10 Incredible Apps to Take Charge of Your Mental and Physical Health
Technology is amazing. These days, with a few clicks on an app, we can learn everything from how many calories we burned to how much time we spent in a deep sleep. Below, we’ve rounded up the best of the bunch to inspire you to meet your health goals, whether that’s adopting a vegan diet, getting more sleep, meditating daily, or, you know, all of the above. Get ready to be in your best shape ever, lace up those sneaks, and unfurl that yoga mat, friends.
1. 21-Day Vegan Kickstart
To give yourself a powerful nudge to go vegan, sometimes it’s as simple as watching a harrowing documentary about factory farming. Sometimes, it’s tasting an otherworldly Impossible Burger. Sometimes, it’s with the help of technology, as is the case for many who go vegan for good after trying this 21-day challenge created by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. With daily meal plans, a recipe library curated by nutritionists, and expert tips and advice, you’ll get all the hand-holding you need to make the transition. Bonus: We hear it pairs really well with our smoothie of the day (https://thebeet.com/sign-up-for-your-smoothie-of-the-day-each-has-immune-boosting-properties/) program.
2. Chill Anywhere
This new app gets stellar reviews for its sleek design, the sense of community it creates, and its ability to track your progress. Offering both live and also on-demand mediation, mindfulness, and yoga classes, Chill Anywhere lets users log their mood before and after meditating and tracks analytics like # of minutes meditated. Right about now, we could all use an extra dose of tranquility, and our type A selves loves that we can track our meditation journey as we go.
Price: Annual subscription ($129) or monthly subscription ($19.99/month)
3. Yoga Studio: Mind & Body
Practicing yoga at home these days means two things. 1) Pajamas, pajamas, pajamas. 2) You’re likely clocking far fewer minutes than you did at the studio. That’s why we love that this app recently added a feature that lets users keep tabs on the hours/minutes you’ve spent on your yoga mat. It may sound like a small thing, but you’d be amazed at how the feature encourages you to log more minutes each week and helps you stay accountable to your fitness goals. And oh yeah, with 25 hours of HD yoga classes and a library of 280 yoga poses with detailed info and advice, your practice is about to reach a whole new level of yogi bliss.
Price: Free 7-day trial, $9.99 monthly, or $69.99 annually (40% discount; $5.84 a month)
4. 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service
In addition to getting genetic insights about your ancestry, 23andMe’s health reports offer a broad variety of information on your muscle variation, the risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes, and whether or not you have the variants for hereditary diseases like cystic fibrosis. Other reports offer information on genetic risk for very high cholesterol, celiac disease, and BRCA1/BRCA2 (selected variants) for breast, ovarian, and other cancers, along with several more.
5. Fitbit Charge 4
The latest of Fitbit’s Charge models hold a battery charge for up to seven days and provides information on your sleep, cardio fitness, resting heart rate, calorie-burn, and more, along with a daily pedometer, floors climbed, and, much, much more. You may find it obtrusive at first, but we also love the hourly vibrational “nudges” it gives you to remind you to get up and walk around throughout the day—particularly important as we’re all spending more time hunkering down at home than we’re used to typically.
New to eating plant-based? This comprehensive app is a boon when taking on a lifestyle change like going vegan. Track all the food you’re eating so you know your dailly tally of calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients. You can also input your exercise activities so you can have a more holistic view of your health.
Price: Free and premium versions available
7. Clue Period and Ovulation Tracker
Gone are the days of logging aunt flo in your monthly planner, instead, Clue empowers women to track everything from cramping and cravings to mood and energy levels. In addition to helping you discover patterns in your cycle, Clue also gives you period, PMS and fertility predictions.
Price: Free and premium versions available
8. Ava Fertility Tracker
If you’re trying to conceive and have a cycle that is regular and between 24-35 days long, The Ava bracelet and app gets to know your cycle through skin temperature, heart rate variability ratio, breathing rate, and more to detect your most fertile days so you can plan intercourse or insemination accordingly. Simply wear Ava to bed, sync with the app in the morning, and get insight on the five best days to try for a baby. Beyond fertility, Ava also lets you track sleep, stress, and symptoms for a clearer picture of your health.
Price: From $279
9. Oura Ring
If you’re an athlete looking to biohack your way to better health, it’s hard to outdo the Oura Ring which uses advanced technology to monitor your pulse, movement, and temperature, providing you with three meaningful scores to maximize your performance. On the beautifully designed app, you’ll get a sleep score (to help you understand deep, REM, and light sleep, how quickly you fall asleep, and more), along with scores for readiness (how you balance sleep, activity, and recovery), and your activity score (logging steps, calories burned, and more). One charge gives you up to seven days of wear.
Price: From $299
There are plenty of mood-tracking apps on the market, but this one draws upon the foundations of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help users suffering from anxiety and depression. Skeptical? Just consider the review of Dennis Greenberger, Ph.D., Co-author of Mind Over Mood, Past President of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy: "If you are looking for a greater sense of optimism, an improved mood and a greater sense of control over your life, open up the MoodKit app.” The app works with four key features: activities (specific actions you can take to improve your mood), thought checker (a tool to help you manage negative feelings), a daily mood tracker, and a journal function.