4 Wellness-adjacent Apps You Never Knew You Needed

It’s almost the end of midterm season, ladies! We did it, are doing it, are killing it, and will keep killing it through December. I’m sure of it! However, if you need a little extra help staying focused or motivated, here are four apps that have helped me relax, remain positive, and get inspired over the past year. 

I Am

I’ll admit it, I fall prey to virtually every Instagram ad that appears on my feed. Still, I Am was different. As school was ramping up early this semester and my self-esteem was decreasing, I Am caught my eye, as an application that supplies daily affirmations and reminders for self-care! An affirmation is a simple but powerful statement that helps boost confidence, bolstering the connection between your conscious mind and unconscious mind. I’ve struggled for a long time with conscious, negative thinking, so I Am has been such a gift. 

Even when I find its affirmations all too cheesy or ill-timed, the app forces me to recognize my self-worth and keep motivated. I am proud of who I am and can accomplish anything I set my mind to, whether a midterm exam or personal goal. We often want to just stay focused on schoolwork during midterm season. However, it’s just as important to make time for self-care. The app makes this easy with affirmations coming as notifications throughout the day! 

notifications on iPhone

Calm

Have you been having trouble sleeping lately? I know I have! While I want to maximize the time that I’m productive with my schoolwork, going to bed late and then waking up early never makes for a very motivated day. That’s why I downloaded Calm a short while ago, which is considered to be the #1 app for meditation and sleep. Much like affirmations, meditation allows you to slow your mind, think about things from a new perspective, and become more self-aware.

Calm features meditation and “sleep stories” led by basketball legends, astronauts, and actors alike — including Fran Drescher and Matthew McConaughey. What I like best about Calm may be its music selection, with several peaceful piano lullabies from Disney movies and other ambient albums to help calm me down at the end of a long day. Calm is free, so I highly recommend you give it a try on one of these stressful days!

woman practicing yoga and meditating

Focus Keeper

This app will be the death of me — in a good way, though, don’t worry. Focus Keeper does just what it sounds like, helping you keep your productivity high while avoiding burnout through the use of a timer. Instead of working against time or finding yourself distracted with Instagram halfway through a reading, Focus Keeper provides 25-minute chunks for you to focus your work efforts, with five-minute breaks between each burst activity. Once you complete an hour of focused sessions, you get a longer break that’s around 30 minutes. Then you keep going! You can adjust the timer to be longer or shorter, as well as track your progress over the weeks.

My friend first introduced me to Focus Keeper a year ago, and I haven’t stopped using it since! It keeps me on track, especially when studying for important exams or working on important papers, so that I never succumb to fatigue or a false sense of productivity. It happens far too often that I sit down for two minutes, staring at a blank screen, and feel like that warrants a brain break. Hold yourself accountable! You got this!

Black girl at computer desk writing in journal write natural work corporate african

TikTok

Wait, how’d this last app get on here? I mean, I am sure that I’m not the only one who has wasted hours on TikTok recently. I click on it even when I know I shouldn’t or don’t want to. When I finally stop, I don’t normally feel any better about anything. However, after curating my “following” list, I have made sure to expose myself to positivity. While there certainly are a lot of young and aspiring “influencers” out there, artists, teachers, and therapists alike have all jumped on the app to share their talents and help others as well. For example, I follow @thelaughfactory for my daily dose of stand-up comedy, @nishcooks for cooking inspiration, @ktscanvases for satisfying art and a creativity boost, among other users. 

TikTok can certainly be treated as a distraction or guilty pleasure. However, it could also become a source of positivity.