7 Free Apps That Will Improve Your Life
I’ve been doing a little digging and found seven apps that I believe will improve our daily lives in small but significant ways either through sleep, food, health or learning french (Oui?.. Non?..), and since we are all permanently broke/saving for a holiday in Bali I have only included apps that are free.
H E A D S P A C E
This is my favourite app on the list, and one that I already use almost every single day. HeadSpace is an app that was developed by Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk with a degree in Circus Arts (um hi cool…). The app provides guided meditation training for a range of different needs and levels of experience. I was first introduced to meditation at the start of this year as a way to manage my anxiety and I’ve been using HeadSpace to guide me through 10-20 minute sessions. If you’ve ever wondered what meditation actually is, how it works or why we need it, HeadSpace is the perfect place to start. Meditation has been proven to improve focus, relieve anxiety and reduce stress. Plus, it may be the only 10-30 minutes of your day dedicated solely to you. Andy narrates the entire app; guiding you through each session, using clever analogies to explain how the brain works and congratulating you as you reach different milestones on your road to mindfulness. His voice is soft, kind and it somehow feels like he is speaking directly to you. Like the boyfriend we never had…
S I D E C H E F
Twenty-something’s are not always known for their creativity or expertise in the kitchen. We are egg-scramblers and toast-makers at best, and the microwave is an integral tool in our daily lives. SideChef wants to bring out the Nigella in all of us by creating an app filled with over 3000 recipes from well known chefs, food bloggers and normal people (shout out to normal people killing it!). Each recipe is broken down into smaller steps so it feels completely managable and there are videos, timers and measurements to take out all the fuss and confusion. SideChef caters for everything (Pun? Cater? Get it? No?), from a summer dinner party to a simple poached egg, and provide little tips and tricks like how to pit an avocado without loosing a finger.
N I K E T R A I N I N G C L U B
The Nike+ Training Club app takes all the confusion and effort out of working out because they design the workout for you, based on what you want to achieve and how long you want to work out for. The app has over 100 workouts from Nike athletes and trainers that are designed to motivate and challenge you to smash your goals, with guest appearances from inspiring women like Serena Williams and Ellie Goulding. The app has girl power in spades, but no one will inspire you more than Kiwi master trainer Kirsty Godso who literally has burpees for breakfast.
D U O L I N G O
Oh my god let’s learn French and eat croissants! Duolingo is an app designed to help people learn a new language through a series of fun and friendly bite-sized quizzes that will actually hold your interest. The app has different levels so if you still remember some of your high school Spanish then you can jump ahead and feel all kinds of sophisticated. This is the perfect app for anyone who has ever wanted to dabble in a bit of Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Irish, Dutch, or Swedish.
T E D
The Twenties Club is obsessed with TED Talks. It’s the best way to kill time without feeling guilty because every TED Talk is thought-provoking and insightful in some way, so you always walk away with something to think about. The TED App has over 2000 TED Talks to choose from, presented by incredible people from all walks of life, covering everything from tech and science, to psychology, entrepreneurship and the power of love. The talks are arranged by topic and mood, and you can bookmark talks you want to watch later or download talks to watch offline.
Oh, the things we would do to bring back nap time… HOW GOOD WAS IT?! The school teacher would get everyone to lie down on a comfy mattress for 30 minutes of shut eye and we would wake up feeling rested and refreshed only to find out it was SNACK TIME?! What a time to be alive! Sleep Cycle is an app that discovered that waking up well is really all about timing. The app’s alarm clock tracks your sleep patterns using the accelerometer in your iPhone (the part that knows when you turn it sideways) to sense when you are in a “light sleep” and wakes you at the optimal time in your “wake up phase”. For example, if you set your alarm for 8am and a “20 minute wake up phase”, then if Sleep Cycle senses you are in a light sleep at 7:52am, it will wake you at that moment so that you feel significantly better than if you had woken at 8am when you are in the middle of a deep sleep.
C H E A T S H E E T
There is nothing super fancy about this app, it is just really helpful and convenient, like your favourite nude-coloured bra. The idea behind Cheatsheet is to provide fast access to tiny chunks of information you never remember but really need to like your hotel room number, your car’s number plate, Wi-Fi passwords, or the user ID to your gym membership you never use.