5 Apps I’m Using to Start 2021 Off Right

     Let’s be honest: New Year’s resolutions feel a little unrealistic right now. We’re all physically and emotionally exhausted, so it’s totally understandable if goal-setting isn’t your go-to. Personally, I’ve hit pause on the “new year, new me” mentality. Instead, I’ve been focusing on building small habits and clearing out my headspace for whatever lies ahead this semester. These five apps have helped me get started, and hopefully they can be great tools for you, too!


  1. Daily Haloha: Simply put, Daily Haloha is the stress-free zone that social media was meant to be. Each day, the app provides a reflection prompt for you to type a Tweet-length response to (for example, “The world feels magical when…”). After answering, you’ll receive someone else’s thoughts and send a ready-made reaction (like “You made me smile” or “You read my mind”). Lastly, your words get posted to the Haloha wall, where you can scroll through community responses and see what people around the world are thinking. It’s the perfect way to feel heard without worrying about the haters. 

  2. Notion: Essentially a digital bullet journal, Notion has everything you need to keep your schedule organized this semester. You can design databases to organize your assignments, create checklists to keep tabs on your progress, or pull up a blank page to take quick notes. Because it’s so customizable, it can be a little overwhelming to start your Notion from scratch, but there are tons of tutorials and templates designed specifically for college students. 

  3. Fitness by Apple: Okay, this one’s an Apple Watch accessory, but the Fitness app has been a great way for me to get a visual on my daily movement. Because your watch tracks your activity over the course of the whole day, exercise feels like less of a chore and more of a check-in for your body. Plus, I’ll admit it— closing your rings gets to be pretty addicting. If you don’t have an Apple Watch, the Health app can track the same stats through your phone. 

  4. Axios: It feels like fake news is at an all-time high, and the endless noise of news outlets can be pretty intimidating. I’ve been using Axios to stay informed without the anxiety— the app turns the day’s headlines into relatively neutral bullet points. You can get the gist of the story in two tiny paragraphs or expand each article to dig a little deeper. It’s a great way to kill time while you wait for your Common Grounds order. 

  5. Libby: With a schedule full of textbooks and tests, there’s usually no time to sit down with a book you genuinely enjoy. Libby does the hard work for you by putting thousands of titles at your fingertips— both digital copies and audiobooks are available for instant download! To use the app, you’ll need to link your library card, so you may need to renew it once you’re back home on break. After setting up, borrowing is easy! I love listening to an audiobook while cleaning up or walking around campus. 

     The bottom line is to stay in touch with your body and mind, not to get lost in the billions of tips and tricks out there. It takes time to figure out what works for you, but your future self will thank you for your patience. Best of luck in your personal wellness journey!