Self-care has become a literal commodity in this modern age of wellness, with companies, emerging industries, and consumer products all buying in. And that's with good reason, given that self-care practices are essential for upholding our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. But even with this widely understood and accepted reality that prioritizing the mind, body, and soul is crucial for living a well life, we get busy. So busy, in fact, that squeezing in that special me-time can sometimes be a challenge. That's where self-care apps come into play.
Self-care apps are designed to make achieving your wellness goals and staying on top of your self-care practices simple. Because when your self-care rituals exist in the palm of your hand, it's so much easier to reap their benefits while still being convenient and motivating you to stay consistent. Whether you're looking for workout inspiration, therapy, or sleep-optimizing tips, you're covered with the eight self-care apps outlined below. All you have to do is download.
Ready to step up your self-care game? Here are 8 self-care apps to download, stat.
1. Think Dirty
If your go-to self-care practices involve pampering with face masks and bubble baths, Think Dirty is an excellent app to have on hand (er, phone). With this self-care app, you can scan an item or search the database of more than 4,000 brands and 1.4 million beauty- and personal-care products to learn how "dirty" a product is based on the potentially harmful ingredients they contain. And if you find that one of your favorite products are on the dirty list, don't fret. You can also find cleaner options to try right on the app.
Price: $4.99 one-time fee
Thinking of implementing a gratitude journaling habit, but don't have the time? Give the Five Minute Journal app a try. Each journal entry includes a place to jot down what you're grateful for, your intentions for the day, and an affirmation in the morning. There's also space to check in at night and reflect on what amazing things happened that day and how you could have improved the situation. And since it only takes five minutes, why not? You can even attach a photo to each entry and turn it into a digital photo diary.
3. The Pattern
Whether you're an astrology buff who knows their way around a natal chart or you're a total newbie who has no idea what a rising sign is, The Pattern app has mood-boosting, soul-nourishing info to offer. Input your birth details (date, time, location), and it'll pull up information about your personality without hard-to-understand jargon. It also tells you what significant phases (healing wounds, relationships shifts, career expansion—for example) are happening in your life at the moment, which can help you better understand and navigate those situations.
Price: Plans start at $65 per week
Talkspace is like having a therapist in your pocket, literally. When you sign up, the app matches you with a licensed therapist, whom, based on your needs, you can then message via text, audio, or video chat pretty much all day, every day. The therapists can support you with a variety of stressors you may deal with, including anxiety, depression, relationships, PTSD, goal-setting, and more. And in case you still crave a real-time connection, you can upgrade your plan to include live video sessions. Yes, it's pricier than a number of other self-care apps available, but it's novel for making therapy more accessible, affordable, and convenient for so many people.
Self care can be as simple as just putting down your phone, which, granted, isn’t always an easy thing to do. So if you could benefit from some digital-detox motivation or a straight-up reality check, download the Moment app. It'll track how much time you spend on your phone, down to the minute. Fair warning, though: You may feel a bit horrified by the percentage of your waking day you're actually spending on your phone. If you upgrade your subscription, you also get access to the Moment Coach feature, which includes daily exercises to establish a healthier relationship with your digital device and get some hours back of your life.
6. Grace Space
Price: $11.11 per month
Want to take your meditation practice up a notch? Try hypnosis, which takes you into a deep state of relaxation to shift your mental state on a subconscious level. In other words, it's "meditation with a goal." The Grace Space app, created by hypnotherapist Grace Smith, features a robust library of customizable hypnosis meditations. Select how you want to feel (happy, sleepy, confident, abundant, etc.), the length of the hypnosis session (12, 22, or 42 minutes), and the background sounds (waves, rain, ambient noise) of your choice.
Price: $19.99 per month
If not having enough time is your biggest challenge when it comes to working out, the Sweat app has you covered. No need to make a time-consuming commute to the gym or yoga studio and back; instead, just whip out your phone and get started on a 28-minute high-intensity workout. You can select different programs depending on your goals, including personal trainer Kayla Itsines's cult-beloved Bikini Body Guide (BBG) program. You’ll also find weekly meal plans and recipes on the app.
8. Sleep Cycle
Sleep is arguably the ultimate form self care because without a baseline of quality sleep, it's challenging to show up as your best self throughout your day. The Sleep Cycle app helps you track how many hours of sleep you're getting. And the best part is that it finds the ideal window of time to wake you up so that you feel mega-rested. You can also upgrade to the premium paid version for additional snazzy features, like heart-rate monitoring and long-term sleep-trend tracking.
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