By Jennifer Valdez for Rewire Me
Let’s be honest, apps have become a virtual extension of our brain that help us navigate life easier. But not all wellness apps are created equal. There are tons out there that claim to help you eat better, sleep sounder, run longer, get stronger. So how do you know if you’re getting the best? We’ve gone above and beyond to research and test out the most popular apps on the market for health and wellness.
After putting these apps to the Rewire Me test, we’ve found which ones are 1) easy to use and 2) among the most effective to stay on top of your physical, mental and spiritual health. So pull out your smartphone and get ready to download these healthy tools. Because you deserve the best apps for a better you.
Happier is designed to help you capture moments of happiness by acting as a gratitude journal. Simply jot down notes and include pictures of things that make you happy throughout the day. By focusing on the little things you’re grateful for, you’ll have a lot more reasons to smile. This app also provides simple techniques you can do anywhere to add more moments of joy to your life.
Headspace is a guided meditation app that starts users off with a free 10-day challenge. The charming British accent that guides the user through each meditation is recorded by the apps founder, Andy Puddicombe. After you’ve finished the 10 courses in 10 days, the app rewards you with little animations that cheer you on. For more in-depth guided meditations at the touch of a finger, the app charges $13 a month.
iMoodJournal serves as the ultimate mood diary. The app allows you enter a daily mood from a selected menu of emotions. After a while the app tracks your patterns and mood changes and presents you with analytics for how your mood has evolved over time. This beautifully designed app will help you gain surprising insights about yourself and your emotions.
HealthyOut proves there can be a happy marriage between eating out and eating healthy. The app allows you to quickly find and order restaurant dishes on the go. Just plug in your location and filter the search base to your dietary restrictions. The app then offers dozens of restaurants to choose from and notes the healthiest items on the menu. You can even search by calories, points and nutrition tags like heart healthy or paleo diet.
LooseIt! is a one-stop shop for those trying to lose weight. This customized weight loss plan is based on the principals of calorie tracking and peer support. It requires a bit of input: entering what you ate that day and what form of exercise you did. The app then connects you to the people, devices, and nutritional information you need to achieve your weight-loss goals.
MyFitnessPal makes calorie counting easier than ever. This robust app allows you to log meals in under a minute by searching the apps extensive database of brand-name foods. It also has a built-in barcode scanner to look up the nutritional value of each item. If you made a home-cooked meal, you can input the recipe and the app will estimate its nutritional information. Once you start using the app regularly, it saves a list of favorite foods that can be added to your daily intake with the touch of a button.
Lumosity turns learning into fun and games. Literally. The app uses games and tools designed by a team of neuroscientists to improve everything from memory boosting to problem solving. Plus, this cutting-edge app is personalized just for you. By using the app just 15 minutes a day, three days a week, you should see improvement in your brain power.
Sleep Cycle tracks your movements in bed and wakes you during light sleep. Because waking up is all about timing. Simply set your alarm and sleep with your phone lying face down on your bed. While sleeping, your body goes through a cycle of sleep phases. Phase one is light sleep, followed by deep sleep and finally a dream state (called REM-sleep). A full sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and normally repeats several times a night. Sleep Cycle tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up during the light sleep phase closest to your set alarm time. The result is waking up easier and feeling more naturally rested.
Mindshift offers help to those struggling with anxiety. The app provides strategies and advice to both teens and adults on how to cope with everyday anxiety in social and professional situations. It aims to change the way users think about anxiety so they can learn to face a situation rather than run from it.
Sunrise is an all-in-one, beautiful calendar built for Google, Exchange and iCloud. It also connects with other networks like Facebook, Evernote, Foursquare, and more. It even tracks the events you buy tickets to. The app also comes with Meet, a keyboard that allows you to select your available time slots and sends them to others through a simple link.
HealthTap If you’re an app enthusiast looking to splurge on an investment for your health, then consider HealthTap. As the app’s tagline says: “doctors are making house calls again”—by showing up on your smartphone rather than your doorstep. The prime membership ($99/month) allows you to connect with over 70,000 top US doctors via texts or video calls to discuss in-depth issues and treatments. This revolutionary app also provides doctor-prescribed checklists that help you live well, eat healthy, manage stress, and feel good every day.
About The Author:
Jennifer Valdez is Digital Media Manager at Rewire Me. She has a bachelors in journalism from the University of California Riverside and a masters degree in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She has been published in New York City newspapers and magazines, and has extensive experience in journalism and creative nonfiction. Jennifer lives in Manhattan and enjoys reading, dancing and traveling.