If you ever feel overwhelmed or stressed out by the pace of modern life, you’re certainly not alone, and health and wellbeing is in the spotlight like never before. Smartphones often get a bad rap in this conversation, but we believe the phone can be a force for good, too.

To prove it, we’ve selected some of our favourite apps, which can help you to be calmer, work more effectively and generally happier.

So instead of scrolling endlessly through Instagram or Twitter, try out a few of these apps, which have been designed to help you create and maintain healthy habits – we hope they will help you too.

Apps for a healthier sleep:

Sleep Town

This app is great for not only building a healthy sleep habit but also for breaking bad habits like being on the phone when you’re in bed.

It’s designed to keep you off your phone during the night and motivate you to go to bed around the same time every night and wake up around the same time every morning – which is an important part of developing healthy sleep habits.

It will also help you keep your goal of having enough hours of sleep every night. The thing I personally like the most is that you have to turn it off by the time you choose to go to bed – while the app is running you can’t really use your phone. This means not only do you build the habit of going to sleep at the same time, but you also avoid making a habit of laying in your bed, pointlessly checking your phone.

SleepCycle

We believe audio is an incredibly powerful tool, and Audible is a fantastic service for accessing high quality audio books.

Perfect for those who struggle to sleep, choose your favourite, soothing book, and let the story carry you away.

If you like apps which provide a little more information and data, then you will probably like SleepCycle more. The app focuses and educates about the importance of different sleep stages.

Sleep analysts have found that the best time to wake up is during our light sleep phase because waking up feels the most natural then. Waking up straight from deep sleep can leave the brain feeling incrediblly foggy. The app uses sound analysis to identify your sleep stages and patterns during the night and uses a 30-minute wake-up phase to start the alarm when you have the lightest possible sleep during that timeframe.

The idea is that you will wake feeling more refreshed and energised – as if you woke up completely naturally. In addition, if you struggle to fall asleep, the app has a sleep aid feature where you can download and play sounds to help you drift away.

Combine any of those apps with our popular song, designed to help you drift away into a happier, healthier night’s sleep.

Get it here
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Audible

Perfect for those who struggle to sleep, choose your favourite, soothing book, and let the story carry you away.

We believe audio is an incredibly powerful tool, and Audible is a fantastic service for accessing high quality audio books.

Get a free trial here.

Apps for productivity:

Forest

Designed by creators of Sleeptown, the goal of the app is to keep you off your phone and focusing on your tasks instead.

Turn on the app, start working and your tree will start growing. For the next 30 mins, you cannot use the phone or your tree will die. Once the interval is done, your tree is planted and you’re off the plant a new one, building a whole forest.

Even better, by using the app you can actually contribute to planting real trees in Africa. For a maximum effect, we recommend combining the app with our Pomodoro song.

Bullet Journal Companion

If you like the Bullet Journal method to organise your work and your life, but you’re not the handwriting type of a person, then you’ll love this one.

Created by Ryder Caroll, the inventor of the whole bullet journal concept, the app helps you stay organized and mindful of how you spend your time.

If you’re not very familiar with the whole bujo concept, you have a guide part where you get the easy and quick explanation of the basics to get you started. 

Apps for meditation:

Calm

This app has been named ‘the world’s happiest app’ and we think for a good reason – as it can help you improve pretty much all areas to help you live a less stressful and more relaxed and healthier life.

We have put it in our meditation category because we have used it mostly for that, but it can help you also with practising mindfulness, releasing stress and anxiety, getting better sleep, relaxing with a breathing exercise, and so on.

If you prefer to have one comprehensive app to support your healthy lifestyle, then you should definitely give Calm a try.

10% happier

If you are sceptical about the whole meditation and breathing thing, this app is for you.

Created by Dan Harris, a TV host who was equally sceptic about the meditation until he had a panic attack on live television when he realized he had to change some things in his life. He has shared his journey from being a sceptic to embracing the meditation in his book and created this app aimed to help everyone, especially sceptics, to discover the benefits of meditation.

The app has basic meditation and breathing techniques suitable for meditators every level and a library of guided meditations that are aimed to help you in three areas – to release the stress, fall asleep easier and live a happier life by practising gratitude.

Headspace

Designed by meditation guru Andy Puddicombe, this app helps you attack anxiety and stress, keep the focus and become more empathetic and compassionate.

What we like the most about this app is that it has shorter, “bite-size” meditation so no matter how busy your schedule is you can squeeze in a meditation session as well.

Apps for gratitude and mindfulness:

High/Low

Talented artist Alli Koch scratched her own itch by creating this app.

Busy schedules often make us just go through the day without really thinking about what we have accomplished.

The truth is that we achieve at least one small win each day, we just don’t remember it by the end of the day, and therefore we don’t give ourselves the tap on the shoulder that we deserve.

With this journal app, however, you write down your daily moments, both the highs and the lows, and reflect on them before the bedtime. The app is very easy to use and the fact Alli designed it in her signature black-and-white style will make sure that you’d want to use it every day. 

Fabulous

It’s not about achieving a specific goal, it’s about creating small habits that stack up and result with a long-term change.

f you’ve read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, you know what we’re talking about here – if you haven’t, we warmly recommend it.

The Fabulous app helps you create those small habits that will lead you to a healthier, better version of yourself. Use it to create healthy morning routines and rituals that will work for you and break the bad habits that work against you.

The app is designed in a way to avoid any hard shifts, instead, its aim is to help you implement one simple habit at the time, that will at the end chain together in a healthy morning routine.

ThinkUp Positive Affirmations

A positive mind means a positive life – however, constructing a positive mindset is not such an easy thing to do.

This app can ease the process by helping you implement positive affirmations into your daily life.

It has a big library where you can browse and choose experts – approved affirmations, or you can write down your own. Record them in your own voice and listen to them every day. The app makers claim that the reason why you should record the affirmations is that it is much more effective if we listen to them said in our voice rather then in somebody else – our brain understands our own voice the best and it will accept faster words that we have said ourselves.

Do you have any other suggestions that you would add to this list? We would love to hear about them below.

By Maja Nenadov


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