It’s the start of a new month, and September is also the time when new terms and semesters start, where those of us outside of education start to wonder about decluttering ready for the winter, where many of us start to hunker down and pull out the warmer clothes.
I’d actually planned a slightly different post to the one I’m writing. What with the starting new school years or going to university, I thought about producing a Super Seven Accessories for your Desk, but then I thought about it and realised there was something else that would be far better, and would perhaps link in to September being Suicide Prevention Month.
I’ve had my fair share of mental health issues, both from my own experiences, but also with people in my family. I won’t go too into detail on it all – for one, the experiences of my family are not mine to speak about, and for another, I’m not ready to talk a lot about situations that I myself have experienced. But what I can do is share what helps me and my own mental health, and perhaps with so many people starting afresh and wondering how to declutter their minds, their surroundings, and just thinking about health in general, I can help a little.
We’re so focused on our digital technology these days, I decided to share Super Seven Apps to help with wellbeing and your health. That encompasses mental as well as physical and emotional health. Maybe they’ll help, maybe they’ll just be interesting, but they help me day by day, even if I don’t use them every day. I have used all of these apps over the years, and they’ve helped in different ways. Some I have used and moved on from, but they helped at the time and that’s what matters.
So, without further ado, here are Seven Apps to help with Wellbeing, from physical health to organisation. They’re in alphabetical order rather than the best of them at the top, because, quite frankly, I love them all.
If you’ve got an Amazon account and haven’t tried audiobooks before, I suggest you trial this out. The first month is 99p, months 2 and 3 are free, and then it’s £7.99 per month thereafter. You get a credit a month you can use for any book (and considering the price of some of those books, I think £7.99 is well worth it).
I only use Audible for non-fiction books, as I just haven’t ended up buying any fiction books. I’d much rather use it for non-fiction and maybe do some art whilst listening.
I’ve listened to some great books as a result of Audible, many of them self-help books, and that’s one of the reasons why I recommend the App as something to help with mental health. If you struggle to sit down and read, at least with Audible you can listen while you’re cooking dinner, while you’re commuting, going out for a walk, or while doing any of your chores (I listen while cleaning, actually, so that’s a few hours every week).
Some of the books I’ve listened to are:
I read them prior to starting my book reviews, and actually I loved the Mark Manson books so much I ended up buying physical copies for myself. I thoroughly recommend all of those books, but honestly, there’s hundreds upon hundreds of audiobooks out there for whatever you’re into. I completely believe reading helps with your mental health, and it’s funny how when you’re finished you feel happier, like you’ve achieved something, especially when reading non-fiction.
So that’s my first recommendation. Check it out if you haven’t already.
I’ve just started using this App for my physical fitness, as, I’ll be honest, I’m not all that great at keeping fit. I’m grateful that my weight is ok, though I do try to only eat two meals a day and just have a snack for lunch. But there’s always more I can do, and with the weather changing I know I’ll be going out for walks less and less as the autumn turns into winter. So, having previously followed along with Joe Wicks’ P.E. with Joe last year (which I really enjoyed, and heads-up, the videos are all on YouTube), I decided to go forth and purchase the App.
It’s great so far. I’ve only been using it for 2 weeks, but I really like the layout and easy-to-use aspect of it. I started off inputting a load of stats like my weight and size of my arms, waist, legs etc. I’m just a beginner, and there’s a month-long routine of 4-5 exercises I can do each week. I try to do the 30 minute exercises either early in the morning or after work during the week, so I have the weekend off.
There’s also a bunch of great recipes in the App, and Joe’s adding to them all the time.
I’ve already found that after I do the exercise I feel more alert and happier in my mood. I just feel energised, and I sort of prefer doing the exercises after work at 5pm, so I’m finished with the whole routine of warm-up, main exercise, and cool down by 5:45pm, and then I’ve got the evening to myself. Let’s face it, usually in that time we’re travelling home after work, so we’re usually home by 6pm anyway. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.
So yes, if you want to improve your mental wellbeing, exercise is a great thing to do. Even if you don’t use the App itself, you can find a load of his exercises on his YouTube channel. But honestly, a half hour walk every day will do wonders.
The App has a one week trial, and then costs £14.99 a month – less than a gym membership and something you can do from the comfort of your own home without having to worry about everyone around you. I know for myself I’m very self-conscious going into a gym, and these days post-COVID, I’m hesitant to go back. So the App was a great purchase in my opinion.
While I don’t use Calm very much anymore, there was a time where I had it to hand just in case I was having problems sleeping. Except for several months last year, I usually have no problems – which is why I don’t use Calm very much. But if you find yourself struggling to settle down at night, the Calm App is a great thing to start using.
It’s one of the top Apps for meditation and sleep. It gives you loads of stories to listen to at night, to help you sleep. It offers music to listen to, and it provides a multitude of meditations you can follow along with. It even has a few fitness routines, though unlike The Body Coach App, they’re more for winding down or light movements.
As I mentioned, I only used it for a short time – mainly for the stories, which I really liked. I’d recommend it if you struggle to sleep, or if you’re interested in doing some meditation.
It’s free to start, but the free version only offers so much. If you want full access it’s £28.99 a year.
I journal everyday (usually), and tend to write my gratitudes down in that, but for a little while I used an App to write what I was grateful for. It’s a nice way of getting to the heart of your life, how even the small things like a hot cup of tea and a book, right up to the people around you are all important, and things you should be grateful for. There’s a lot going on in the world and a lot of the time we focus on the negatives instead of looking at all the positives and, as it were – being grateful and recording it for future perusal.
The App Gratitude is a way of daily inputting these things you are grateful for. You can add photos, quotes, a journal piece, whatever you like. It’s just a lovely way of keeping track.
I loved the layout of it, the colours, and the fact that the App is free. You even get daily quotes from the App pop up, to inspire you.
Like I said, the App is free, and if you’re wanting to save space and time in terms of skipping the written journal, this App is a great way to do that.
I love colouring books. I have quite a few, including a Christmas one which I get out every December (it’ll take me a while to get through all those pages).
But my mum found this App and recommended it, and I honestly love it. There are so many pictures you’ll never reach the end. There are new ones added daily – including to the ‘Picture of the Day’. There are themes like Disney and Mosaics, Interiors, and Comic Book Characters.
And what’s better? It’s free.
When I had a really tough time last year I was on this App a lot, as it was one of the few things that didn’t trigger my anxieties, and it helped to pass the time while each day I got that little bit better, that little bit stronger, and my anxieties began to slip away.
I use it a lot less these days, as I’m honestly so busy I can’t keep up with it! But on occasion, into the evening, I might sit and listen to some music or an audiobook, and I’ll open this App up and begin colouring.
It’s very simple to use. You just go through all the colours and tap on each area that is numbered. It’s a little like painting with numbers, except it’s colouring on the Tablet/Phone screen.
If you’re a fan of being a bit more creative, but not sure where to start and just want something to get you in the mood, I definitely recommend it. It truly helps ease your mind and calm your anxieties down.
I used to use Headspace daily a few years ago, but my use of it has slipped a little in the last few years. I’ve actually stepped away from meditation for a number of reasons.
But if you’re interested in meditation, or just looking for a good App for it, Headspace is my favourite. It’s really easy to use, and I really liked the guided meditation voiceover. You can choose the length of whatever meditation you go with, from 5 minutes to half an hour. There are longer meditation sessions, and Headspace has broadened into other areas of wellbeing like sleep and movement. If you want something with a range of things to help with your mental and physical wellbeing, I thoroughly recommend it.
The cost for the App is either £9.99 per month, or £49.99 per year (although I think there’s an offer on at the moment of £29.99). You get a week’s free trial to start with, so if you’re unsure, I’d definitely take up the free trial of this App. You won’t regret it.
We’re onto the final App of this post, and it’s not just an App, it’s an online programme too. Part of what helps my mental wellbeing is tracking all of my work, jobs outside work, and even my monthly goals and yearly resolutions.
I’m an organised person at heart, and I love Trello as a place where I can create a way of organising my time a bit better. I use it for work and personal time, tracking my blog posts all the way to my explorations for the month and books I want to read.
There’s a lot you can do with Trello. I have the basic free version, and that’s enough for me, but you can develop it further if you’re using it for work, building teams and workflows.
In terms of wellbeing, I just feel so much better looking at my Personal Board and seeing all my goals and lists of things I want to do in one place, and it’s oh so nice to tick things off.
You set-up a board first, giving it a personal touch by adding a background image of your choice to it. Then it gives you the options of creating columns, and then ‘cards’. For my Personal Board, as an example, I have columns for each day of the week, a ‘monthly general to-do’ column, and a ‘completed’ column. You then create ‘cards’ with your to-do, and you can move that card throughout the different columns, moving it from day to day, until it’s completed and you move it to the ‘completed’ column. A nice touch I’ve done is include the emoji 🎉 in the ‘completed’ column name, so every time I move a card into that column, a bunch of animated firework ribbons erupt from the card in celebration.
Each card you can click on and open up to include notes, files, images, multiple checklists, due dates, add tags onto each of the cards to filter the different key projects out, and you can even add pictures to the ‘card cover’.
It’s a great piece of software, and you can get the App on your phone or tablet, linking in with the website login.
If you’re one to organise your life, manage your time a bit better, I say check this App out. Time management absolutely helps my mental wellbeing, and maybe it’ll help you too.
That’s it for all the Apps I recommend! I hope you have found something of use to you, and please – add in any other Apps into the comments! I’m always up for trying out a new App.
Kate @ Kandid Chronicles x