Most people are never without their phone anymore and although keeping up Snapchat streaks and looking at cute dogs on Instagram are great time-killers, there are plenty of free or cheap apps available to better your physical and mental health. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best apps for your mind, body, and soul.
Calm is a free download mindfulness and meditation app. It’s full of guided meditations, timed meditations, relaxing music, and short stories to relax and soothe users. It was the awarded the Best App in the App Store in 2017 and for good reason as they promise to bring calm, joy, and happiness to the lives of users. Upgrading to a paid plan unlocks much more features, however there are still plenty of features on the free version.
For those of us with a uterus, Clue is a godsend. The free app can be used to track fertility, ovulation, and the menstrual cycle as well as having reminders to take the pill and telling you which days you are unprotected if you forget to take a few. The app shows your cycle in a clear way that allows you to monitor fertility, protection, and an estimate of your next cycle. Clue can also be used to track mood, hair condition, cravings, and skin condition so you can spot hormonal imbalances and identify patterns.
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important ways to stay healthy. Sleep cycle is a free app that tracks and monitors your sleep cycle by using your phone’s microphone. The app graphs the quality and length your sleep too. You can set an estimate wake up time within a 30-minute window and it will pick the best one to wake you up in depending on what state of sleep you are in so you feel well rested and refreshed.
Sworkit is perfect for those who feel they don’t have enough time in the day for exercise. The app has workouts as short as 5 minutes and you can personalise routines that best suits your body and goals. Sworkit promises to dramatically improve the fitness of its users in just 6-weeks due to its flexible and personalised programmes. They offer a free trial so if you’re not happy you don’t have to worry about losing money, but it would be cheaper than gym membership so that’s a plus!
The right music can be the best motivation to get you in the mood to do a killer workout. Research suggests that we should listen to music when we workout as it is a distraction, boosts mood, and helps keep the tempo. It has features such as cardio coaching, and can match your pace to the music. The app lets you select a genre, BPM, and other options to give you the perfect set list to help make your workout fly by and more enjoyable.
We all want to be happy and happify promises to bring that, with over 80% of frequent users reporting to be happier since they started using it. The app tracks mood, thoughts, and more. Happify believes you can train your brain, like any other muscle, to think differently and more positively without a whole lot of effort. Happify uses scientific technologies to change your mind set for the better, and it also free!
The app is similar to Calm as it provides guided meditations free of charge for users, but it has handy Emergency Calm Down features for immediate relief if you find yourself in a bad space. The app started as an events company but it became so popular and people asked if there was a way they could take what they learned home, that the app was created and became one of the most popular mindfulness apps.
Eating healthily can be tricky, especially when sometimes what we think is healthy actually isn’t as good as we think. Fooducate helps track calories, provides recipes, and gives nutritional information on foods to help you make better choices. You can scan bar codes of foods for immediate information on its nutritional value and it monitors intake without restricting you to counting every single calorie. The app is free but you can update to a premium account for more features.
Yoga is a mind and body workout that everyone should try. Pocket Yoga is perfect for those who want to practice yoga no matter where they are. For €3.31 users can set their own difficulty level and times for a yoga session, have a full yoga class and avail of a dictionary of yoga poses. It also allows you to monitor your heart rate and calories burned during your session.
Self-harm is a worrying facet of mental illness that does not get the attention it deserves. Calm Harm is a free app to help those struggling overcome the urges to hurt themselves. It has four activity types for when the urges strike: comfort, distract, express, and release. Each has lists relevant coping skills, and there’s a 5-minute rule and 15-minute rule encouraging users ride out the urges to hurt themselves in a safe way.