These days you can do pretty much anything on your mobile device, from searching and sharing to banking and buying. So why not use mobile applications to support your health and wellbeing? Although apps aren’t a replacement for professional medical advice, they can be a great way to plan positive changes and track your results. Here are some of our favourites:
1. Gratitude Journal
This app is a handy tool to help you write down what you’re grateful for each day. You can add photos and rate your mood with icons, as well as enjoy daily inspirational quotes and sync your journal to all your devices. Research shows that there are many benefits to practicing gratitude on a regular basis, including a long-lasting boost in happiness levels. According to one study by researchers at the University of California and University of Miami, keeping a gratitude journal may even improve your overall health and wellbeing.
2. Smiling Mind
Smiling Mind is a free mindfulness meditation app to help you stay balanced, manage stress and increase resilience. Its 10-level program is tailored to a range of age groups and can help you feel clear, calm and content. Mindfulness has been shown to offer a range of benefits, including increasing compassion and self-awareness, as well as easing psychological stresses like anxiety, depression and pain.
If you’ve always wanted to become a runner but not sure where to start, this app will get you to the finish line in just nine weeks. Your virtual coach will guide you through interval training sessions of 20-30 minutes, three times a week, to slowly build up your fitness. You can listen to your own music, map your route and even share your progress on Facebook.
4. Pay it forward
Did you know that doing good deeds can improve your overall wellbeing? According to researchersat the University of British Columbia, simple things like holding the door open for someone else, doing chores for other people, donating to charity or buying lunch for a friend can significant improve people’s moods. It may also increase relationship satisfaction and decrease social avoidance.
The pay it forward app sends daily alerts with a simple act of kindness to complete. You can track your progress and share your acts of kindness with friends and family, as well as view a map to see what other good deeds are being completed around the world.
5. Yoga Studio
If you’d prefer to workout at home on those cold winter days, the Yoga Studio is perfect. It offers 65 ready-made classes and over 280 poses at a range of levels, from beginners to advanced. You can choose the duration of your session, as well as the area of focus—strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance or a combination. You can even create your own class, by ‘stitching’ together short sequences performed by a qualified instructor.
Recharge is a personalised six-week program that helps improve your wellbeing by focusing on a good sleep routine, regular exercise and exposure to daylight, to help reset your body clock. It’s part of a research study by The University of Sydney’s Brain & Mind Institute and gives you a daily report to help you see the relationship between your mood, energy, exercise and sleep.