14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap

By Sarah Winfrey on 17 October 2017 0 comments

Who has time for self-care these days? Whether our days are full of work or caring for family members, it's legitimately hard to find the time to prioritize our most basic needs. And while constant smartphone use is not known for being a healthy habit, our phones can make self-care a whole lot easier. Here are some apps that can help you unwind and take better care of your body throughout your busy day. (See also: 9 Simple Acts of Self-Care for the Sandwich Generation)

1. MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal is one of the best food/exercise/hydration tracker apps out there. It has a massive food database to input your meals, and you can also add your own recipes and nutrition info. The app also helps you set goals for better rest, water intake, and weight loss. The best part, though, is that you can connect with friends to set up challenges or keep each other accountable. (See also: 6 Apps That Pay You to Workout)

2. Yoga Studio

Not up for leaving the house, but still need to fit in a workout? Use Yoga Studio to get your sweat on. You can pick your level and the length of the class, or choose a class by instructor. The videos are beautiful and simple, and the app offers a free two-week trial to test before you buy. (See also: 5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money)

3. Headspace

Headspace is one of the most popular guided meditation apps out there. This will teach you how to meditate effectively. Headspace is designed for all levels of meditators, so you can use it and benefit from it even if you've never done it before. (See also: 6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master)

4. Calm

Calm is another meditation app, but this one is specifically designed to help you decrease your anxiety and get better sleep. Follow guided meditations, learn to focus on your breathing, and you should feel better and rest easier.

5. Insight Timer

Insight Timer is a free meditation app, although unlike Headspace, it is designed more for those who have meditated before. Follow guided meditations, track your progress, and meditate alone or with groups. (See also: Treat Yourself With These 7 Free Self-Care Routines)

6. Breathing Zone

This app helps you slow and control the pace of your breathing for mindful meditation. Breathing Zone offers a simple graphic that you can breathe along with to help you visualize the breaths leaving and entering your body. The app also analyzes your breathing rate, so you can see where you start and where you finish. (See also: You Might Be Breathing Wrong — Here's What You Should Do Instead)

7. Acupressure: Heal Yourself

If you are stressed, anxious, or not sleeping well, acupressure may be able to help. The Heal Yourself app shows you the different pressure points that you can massage, and how to do it right. (See also: 5 Ways Self Care Can Actually Save You Money)

8. Start Stretching

Start Stretching is another great how-to app for deep relaxation. If you are feeling tight, or that something isn't right in your body, stretching can instantly help you feel better. You will learn stretches associated with specific muscle groups and types of pain with this app. (See also: 10 Easy Ways to Work Stretching Into Your Daily Routine)

9. SleepBot

SleepBot is marketed as an alarm, but it actually tracks your sleep for you so it can wake you at the best time, based on your sleep cycles. It also tracks your sleep debt (how short you are on sleep) and will note or record any sounds above a certain level, so you can determine if you are snoring or talking in your sleep. (See also: Get Better Sleep With These 5 Great Sleep-Tracking Apps)

10. Sleep Cycle

Sleep Cycle is similar to SleepBot, though it doesn't track sleep debt or record sounds. It does, however, offer more in-depth charts of your sleep patterns. Try them both and see what works best for you.

11. Relax Melodies

If you struggle to fall asleep, Relax Melodies can help. It offers all sorts of different sounds that you can play individually or combine into a set of sounds that will help you sleep. Choose everything from rain forest sounds to a binaural beat, and play your mix alongside a guided meditation. You can set a timer, too, so your mix doesn't play all night. (See also: The 5 Best White Noise Machines)

12. Lumosity

Lumosity is free to start, and it exercises and trains your brain so it can function at a higher level. It takes your baseline, then offers you games and exercises to help your mind work better. As you go on in the program, some of the exercises do come with an extra cost. The designers work with scientists to make sure you are getting the best brain training out there to keep you mentally sharp into your golden years.

13. Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journal provides a place to note five things a day that you are grateful for. Since being grateful is supposed to make us happier and healthier, this app can help us achieve those goals. It's easy to use and lets you go back to see what you've been grateful for in the past, too. (See also: 7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life)

14. Happify

Happify provides you with games and activities to help you learn to control your thoughts and feelings, based on scientific research. This is called building resilience, and is key to feeling confident, competent, and in control of your life. You learn your initial happiness score, then participate in activities designed to raise that. You can track your happiness over time and learn what helps and what doesn't. (See also: 8 Stress Relief Items You Need in Your Life That Are Under $20)

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