If you’re struggling to achieve your goals, increase your productivity, or take care of your body, I have the perfect solution! These seven self-care and self-improvement apps will change your life with minimal effort, even if you have only a small amount of time to dedicate to them each day.
Today I want to share some of my all time favorite self-care and self-improvement apps. These range from goal setting apps to cooking apps and everywhere in between. All of them are designed to help you become the person you desire to be.
A small disclaimer before we dive in: I am not in any way affiliated with any of these apps. I am not promoting them because they are paying me (they aren’t). These are simply apps that I have found helpful on my own health journey, and that I hope will help you too!
Free Trial: one week
Price: $35.99 per year or $299 lifetime access
I started using this app recently and I’m in love with it. Simply put, Fabulous is a goal setting app. When you first sign in to Fabulous, it will ask you some questions about your goals and routines. Fabulous then generates a list of small goals personalized to you, to help you reach your end goal. You can set reminders and even change or add goals whenever you feel like it.
For instance, my biggest aim right now is to create a healthy morning routine that gives me more energy during the day. The first three days, Fabulous had me drink a glass of water every morning right when I got up. Then it challenged me to eat a protein-rich breakfast every morning. The app continues on in this way, suggesting small goals to add to your routines in order to eventually achieve your end goal.
The best part about this app, however, is that it does way more than allow you to set and achieve goals. Every day, it gives you an encouraging note to read. At the beginning of each new small challenge, there is a short letter to read on why this challenge will be beneficial, how it has helped famous people in the past, and how to set yourself up for success in the best way.
You can also see how you have improved over time, and there is even a coaching feature for those interested! And under the Make Me Fabulous tab, you can find exercise routines, breathing techniques, meditation sounds, and a few other fun things to help you in your every day life.
Free Trial: None
This is by far my favorite cooking app of all time. It has a huge variety of recipes in a wide range of difficulty levels, but it always takes care to promote healthy eating choices above anything else. Besides recipes, it also includes a tips and tricks section, with extremely helpful ideas for improving your cooking.
The recipes are incredibly easy to follow, including not only the instructions, but easy-to-follow videos showing the different cooking techniques used in the recipe. The app also features a “cooking mode” which stops your phone from turning off while you’re cooking, and easily guides you through each step of the cooking process.
Other features include the ability to add ingredients to an in-app shopping list, nutrition facts for each recipe, and an in-app “cookbook” where you can save your favorite recipes, or even add your own. You can also change each recipe based on the amount of servings needed, making it easy to cook exactly the right amount of food.
Free Trial: None
Presently is an extremely simple app, but one I highly recommend. Each day, it asks what you are grateful for and gives you space to write as much or as little as you want. If you miss a day, it will remind you by asking what you were thankful for yesterday. And when you’re feeling down, it is easy to look back at your past entries for encouragement.
I love this app because it’s design and purpose are so simple, but so powerful. I use this app every night and it helps me to focus on the positive before falling asleep. If you have been wanting a gratitude journal, but just couldn’t justify the cost of most of them, then this is perfect for you.
Or, if you prefer a real gratitude journal, there are some good options out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Like these:
Free Trial: 30 days for TidePlus
Price: Free; $11.99 per month for TidePlus
While you can pay for TidePlus, it is absolutely not necessary in order to enjoy this app. I have the free version, and that is what I will be discussing here. In essence, Tide is a meditation app. It has four main modes: focus, sleep, nap, and breathe.
Focus allows you set a time limit to focus on a specific task, while listening to atmospheric music or sounds.
Sleep will turn on an ambient sound for you to fall asleep to. You can set a timer for this, or you can let it play until your alarm goes off in the morning.
Nap is basically the same thing as sleep, but the app will wake you up after the specific amount of time you tell it to.
Breathe is my favorite feature in the app. You set a timer and pick one of two breathing methods. The app will then guide you through deep breathing for the amount of time you tell it to.
The atmospheric music and sounds within the app are called sound scenes. The app has plenty of free sound scenes, but many of them are plus exclusive. These sound scenes are accompanied by lovely landscape photos. My favorite is probably “Summer Night”.
Similarly, the app has several free meditation sessions, guided by a calming voice. If you choose to pay for TidePlus, there are more options to choose from. Currently there is a free meditation session designed specifically for those struggling with quarantine, to help reduce your anxiety and to stay calm and content.
Free Trial: None
Price: Free; $1.99 one time for Pro
Like Presently, this is a super simple app with a big impact. The main point of Forest is to keep you off your phone so you can focus on the things going on in your life, or complete a task you’ve been struggling with.
To use the app, you set an amount of time you are going to stay off your phone. It can be as short as 10 minutes, or as long as 2 hours. As long as you don’t open another app during that time, Forest plants a virtual tree in your garden! You can view your gardens by days, weeks, months, or even by the year.
Buying the Pro version is not necessary (I don’t have it), but it does include some cool perks I wanted to mention. Forest Pro allows you to sync the app across your devices, gives more detailed statistics on your productivity based on how often you use the app, and removes ads. Possibly the coolest part of Forest Pro is that it also allows you to plant real trees with the coins you earn by using the app.
Overall, Forest is a fantastic app for improving your productivity and focus. It’s super simple and user friendly, and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Free Trial: one week
Price: $29.99 per year
Reflectly is my absolute favorite journal app or all time. This is one of the few apps I do pay for, and it’s so worth it. Every day, you can “rate your day” on a happiness scale that ranges from really terrible to super awesome. You can choose the activities you did that day (work, exercise, spent time with friends, etc.), and also pick some different emotions you experiencing during the day. Sometimes it will ask personalized questions based on your answers.
The app has two writing sections for each day–a journal section and a notes section. I personally use the notes section to record progress in my health goals, but really how to use it is completely up to you. Reflectly also allows you to name each entry, allowing you to categorize entries so you can easily search for them later. There’s also a stats section that is unlocked after your first seven entries!
Free Trial: None
Price: Free, $0.99 per month to remove ads
If you only download one of these apps, make it this one. This app is the best self-care and self-improvement app I’ve found. Natural Remedies’ main focus is obviously natural remedies, but this app offers so many ways to improve your lifestyle and mindset.
Guys, this app is amazing.
There are an overwhelming amount of natural remedies for all kinds of problems in the app. Under the “Problems and Diseases” section you will find an alphabetized list of pretty much every imaginable ailment and natural remedies to help with them. The “Natural Remedies” section also has an alphabetized list, but this one is a list of different herbs and foods with an in-depth look at the uses and effects of each one. The “Essential Oils” section is basically the same thing, but with essential oils.
Under the “Healthy Life” tab you will find a variety of helpful tools. There is a health food section with a ton of great recipes, all organized by recipe type. The yoga and pilates section has a wonderful selection of great routines, whether you’re a beginner or fairly advanced. There’s even a step counting function, a meditation center, and some Sudoku puzzles too.
The app also includes up-to-date and relevant research about health and nutrition, as well as scientific articles on current world events. Additionally, there’s a section for chromotherapy, a meditation and relaxation technique that requires you to focus on specific colors in a specific order. They even include a little note about why it helps and what each color does for your brain.
All around, this app is just fantastic, easy to use, and incredibly helpful. Just opening the app inspires me to be more healthy and make better choices. It’s honestly hard for me to believe this amazing app is free. I hope it’s as helpful to you as it has been for me!
What Are Your Favorite Apps?
Do you already use any of these apps? Which ones are you most excited to try? Are there any apps you love that aren’t listed here? Share your thoughts in the comments section! I am always on the lookout for new ways to improve productivity and positivity and would love to hear what YOU have to say!
That’s all I have for today! Be sure to subscribe to Cocoa with Kori, so you never miss a post! And don’t forget to check out my FREE 101 Self Care Ideas ebook!
Until next week!
— Kori Hartman