I’m a book kind of person, not a Kindle or a tablet sort of girl. I prefer paper and ink, the sound of crisp pages turning and the excitement I feel when I buy colourful or metallic stationery. So I’ve surprised myself over the years at just how much I love apps. It’s been a gradual process but apps do have an advantage over books in many ways. I particularly like the way they feel manageable and easy to ‘dip into’.
So here are my top six wellbeing apps that I use and why I like them.
This is my new favourite app! With support from ‘Freelance Mum’ Annie Ridout, Clementine app was created for women by Kim Parker after she developed severe anxiety while pregnant and then newly promoted at work. Hypnotherapists and sleep experts have prerecorded a series of really supportive meditations and mantras to help with confidence, stress and sleep. I’m studying hypnotherapy at the moment so I’m particularly interested in this app. In fact, I also wrote a blog post for these guys recently about ‘Micro Resolutions’ – check it ooot!
I love the “take a breather” session on this app – click play and within five minutes you’ll be feeling on track again, and the “Sleep” sessions have been great too. I’ve listened to the “deep sleep” session before bed, and woke up the next day more refreshed – it actually works people! Try it! You’ll also love the affirmations. I have various ones I’m testing out as part of my studies and you can simply add your own affirmations, or ask the app to surprise you. You can then set the app to send you reminders of your affirmations throughout the day. Lovely.
Calling all dreamers. This app can help to influence your dreams! It also helps you to keep an eye on your sleep cycle and it does this by monitoring your level of movement through the night . You can also select your chosen “soundscape” which is how it can help influence your dreams. Now this is the great bit. If you’re a lucid dreamer like me, you can also set it so that you’re woken during the optimum part of your sleep cycle. The idea being that you fall back to sleep again and are more likely to have a lucid dream. But that’s a whole other blog post about lucid dreaming! At the end of the night you’re presented with a graph of your sleep cycle, and you can set the app so that you wake up more gently than you would with an alarm.
This was an accidental discovery! We actually used this app for our little girl when she was a baby and toddler; the sound of the hair dryer would send her off to sleep and of course, it wasn’t practical or safe to keep an actual hair dryer going through the night, and so we discovered this! There are other settings which play the sound of water and waves. I’ve kind of become addicted to this and still now – three and a half years on. Our daughter doesn’t use it any longer but I still I listen to the sound of waves as I go to sleep and throughout the night. It evokes the most amazing beach-themed dreams!
4. Head Space
We all appreciate that mindfulness has great benefits on our wellbeing. Not only on our mood but in the way we tackle life. It’s been proven. But it is often tricky to keep up a practice. I used to have a fairly regular Buddhist meditation practice which has since lapsed. But, the Head Space app has been a great way to get back in the game. I’d also say it’s a good starting point for anyone new to meditation. It’s a beautifully designed app that gives you 10 meditations and four brief videos explaining what meditation is, along with a series of facts and questions. You can opt to pay for the full use of the app but the free recordings are good.
This is my favourite meditation app at the moment. I prefer it to Head Space because it’s feels more grounded and there’s more of a community vibe. It also offers a really eclectic and broad selection of different guided meditations, there’s something to suit everyone – 14,000 different meditations in total! Don’t just take my word for it. It’s home to more than 6,100,000 meditators and is rated as the top free meditation app on the Android and iOS stores.
A good friend of mine recommended this and I’ve been using it for well over a year now. It’s a way to track your menstrual cycle. My period used to always take me by surprise every month, not any more. Over the space of a few months, it gets to understand your cycle. You manually input how long your period lasts and the app then predicts when you’re next due. Genius. No surprises. It can track your energy levels appetite, skin, digestion and also when you’re most fertile.