7 of my favourite apps on my phone serve me for wellness. These are apps that I use as frequently as social media ones, and that’s saying a lot! It’s beautiful to me that we are in a time when even our well-being can be digitized and optimized for our convenience and care. Personal tech meets self-care. My favourite wellness apps that I’m sharing are neither fancy nor trendy, but rather simply and utilitarian. They work with my lifestyle. So here they are:
Qur’an Pro Muslim
All glory be to God! Can I get an Amin? Nothing grounds me as much as my faith does, and Qur’an is a vehicle that facilitates this grounding for me in many ways. Unfortunately, I never pursued Madrassa fully and never became a Hafidh (one who has committed the Qur’an to memory). However, this app helps me listen to, and continuously learn from, the word of God. I have a relatively anxious soul and listening to Qur’an verses helps calm me and give me incomparable comfort. This app offers recitations, bookmarking options and easy access to verse searches when I need them. The verses come in Arabic (of course) and translations to your language of choice and can even be used when offline. Plus Alhamdulillah, it’s a free app. I recommend having a sacred text app for anyone who believes.
Speaking of the Qur’an, the first verse ever revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was “Read!” and I have always held on to that and taken it very literally. Which has made me a lover of literature. For as long as I can remember, books have been my very best friends and escape from reality. But I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of e-books. I prefer ones I can touch, carry around, and smell. Nothing beats a real-life physical book. Realistically though, e-books are convenient and I’ve had to make my peace with that. So aside from good ol’ PDFs I love the Epub Reader app because it allows me to read books that come in different electronic formats. I got introduced to this app via a WhatsApp group chat a former colleague added me to where fellow bibliophiles share books. It’s easy to use and store books, and add bookmarks. Like I said, convenient. Why is this part of my wellness app list? Because books give me the kind of peace and growth that contribute to my personal development and mental stimulation. They’re so enriching and my life would be very empty without them. The escape they afford me promotes my mental health. Period!
I’m not the healthiest or most active person. Actually, that’s one of the areas in my life that needs the most work. The intention is there but actioning it has not been without its challenges for me. I’m hoping to remedy that soon, as I always do. The health app that’s built-in on iOS comes in handy for me in tracking my activity as far as steps and flights of stairs taken in a day as well as distance covered. To most fit people with all their advanced tracking and exercise apps and gear, this seems like child’s play! But for someone who’s only form of a workout is usually just walking around (for shame), this is essential! I’m not at a point in my active life (or lack thereof) where a Nike FuelBand or such is something I’d actually utilize as it should be.
The iOS Health app enables me to keep tabs on when I’m being lazy (thank you pedometer!) and that gives me the kick in the pants to get up and move. With this, I can monitor my very basic activity and work on doing better. Hopefully, sometime in the near future I will advance my activity and work out so I can make use of more sophisticated health tech. Aside from activity, I love that it helps me track my water, coffee, minerals etc intake as well, under the Nutrition segment. When I pay attention, I can tell when and why what I take in affects my mood and activity. It’s easy peasy and enables me to “listen” to my body.
My sleeping pattern is shot! My dreams are a fantasy world in and of themselves. To say the least, my slumber is a subconscious sensation! Not always in the best way. So when I stumbled upon an article about this Pillow app, I knew I had to get it. With this app, you have to switch it on and keep your phone on charge because it runs all night (or all day, depending on when you turn in). Once it’s activated it uses your phone’s sensors to track everything about your sleep cycle from the time you get into bed, how long it takes you to fall asleep, light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep to when you wake up.
One of the best parts is that it monitors when the best moment to sound off the alarm is (according to the time you set it for) in relation to what part of the sleep cycle you’re in. I enjoy this because I don’t end up startled by the alarm when the app is on. It goes off when I’m in a lighter, less delicate sleep state a few moments near the alarm time. An in-app purchase I have explored is the recording function that tapes every sound you make during sleep. I’s fun to play back and listen to any sleep-talking etc. I can hear myself having nightmares y’all! Fascinating. The app graphs all this information and gauges the quality of sleep with emoji help 🙂 So now I can be more mindful of and take responsibility for my sleep. Paying attention to it gives me better quality sleep. The app also syncs with the iOS Health app for a better overall analysis of your being. Aces! Get this if only to hear yourself snore – which I absolutely don’t, because only Muggles do that!
Periods can be a real pain – literally and figuratively. Even when you’re a grown woman your period is going to stress and test you every once in a while, if not always. Clue is a period tracking app that helps me feel like I’ve got my $#!t together when it comes to this crimson tide that affects us for about half the year – counting the ovulation cycle and it’s hormonal aspects as well. Obviously, it works as a calendar where you can track your menstruation, ovulation and “safe days.” This is super for determining when to expect the next cycle and be prepared for it (sanitary wear, medication, etc). It For me, the cool part is that I can actually input the nature of flow i.e. light or heavy and a lot of other menstruation related occurrences like pain (cramps/headaches), cravings, skin condition, energy levels, and moods. Again, really promotes my mindfulness of self and my body. It archives my period history which helps me accurately answer the “when was the first day of your last period” question doctors always ask during a hospital visit. No guess work. And most importantly . . . to know when to have chocolate about my person 🙂
Plato once said “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Smart one, that one. A kindred soul. One of my deepest loves in life is music. I love everything about it. The artistry of good lyrics; the genius of composition; the whimsy of improv and adlibing; the emotions woven into songs that take hostage of your heart and memory. Music heals , excites and motivates me in equal measure. Gloriously. The iTunes Music app is so great because it has a fantastic library and I can listen to anything and everything I want to, any time! For the girl who was basically one with her Walkmans and Discmans growing up, writing lyrics down i counter books, having this app feels like sweet sweet nostalgia. I can hear my feelings or playlist myself into new ones just like that *snaps fingers.* It’s more than an app, it’s a basic necessity for me. So I say thank you for the music; for giving it to me!
In the spirit of song “Gratitude is a must!” It’s easy to forget that it is, especially when life has you down in the doldrums. There was a point in time when I was not quite so positive . . . well, let’s face it, there are a lot of times when that happens. I heard about the Gratitude app in a podcast one day and I downloaded it just to fulfill the instructions and recommendations advised in said podcast. A simple app. A journal of sorts. Basically, you write down what you’re grateful for. Anything at all. No matter how big or small. It’s customizable as far as colour (pretty pastels) and has functions like sending letters of gratitude to others, daily quotes and most importantly, you can lock it! So nobody has to see your personal thoughts and sentiments. It helps me remind myself of the important things in life and that however badly off it all seems, there’s always a reason to be grateful and appreciate yourself and life. I’m grateful for it.
So, these are the apps that help keep my sanity in check and my anxiety managed to some extent. I’m not claiming that they’ve transformed me into a fully balanced person but they have held my hand in my wellness journey. The more I grow, the more I explore and maybe I’ll have more conventional or sophisticated wellness apps in the future. For now, these serve me well and I have built my bonds with them. What wellness apps do you use? I’d love to know.