In a fast paced world, it can be difficult to find the time to focus on health and wellness. Luckily, the devices we use every day – smartphones and tablets – can offer a convenient way to live healthier lives on the go. If you’ve made the decision to improve your lifestyle, whether it’s a new diet, a pledge to cook more, to get more sleep or to filter out negativity with mindfulness meditation, there’s an app to help you achieve your goal.
However, it’s now a flooded marketplace, and when hunting down the best healthy living apps it can be difficult to know where to start. New apps are appearing on the market every day, so we’ve narrowed down the options for you with the best free and paid apps focusing on improving sleep, healthy eating, beauty, fitness and mindfulness. And if you’re looking to treat yourself – there are plenty of apps that will help you find a delicious restaurant!
Increasing your mindfulness
- RealifeChange – Free, iOS
RealifeChange is basically like having your own portable life coach in your pocket. By tracking and recording your mood, the app is able to pinpoint your sources of stress and anxiety, turning these ‘moments’ into an attractive dashboard and helping you take steps to experience increased confidence and a more relaxed, reflective life. Making positive changes in your life is easy with this app, as you can use the interactive life journal in RealifeChange to delve into your psyche and explore exactly what makes you tick. The app currently has a 4.8 star rating on the App Store, and has won a prestigious design award from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA).
One user said: “I’ve tried journaling in the past, buying pretty notebooks and so on, but always got bored with it. I’m more of a thinker and a dreamer with generally a good attitude towards life, even though a lot of my experiences have been traumatic. I love the way this app is set-up to guide ME towards honest feelings.”
- ReachOut Breathe – Free, iOS
If you suffer from anxiety or are being bothered by stress, practicing simple breathing exercises can do wonders in relaxing your body and quieting your mind. Deep breathing will slow your heart rate and reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety and stress, like shortness of breath and a feeling of tightness in the chest. ReachOut provides simple visuals to guide you through these basic breathing exercises, monitoring your heart rate so you can determine how you’re going from day to day.
- SmilingMind – Free, iOS and Android
Sometimes, wherever we are, it’s nice to have a little aid in helping us relax and de-stress from the daily worries of life and work. SmilingMind is a mindfulness app that offers different meditations of different lengths, so you can pick and choose the right one for you – whether it’s meditating for an hour after work or quickly chilling out on the bus or on your lunch break. Smiling Mind exists to help build individual mental health and wellbeing through positive, pre-emptive tools based on mindfulness meditation. Co-developed with psychologists and health professionals, Smiling Mind is accessible to everyone, irrespective of geographic location or socio-economic status. It also has programs for the whole family, and you can track your progress with the easy-to-use and attractive interface.
To help you get to sleep
- Sleep Cycle – Free, iOS and Android
Sleep Cycle has long been a popular app choice for those wanting a wake up call that’s a little gentler than a shrill alarm. Sleep Cycle has the capacity to analyse your sleep cycle patterns with your smart phone’s accelerometer function. By placing your phone under your pillow when going to sleep, Sleep Cycle will analyse the quality of your sleep based on your movements throughout the night.
Sleep Cycle will give you a gentle wake up call with a vibration, timed at the lightest phase of your sleep cycle. The app will give you the choice to determine a ‘latest’ wake up time, meaning that there’s no chance of an accidental sleep in! This will help you to wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to face the day. Sleep Cycle also produces a range of in depth graphs and insights on your sleep to help make changes to your routine.
- Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson – $3.79 iOS; $3.03, Android
Deep Sleep will help you get relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep with guided meditations designed to help you get into the most restful state possible. Andrew is a Scottish clinical hypnotherapist with over 20 years experience helping patients cope with stress, anxiety, fears and insomnia. Andrew’s voice will soothe you as you practise a range of visualisations and relaxation techniques. Deep Sleep will send you into a healing slumber ready to face the new day.
- Relax Melodies – Free, iOS and Android
Prefer going to sleep with gentle music and natural sounds? Relax Melodies provides a generous selection of the best quality ambient soundscapes, so you can choose from sounds like gentle waves lapping on the shore, a calm breeze and rainforest bird song or instrumental music. It also incorporates binaural beats, and has the capacity to be turned off after a certain period of time, as well as wake you up in the morning with alarm functionality.
To track your healthy eating
- MyFitnessPal – Free, iOS and Android
MyFitnessPal is a free, intuitive and simple food diary that makes counting calories easy and diet planning simple. It has a streamlined interface and an extensive database of branded packaged foods on file, meaning you can use your phone’s camera to capture a product’s barcode to determine the most accurate calorie count possible. Set fitness and weight loss goals and the app will adjust your calorie threshold accordingly. MyFitnessPal also provides the option of sharing your progress with friends as a motivational tool.
Keeping on top of your fitness goals
- Fitness Builder – Free, iOS and Android
Fitness Builder is the perfect app for beginner athletes or experienced ones looking to gain some inspiration in changing up their workout routine. With over 5,500 images and videos to provide insight, tips and tricks from the best in the business, Fitness Builder will see you achieving your fitness goals in no time.
For your beauty routine
- Glamazon – Free, iOS and Android
Need to book a last-minute wax, spray tan, or pre-event blow-dry and only have your lunch break to work with? Try Glamazon. Currently only available in Sydney and Melbourne, the app provides a listing of all of the best beauty salons in your area. You can book within the app, meaning you only see available appointments. It’s basically Uber for beauty!
Other important relaxation techniques
As well as these handy apps, there are a number of additional methods and techniques that can assist with your relaxation. A popular and highly beneficial method is through the use of massage, which is proven to alleviate muscle tension, improve the recovery of soft tissue injuries, and heighten mental alertness.
Find the perfect place for your next relaxing massage with our review of the Top Day Spas in Australia.
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