This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Turn On, Tune In, Chill Out

Looks like there's finally an alternative to that Lagavulin double-matured scotch in your best crystal highball to get over another stressful day of golf.

In what has got to be the wackiest new sprout on the consumer electronics bush, solid-state electronics, processors and light-emitting diodes have conjoined to create a new generation of digital chill-out pods, unwindos or personal relaxers -- whatever you want to call them.

These portable gadgets track your breathing, heart rate and other bodily functions to tell you -- get this -- whether you are in or out of the mellow zone.

The amazing part? In my testing at least, these gadgets actually work.

And they offer an alternative to structured meditation, cognitive therapy and in a pinch, even exercise.

I'm calling the trend as I see it: The digital age has finally merged with getting in touch with your inner self.

The Birth of Biofeedback

Relaxation technology got smeared by the biofeedback moniker in the 1970s.

Back then, biofeedback ranked right up there with aromatherapy and cosmic crystals for efficacy: something nut jobs in Santa Cruz did after a Grateful Dead concert.

But believers in the technology were undaunted.

Biofeedback backers sponsored a round of studies that showed that elucidating a user's own breath rate, heart rate, skin temperature and other metrics could be a powerful tool to manage stress.

"We as an industry got ourselves out of the woo-woo phase when we decided to treat biofeedback as a science," says Thomas Cobb, co-founder of, a biofeedback company in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Still, early relaxation devices from the '80s and '90s tended to be expensive and complex.

These older biofeedback tools required professional supervision in controlled environments that were costly and, frankly, kind of spooky: Patients went to an office to be wired up with strange devices and then were asked to try to modify their breathing, heart rate and brain pattern to manage their anxiety

I don't know about you, but I am far too stressed out to find time in my day to go to an office, get hooked up to a bunch of wires, and do nothing but try to relax.

A Brave New World

Enter modern computer chips and electronic circuitry.

Digital technologies boiled down complex biofeedback paraphernalia into portable and easy-to-use tools -- some of which are positively elegant.

Now, virtually anyone can carry a device that monitors heart rate and breathing. It can show users how they are reacting to stress, and even, with time, how to better manage life in this stressful shuffle on the mortal coil.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,626.39 +269.52 1.55%
S&P 500 2,042.83 +29.94 1.49%
NASDAQ 4,717.1990 +72.8870 1.57%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs