I haven’t made a blog post since February! Wow! There goes my New Year’s resolution to make at least two posts every month this year. To be honest, lately I’ve been having a hard time with my anxiety, something I don’t usually talk about with anyone but my partner, my mom and my therapist. In recent weeks I feel like I’ve gotten a much better handle on things, so hopefully that will translate into more visible work here on The Verbal Thing.
To get us reacquainted, my partner suggested a while ago that I publish a post reviewing the apps in my “Health” folder on my iPhone. I dismissed the idea at first, but really, there are a handful of apps I use to maintain my body, mind, and spirit nearly every day. They’ve been endlessly helpful as I’ve tried to get my brain back on track. Maybe you’ll find them useful, too.
We’ll go through these in order, though the order of these icons doesn’t necessarily reflect the order in which I use these apps, or how often. It’s all just muscle memory based on when I downloaded the apps and how I thought they should be organized according to their color and purpose, as well as where they existed in other folders on my phone before I put them all together in this one.
- Apple Health | FreeThis app comes pre-installed on iPhones and has a few useful features, like the “Medical ID” page which can be updated with personal information like your name, birthdate, height and weight, medical conditions, allergies and reactions, current medications, and emergency contacts. In the event of an emergency, someone can access this page by tapping on the “Emergency” option in the bottom left corner of the lock screen. This gives me some comfort, since I always have my phone on me but I have occasionally left my apartment without my actual ID on me.I also like that this app draws from other apps to report on things like my average daily footsteps and my workouts (mostly bicycling, though I want to get more into yoga).
- Gaiam Yoga Studio & Gaiam Meditation Studio | $3.99 & $2.99 respectivelyWhen my partner and I bought yoga mats and bricks at Target a couple months ago, I opted to purchase the app advertised on the packaging of my Gaiam brand yoga mat. I love this app because it offers video classes with audio narration, so I can use my phone to do yoga sessions in my living room, office, or bedroom. Videos are grouped by difficulty and time, which is super helpful for finding the right workout.Confession: I haven’t used the Meditation Studio yet. I got the app for free through an offer from Starbucks (it was a featured app for members one week) and beyond some tentative exploration of the menus, I haven’t done anything with it yet. That being said, I suspect it will be as cool as the yoga app once I actively start using it!
- P Tracker Lite | Free
I’ve had this app on my phone since I purchased my first Android back in 2012. I always debate updating to the Deluxe version (for $1.99 in the App Store) mostly for the charts, but I don’t always input my moods or symptoms, so I’m not sure it’s worth it for me. I also don’t have interest in having children, so fertility and pregnancy tracking aren’t useful to me.P Tracker Lite does what I need: it keeps track of my period, sends me a reminder the day before I’m supposed to start, helps me track the length of my cycle, and tracks my start and end dates. It’s super convenient when the doctor asks me for that information, because prior to downloading this app, I did very poorly with tracking my period. Now I can make notes of the intensity of my cramps, my flow, and my symptoms and cravings. It’s super handy, especially when I’m busy and fail to pay attention to what my body is trying to tell me in the days leading up to my period each month.
- Plant Nanny | Free
If you have a hard time remembering to drink the proper amount of water (half your weight in liters!) every day, this app is absolutely for you. You set up your information when you download the app, like your age, weight, and preferred drinking vessel’s size. Then you set up reminders and pick a plant to grow.Every time you drink a full glass of water (or a full Nalgene bottle, which is my style), you record it in the app and your plant grows. If you neglect your drinking, your plant dies. It’s really great motivation for me, because I’m a sucker for cute digital things with faces and can’t stand to see them sad. I’ve grown three and a half plants so far. The little mushroom man above is my fourth!
- Strava | Free
I downloaded Strava several months ago after seeing it recommended online. It keeps track of my bike rides, including distance, time, and elevation. I use the free version, so my stats are somewhat limited, but I can’t bring myself to spend money to get more stats (even if they seem cool, I’m ultimately not training for anything or cycling competitively, so it feels like a waste of money for me).Strava is cool because it shows me proof in numbers of how often and how far I bike, which helps motivate me to set goals and then meet them. It’s super user-friendly and easy on the eyes, with options to link to social media accounts and more in order to share rides with friends. It also offers tracking for runners and swimmers, or people who are hella athletic and do any combination of the three!
- Sunset & Sunrise, Moon Phase | $2.99 for app bundle
I like to know what’s going on with the sun and the moon, especially the latter because my body reacts differently to different cycles of the moon. It’s also awesome to know how long the sun is going to be out if I’m going on a long bike ride or a walk. I don’t use these apps every day, but I do use them often. They’re extremely handy.
- Golden Thread Tarot | Free
I love this app. Of the apps on this list, I use this one, Plant Nanny and Strava the most. The Golden Threat Tarot app coincides with a (stunning) physical deck, offers free tarot reading lessons, and gives you a daily card as well as the option to ask questions and get responses in single card, three card, and Celtic Cross spreads.I like this app because it gives me the opportunity to practice my tarot reading even when I’m not at home or when I don’t have the time to do a full reading with my physical decks. It gives me quick readings on the go and helps me focus on events at hand, as well as giving me the option to log my cards and readings with notes and emotional responses. This app has done a lot of good for my anxiety and my emotional intensity since I downloaded it.
If you use these apps or decide to try them based on my suggestions, let me know! I’m always interested in tips and tricks for my favorite digital aids. If you have suggestions for apps I might like based on these, comment with those too! I’d love to check them out.