Five Well-Being Apps That Might Change Your Life
Most of us, in our hearts, know how to live our best lives. We know what we should be doing with our time, how much sleep we should be getting, and what we should be eating. We don't need to be told that we should go out and exercise more, because we're already well aware. In most cases, we even know what forms of entertainment are good and bad for us and what constitutes constructive or destructive behavior. It's just that we occasionally either forget or need someone or something to nudge us in the right direction so we act on this knowledge.
That's where well-being apps step in. We spend hours of our lives staring at our mobile phones, so we might as well ask them to look out for us as much as we look out for them. From reminding you that it's time to stand up and take a stroll to suggesting meal choices based on what you ate yesterday, there's an app for almost everything when it comes to well-being. It's no exaggeration to say that you could run your life through your phone if you chose to do so. We wouldn't advocate going that far, but a few well-chosen apps could make a material difference to your quality of life and peace of mind if you gave them a chance.
Knowing which apps to use is part of the problem. There are literally hundreds of them, and each one of them will try to tell you that it's the best option for whatever it is you're trying to do. Scrolling through an app store becomes almost like scrolling through an online slots website such as Rose Slots; you're trying to hit the jackpot, but you have no idea what it might look like or when it might arrive. That's probably not a coincidence - online slots websites have influenced the design of many things on the internet, and app stores are one of them, but it doesn't help you when you're trying to find something helpful. If we're sticking with that metaphor, this is a game of online slots that we've already played. We know where most of the best apps are, and so we can share that information with you here!
The name of this app makes it obvious what it contains, but we think this is one of the best meditation apps on the market today. Meditation has become steadily more popular in the western world over the past twenty years, and that's not without reason. Scientific studies have proven that meditation is every bit as effective at improving your mental health as regular exercise is - you don't have to run anywhere or lift anything when you're meditating! Meditopia comes with more than one thousand guided meditation recordings covering a number of topics, ranging from positivity to anxiety relief and, in some cases, getting far more specific. More than seven million people use this app. It's probably time you joined in.
If you're one of the many people who believe (rightly or wrongly) that they don't have enough time to go to the gym, here's a different question for you. Can you spare thirty seconds every now and then throughout your day? If so, you've got enough time to perform a "wake out." This app is a little quirky and is probably intended to be tongue-in-cheek, but it offers a series of exercises that can be performed in thirty-second bursts. Many of them can be performed while sitting down, which means they're perfect for when you get a spare moment at your desk. It's better to do something than to do nothing, and once you've got a taste for mini-workouts, you might move on to longer ones.
It’s often been said that having a good approach to exercise and a positive mental attitude is all about forming habits - but those habits are hard to form. That’s where Streaks comes in. This is a habit-tracking app, and one that encourages you to not only track your habits but progress them and turn them into "streaks." The app will allow you to pick up to a maximum of twelve daily goals and then track your progress toward all of those goals. It will support you when you do well, but it will also call you out if you fall short! The more consecutive days you complete all of your tasks, the longer your "streak" becomes. As basic as that might sound, it quickly becomes addictive, and the desire to break your previous "streak" builds. Before you know if you're performing all of the tasks in full every day - and the app has done its job.
We've all heard of apps that track our sleep and keep watch on us overnight. Some of us find them creepy - especially the ones that record us snoring, or sometimes switch on and record sound when there doesn't appear to be anything to record. Those apps might be able to tell you how you're sleeping and how long you're sleeping for, but they don't do anything about your level of fatigue when you wake up in the morning. Sleep Cycle does. By tracking the sounds and movements you make, Sleep Cycle can identify when you're at the lightest point of sleep and play an alarm to wake you at that moment, thus avoiding the feeling of being ripped away from a deep sleep. All you need to do is give the app a ballpark time you need to wake up for, and it will wake you at the most appropriate moment. No more stumbling out of bed!
My Possible Self
My Possible Self is arguably the most interactive of the five apps we've listed here and also arguably the most important. It helps you to monitor your mental health, assess changes as they occur, and spot negative patterns before they become an issue. It can't replace the services of a counselor, therapist, or doctor, but it can be a big help to those who either don't use professional services or feel they need additional support between appointments. Pressing the 'moments' button starts a dialogue between you and the app that helps to extrapolate your thoughts and feelings and make helpful suggestions. This is an app that will help you to get to know yourself better - and self-knowledge is self-care.
In addition, here's a selection of the Best Apps to Help you with Anxiety, built on a solid foundation of cognitive behavioral therapy and providing users with a sound virtual self-help experience. The apps focus on relaxation strategies and ways to cope with stress.
It would have sounded ridiculous to say an app could change your life ten years ago, but a lot has changed since then. Any one of these apps - or all five - could help you to make significant improvements to your state of mind. Why not try some of them and see how you get on?