Healthy apps to make your life better
Liz Connor runs down the health-related apps you need to download now.
SMARTPHONES often get a bad rep for having a negative impact on our time, mood and happiness, but some apps can actually help change your life for the better.
We've run down just a few apps that promise to help banish stress, restore harmony, and give your time the upgrade it's probably long overdue...
1) Pocket yoga
If getting to the gym for that 6am sunrise yoga session still feels like a struggle, roll out a mat in your living room and try an app workout instead. This one recreates the experience of being in a professional studio with soothing music, a gentle audio guide and helpful animations to help you to correctly sink into every pose.
2) Stop, Breathe And Think
Stop, Breathe And Think is a handy app that reminds you to check in with your breath during moments of stress and anxiety throughout the day, helping you stop negative or unhelpful thoughts from spiralling out of control.
Every time you log in, you'll be asked to rate your mood, so the app can pair you up with the most helpful mindfulness exercises for that moment. As you continue using the app, it tracks your mood over time, helping you identify patterns. Visit stopbreathethink.com.
Shielding your eyes from your bank balance every time you try to take money out of an ATM? Time to download a money organising app: Monzo helps you to set a reasonable budget for the month, and uses easy-to-decipher graphics to show you exactly where your money is being spent - from food and drink to shopping and travel.
4) Super Better
The summer's coming to an end, but thankfully being happy is a skill you can cultivate at any time of year – or so believe the creators of Super Better.
Sign up, choose a goal and add 'quests' to your account to help you brain-train your way to a more positive mindset while earning points for mental, emotional, social and physical resilience.
Evernote is one of the best note-taking apps out there. It's a handy place where you can digitally dump to-do lists, interesting web links, photos of business cards, snippets of audio and so on.
It's really easy to search and filter through your old notes – no more scrabbling through handbags for that errant receipt from three months ago.
Period-tracking tool Clue uses data to help you know when to expect your period and when you're going through PMS – it even tracks how many tampons you usually use so that you can be prepared in the future.
It's also helpful for couples who are trying to get pregnant; it can predict your fertility, alerting you the time of the month where you're most likely to conceive.
7) My Possible Self
If you're struggling with anxiety or depression, this app is a good tool to have on-hand for moments where you need a pocket therapist.
Following an initial assessment, you'll be given three emotions to track over time, like irritability, loss, motivation and confidence. It's up to you to then build your own customised plan, and work through modules of exercises to help ease the negative feelings that come with stress and change.
This app can help ensure you stay well hydrated: set your daily goal and then log how many glasses you drink per day. If you often get sidetracked from regular water breaks, it also has an alert feature that can buzz you every time you need a top-up. Bottoms up.