While our screen-centric society can make it difficult to check in with what your body and mind really need to thrive, there’s a new generation of apps and products designed to help you put your well-being at the top of your to-do list. Here are 6 to try today.
- Mojo: Mojo encourages users to practice gratitude as part of their daily routine. When you open the app, you’re met with a blank screen that reads “I’m grateful for…” with space for you to jot down what you’re most thankful for that day. The app (which keeps all of your data private) lets you add photos or emojis, so you can express your gratitude in whatever way suits you best. Research suggests practicing gratefulness can help train your brain to see the positive aspects of your life and improve your overall well-being.
- Focus Booster: The Focus Booster app centers on a timer that uses the Pomodoro technique to help you work effectively. You pick a project, start the timer, and work for 25 minutes before you take a 5-minute break, then repeat. The app tracks how long you spend on each project so you can reflect on what habits worked best for you and make helpful adjustments on the fly. The goal is to help you schedule your time at work so you can maximize your productivity and make time for other important activities, like leaving work on time to make dinner with your family or blocking time on your calendar for a walk.
- Headspace: Headspace makes meditation simple and quick, offering easy-to-follow guided meditations that run under 10 minutes per session. The app is geared toward both seasoned meditators and people just beginning to get into mindfulness. It gives you the option to download guided meditations so you can listen offline and offers reminders that gently nudge you to take a few minutes out of your day to meditate. Taking a quick break to center yourself offers big benefits, as more and more research shows that meditation helps calm down your body and mind.
- Nike+ Training Club: Nike+ Training Club is like carrying a tiny personal trainer around in your pocket. The app offers more than 100 workouts sorted by duration, intensity, and goal (like cardiovascular fitness, flexibility or strength). Some are as short as 15 minutes—perfect for when you’re crunched for time—and you have the option to watch a step-by-step video of each move so you feel comfortable with your form. You can also choose a workout based on what equipment you have at your disposal. Plus, the app offers personalized plans to help you hold yourself accountable, noting when you’ve missed planned workouts and helping you get back on track.
- Joy Trigger: Thrive Global’s Joy Trigger Chrome extension is an easy way to add joy and self-care to your workday. Every time you open a new tab or browser window, you’ll get adorable animal imagery and actionable, science-based tips to increase workplace productivity and well-being, from “Feeling overwhelmed at work? Take a second to tidy your desk and workspace” to “Need a mood boost? Smell an orange to feel better, increase alertness, and reduce anxiety.” The best part about Joy Trigger is that you’re actually increasing your productivity while getting a dose of adorableness: Researchers from Hiroshima University in Japan found that looking at pictures of cute baby animals (called kawaii in Japan) can boost your concentration and focus.
- The Philips Wake-up Light: This high-tech alarm harnesses the scientifically backed power of light to help you wake up refreshed in the morning and drift off more easily at night. When it gets close to the wake-up time you’ve set, the Wake-up Light’s orange-hued light mimics the rising sun, allowing your body to wake up more naturally. (Don’t worry—there’s also an actual alarm, or in this case a nature sound, just in case you’re a deep sleeper.) It also automatically dims the light when it gets dark at night, encouraging you to power down for bed. Most importantly, the device makes it easy to disconnect from your phone before you go to sleep, so that you can say goodnight to your phone, leave it outside the bedroom and enjoy a blissful, screen-free sleep.