Managing stress is a skill that everyone needs to develop. Whether it's a daily battle or an occasional flare, the effects of stress take a toll on our productivity and, more important, our health. Fortunately, new tools can bring stress management within easy reach.

Here are some of the best apps I've found for managing and reducing stress.

1. Breathe2Relax:

Smartphone app with instructions and exercises in diaphragmatic breathing, a documented stress-management skill. Includes detailed information on the effects of stress on the body.

2. Pacifica:

Provides guided deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, daily antianxiety experiments, and tools including a mood tracker . Recording your own thoughts can help you understand your thinking patterns and recognize possible anxiety triggers.

3. GPS for the Soul:

Created by Arianna Huffington and Deepak Chopra, GPS for the Soul uses biofeedback to help you determine your level of stress, and helps you manage stress with meditation tools that include calming pictures and music.

4. Happify:

A brain-training app based on research showing that some types of activity can help you combat negativity, anxiety and stress while fostering positive traits like gratitude and empathy.

5. Stress Doctor:

A cycle of stress-busting deep breathing exercises combined with a heart rate monitor so you can see the effects on your body in real time.

6. Headspace:

"A gym membership for the mind," Headspace provides a series of guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. A free trial is available with additional sessions available by subscription.

7. Personal Zen:

Developed with a professor of psychology and neurosciences, a series of games based on clinical findings about methods for reducing anxiety levels.

8. My Mood Tracker:

Knowledge is power. Once you become more aware of what you're feeling when, you can begin figuring out links between life events and cycles and your moods, which in turn will help you manage (and work around) your moods.

9. Squeeze and Shake:

Don't internalize your anger and stress, but vent them harmlessly on a virtual rubber duck.

10. Pocket Yoga:

Relax with yoga. Look up single poses or put together entire routines from a range of yoga styles and all levels of difficulty.

11. Finding Optimism:

A mood tracker where you can keep daily records of symptoms and triggers. Includes data visualization tools and information on wellness strategies.

12. The Mindfulness App:

Choose from five guided meditations, with options for listening to calming music or nature sounds.

13. Pay It Forward:

Encourages a daily act of kindness--a proven stress reducer--with a list of suggestions as well as connection to a community of people who are committed to the principles of paying it forward.