The app has come a long way since Super Monkey Ball. Indeed, the range of apps now available to consumers is so comprehensive that it’s hard to believe we ever went without them! What did cat owners do before the Human to Cat Translator became available, for free, on the AppStore? How could we possibly have known what it would look like if we switched faces with a friend before Face Swap?
Alongside these more trivial creations is a host of wellness apps that can aid in maintaining physical and mental health. Below is the pick of the bunch.
1. Live Happy (Free, iOS)
Live Happy is based on the realm of positive psychology: ideas for boosting optimum happiness using psychology, rather than only using psychological ideas, to treat unhappiness. It prompts you to engage in a range of activities, which research has shown can boost your mood. It includes goal-setting, savouring the present moment, thinking about your best possible self and many more features.
2. Way of Life (Free or small cost if you want to monitor more than 3 goals, iOS)
Another app that harnesses the behavioural principles of reward, Way of Life invites you to select personal goals and monitor whether you have achieved them each day. It produces helpful motivational graphs to track your progress towards your own goals. Useful if you are trying to create new habits or kick unhelpful ones.
3. My Mood Tracker (Free, iOS)
Keeping track of how we feel helps us to notice that sad moods do pass, and can also potentially helps us link our mood to things we do, places we go and people we talk to. My Mood Tracker can collect additional information on sleep patterns, exercise and a whole caboodle of other things. Not as hi-tech as some similar apps, which also measure your location and other phone data, but reliable and easy to use and you can add location in manually if you want.
4. 1 GIANT MIND (Google Play, iOS)
Learning to meditate is easy with this free app that offers simple instructions created to teach you how to meditate. With a variable timer, video tutorials, and a troubleshooting resource, 1 GIANT MIND is a three-level program designed to cover all the basics in a few short sessions.
5. Buddhify ( iOS)
Buddhify helps you relax and meditate even while you go about your daily business, whether you are traveling to work or exercising at the gym. After choosing from one of four different meditation styles and adjusting the on-screen text size, the app walks you through an audio and visual meditation session that is suited to where you are at the time.
6. Gratitude Journal ($1.99 iTunes)
Keeping a gratitude journal is sweet way to stay focused on the good things in life. The Gratitude Journal app lets you do just that. You can list the things you’re grateful for and look back on all the other things that have sparked feelings of gratitude. You can also add photos, tag Facebook friends, geotag your entries, and share what you’re grateful for with loved ones.
7. HEADSPACE (iTunes and Google Play)
Headspace is like a workout for your mind. The app teaches you to meditate and provides access to tons of content focused on creativity, decreasing stress, increasing happiness, conscious eating, and open-hearted living. It also has a social element so you can loop your friends in on your journey toward happiness.
8. Water Your Body ($.99 iOS, Google Play.)
Not drinking enough water can make you sluggish, depressed and easily overwhelmed. You’d think it would be easy enough to remember to drink water, but how many of us reach for water when we can have coffee, tea, kombucha or soda? Water Your Body is like your own friendly water monitor reminding you to drink water, tracking how much you've had, and calculating how much more you need.
9. Smiling Mind (Free, iTunes & Google Play)
Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Mindfulness Meditation in combatting stress, improving focus and increasing resilience. Smiling Mind is a web and app-based program that provides young and old people with the tools to practise Mindfulness Meditation. With these tools, the not-for-profit initiative aims to enable individuals to achieve calm, clarity and contentment in their lives – a loftier challenge in today’s fast-paced world than ever before!
10. Mood Kit ($4.99 iTunes)
Mood Kit uses psychology to help boost your mood. It also helps you discover unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors so you can recognize them and ditch them. The app features 200-plus mood enhancement activities, guides to identify and change stress-inducing thoughts, mood charts to keep track of your ups and downs, a place to journal, and more.