Hello dear friends!
In the second installment of My Favorite Things, I wanted to explore some of the iPhone apps that I use on a regular basis to bring me calm, clarity, and healing. I know that phones and other technologies sometimes get a bad rap in the holistic healing community, and yes, in general I think we should un-glue ourselves a bit from their grasps. BUT, let’s face it, they’re not going anywhere anytime soon, so why not take advantage of their usefulness to bring some good stuff into our lives? There’s no need to shame ourselves for looking too long at a screen, especially when we’re using it to play mindful games, meditate, or look up healthy recipes!
New and amazing apps are hitting the store every day, and more and more of them are becoming health and wellness focused. And while I don’t have a huge phone with tons of room on it (we all seem to be maxing out our storage, don’t we?), I set aside precious space for a few apps that I think are worthwhile. Here’s a handful of my favorites for you:
Unless you’re new to this blog, you’ve probably heard me mention Headspace before. It’s one of the best meditation apps out there, and so user-friendly that anyone can get in on the action. The app lets you take your meditation practice with you anywhere and everywhere, and helps keep you motivated to get some peace and quiet for yourself. You can set reminders to pop up on your phone, and see how many other people are meditating with you in real time. There are several specialized packs you can choose from, depending on your mood and what you’d like to work on in your life. Hands down one of my most-used and most-loved apps to make me healthier and happier!
This is a relatively new find, thanks to an article I read a couple of weeks ago, and I’m having fun with it so far. Basically, it’s a timeout for your brain that incorporates slow methodical movements and soothing sounds that have been scientifically demonstrated to reduce stress. It’s hard to explain exactly how it works or why, but I do feel more calm and focused after I’ve used it for a few minutes. It forces me to be 100% present, and is a nice way to break up the sometimes-hectic workdays. There are three “levels” of difficulty, and you can set a timer for a variety of time limits. Pause is downright mesmerizing, like a chill out game for stressed out adults.
3. iSleep Easy
The folks over at Meditation Oasis have done it again with this awesome wind-down app. Since I struggle with sleeping, I wanted to find something that specifically had meditations and exercises that would help with that. If you’ve ever searched for something similar, you’ll notice that there are lots of options out there, some of which are very fancy and expensive, but this one is well worth the $5. There are about a dozen pre-recorded guided meditations with various themes that you can mix and match and combine to make your very own sleep-inducing session. I’ve got 3-4 of my own custom playlists that I can fall back on when the insomnia strikes.
4. Sleep Cycle
A little while back, I wrote a blog about why I don’t wear a fitness tracker, but one thing that I do use is this sleep-specific statistical app. It may not be perfect, but it at least gives me an idea of my quality of zzz’s every night without being chained to a wearable fitness-focused piece of tech. This app works by measuring your movements and making a handy graph of your sleep quality and REM cycles. It also lets you put in sleep notes every night, which I use to track my medications, caffeine intake, and physical activity. It’s got a smart alarm system, relaxing nature sounds, and lots more as well. And since I’m a self-professed data geek, this app satisfies my desire to track lots of variables so I can hone in on the best sleep that I can get, which is a key to me feeling as well as possible.
I think that we can use modern technology to make our lives a little bit more peaceful and productive, so why not give it a try? I’ve got these four apps on my phone and use them every single day…what kinds of health and wellness apps do you have? Please share!
And as always,
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~