Remember “there’s an app for that”? That’s essentially me whenever tells me they want to start incorporating practices like choosing foods with whole ingredients or beginning a meditation practice. We’re all spending so much time on our phones every single day and it occurred to me some years ago I could actually use some of that screen time to improve my physical and mental health practices!
In high school, I would force my mom to spend an extra 30 minutes at the grocery store because I wanted to scan every single food item to learn more about their ingredients. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was finding myself waking up stressed and overwhelmed every single day and became curious about how meditation might be able to help me. When I’m in the market for a new beauty product, I never press the check out button until I’ve fully vetted it using the EWG’s HealthyLiving app!
Information is power, and having resources at my fingertips has empowered me to make the choices that are going to serve me over time. Want to join me? Check out the best health apps for iPhone and Android.
Diet & nutrition
Fooducate is an app that I’ve had on my phone and been using for years. Its biggest functions are to track your food intake, save recipes and search various foods to learn more about the nutritional content.
My favorite feature of Fooducate is the ‘Food Finder’ tool, where you can scan the barcode of a food item to learn more about the nutritional content.
Fooducate has a grading scale for all of the items in their catalog based on its ingredients, nutritional content and more! I don’t inherently believe in grading food, but it is helpful in the age of greenwashing to shed light on what ingredients might be lurking in a food marketed to a wellness market. Additionally, Fooducate will provide alternatives that have graded higher, which can help make easy swaps in the kitchen!
RELATED: What’s ‘healthy’ for one person might not be for another – why traditional diets don’t work.
Cronometer is a great nutrition and caloric intake tracker. We love Cronometer here at MIMC because we can work in tandem with our patients who need nutrition support right from an app!
Health professionals can create accounts with Cronometer and set metrics for their patients based on caloric intake or macros to fit any goal.
Its easy-to-use platform includes a place to keep track of your water intake, log the supplements you take daily and scan barcodes to add foods easily.
RELATED: 5 tips for mindful eating.
Flo is my preferred cycle tracker, and trust me, I have tried them all. I like Flo’s easy-to-use platform and the ability to see monthly data right from the home screen! Flo will give you reminders about the start of a cycle and ovulation. You can add as much data to the app as you’d like, by inputting symptoms every day of your cycle in categories like mood, symptoms, discharge, sex, and sex drive.
Daysy and Tempdrop are both cycle tracking and ovulation prediction devices that have created their own platforms to store historical data and provide insights on fertility. Tempdrop tracks BBT (basal body temperature) through a monitor worn on the arm while sleeping. It records your temperature first thing in the morning and will alert you when your temperature rises about 1 degree, which signals the start of your ovulation window.
Daysy tracks ovulation by requiring users to take their temperature via a specific thermometer each morning and it automatically sends the reading straight to the app! Learn more about how to use Daysy and order your own device, our readers receive $15 off their own device using this link!
HealthyLiving was created by the Environmental Working Group, a social welfare organization whose aim is to educate consumers on the safety of chemicals used in farming and the cosmetics industry.
Their app’s catalog features over 120,000 products, many of which might be sitting on your shelf at home! You can scan the product you’re curious about and HealthyLiving will give it a score based on the ingredients listed. It breaks down each ingredient by explaining what it is, what its purpose in the product is, and how it might be affecting your health. Similar to other apps we’ve discussed, HealthyLiving will propose cleaner alternatives to help you make easy swaps.
Think Dirty is another popular app created by an independent organization that works to uncover truths about the chemicals used in the cosmetic industry. It performs similarly to the EWG’s app except that its sole focus is on beauty products and does not include any food items.
I personally prefer the HealthyLiving app by the Environmental Working Group. It’s great to cross check products on both apps to see what each organization has to say!
RELATED: How to green your beauty routine.
Sleep Cycle is another app that has been on my phone on and off for nearly a decade! Sleep Cycle works as a sleep tracker through the night and then an alarm in the morning.
It’s designed to set your alarm off within a 15, 30, or 45 minute window where you’re in the lightest phase of sleep. Rather than trying to bounce out of bed coming off of REM sleep, you can slowly start your day by feeling more awake when your alarm goes off.
The app also keeps track of how quickly you fall asleep after setting your alarm, your movement and noises throughout the night, and how much sleep you’re actually getting compared to how long you’re in bed for.
Sleep health is integral to our overall health and getting up to date insights on where you’re lacking can help set a better nighttime routine!
Headspace is my all-time favorite mediation app. It has a great beginners to meditation course where you complete short 3-10 minute meditations every day for a week. There are meditation series, guided meditations and sleepcasts to help your mind relax at any time of the day! If you run out of free meditations, you can always try their paid subscription to expand the offerings available to you.
BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that provides mental health support directly at your fingertips. With professionals ranging from psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, to licensed professional therapists, and other credentials, you can receive mental health support at the drop of a hat. We are huge proponents of talk therapy and truly believe every individual can benefit from working with a licensed professional.
There you have it, some of the apps I use to incorporate better physical and mental health practices into my everyday routine!
Do you use any of these apps? Let us know if you’d like to see part two of health and wellness apps we love!
Katie is our champion of member experience. You’ll meet her at our admin desk, or chat with her over the phone answering all your questions and making sure your patient care with us is seamless. When she isn’t running our office, she’s buried in a good book, shopping local vintage stores & baking delicious treats!