When you feel stressed, looking for ways to relieve worry and anxiety is natural. Many people turn to meditation, exercise, lifestyle changes, and other acts of self-care to lower stress levels. These can all be effective methods, but new technologies may also help regulate our nervous systems and provide relief.
Stress reduction wearables — like the Apollo — have entered the market as a convenient, high-tech way to reduce stress while also improving sleep, recovery, focus, and heart rate. But do these devices work?
We’ll explore all aspects of Apollo Neuro’s stress-relief wearable – including pricing, effectiveness, and safety – so you can decide whether to give Apollo a try.
- Clinical trials show benefits to stress, sleep, cognition, recovery, and more
- The Apollo Neuro app is user-friendly and provides customizable options
- Wear the device on the wrist or ankle
- Made from materials designed for long-term wear
- Includes a variety of color options
- Purchase replacement straps for only $20
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- High-end price tag compared to other stress-related wearables
- Completed clinical trials include small sample sizes
We recommend Apollo for people who want a non-invasive, stress-relieving wearable device that may also help improve sleep, athletic recovery, heart rate, and cognition. Apollo Neuro is working hard to show, in various clinical trials, that Apollo’s vibrations and use of touch therapy can help manage multiple stress-related issues. Its $349 price tag puts it on the high end of similar devices, but financing is available. In addition, you’ve got 60 days to try the device; if you decide it’s not worth the money before then, the only cost to you will be the shipping fee (and potentially customs fee) to return it.
Apollo Neuro’s wearable device offers a scientifically-backed way to reduce stress, as well as improve sleep, athletic recovery, and cognition.
This wearable uses vibrations and touch therapy to manage stress levels. The data from your device is available in a custom, user-friendly app. Apollo offers custom payment plans and a 60-day money back guarantee.
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The Apollo is a wearable device created by Apollo Neuroscience (also known as Apollo Neuro) to help relieve stress. It was developed based on research performed by neuroscientist and psychiatrist Dr. David Rabin, M.D., Ph.D., who studies the effects of chronic stress on the body. Referred to as a “wearable hug,” the device resembles a watch without a face and can be worn on the wrist or ankle. It sends out vibrations that are intended to calm the autonomic nervous system and help:
- Boost focus
- Enhance sleep
- Improve heart rate variability (HRV)
- Speed recovery
Neuroscientists and physicians developed the Apollo to use touch therapy, which is intended to promote healing and soothe anxiety and pain. While touch therapy is not widely accepted as a medical treatment for mental health issues, practitioners consider it an effective way to address stress without side effects.
The wearable connects to the Apollo Neuro app, which allows you to control when the vibrations begin and end and their intensity. You can schedule the vibrations to help you transition between different stages of the day — from work time to relaxation time, for example.
The Apollo doesn’t track your biometric data like many other wearable devices; instead, it helps train your body to respond to stressful events. The more you wear it, the more you build up a resistance to stress and train your body and mind to relax and stay calm.
There are conflicting opinions about the efficacy of devices like Apollo, mainly because of their emphasis on touch therapy, which is not a scientifically backed way to improve stress. However, Apollo Neuro works hard to legitimize the device through clinical trials the company documents on their website.
According to six completed clinical trials (and nine on the way), Apollo Neuro has found that the wearable helps patients in various ways, including:
- Reducing stress and anxiety in 40% of wearers
- Increasing HRV by 11%
- Boosting focus and concentration by 25%
- Speeding physical recovery by 10%
Below, we’ve outlined some details and outcomes of each clinical trial. The full details are available on Apollo Neuro’s research page.
For 582 participants using Apollo daily for three months, there was a 19% increase in deep sleep and a 14% increase in REM sleep.
HRV and cognition
In a small group of only 38 participants, 25% saw an increase in focus, and the group experienced a 10% increase in HRV.
Stress and burnout
In a trial involving 12 nursing home staff, the participants saw a 40% decrease in stress and anxiety after wearing Apollo for two weeks.
In a group of 50 people — half frequent meditators and half non-meditators — 50% of the non-meditators reported entering a meditative state faster when wearing Apollo.
For a group of 40 college athletes, the Apollo helped increase HRV by 10% and sped recovery time by greater than 10%. Apollo Neuro does not include a link to this clinical trial on their site.
For a group of 16 people diagnosed with PTSD, Apollo Neuro states that the Apollo “significantly improved symptom scores in subjects with PTSD.” However, the link to the clinical trial does not provide trial results.
In addition to these six completed trials, there are nine studies in progress that test Apollo’s effectiveness with:
- ADHD and ADD
- Cancer pain and fatigue
- Systemic sclerosis fatigue
- Post-concussion syndrome and chronic headache
- Recovery and burnout in physicians
- Blood pressure
Apollo Neuro pairs with the Apollo Neuro app to help you track your progress and set a usage schedule that works for you. The company suggests using the wearable five days per week for three hours daily, emphasizing that consistency is essential to achieve the best results. You can wear it on your wrist or ankle.
The app allows you to customize your experience by scheduling when you want to feel Apollo’s vibrations. This should be at different times throughout the day, preferably when transitioning between activities, like from evening to bedtime. The app also has progress tracking to keep tabs on your schedule and set personalized goals.
Each Apollo mode is different, and you can experiment with each mode to figure out which one works best for you and your routine. You can choose from modes that provide between 15-60 minutes of vibration, and you can pick the vibration intensity. The company suggests starting at low intensity (about 20-40%) as you get used to wearing the device.
For added convenience, you can connect Apollo to other health tracking apps and devices like Oura Ring and Apple Health.
Apollo’s gentle vibrations are generally safe for most people with no side effects. Apollo Neuro suggests only using the Apollo on healthy skin and not wearing it if your ankle or wrist is injured or irritated.
The device is made of neoprene, polyester, and stainless steel, which are gentle on the skin for prolonged use. You may not want to use Apollo if you know you are allergic to these materials. However, the company emphasizes that you can wear the device over clothing without direct skin contact, which is just as effective.
The Apollo wearable costs $349, with certified refurbished versions available for $329. This price includes:
- The Apollo Neuro app (iOS and Android)
- One medium (10.5” x 1”) and one large (13” x 1”) polyester and neoprene band
- Micro-USB charging cord
- Bluetooth connectivity
- One-year warranty
- 6-8 hours of continuous use
The wearable comes in various colors, including:
You can also purchase additional bands in various colors, including small (9.5” x 1”) bands that are ideal for children or small adult wrists. Each additional band costs $20. Apollo Neuro gift cards are also available.
Placing an order
To purchase Apollo, select your preferred color wearable to find out how quickly it will ship. At the time of this writing, some colors were out of stock, while others were ready to ship immediately or within two weeks.
On the order page, you have the option to finance your purchase through Affirm for $32 per month. You can also opt for accident protection through Extend:
- 1 year: $31.99
- 2 years: $54.99
- 3 years: $69.99
Choose to pay for your purchase through ShopPay, PayPal, or GooglePay. Your order will include an $11.99 standard shipping charge.
The device is covered by a 60-day money-back guarantee that does not include shipping and handling charges or customs fees.
HSA, FSA, and health insurance
Apollo is not a medical device, so it is generally not covered by health insurance, and you cannot use HSA or FSA funds to purchase it. One of our testers reached out to customer service for more details, and the rep said to check with your insurance provider to see if they cover general wellness products. If they don’t, you can try requesting that your policy cover Apollo.
Is it a good value?
Several other wearable devices designed to relieve stress are on the market right now. The chart below gives some details about each product, including the price. With a $349 price tag, Apollo falls on the high-end of other similar products.
|Cove||$199 (6-month subscription including device)||30-day|
|Embr Wave 2||$349||30-day|
|Muse 2 Headband||$188||20-day|
Apollo Neuro’s security processes are both HIPAA- and FDA-compliant. When you use the device, it does not collect or store your personal information. Data that Apollo Neuro does collect about you (through the site or app) is not shared with third parties. This includes your demographics and usage stats. Any info collected about you will enhance your experience and provide recommendations for further use.
At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service or product. In general, we have five broad evaluation areas, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) or product(s)? How is advanced technology used for accuracy and safety? What evidence of effectiveness exists to justify the company’s approach? Are manufacturing standards of high quality?
User-friendliness: How intuitive and convenient is the service or product? To what degree is the company interface helpful and understandable?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?
Privacy: If health data is stored, is it stored securely? Are payments secure? Does the company market your information?
Customer support: With personalized products and services, how well does the company address your individual needs? If a product or service does not work for you, are there satisfaction guarantees or return policies that protect you?