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6 wellness apps that have actually improved my wellbeing without adding to tech burnout

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 12 Jan 2021


<bi-shortcode id="disclaimer" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="insiderpicks">&nbsp;</bi-shortcode><p><img src="https://static2.businessinsider.com/image/5ffc62acbde805001980c1cc-1668/Apps to optimize your life 4x3.png" border="0" alt="Apps to optimize your life 4x3" data-mce-source="Digit; Down Dog; MindDoc; Nuzzel; Plant Nanny 2; Sleep Cycle; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider"></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><ul class="summary-list"><li>There are seemingly endless apps to help improve your life, but sometimes they can make you more stressed out or glued to your phone.</li><li>Below are six appsfrom a cute reminder to drink water to a highly customizable yoga classthat are easy to use and can help organize your life without contributing to burnout.&nbsp;</li><li>Read more: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/career-transition-classes-books-podcasts" target="_blank" rel="noopener">It can be extra hard to make a career change during a pandemic, but right now could also be the perfect time to explore the possibilities. Here are 15 great resources to help you find a more fulfilling career or make your current job a little better.</a></li><li><a href="https://newsletter.businessinsider.com/join/4np/insider-picks" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-analytics-module="summary_bullets" data-analytics-post-depth="0" data-uri="b16633f7ad4e6f8858d48c3b2763e56b">Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals</a></li></ul><p>Like many people, I often consider my phone my worst well-being enemy. Between derailing my productivity and fueling my doomscrolling habit with near-constant notifications, it likes to politely inform me that my weekly screen time went up 17%.&nbsp;</p><p>As such, I'm naturally cynical around apps that make me feel like I need to use my phone <em>even more</em> in order to live a more balanced life. There's something a little too on-the-nose about using a complicated scheduler to optimize my wellness habits; it defeats the purpose of self-care if I feel even more plugged into my device.</p><p>However, there <em>are</em> apps that actually do make my life simpler and take little to no effort to actually use. <strong>From improving my physical and mental health to helping me save money without even thinking about it</strong>, these six apps easily make my life better.</p><h2>6 apps to optimize your life:</h2><h3>To wake up on time without grogginess:</h3><img src="https://static5.businessinsider.com/image/5ff873ddd184b30018aadbca-400-300/to-wake-up-on-time-without-grogginess.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This is one of those apps I told <em>everyone</em> about when I first started using it because I honestly couldn't believe how well it worked. The concept is simple: By accessing your microphone and listening to your movements as you sleep, the app knows to wake you up within the 30-minute time frame you set, so that you're not mid-heavy slumber when the alarm jerks you awake.</p><bi-shortcode id="commerce-link" class="mceNonEditable" data-cardtype="small" data-pid="5ff87a4830ea217d61436282" data-purchase-option="">Product Card</bi-shortcode><p>So, for example: If I need to wake up by 7:30 AM, it could wake me at 7:17 AM if I'm moving around more at that point. Even if I'm up a few minutes earlier, I feel more rested because I'm not in deep sleep. As a bonus, it also shows me stats on my overall sleep quality, so I can see firsthand how my nighttime social media scrolling habit is my own worst enemy.</p><p>The app comes with a free trial, but I opted to pay $29.99 for an annual Premium membership once it was over.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>To feel personally invested in drinking more water:</h3><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/5ff8747bd184b30018aadbce-400-300/to-feel-personally-invested-in-drinking-more-water.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I've always been bad at drinking water. I know I should do it for my health, but I can go an alarming number of hours without noticing I'm dehydrated. What got me into the habit of constantly refilling my glass, though, was Plant Nanny (now Plant Nanny 2).</p><bi-shortcode id="commerce-link" class="mceNonEditable" data-cardtype="small" data-pid="5ff8a1060d0ddd10ce779aed" data-purchase-option="">Product Card</bi-shortcode><p>The concept is simple: Every time you drink a glass of water, you "water" a virtual plant (conveniently drawn with big, sparkling eyes so that you feel very, very guilty if you let it die). Even if, like me, you could barely keep a Neopet alive in your youth, this app makes it easy by sending you gentle reminders to take a two-second water break. Safe to say: I'm much better at taking care of a cartoon flower (and by extension, myself) than any of the dry succulents in my actual home.&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/><h3>To track your moods without overthinking them:</h3><img src="https://static2.businessinsider.com/image/5ff8750dd184b30018aadbd5-400-300/to-track-your-moods-without-overthinking-them.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Once, my therapist recommended that I write down my mood multiple times a day for a week, but the task felt a little...big. How would I remember to do it' What if I couldn't find the right words for how I felt (which was kind of the whole point of the exercise)'</p><bi-shortcode id="commerce-link" class="mceNonEditable" data-cardtype="small" data-pid="5ff8a17e46b1770f0b532333" data-purchase-option="">Product Card</bi-shortcode><p>MindDoc simplified the process by sending me three daily reminders to take a moment and track how I was feeling at that time. There was a long list of adjectives I could choose from (or add to) and after logging in my emotions consistently, I'd get customized reports on suggestions of what to look out for.</p><p>The app made me realize that stress seemed to hum in the background of my life even in my happy moments, which in turn made me take it a lot more seriously. It also reinforced the idea that I could feel many emotions at once (like "anxious" and "having a good time with others"), and that coloring whole days as "good" or "bad" was often a misleading way to assess my life.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>To stretch in a non-boring way:</h3><img src="https://static2.businessinsider.com/image/5ff875e8bde805001980bda9-400-300/to-stretch-in-a-non-boring-way.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>During the pandemic, I knew my habit of working from the couch every single day needed to be balanced out with some kind of stretchy workout. But yoga classes seemed overwhelming &mdash; there were too many to choose from, and I would always conveniently lose track of time and miss a 6 PM session.</p><bi-shortcode id="commerce-link" class="mceNonEditable" data-cardtype="small" data-pid="5ff8a20dfbd0323583112389" data-purchase-option="">Product Card</bi-shortcode><p>A friend told me about <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/apples-developer-war-reignites-yoga-app-down-dog-2020-7" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Down Dog</a>, which lets you customize a yoga class around things like difficulty level, the area(s) you want to work on, and current time commitment, but also lets you choose smaller settings like background music, instruction speed, and even the teacher's voice. Within seconds, you get a unique yoga class with your exact specifications and audio and video instructions to guide you through.</p><p>I've used it when I feel ready to go for a full class, or had no time and just wanted a quick 15-minutes session. I've been given different poses each time, and the flexibility of the app made me more involved in doing yoga more frequently because of how accessible it is.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>To save money without stress:</h3><img src="https://static2.businessinsider.com/image/5ff87675d184b30018aadbe2-400-300/to-save-money-without-stress.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When left to my own devices, I throw money into my savings account when I feel like I can put a decent sum in there all at once. The problem, though, is that keeps me from doing it too often, so I might go months without putting anything away.</p><bi-shortcode id="commerce-link" class="mceNonEditable" data-cardtype="small" data-pid="5ff8a29040af4d0a4d28a2f9" data-purchase-option="">Product Card</bi-shortcode><p>Digit, which analyzes your bank account, lets you choose something to save for (in my case, a rainy day fund) and automatically takes small increments out of your checking account. The amounts adjust according to how much money you're adding in (so if you're making less at the moment, it'll take out less), which can give you peace of mind that you won't suddenly be left with a drained account. The money is stored within Digit, where you can keep it untouched for as long as you want or quickly move it to your savings account whenever you want.</p><p>It's helped me save hundreds of dollars (even when I thought I had no wiggle room), and all without spending time looking through my spending history.&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/><h3>To get the news without the nihilistic Twitter takes:</h3><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5ff87906d184b30018aadbee-400-300/to-get-the-news-without-the-nihilistic-twitter-takes.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>By the end of 2020, I blissfully re-deleted Twitter off my phone and hope to never look back. However, one of the main draws of the app is how quickly breaking news stories appear, as well as genuinely great feature stories or essays that are too good not to share.&nbsp;</p><bi-shortcode id="commerce-link" class="mceNonEditable" data-cardtype="small" data-pid="5ff8a304edadde11016a2aba" data-purchase-option="">Product Card</bi-shortcode><p>I want access to those things without scrolling through people telling me how I should feel about them or sift through negative pile-ons about minor drama I just don't care about. As a result, I've been leaning more on Nuzzel, which curates the top-shared stories on my feed. It means I can still dive into juicy reads or crucial news updates with minimal time wasted.&nbsp;</p><p>(Now if someone could only invent such a utopic app exclusively for Twitter jokes, I'd have everything I'd need).&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/>
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