12 Apps You Absolutely Need for Health, Sleep, and a Better Life
If you want to change your life, sleep better, cook more, know your body, and basically do anything else…there’s an app for that. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite must-have apps.
All of these apps are available in the Apple iOS App store and Google Play unless otherwise noted.
Health and Fitness
If you aren’t drinking enough water (guilty!) then an app can help you do a better job with tracking your water intake. Plant Nanny is a cute app that lets you grow a plant simply by drinking water. Your plant needs water, and if you don’t drink enough, it dies. Nobody wants that! The app reminds you to drink water by sending a notification.
Hasfit is a popular home workout series on YouTube and its corresponding app is like having a personal trainer in your pocket. The app is available in free or premium subscription. The free one has ads but still includes hundreds of workouts and 4 workout programs. Premium is a subscription with ad-free videos, TV casting, and more. Workouts range from fat burning routines to kettlebell to MMA.
I used to sleep with a sound machine on but it only had one setting. Relax Melodies is the best sleep app I’ve found. There are more than 20 sleep sounds and you can play them individually or mix in a custom sound just for you. Here’s just a sample: River, Ocean, Winds, White Noise, Urban Rain, Heavy Rain, Icy Snow, and more. There also brainwaves in the form of isochronic tones and binaural beats. Some sounds must be unlocked with the premium addition ($2.99 a month for basic, full $2.49 and billed at $29.99 yearly). The app also has guided meditations for sleep, stress relief, recharging, tinnitus relief, and other uses.
If you need more stress relief and want to calm your mind, turn to Pacifica. Pacifica is geared toward helping anyone with depression and anxiety. The app incorporates health/mood/goal tracking, relaxation, and meditation. Pacifica is built on the science of cognitive behavioral therapy. The app allows you to see patterns and make actionable changes in your behavior. There are also guided meditations tailored to specific needs.
Revamping your life is made easier with the gamification of Fabulous. The self-care app helps you build a good daily and night routine, and set goals for success. Fabulous helps you build healthy habits in just 30 days. It begins with a survey on how your current lifestyle then lets you banish bad habits and establish good habits with a personalized life plan. You will have to pay for all of this: $9.99/month or $7.99/year, billed as $95.99 every 12 months.
Clue is a discrete period tracker that lets you track your period, mood, and health. Recommended by Obstetrics & Gynecology, a publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the app uses science to give you period predictions including PMS and start date. There’s also ovulation and fertility tracking. Clue lets you take your health into your hands and helps you track over 30 health categories to identify patterns. Clue is free but a premium version is available.
Home and Kitchen
Big Oven is a meal planner, grocery list maker, and recipe database all in one. If you want to use your leftovers and not waste food, it’s a must-have. Type in the ingredients you have and the app will show you recommended recipes. You can also find plenty of new recipes and get ideas.
Before you buy a can of paint, download The Home Depot’s Project Color. You can browse for new colors and see how they’ll look in your home. You also have the ability to snap a photo of anything that inspires you and get a matching paint color.
Life and Productivity
If you have trouble getting up in the morning, try an alarm clock. While the alarm clock on your phone may be just fine, you might have a bit more success with the Gentle Alarm app. Gentle Wake Up combines the features of an alarm clock with light to let your body prepare for an easy wake-up. Your device will slowly get brighter and changes from red to yellow like the sunrise. There are also sleep and wakeup sounds, weather alerts, and other features to explore. Free but you can get the Pro version for a one-time payment. Currently only for Android devices.
To-do lists are my best free. But sometimes you want a digital version. Enter Wunderlist, the perfect to-do list app. Wunderlist lets you make list after list, get reminders of tasks, share lists, and more. You can also have conversations with others on your to-do lists in real time. Organize your lists in folders, set up to-do items via email, and make notes. Wunderlist even features hashtags and syncing to all of your devices: iPad, Chromebook, Kindle, and all iOS and Android devices.
Curious about what you’d look like with pink hair or if you can pull off that mauve lipstick? Try it on with MakeUp Plus, a free app that lets you find a new look. You can snap a photo then change your makeup and look right on screen with the AR filters. Makeup options include lip color, foundation and more from brands like Bobbi Brown, Dior, and Sephora. There’s even built-in looks by favorite beauty gurus.
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