue up your favorite meditation without having to lift a finger. (Sounds like a perfect activity for #SelfcareSunday, am I right?)
"Alexa, play Spa Music."
Need some chill background music for your at-home yoga practice, meditation, or-let's be honest-nap? Cue up some quintessential spa music for instant audio chill (and you can even set a sleep timer, if necessary).
"Alexa, open sweet dreams."
If Stop, Breathe, and Think is your meditation app of choice, you'll appreciate their Alexa-enabled Zzz-inducing sleep sounds and guided sleep meditations. Choose between the sound of falling rain or a peaceful forest or meditations that help you soften and relax or review the day.
"Alexa, ask Happy Days to give me a quote."
If you're more in need of a positive boost rather than something to calm your mind, just ask Happy Days for an uplifting quote. Reviewers swear by the sayings for turning a bad day around.
"Alexa, ask Yoga Trainer to start a new session."
Flow through 26 Bikram yoga postures that will sharpen your mind, improve your balance, and get you feeling centered, ASAP. (No Alexa? Try this four-minute de-stressing yoga flow instead.)
"Alexa, open Yoga Studio and start for 30 minutes."
If you'd like to do a guided home yoga practice but Bikram isn't your jam, start up a 10-, 20-, 30-, or 60-minute vinyasa flow with Yoga Studio.
"Alexa, ask Be Mindful for a two-minute meditation."
Tap into an instructor from InsightLA, a Los Angeles–based meditation studio, for a quick, cost-free meditation. Ask Alexa for a one-, two-, or five-minute meditation to get calm before that big meeting, first date, or dinner with the in-laws. (BTW, here's what you need to know about mindfulness.)
"Alexa, start deep breathing."
With the Deep Breath skill, Alexa guides you through a step-by-step, short breathing exercise that promotes breathing and imagery for stress reduction. Just close your eyes, speak the magic words, and go to your happy place.
"Alexa, ask Buddha Quotes to give me some calm."
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." If Buddha wisdom like that gets you going, then this might be the perfect morning ritual to start your day.
"Alexa, ask Thrive for a power-down."
Can't calm your racing mind before bed? Ask Alexa for a power-down eight-minute meditation from Thrive, and you'll be slipping peacefully off to dreamland before you know it.
"Alexa, give me an affirmation."
Sometimes, peace of mind is just a quick quote away. Ask Alexa for an affirmation from Unique Daily Affirmations to shape your day in a positive way. (Seriously-positive affirmations are super powerful.) Simply say it in front of a mirror while looking at your reflection-or better yet, grab some mala beads and meditate on it.