The iPhone is generally a menace to wellness: messing with your posture, robbing you of shut-eye with its glowy blue light, and allowing you no time for peaceful reflection.
But it can also do some amazing, healthy things.
From making it easy for you to find the nut butter that’s truly best for you to helping you squeeze in a five minute meditation as you settle into a long, uncomfortable flight, there were plenty of brilliant apps with innovative wellness concepts that launched in 2015.
We chose five that really stood out to set you up for a downloadable healthy new year (and yes, there’s even one that will help you finally find your workout soulmate). —Lisa Elaine Held
(Photo: William Iven via Unsplash)
Imagine if you had a personal (grocery) shopper who also happened to be a smart nutritionist or health coach.
That’s Ingredient1, an app that pulls together a database of more than 30,000 natural and organic foods, which you can search by dietary preferences and restrictions—from vegan or USDA organic to as detailed as the kind of sugar a product is made with or tasting notes like “chewy”—and then compare ingredient lists and nutrition facts, save product faves and shopping lists, and locate foods you want to buy nearby. It also regularly features product picks from healthy influencers, so you can learn to shop like, say, Karlie Kloss, too.
Alas, this app will not allow you to skip your annual gyno visit, but it can save you waiting room time for less crucial MD appointments.
Maven acts as a virtual women’s health clinic, allowing you to submit health questions (on nutrition, sexual health, prescription refills, etc.) and then matching you with a qualified medical professional for an appointment via video chat. So if you feel a UTI coming on on a Sunday when your doctor is out of office or are a new mom that needs some on-the-fly lactation advice, you can solve your issue quickly, starting at $18 for an appointment, without leaving home.
(Photo: Maven Clinic)
There are quite a few useful meditation apps out there, and this newcomer is notable for its variety of guided meditations that apply to modern life, in lengths that range from two to 20 minutes.
You can work through a 12-week daily meditation program or choose from a library of options that address inner growth (Positive Self Image, Embracing Change), specific situations (My Boss is a Jerk, Fight with Your Partner), and specific needs (Sport Performance, Chemotherapy). Whichever you land on, you’ll be going deep to the tune of founder Lynne Goldberg’s uber soothing voice, which you can even program to wake you up slowly via an alarm clock feature.
Bonus: OMG just launched a partnership with Delta’s in-flight TV, so when turbulence or a screaming baby strikes, you can click on Relaxing in the Clouds and float away.
(Photo: Facebook/OMG.I can meditate!)
Like Tindr for those that take their workouts very seriously, Sweatt is designed to help fitness buffs find love.
When you sign up, it asks you what time of day you like to sweat, how often you work out, and your favorite types of workouts (yoga, CrossFit, etc.), and then shows you people nearby that share your interests. If previous relationships have ended for you because your partner didn’t appreciate the sound of your pre-workout shake in the Vitamix at 5:00 a.m., this is for you. It’s linked/authenticated via Facebook, so the sign-up process is seamless. Currently, you can sign up to be added to the waitlist and the company says matches should start manifesting in January.
Wellcoin calls itself “the world’s first health currency,” and that basically means it allows you to earn monetary rewards in exchange for your healthy habits, like eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
You track your daily wellness activities via a variety of methods, like taking photos of your healthy snacks and then having others on the app “verify” their nutritiousness or linking your Fitbit or Runkeeper stats. Then, you get “Wellcoins” in return, which you can use to purchase items from the app’s Marketplace, like Whole Foods and Sports Authority gift cards, yoga classes, and discounts at retailers like Reebok. It’s basically like credit card points, but you sweat, sleep, and eat well (instead of spending money) to earn them.
More of an analog person? Check out the best health and wellness books of 2015…