Need help mellowing out lately? These meditation apps might calm you down

If you’re routinely prone to being stressed out, hurried or generally made out-of-sorts by the hectic pace of the world and life changes, then...yikes. We don’t envy what you must be going through these days.

Right about now, even the most zen and centered among us are bound to be feeling some level of anxiety and uncertainty. In these ultra trying times of social distancing, working from home and herculean routine change, we could all use a little extra help keeping our heads on straight, our minds clear and our fears in check.

To help calm those jangled nerves, we pulled together three mediation and relaxation apps that might just do the trick chilling you out. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re all between 50 and 90 percent off right now. Namaste.

Relax Melodies Meditation App: Lifetime Subscription - $124.99; originally $250

If you’re looking for endorsements, it doesn’t get much better than “the most positively reviewed app in the history of the Apple App Store.” That’s Relax Melodies, an app focused on regulating your sleep. It combines soothing sounds, bedtime stories, breathing techniques, body-mind exercises and more to create your own perfect sleep ambiance to get you the 7 or 8 hours of restful sleep a night you need.  From overcoming insomnia or tinnitus to night-time anxiety to lowering everyday stress, these sleep expert-approved techniques could be just what you need to face tomorrow the right way.

Welzen Meditation App: Lifetime Subscription - $29.99; originally $149.99

Welzen is all about dropping just the right pearl of zen at just the right moment. Read the rest

Clean up and class up your bathroom with this sensor-driven, hands-free soap dispenser

So...exactly how many times a day are you singing Happy Birthday to your sink? Unless you’re among the most germaphobic among us, it’s unlikely you ever thought the simple act of handwashing would start to take on such a central role in our daily lives.

Of course, with all the touching and such, bar soap isn’t really the best idea these days, so it might be a good time to fully step up to a sanitation process worthy of our chaotic times. And that process means -- don’t touch anything.

This hands-free foaming soap dispenser not only serves up a handful of soapy goodness when you need it, it does so with a simple swipe over an infrared sensor. There’s no need to ever push a button or force down a pump. Just like all those fancy bathrooms in expensive hotels and restaurants, a single sweep of your hand gets the job done, so nobody’s grungy fingers get all over anything.

The unit’s motor churns out disinfecting foam in a quarter of a second to prevent any bacterial transmission -- and that cool little sensor works like catnip to a kid, while also not-so-subtly reinforcing the whole handwashing habit. If you’ve got a youngster who seems to constantly “forget” to wash up after a stint in the throne room, this might just be the attention-grabbing reminder they need.

Unlike other models, this dispenser also comes with a clear plastic soap reservoir, so you can always tell exactly how much soap is left before you’re going to need to pick up some more...if Read the rest

Save over 75% on lifetime subscriptions to Rosetta Stone, VPN Unlimited, and 12min Book Summary App

Paralysis by analysis. It’s the phenomenon that happens when you’re so stuck on thinking through all the ramifications of your actions that you don’t actually take action in the first place.

That can happen with all this free time you’re spending stuck inside your house. With literally every home-bound option available to you, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by your choices and just watch Dr Pimple Popper from morning til night.

Resist that urge, people.  In fact, we’ve got three ways your time indoors could actually end up being time well spent -- and you can knock out all three with The Social Distancing Lifetime Subscription Bundle ft. Rosetta Stone.

Learn a language

Half the world is bilingual. Literally. So if you’re locked in on English and only English, you can broaden your communication horizons with a lifetime subscription learning up to 24 different languages at your own pace with Rosetta Stone. They’ve spent decades refining their intuitive learning method that’s been the online gold standard for language learning for 30 years. Their immersive system ramps up vocabulary, conversation, and writing skills naturally while their TruAccent speech recognition technology is there with instant feedback on how well your spoken language skills are progressing.

Read a book...or dozens of books

Since you can’t go to the library, you can bring the library to you with lifetime access to 12min Premium Micro Book Library. Just scroll through hundreds of different nonfiction titles in more than 20 different categories and make your choice. Read the rest

Take part in the clean energy movement with Arcadia

At this point, it's every single person's responsibility to reduce their own carbon footprint and transition to a more sustainable lifestyle. But if you consider the grim fact that the biggest culprit of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the U.S. is burning fossil fuels for electricity, things, like pivoting to metal straws and carpooling to work, seem painfully insignificant.

Studies have shown that choosing clean energy can reduce your carbon footprint by over 40 percent, but it's not an easy feat. Even if you're willing to consider renewable energy options, having large solar panels installed on your roof is probably the first thing that comes to mind, and frankly, it's not something that everyone can afford to do. Luckily, it's not the only alternative power source for your home.

What is Arcadia?

Enter: Arcadia. A service that allows you to have a sizeable green impact at home and on your community. It breaks down the barrier to entry to supporting clean energy sources and helps you significantly cut down on your carbon footprint. Whether you're a homeowner or a renter, Arcadia enables you to make better choices by providing easier access to clean energy sources in your area, as well as finding ways for you to save on energy where possible. That means not only does it offer a way to help you save the environment, it helps you find ways to save money on your bills, too.

How it works

When you join the platform, it asks you to connect your existing utility account to identify the clean energy plans available in your area. Read the rest

Canva Pro can be the ultimate design tool for all us non-designers

Companies that don’t have their own in-house design teams (which means 99 percent of all companies these days) face lots of serious questions. Among those questions is how you keep up with all the design requirements of a 21st-century company without the personnel.

It isn’t just a website or an annual product catalog anymore. It’s promotional materials, both physical and digital. It’s a fundamental brand identity building. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface on the design needs of a company that wants a robust social media or app presence.

It can be a lot for the non-artist tasked with getting everything done. A Pro subscription to Canva is one of the tools that can help even graphically-challenged creators come up with beautiful, professional-grade work in a fraction of the time it would take otherwise.

Canva is a design and marketing service that lets creators assemble attractive materials like posters, logos, presentations, flyers, cards and social media art in a matter of minutes. From over 60,000 templates across a variety of categories, users maneuver the easy-to-access interface and can literally drag and drop customized fonts, images, and even video content right into their project.

With Canva, your library of available resources is truly massive. You can choose from over 4 million different photos and graphics to give your project the individual spark that it needs. Of course, if nothing grabs you, you can always upload your own images, fonts, and logos and import them right into your work. Meanwhile, Canva Pro’s nifty Magic Resize feature allows you to instantly crop, save and export your work or any part of your work to just the size and format you want for exporting. Read the rest

Upgrade your PC with this sale on refurbished computers from Microsoft, HP, Dell, and more

In case you’re one of those computer shoppers who instinctively turns up their nose at the very mention of the word refurbished, here are a couple myths worth dispelling.

Refurbished equals junk somebody didn’t want. While desktops, laptops, notebooks, Chromebooks and tablets marked as refurbished may have been unboxed at some point, meaning they can never again be sold as new, that definitely doesn’t make them junk. Refurbished computers don’t work. In fact, the complete opposite is usually true. No matter why a computer ended up back at the manufacturer, each one was cleaned, assessed and had new components installed if needed to get the machine to meet or exceed original performance expectations. Unlike models that just rolled off an automated assembly line, a human actually checked out a refurbished computer and gave it the company’s seal of approval. Refurbished machines aren’t a deal. Well, take a look at the 22 good-as-new models served up here by some of the world’s top computer makers, each with discounts knocking as much as $1,300 off your final price and say that. Desktops and towers still pack a punch

With so many buyers focused on transportable tech, big savings are available on the workhorse of the computer industry: the trusty old desktop unit.

The HP EliteDesk 705-G1 Mini PC ($229.99; originally $599.99) is the very definition of dependable and a solid choice for anyone seeking a reliable model to handle everyday computing chores like emailing and web surfing. Mini PCs were mocked for years for being underpowered next to their bigger desktop brothers, but between performance upgrades and space requirements in tight conditions these days, who’s laughing at a mini’s svelte profile now? Read the rest

Rad Power Bikes want to get the world out of their cars and they just may have figured out how to do it

Electric bikes aren’t toys. And they aren’t a fad. In fact, more and more communities are starting to catch on that e-bikes are a lot more than an amusing gadget for the tech geek.

Following a six-month study, Johnson County, Kansas, home to many Kansas City suburbs, became just the latest U.S. community to allow electric bikes access to the county’s paved trails. E-bike advocates were able to show officials the health and ecological benefits of opening up access to e-bikers, a move that undoubtedly brings a smile to the face of Mike Radenbaugh.

Radenbaugh started Rad Power Bikes back in 2007 -- and over the past 13 years, he’s built the Seattle-based company into the largest and fastest-growing e-bike maker in North America.

And when you dig into exactly why Rad is watching more and more people adopt the e-biking lifestyle, there’s really one simple reason at its center: it just makes sense.

Practically speaking, bike riding gets users outside to enjoy the great outdoors -- all while the bike’s compact electrically-powered motor gives riders a little assist when they’re running out of stamina or need extra help on a hill or lengthy straightaway.

Opening up the throttle on your Rad Power Bike is as simple as a button press, offering some much-needed extra support to your pedaling when you most need it. Even if you’re totally spent, just open it all the way up and you can stop pedaling completely, cruising along at up to 20 miles an hour without an ounce of exertion. Read the rest

Do double the good with eco-friendly produce bags from a brand that gives back

Whether you're living in a city that has already taken measures to reduce plastic bag use, the small silver lining of the pandemic has inspired you to make changes, or you've already started living a greener lifestyle, reusable produce bags are a great addition to your shopping routine. And if you're going to invest in a product like this, why not do that with a brand that gives back, too?

Lotus Trolley Bag makes these reusable, washable, eco-friendly, multipurpose produce bags and is a member of 1% for the Planet, meaning that a percentage of their sales goes to high-impact non-profits that protect our oceans.

This set of 9 food-safe, BPA-free bags includes 3 different color-coordinated sizes (12" x 8", 12" x 14", and 12" x 17") that will cover all your fruit and vegetable shopping needs. The 120 GSM non-woven fabric they're made of is double stitched on the sides for strength—the large can support a watermelon!—yet they're so light you'll hardly notice them in your purse or pocket on your way to the store. And while you're at the store, they're super easy to use, too, thanks to their tare weight labels that make it a cinch to accurately weigh out your produce minus the weight of the bag itself. Speaking of cinches, the bags cinch closed with ease and then stay that way with the help of secure locks attached to the drawstring that work just like ones you'd find on a hooded coat.

But possibly the coolest thing of all about these bags is how reusable they are. Read the rest

Are you cut out to be a COVID-19 stay-at-home teacher for your kids? Maybe these DIY projects can help.

Dealing with all the COVID-19 fallout is one of the new realities of our ever-changing world — and that isn’t likely going away anytime soon. It’s also prompted a rash of existential questions for parents. Questions like how do I protect my kids? Or how do I soothe their fears?

And there’s also one of the most nerve-racking questions: How do I suddenly become an experienced elementary school teacher and actually try to homeschool these mini-terrorists I created while schools are shut down and our lives are in chaos?

Great question. If you’d like to follow the advice of one University of Connecticut professor, don’t try. We think that might be a short-sighted view. Instead, turn your home captivity into an opportunity to expand their minds organically.

Any of the DIY projects below will engage your minds, activate their problem-solving skills and super-subtly encourage a career in a lucrative STEM career so they can afford to take care of you when you’re old in style. In the short term, each should also take them hours to accomplish. Enjoy the silence.

Get ‘em started on the basics

Any curriculum starts with the basics, so if you want to get them started, you need the right introductory materials. It doesn’t get more foundational than understanding elementary circuitry, and the Circuit Scribe: DIY Circuit Kits ($32.99; originally $58.99) can kickstart their interest. Using regular paper and a steel sheet, kids will take the reins to fashion their own lights, buzzers, motors and other base-level electronics projects. Read the rest

Transform your home office with this dual-use aquaponic or hydroponic water garden that's on sale

If you're already incredibly bored in your social distancing situation, now is a great time to pick up a hobby. Actually, now's a great time to pick up multiple hobbies, and nothing will make that easier (or nicer to look at) than this very cool AquaSprouts® Fountain: Aquaponics Water Garden.

What the heck is an "aquaponics water garden"? Well, we'll tell you. By combining fishkeeping and hydroponic gardening, aquaponics does things that neither can do alone, dramatically reducing waste (saves up to 90% of the water usually needed!) and maintenance of both the plant care and fish care side of things. Aquaponics recycles fish waste to provide vital nutrients for growing plants, leaving the water clean and clear without the need for additional filters or frequent water changes.

That's one of the highest-tech low-tech innovations we've ever seen, and AquaSprouts (4 stars on Amazon and a top 2020 aquaponic aquarium brand on FishkeepingForever.com) brings it to you in a stunning fountain design that you can display indoors or out, all year long. In addition, it can be used as a hydroponic system or a simple water garden as well. Grow a variety of flowers, herbs, and veggies to enjoy at home and add some fish friends to talk to during your self-quarantine (who are we to judge?).

Even if your track record with plants and/or animals is ... less than perfect, you're golden with AquaSprouts. There's no daily watering, fertilizing, weeding, or green thumb required. And, unlike traditional aquariums and water gardens, once it's up and running, the AquaSprouts requires minimal water changes and no filters or fertilizers. Read the rest

Keep your mind sharp and your options open with over 600 expert-led online workforce courses

Many Americans are facing unexpected changes in their professional lives that have left them with quite a bit of downtime. It's stressful and frustrating, but the best thing to do is focus on controlling what you can control. If you have extra hours on your hands, you can be productive with them. Use them to invest in yourself by learning a new in-demand skill set or improving upon the one you're already familiar with.

It's easy to do that at your own pace, from the comfort of home, with Integrity Training: Online Workforce Courses. Offering proven on-demand training for corporate, government, and education employees, Integrity membership gives you lifetime access to all 600+ current courses with completion certificates covering a wide variety of topics, including IT certification, project management, business, and soft skills, sales and marketing, design, big data, programming languages, blockchain development, and more.

Across all subject matter, you'll learn from field experts with 15+ years of experience and multiple certifications from Microsoft, CompTIA, PMI, ITIL, Cisco, VMware, Mile 2, and more. You can access online courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from pretty much any device, plus you'll receive certified content, unlimited graded practice exams, and completion certificates.

With good reviews—like this one from HR director Molly Tompkins: "The sheer number of courses available at this price is incredible. The courses are high quality and well worth the money."— and an affordable price, you can be sure you're getting a great value.

By keeping your mind sharp and continuing to advance your skillset, you'll become more marketable than you were before and that could give you a big boost when it comes to job hunting or applying for a promotion. Read the rest

These 20 headphone offers should help bring peace and quiet to the home office

Odds are, you picked your home as the best location to hang up your business outfits so you could relax and enjoy your off-hours in peace and comfort. Unfortunately, worlds are now colliding. In many cases, your home is now also your place of business. And trying to finish reports or make calls doesn’t always mesh with screaming kids, barking dogs, your neighbor’s leaf blower and the other sounds of suburbia.

If you can’t get away from the distractions, you might at least be able to pretend the distractions don’t exist with a solid pair of over-the-ear headphones to block out the outside world when you’re trying to focus.

From big-name brands like Sony and Sennheiser to boutique brands, we’ve assembled 20 headphone models geared for every type of shopper.

For the bargain hunter: Under $40

Sometimes, you just need a solid pair of headphones that work great on a limited budget. Thankfully, Sony is offering deals on open box items, which are usually just excess store inventory, all verified as still in new condition.

You’ll almost never find over-ear Sony headphones for under $20, but at almost half off, the Sony ZX110AP Extra Bass Headphones (Open Box) ($16.99; originally $29.99) are a steal. They sync to any smartphone to handle all listening or call making needs with punchy 1.38-inch dome drivers powering the music.

If you’re chasing a  deep, powerful bass experience, the Sony MDR-XB450AP Extra Bass Headphones (Open Box) ($29.99; originally $79.99) deliver with Bass Booster, which can focus your listening on thumping bass lines and put them front and center in your music. Read the rest

This tech-powered renter's and home insurance cuts through red tape fast

You probably have a lot of items in your home that you'd hate to lose to theft or damage. While certainly no one ever hopes to fall victim to a natural disaster or home invasion, you need to be prepared just in case it does happen. When it comes to choosing a reliable renters insurance, it might be worth looking outside the more traditional options. Like Lemonade, for example. This trending technology-driven insurance company has a primary goal of making the lives of both renters and homeowners easier (and headache-free).

How Lemonade is different

If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of submitting a typical insurance claim, you understand the frustration the process strikes up: endless back and forth between agents, a lot of fine print to decipher, and of course — the endless wait for the much-needed funds from your claim to process (if you even actually end up winning it). Lemonade wants to put an end to all that financial and emotional toil: its state-of-the-art service is intuitive, the customer service is impeccable, and best of all, your claims are processed in as little as three seconds.

Here's how Lemonade works: powered by AI technology, you can get set up with a customized insurance plan tailored to your individual needs. Just answer a few questions, and you'll be able to review a plan that you can further adjust — and you pay immediately for it (no paperwork or call wait times to deal with). Lemonade also works by a flat fee, with rental insurance starting as low as $5 a month and homeowners insurance available for $25 a month. Read the rest

Lytepop Electrolyte Infused Popcorn is an organic, low-calorie, gluten-free and tasty trea

Stuck at home? Us too. And all anyone can think about is food.

Stuffing your face for hours on end is definitely not a good way to stay healthy right now, but if you're going to do it anyway (let's be real—your original stash is already gone), why not improve what you're snacking on?

No, we're not saying to munch on baby carrots and call yourself satisfied. Instead, drop the guilt but none of the enjoyment and snack on this electrolyte-infused popcorn.

An organic, low-calorie, gluten-free and tasty treat, lytepop has more fiber and fewer calories (just 70!) per 14g serving than Smartfood popcorn, these portion-controlled bags are the key to balancing your nutrition routine while you're spending a heck of a lot of time doing a heck of a lot of not much.

Popcorn, in general, is a great snack. Because it's a whole-grain food, it's naturally high in several important nutrients and helps boost heart health. And because of its fiber content, you get digestive health benefits along with the bonus of feeling fuller, which is super helpful for bridging the hunger gap between meals and for keeping you from way overdoing it on snack calories.

This lytepop version is made with a superior kernel variety that produces larger, fluffier pops with exceptional taste, so you'll still get that same snacking joy. The added electrolytes provide the body essential minerals that aid in hydrating to help prevent fatigue and muscle cramping, which will you do some good whether you're conference calling from your couch or you're still committed to your fitness routine (high five to you, btw). Read the rest

These golf accessories will let you practice your game without leaving the house

With the world in the midst of unprecedented upheaval, there’s plenty to be concerned about out there. But while there are obviously far weightier issues facing us all right now, a true golfer will admit that being cooped up inside and missing the fairways and greens is its own little personal tragedy.

To help soothe those pangs, check out these six accessories to help make your favorite course seem not so far away.

Putting was never this much fun

The short game can always use some work — and thankfully, the backyard is perfect for something like the Izzo Golf Sharp Shooter Putting Trainer and Game Set ($23.99; originally $29.99). The hanging and swinging targets promote precision while helping you develop just the necessary speed control as well. There are even variable game formats, so putting practice can actually be fun at the same time.

Improve your short game under real-world conditions

Unlike many cheap knockoffs, the Callaway Executive Putting Mat ($39.99; originally $49.99) is made from high-quality materials that actually make you feel like you’re on a true putting surface. This mat doesn’t put up the creases and folds, so you get truer rolls that require you to gauge your speed just like on a real course. This mat even has a cup that’s a quarter-inch smaller than regulation, tricking you into further sharpening your aim that’ll work like a charm on the larger actual cups. Tricky, Callaway!

Chipping practice...but with betting

Yep, it’s really like golf and cornhole had a baby. Read the rest

Did you go crazy at the grocery store? These portable fridges and freezers can help

Whether you’re a worried preparer for the worst or just a little concerned about what’s ahead, you may have...overdone it during your last trip to the store. Maybe you picked up some extra frozen goods or a larger stockpile of cheeses or dairy products than usual. And your fridge or freezer is now likely packed to the gills as a result.

And Lord, if you made a Costco or Sam’s Club run, then all bets are really off.

Under the circumstances, it may be time to consider some extra refrigerator and freezer space to handle all that overflow. Right now, German manufacturer ICECO, who has made a name for themselves for decades as makers of quality portable refrigerator and freezer units, have three of their best models on sale.

To top it off, each model is also a Red Dot Design award winner, an international honor given to items that truly changed the game for product design. So you know these units are cool in more ways than one.

ICECO Go12: 12.8L Mini Portable Freezer ($319.99; originally $399.99)

If you’ve got some extra perishables you don’t want to go to waste, this ice chest-sized cooler-freezer might do the trick. Engineered for vehicle travel, this 12.8L capacity unit sports a robust SECOP compressor and a pair of cooling settings, so your food can quickly reach freezing temperatures and maintain that temperature even while the freezer saves energy. The Go12 can also be controlled via the Car Fridge app, so you can always check the state of your food and adjust accordingly, no matter where you are. Read the rest

You’re stuck at home...so you’ve finally got some reading time. These summary apps could be your answer.

Every new year, people vow to read more. Of course, it seldom actually happens, but we all wish we had more time to slow down, pick up one of the books off the bedside table we’ve been meaning to get through, and dive in.

If we can find any silver lining to all the COVID-19 craziness and self-isolation, it might be that your wish for more reading time may finally be here. But since you’ve only got so many options at home and a trip to the library isn’t really practical these days, how about a library’s worth of great books all available on your smartphone or tablet -- and all digestible in just a few short minutes?

You can not only satisfy that reading jones right now with all of these services but also explore loads of interest areas in a fraction of the time. You’ve got time on your hands...so you may as well make sure it’s time well spent.

BookNotes Book Summaries ($29 for a lifetime subscription; originally $299.99)

From finance and love to career and happiness to fiction and even documentaries, BookNotes boils them all down.  Spin through hundreds of available titles, then let Booknotes’ concise 15-minute summaries extract all the key insights of the book and serve them up. And if you’d rather just listen, BookNotes summaries come in audio versions as well, so even if you venture outside your home, you can always be learning.

SumizeIt Book Summaries ($19 for a lifetime subscription; originally $99.99) Read the rest

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