Turn your smartphone into a tiny health coach with these apps for better nutrition, mindfulness, and gratitude.
Often, you only hear about the negatives of smartphone use (distracting, time-consuming, blue-light emitting ... etc.). But your phone can also be a positive force—used to help create a more mindful, healthy life. Here are five free apps that can nudge you toward good behaviors.
- Bearable. Mood tracking, food diary, gratitude journal—this app has it all, with reminders for daily check-ins so you can reflect on your day to boot. But where it’s really useful is its look at what factors (like the food you’re eating) are contributing to your moods (like how social you feel) and its ability to help you visualize how everything is intertwined. (Read this article for our top 10 apps for health and wellness.)
- Gratitude Garden. The practice of keeping a gratitude journal helps you manifest positivity into the world by appreciating what you have. Gratitude Garden elevates the practice by reminding you, via lovely garden artwork, to jot down three good happenings daily —a simple way to bring the practice of gratitude into your life.
- Shopwell. Every dietary change can feel overwhelming. Shopwell helps make goals like going more plant-based, lower-sodium, or shifting to a gluten-free diet much easier. This app works by scanning the barcode of any food product and giving a general highlight of its nutritional content. Shopwell also helps you identify allergens and hidden ingredients you may miss by just reading the label, aids in understanding the contents, and gives suggestions for better options for your own personal dietary journey. (Check out more dietary apps here and allergen/non-GMO apps here.)
- Simple Habit. If you are struggling to start a meditation practice, start with a really small goal—like five minutes a day, three days in a row. Simple Habit helps you do so by customizing intents and durations to help fit your schedule and needs.
- Forest. Many people get too attached to their devices—hence screentime's bad rap. If this is you, Forest can help. The app asks you to set a goal to put down your phone and acts as a timer while growing a little virtual tree to measure elapsed time. So when you return sans device from your studying, or dinner with your family, you feel a sense of reward and validation. (Read this for more apps to break bad habits.)
Want more? Read about five apps to quiet your mind.