Apps can do way more than keep us entertained by cute animal videos and brightly colored games. But in an endless sea of them, finding useful and well-executed apps is like finding that needle in the digital haystack! As always, we’re here to help with magnifying glass in hand – read on for our list of five free apps to help hack the hard stuff in your life!
Headspace describes itself as a “gym membership for the mind.” Scared of meditation? Try it out with the free “Take Ten” 10-day program that takes just—you guessed it—10 minutes a day and promises to deliver less stress and better sleep. If you like what you experience, a subscription gets you access to guided and non-guided practices that can help you focus on areas of health, performance, relationships or applying mindfulness to daily activities. And although it may seem a little antithetical to track your meditation “progress,” the HEADSPACE app can also help you do that, too—and gives rewards for good behavior. www.headspace.com
The no-frills Yoga Studio app delivers a comprehensive practice through 20, 40 or 60 minute classes. Set to the sound of ocean waves, the verbal cues might be a little brisk for a new yogi, and the video demo is downright strange—carpeted room, no mat, weirdly placed potted plants—but the pose combinations are classic and well executed for all levels. Did we mention it’s free? http://yogastudioapp.com/
You could get a personal trainer, or you could just install Skimble Workout Trainer on your phone and cut to the chase. Download the app and enter limited information about you and your fitness habits, and the app tailors workouts to help you achieve your goals. Following voice prompts—with video support—to build a program consistent with your fitness equipment and time constraints. You can even add workouts to your calendar! And best of all, there’s no annoying background music to distract from the pain. https://www.skimble.com/workouts
Happy Cow app is for the vegan foodie in all of us. Similar in concept to Yelp, Happy Cow takes filtering a step further by listing only restaurants and stores that are Vegan, Vegetarian, or with Veg-Options.
There are too many how-to beauty apps to count. But what really matters is what’s in the products that are making your perfect smoky eye and contoured cheek. And that’s where the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep app comes in. Search by product name and a rating pops up based on the number of potentially toxic chemicals on its ingredients list. Wondering what that multisyllabic ingredient is in your favorite body lotion? Query that, too. And best of all, when you’re in a store, you can use your phone to scan a product’s bar code and receive information in seconds. Now that’s what we call an informed consumer.