There are many different ways to improve our well-being. Apps provide a convenient and accessible alternative for those who are on the move or simply prefer interactive technology over more traditional methods.
With so many well-being ideas out there where do you start? Below are seven of my favourite tried and tested low cost or free apps that act to boost your well-being which you may find useful. If you have any others that you use regularly and would recommend, please share them with us at the end of this post.
Official description: Moodnotes helps you to:
- Track your mood and identify what influences it.
- Develop healthier thinking habits.
- Learn about ‘traps’ in your thinking style and how to avoid them.
- Bring new, helpful perspectives to situations.
- Increase your self-awareness.
- Reduce your distress and enhance your sense of well-being.
Personal experience: This can get addictive! Once you start logging your mood and triggers, it’s interesting to see repeated patterns emerging in your personal ‘traps’ and find out what you can do to reframe your thinking. A really useful tool to help make changes to your outlook and behaviour.
Official description: Use mood check-in to reflect on how you’re feeling each day and receive meditation recommendations based on your moods. With the updated home screen, quickly listen to your most recently played and favourite mediations, sleep stories, and music in just one tap. As always, you can expect an original Daily Calm every day and new Sleep Stories every week.
Personal experience: with meditations, music, mood checks and even themed motivational talks, this app has a lot going for it. The ‘sleep stories’ (both fiction and non-fiction available) finish it off, with smooth narration and calming music helping you drift off.
What’s Good (Action for Happiness)
Official description: What’s Good is a simple and elegant tool designed to make you happier – by helping you notice and appreciate the good things in each day. We naturally tend to focus more on the bad things than the good. This instinct helped us survive as a species, but it’s not so helpful in cultivating happiness. What’s Good helps you retrain your brain to notice the good things too. The science behind this is surprisingly strong: just one week of noting good things has been found to bring lasting increases in happiness – and to significantly reduce your risk of depression. Taking time to regularly note what you’re grateful for not only boosts your happiness, it can also bring other benefits, including greater compassion, lower blood pressure, and even a stronger immune system. Each day you will simply be asked to reflect on and enter three things that went well that day. Then you’ll record your happiness score for that day. When you make What’s Good part of your daily routine, you will also discover a wealth of personal insight. You’ll be able to see when you tend to be happiest and what really contributes to this.
Personal experience: A simple but effective alternative to using a notepad to jot down three good things in your day. Motivational quotes, images and the ‘flashback’ function allowing you to look back at previous entries are nice touches. Setting ‘reminders’ to input your entry helps you build a sustainable daily habit.
Official description: Happiful Magazine is devoted to mental health and wellbeing. With our brand new app you can:
- Read the latest issues of Happiful Magazine wherever you go.
- Follow the latest news with daily health and wellbeing articles from our team of writers and contributors.
- Connect with professional support from our family of 20,000+ counsellors, therapists and other wellness professionals.
We offer professional perspectives, actionable self-help strategies, inspirational true stories and interviews with high profile individuals, all with a focus on mental health and wellbeing.
Personal experience: I’ve been reading this magazine for a few years now. Its full of real-life stories and tips/ information on how to enhance your mental health and overall well-being. It also often has some interesting book, app and product reviews related to well-being products. All this and (online) it’s free.
Official description: Headspace is your guide to health and happiness. It’s the simple way to let go of stress and get a better night’s rest. Learn to relax with guided meditations and mindfulness techniques that bring calm, wellness and balance to your life in just a few minutes a day. Plus, Sleep by Headspace helps you create the ideal conditions for a good night’s rest.
Personal experience: One of the most popular meditation apps out there, Headspace has so much to offer. The ability to tailor the length of the meditations and the variety of courses or one-off sessions they provide is great. I find the guided runs and commutes a good way to see things with new eyes and the ‘sleep casts’ and ‘sleep music’ works just as well if you’re looking for calming sounds/headspace when working in a busy space as it does for when you’re trying to drop off!
Official description: Happify’s science-based activities and games can help reduce stress, overcome negative thoughts, and build greater resilience by providing effective tools and programs to improve emotional well-being.
Our techniques are developed by leading scientists and experts who’ve been studying evidence-based interventions in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy for decades.
Personal experience: with fun infographics, short video clips, simple games/activities and tailored ‘tracks’, this app gives you lots of options to personalise your use of the app and target specific areas of interest.
Official description: Scientific studies show that daily 7 minute workouts are the short and quick way to get fit and healthy! Most people don’t get enough exercise and our app is a simple and fun way to get started. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop!
- Professionally designed workouts that are short and effective.
- Workouts that you can do anywhere, no equipment needed.
- Personal trainer with voice and video instructions. We guide you all the way.
- Beginner friendly workouts that are easy to perform but will make you sweat.
- Super simple to use custom workout builder so you can build your own 7 minute workouts.
- Enable Apple Health to track your workouts and calories burned.
- 100% Free. No hidden and surprise charges!
Personal experience: This is my go to quick ‘reboot’ app. It’s efficient, packs a lot in such a short time and leaves you with an immediate feel good boost. You can do it anywhere – indoor or out, so it’s really handy for a work break/lunch! Build it into your daily routine and it could help improve your mood, energy levels and basic fitness.
If you try a few of these apps out, I hope they work as well for you as they do for me. Please do share any other well-being apps you use regularly and would recommend to others below.
Thanks for reading!