7 wellness apps to help you look after your mental health
Our phones are something we check in with every day. Like it or not, our lives are tied up in these little pieces of technology, so we might as well use that to our advantage, right?
We use our phones for our entertainment needs, so why not use it for your personal improvement, wellness and mental health needs too? You check in with your phone every day, so you should really check in with yourself too. There are loads of apps out there at the moment that claim to do these things, but which ones are really worth trying out?
We’ve detailed our favourite apps for all your sleep, fitness and mental health needs, to get you back on track in an interactive and effective way. Pick which ones work best for you and make room for a little wellness in your life!
Lifesum is one of the world’s most popular health and wellness apps with over 45 million users, and features personalised diet plans, nutrition advice and healthy recipes. Lifesum emphasises the nutritional value of food, and gives users personalised feedback, so they can successfully reach their health goals, whether it is to lose weight, gain weight, or just be healthier. Lifesum shows users how changing small habits and implementing them in everyday life can improve better eating and overall health.
Lifesum’s key features include
Personalised food rating algorithm: Provides users with important feedback based on their eating preferences. Users are able to get insights for each food, meal, and day they track
Wide variety of diets: Ketogenic, Vegan, Paleo, 5:2, 6:1, Mediterranean, Scandinavian, and High Protein, to help you stay on track
7-21-day Meal Plans: For example, Vegan for a week, Keto Burn, 3 Week Weight Loss, that provide users with four tasty, pre-planned recipes a day
Hundreds of easy-to-cook recipes: With detailed nutritional information, based on food preferences, health goals, and allergies
Track your food: Easy tracking with the barcode scanner. Create and save an unlimited number of foods, meals, recipes, and exercises to enjoy one-tap tracking
Detailed food and meal ratings: Ratings, including “Great source of fibre,” “high in sugar,” “low in sodium,” “high in sodium,” so you know how closely different foods align with your specific goals and preferences
Adjustable settings for macronutrients: Giving you customised recommendations to follow based on your unique needs and preferences
Body measurement tracking: Weight, waist, body fat, chest, arm, BMI – excellent tools for highlighting your progression to health
Integration with your favourite health-tracking platforms: Connects with Apple Health, Google Fit, and Samsung Health
Health Test & Life Score: A weekly health score based on 16 nutrition and exercise measurements, so you understand where you are and what’s next for you to build a healthy lifestyle
Headspace has one mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world. And with millions of users in more than 190 countries, we’re well on our way. Mindfulness is the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment. Learn how to manage feelings and thoughts with the lifelong skill of everyday mindfulness, any time of the day.
With over 40 million users already getting some Headspace, you can join them and map your journey, track your progress, and reap rewards in your overall health and wellbeing. You can even buddy up with friends and motivate each other along the way.
Headspace was officially launched in 2010 as an events company, but attendees wanted to take what they learned home with them. Founders, Andy and Rich, and a small team decided to make Andy’s meditation techniques available online so more people could experience the benefits of meditation anytime, anywhere. And that blossomed into the Headspace you see today: guided meditations, animations, articles and videos, all in the distinct Headspace style.
You can try Headspace for yourself and learn the essentials of meditation and mindfulness with the free Basics course. If you enjoy it, then it’s time to subscribe. Once you do, you’ll have bite-sized minis for when you’re short on time, exercises to add extra mindfulness to your day, and hundreds of meditations on everything from stress to sleep. Their guided meditations truly cover every aspect of life, from work to kids, allowing you to focus, relieve stress and combat anxiety.
One for the sleepyheads! Sleep Cycle tracks and analyses your sleep, waking you up at the most perfect time, feeling rested!
Waking up feeling refreshed is all about timing. Sleep Cycle tracks your sleeping patterns and wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase, without a conventional alarm clock. Waking up during light sleep feels like waking up naturally rested.
Your movements vary with each sleep stage. Sleep Cycle uses sound analysis to identify sleep states, tracking your movements in bed, and a wake-up phase that ends at your desired alarm time. During this phase, Sleep Cycle will monitor signals from your body to wake you softly when you are in the lightest possible sleep stage.
Streaks is the to-do list that helps you form good habits. Every day you complete a task, your streak is extended. Choose or create up to twelve tasks, like walk the dog, floss your teeth, eat healthily, practice Spanish or whatever habit you want to form! This is definitely one that we’re excited about.
Working on something every day helps you form a new habit. Don’t break the chain, or your streak will reset to zero days.
With the iOS Health app, Streaks can automatically track certain goals, like walk 5,000 steps, measure your heart rate, record your blood pressure or run for 5 miles.
Some tasks aren’t for every day, so the app allows you to set the days, so you don’t break your streak! For example;
- Walk to work (Monday to Friday)
- Go to the gym (3 days per week)
- Call your parents (every Wednesday)
- Avoid junk food (Sunday to Friday)
View your task statistics and track your results easily so you can keep motivated and up to date with your progress!
Yoga Studio Mind and Body
This app provides beautiful HD video yoga classes for everyone with easy-to-follow teacher commentary.
They believe yoga should be accessible to all! Which is why they have carefully crafted and curated the prefect mix of technology, teacher experience and overall yoga goodness to make Yoga Studio: Mind & Body the number-one destination for health conscious individuals looking to begin their yoga journey or to take it to an all new level. All the classes come with full HD video and teacher commentary that’s clear and easy to follow
They’ve done all the hard work, so making your own yoga classes is a breeze. Unique features like pose blocks and smart-link make it simple, intuitive and fast.
Pose blocks are short sequences of poses – like a sun salutation – that can be used like building blocks to make classes. They help speed things up – just add a few blocks, throw in some of your favourite poses and your class will be ready in no time. Simple.
Not sure how to make your class flow? They’ll do it for you with their awesome Smart-link feature. Use it to connect poses that might not naturally lead into each other. This way you see exactly how to smoothly move from one pose to the next. It's like magic yoga glue.
Video stitch is a great way to learn and practice yoga. That's why they created a unique library of over 1,700 yoga video clips. It enables Yoga Studio to stitch together a full, flowing video of almost any class you can think of. So, you make the class, and they’ll make the video.
Freedom to practice wherever, whenever. No connection, no problem. Classes in Yoga Studio live on your phone: just download a class once and have the freedom to practice wherever and whenever you want.
Schedule classes that sync with your calendar, making it easy to stay on track. Don't have time for a class right now? Schedule it for later. They’ll put it straight into your iPhone or iPad calendar, so you don't forget.
Schedule a single class or repeat your favourites every month, fortnight, week or day. Whether you prefer an hour a week or 15 minutes every morning, a regular practice is important, so let them help you fit yoga into your busy life!
Sworkit means to simply work it. Your body was built to move daily and this innovative experience that makes it easy, enjoyable, and, yes, simple, to do just that.
This daily workout app is tailored to every goal, whether it’s weight loss, muscle gain, improved flexibility, increased endurance, weight maintenance or to simply tone. One of the top fitness apps for iPhone, Android, or web users, Sworkit’s workout plans are designed to help you reach your fitness goals faster and simpler.
Their philosophy involves consistency, meaning believe fitness isn’t just something you do, it should be who you are and part of a lifestyle you enjoy. The workout program is designed to help you make fitness a habit. With Sworkit, the idea is that you can get in shape and stay in shape for life.
No gym? No Equipment? No Time? No problem. They make it simple to workout at home or on the go. You choose the time – from 1 minute to 90 minutes – and they provide the variety, including strength training, stretching, cardio, yoga, and more.
Results: Sworkit has delivered life-changing results for thousands of people. Need personalized help? Get one-on-one guidance from certified fitness trainers with the ‘Ask a Trainer’ program.
With more than 400 unique workouts and over 800 exercise, you choose the time you have to work out, and create and save your own custom workouts. The app recommends workouts plans based on your goals and certified trainers answer all your fitness and nutrition questions.
MoodMission is an evidence-based app designed to empower you to overcome feelings of depression and anxiety by discovering new and better ways of coping
When we feel down or anxious, there are heaps of things we can do to help us feel better again. Doing these things can help prevent everyday mood disturbances from developing into mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety disorders.
When you tell MoodMission how you're feeling, it gives you a tailored list of 5 simple, quick, effective, evidence-based Missions to improve your mood. All Missions are taken from scientific research, made accessible to you through the app, so you can learn exactly how what you're doing is helping.
Completing Missions earns you rewards in the app, motivating you to take steps towards becoming healthier, happier, and more confident.
MoodMission’s personal mission is to empower people to change the way they feel, and it is their vision to be the best provider of easily accessible, evidence-based mental health and well-being support. The app does this by showing people new and better ways of dealing with mood and anxiety problems, educating and enlightening people about their own psychology and the importance of practicing self-care and linking people in with professional or clinical supports
The key components of their mission are that they are;
- Evidence-based: using hard evidence to make decisions and recommendations
- Give back with research: they engage in the research process and publish findings to help mental health support more broadly
- Respectful: they respect others and act in a way congruent with this
- Do what works for the user
- In line with users’ long-term goals, as well as their short-term ones
- Solution-focused – do what works and what empowers the user
- Responsive to feedback
- Validating of users