These Apps sorted our sleep, mood and even got us to the gym.
Posted by Nicola Elliott
Sometimes self-care and downtime can seem like a distant dream. One of those things we promised we’d do but that slides down the priority list when schedules (aka real life) get too demanding. It’s why we’ve become partial to the odd app. A bit like the breadcrumb effect, they can be great for pointers and guidance when we’ve lost our way. Whether that’s going to the gym, improving our bedtime habits or boosting our motivation, read on for the three hot apps we rate that are keeping us on the straight and narrow right now:
Takes no longer than five minutes, it’s like a HIIT version of Headspace! There’s nothing worse than doing a cardio class when you’re knackered or weights when you want to be anywhere else but, in a crowded sweaty gym, right? BUT then there’s the guilt thing and the frustration that we haven’t moved our bodies (which we know is good for us). It’s a mental minefield. That’s where Fika steps in. With an aim to improve your ‘emotional fitness’ its mission is to leave you feeling upbeat and ready to take on whichever form of exercise your mind and body needs at that moment in time. Drawing on research from sports psychology to help improve confidence and mindset the idea is that to optimise your performance, you need your brain and your body to be in synch. Log on and choose your desired result (eg achieving your goals) and after answering a series of questions such as ‘what’s zapping your energy this week?’ it will prescribe some timed ‘emotional’ exercises that will help you with your physical exercise habits.
We’re all about easy, no BS apps that understand that we can’t always just close our eyes to meditate or truly get that we only have a limited amount of time and it’s not first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Which is why we heart Happy Not Perfect. A practical, no nonsense mindfulness app that’s been developed with neuroscientists but that calls to our fun side too. Choose an emotion from a list of 13 – things like wobbly, in love, happy, meh - and it will dish out a breathing exercise, a ‘burning’ ceremony to help you let go of what’s niggling away at you, offer up the chance to fill in a quick gratitude diary, set yourself a challenge, send some good vibes to a friend and finish with a two minute ‘cool down’ guided meditation. 400 meditations keep it fresh and the quirky games and chatty tone means it’s not a chore to log on every day. Think of it as a far more productive Candy Crush!
Hands up who’s guilty of wanting to fast track EVERYTHING? Shopping, work, workouts, the entire week just so we can get to the weekend… well now you can fast-track your meditation too. Using MetaMusic (story-telling tunes with specific frequencies that speed up your journey into deep relaxation), the Freemind app then gets to work focusing on what it believes to be the three pillars of happiness – Peace, Power and Purpose. Promising listeners years’ worth of meditation in a matter of months. While we can’t confirm or deny this (yet); topics such as managing stress, changing habits and being healthier make it relevant to everyday life. Plus, the meditation options come with or without guidance so if you just want a quickfire relaxation session minus a voiceover, the choice is yours.