Top 5 ‘healthy’ apps

Your smartphone is a blessing and a curse at the same time. We are overwhelmed by apps on our phones. There is an app for every little thing. Apps for social media, ordering food, shopping and for watching series. All very useful to make our lives easier and more fun. Just scroll through Instagram and watch a video on YouTube. Sending a message on WhatsApp and liking a post on Facebook.

But all this also has a downside. Even more stimuli and distractions. In a world where we already struggle so much with focus and concentration. I list a few ‘healthy’ apps for you that will not only make your life more fun, but more importantly, more useful and educational.

Photo by cottonbro on

#1 Forest (for Android and IOS)

If you are learning or working and don’t want to be disturbed, Forest is a helpful app for you. When you start a task, you plant a tree seed in that app. You then put your phone away. Every time you grab your phone to check Insta or Facebook or send a message, for example, your tree dies. If you put your phone away, you are building your own forest. In 30 minutes, the seed will grow into a tree.

The app helps you increase your focus and productivity in a funny way. What’s also nice to know, the Forest team works with an organisation that plants real trees (Trees for the Future). As a user, when you spend the virtual coins you earn in Forest on planting real trees, the Forest team donates to their partner. 

#2 Duolingo (for Android and IOS)

If you’d like to learn a language but are too busy to take classes, Duolingo is the solution for you. In just a few minutes a day, you can learn a language. Because it takes you little time, it is easier to make it a habit. If you do have a bit more time, then of course you are free to spend more time learning the language.

Duolingo is a low-cost and free app, giving everyone in the world the chance to learn a language. Depending on the language you use in the app, you can learn different languages. If you set the language to ‘English’, for example, you can learn German, Korean, Hindi and Swedish, among others. Duolingo looks more like a game, which also makes it fun to use the app. You can follow friends who also have the app. 

#3 Goodreads (for Android and IOS)

Want to read more? In that case Goodreads is a great app for you. You can choose a ‘reading challenge’ in this app. This allows you to decide how many books you would like to read in a year. You divide your ‘bookshelves’ into books you want to read, books you are reading and books you have read. You can add your own shelves and so organise your books. This way, you always have an overview. If you are in a shop and you see an interesting book, add it easily by scanning the book. Then it will be on your list. 

The app also motivates you to read more. For instance, you can add friends who also use the app and see via the timeline which books they like or are reading. If you then see a book that you also find interesting, add it to your list of books you would like to read. My tip: make a list of books you already have at home but haven’t read yet. That way you avoid buying a book twice.

#4 Headspace (for Android and IOS)

Make a habit of taking some time for yourself every day. This app will help you do just that. For example, you can learn to meditate, improve your focus and listen to a ‘sleepcast’ if you have trouble falling asleep. 

Andy Puddicombe decided at 20 to become a Buddhist monk. He travelled to countries such as Nepal, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Australia and Russia for meditation training for ten years. He was initiated into a Tibetan monastery in the Indian Himalayas. After this adventure, Andy returned to the UK to teach meditation and mindfulness to as many people as possible. This became the beginning of Headspace. 

The app even has a programme for you every day, with options for things to do in the morning, afternoon and evening. Personally, I always find ‘The Wake Up’ inspiring to start the day, I often choose ‘Today’s Meditation’ for variety and I like to listen to a ‘Soundscape’ when I find it hard to fall asleep.

#5 Presently (for Android)

A simple app to end your day with: Presently. It’s an app to note down your daily gratitude. For example, write down three things you are grateful for that day. This way, you learn to focus on the good things in your life and appreciate the things you already have. Everything will be stored, so you can also look back later to see what you were grateful for exactly a year ago, for example. Simple, but useful.

What about you? Which ‘healthy’ app do you use? Share it with me.

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