My Favorite APPS for Wellness

This is the second installment of a 5-part series called:  

My Favorite Things  

Click here to see my first post called My Favorite Books, and hang tight for more lists like My Favorite Kitchen Stuff, Supplements & Herbs, and of course My Favorite FOODS…all things to help you thrive!  

 


My Favorite Apps

 

Who can deny that smart phones and apps are just a part of daily life now.  Whether we like it or not, smart phones are making our lives easier in many ways (I’m not even going to get into to the ways they affect us negatively), and podcasts & apps are a HUGE part of my wellness routine.  I cover quite a few categories here from fitness to brain function.  The information and guidance you seek is just a click away, and I’m so excited to show you the wellness apps I fell in love with…

 


 

Sleep / Meditation

sleep cycle app 2

SLEEP CYCLE – $0.99

Sleep is more important than most people like to admit, and this handy app will really show you the quality of your sleep.  I found out about this app from Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof Exec.  The things that really sold me are the fact that it wakes you during your lightest stage of sleep, and that it allows you to create a checklist of things you do that day in order to see how they affect your sleep!  For instance, I check a box that says “drank coffee after 4pm” or “melatonin” and I can see after a few nights if that is negatively or positively affecting my sleep!  Genius.  The other great thing is that it shows you on a graph how you go through the different stages of sleep (or don’t go through; like me) throughout the night.  Try the Power Nap app by them too.  A 20 minute power nap is one of the only ways I have found to reset my brain when I’m confronted with decision fatigue or straight up stress.    

Check out sleepcycle.com to learn more.  

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iSLEEP EASY – Free

Do you have busy thoughts while you’re trying to sleep?  Do you want to “meditate” but you don’t know how or when you’ll ever do it?  This free app is perfect for you.  I sleep way better when I do my sleep meditation app, and I always fall asleep before I’m halfway through the playlist.  My husband was teasing me about it one night, so I told him to just listen to it…before you know it he was passed out too!  It works I tell ya!  The teacher guides you through a sleep meditation by saying things like “Whatever was left to do today can be done tomorrow.  Enjoy the comfort of your bed.  Notice the feeling of the sheets on your skin.”  There’s something about being aware and focusing our attention on our physical body that makes meditation so magical. 

Check out meditationoasis.com to learn more.  

sleep mask

SLEEP MASK – $10-$20

Okay this isn’t an app, but it pairs perfectly with the isleep easy app (above).  I remember walking out in my living room to find my brother crashed on the air mattress wearing a sleep mask.  I laughed!  He said he thought it was weird at first too but now he loves it.  I decided to give it a try because my husband and I both had unusual schedules.  We were both hooked on the first try!  Even when it’s dark I wear them.  I am telling you you’ve gotta try it to believe it!  And the shapely ones like this are the best— if you ask me.

You can purchase this one on amazon.com


Yoga / Fitness

yoga studio app

YOGA STUDIO App by Gaiam – $3.99

I have only tried a few Yoga apps, but I am telling you this one is amazing!  It’s worth wayyyy more than $4 so don’t even hesitate.  There are endless combinations and flawless video demonstrations.  It took me a second to get used to the teacher’s voice, but it really is soothing and crystal clear.  This is perfect for anyone, beginner to novice, and sessions go from 10 minutes to 60!  Did I mention you can choose a class based on your needs?  Flexibility, strength, balance, combination.  Nice!  I should mention that it took me a long time to fit yoga into my routine because I just sucked at it.  And if you suck at something, you generally don’t like it.  I soon discovered that if you have zero flexibility, and suck at yoga, that just means that you NEED yoga more than anyone.  Stretching and challenging different muscles is imperative for longevity. 

You can learn more at yogastudioapp.com 

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NIKE TRAINING CLUB – Free

This is hands down the best fitness app.  Do you get sick of doing the same workout?  Do you want to work out at home?  Do you wish you had more options like 15 min or 60 min?  This Nike app is free and expertly done.  I absolutely love everything about it.  Each workout is performed by a different Nike Trainer, and these women are fierce and beautiful!  Flexible times, innovative workouts, inspiring women…I’m not quite sure there’s anything left to be desired in a fitness app!

Find out more here at nike.com


Music / Reading

Spotify

SPOTIFY- Free or $10/month

Spotify is like the star-child of Pandora and iTunes.  You can download albums or playlists for free, you can stream, you can create radio stations like pandora, and choose playlists to suit your mood!  That last feature is why it’s on my Longevity list.  There are playlists to help you focus, help you be productive, lift you up, put you to sleep, make you laugh, and get you moving!  Did I mention it will play music according to the pace you’re working out at?  Love. 

Learn more at spotify.com

audible

AUDIBLE – Free to try – $15/month

I am so into Audible!  If you drive or commute a lot, or find it hard to concentrate when you read, then you should definitely get an audible membership.  Audible is an audiobook store by Amazon.  There are thousands of books available, free trials, free previews, and even returns.  You rack up credits for months that pass without downloading a new book, and you can cancel easily.  The most major benefit I just found with Audible is a section they include called “The Great Courses”.   The Great Courses is college-level audio courses taught on a wide-range of subjects by credited experts and professors.  We are talking about subjects like “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques For Retraining Your Brain”, “Raising Emotionally and Socially Healthy Kids”, and “Latin 101: Learning a Classical Language”.  These courses are averaging $60 and up on The Great Courses site, but many of them are part of your $15 audible membership.  Crazy Cool!

Try it for free now at audible.com


Brain Games

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LUMOSITY – Free & $3-$12 per month 

Have you heard of brain games yet?  Brain games are exactly as they sound but far more advantageous than a game.  We are talking about expertly designed, research-based, results-oriented games that are fun to play, and that exercise your brain.  Remember: If we don’t use it, we lose it…and there could be nothing more frightful than losing our mind.  Start using your free time to play a brain game instead of surfing social media or playing candy crush.  Lumosity is the first of 3 brain game apps I am recommending.  It is filled with more imaginative games, and perfect for first time brain gamers.  Picture colorful games full of shapes and patterns, exercising your brain in unfamiliar ways.  I like Lumosity best out of the 3 games when I’m tired or waiting in line somewhere.  If you get bored easily then this is a good brain game app for you.  This is also available on your desktop/laptop computers!  

Try the free membership and see how you like it!  www.lumosity.com

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FITBRAINS, by the creators of Rosetta Stone – Free & $3-$10/month

 In case you didn’t read above, I’m repeating the same intro: Have you heard of brain games yet?  Brain games are exactly as they sound but far more advantageous than a game.  We are talking about expertly designed, research-based, results-oriented games that are fun to play, and that exercise your brain.  Remember: If we don’t use it, we lose it…and there could be nothing more frightful than losing our mind.  Start using your free time to play a brain game instead of surfing social media or playing candy crush. 

Fitbrains is the second of 3 brain games I’m recommending.  Fitbrains app focuses on what you’re weakest at, and recommends even more specialized apps to focus on your needs.  If you’re the type of person looking for results and likes a challenge, try this app.  Fitbrains is available on your desktop/laptop too!

Try the free membership at www.fitbrains.com

elevate - Copy

ELEVATE – free to start & $3-$8/month 

In case you didn’t read above, I’m repeating the same intro: Have you heard of brain games yet?  Brain games are exactly as they sound but far more advantageous than a game.  We are talking about expertly designed, research-based, results-oriented games that are fun to play, and that exercise your brain.  Remember: If we don’t use it, we lose it…and there could be nothing more frightful than losing our mind.  Start using your free time to play a brain game instead of surfing social media or playing candy crush. 

Elevate is the last of 3 brain games I’m recommending.  This game is very different than the other two.  I love it and I hate it at the same time, and I’ll tell you why.  Elevate is more focused on reading, writing, and exercises that work on memory, communicating your thoughts, listening, and vocabulary.  This is all very applicable in real life, and you immediately recognize your gains and weaknesses.  But honestly, it takes me back to school.  Some of the exercises remind me of state exams with a fun twist.  I find that this game is the most important to me.  I’m using it more and more each week, but if I don’t do it in the morning, I usually won’t ever get to it.  So I highly suggest this to anyone looking for immediate gratification, practical skills, and a caffeine alternative (play brain games in the morning and your brain will instantly snap into reality).   

Try it for free at elevateapp.com

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