Digital Retox: The Best Apps to Download Now
For every part of your day, even while social distancing.
Now, more than ever, we can use some extra tender loving care for our minds, bodies, and souls. With the current coronavirus pandemic going on, screen times are at an all-time high while the art of social distancing is being practiced. Although it’s an uncertain time, we can make an effort to focus on the positive side of the situation: to take this moment as a chance to catch up on our self-care routines. To do so, we’ve curated a list of apps to carry you through the day; to make meditation, workouts, cooking, and video calls a little more fun. Go ahead, take a break—you deserve it.
For Morning Meditation
Courtesy of Waking Up
Start your day with a meditation session guided by Sam Harris, founder of Waking Up. The neuroscientist, philosopher, and author created this app around two core principles: practice and theory. Tune in to the mini “lessons” and you’ll learn the reasoning behind meditation itself before doing so. As Harris says, “The basic logic is quite simple: the quality of your mind determines the quality of your life.”
Cost: $14.99/month or $99.99/year
Hence the name, this app is a mix of all things calm—scroll through and you’ll find bedtime stories, soothing playlists, breathing exercises, guided meditation sessions, and masterclasses with wellness experts. Change the background to set your sights on an outdoor scene such as a woodland lake or dreamy clouds. There’s even a section of offerings tailored just for kids, so they can get their zen on, too.
If you’re looking for a distraction during this time, download Glo. This app is personalized to your needs—just answer a few questions and choose from more than 4,000 yoga, pilates, and meditation classes. You can simply follow the classes in the comfort of your own home to strengthen both your body and spirit.
For At-Home Workouts
Courtesy of Alo Moves
No matter what your fitness level, Alo Moves has you covered. The on-demand platform works on your phone or desktop so you can always have access to classes such as Vinyasa yoga, pilates, sound baths, and more. Try the Morning With Intention class with Jackie Stewart to start your day with clarity. New classes are released every week, so you’ll never be bored on the mat.
Cost: $20/month, or $199/year
For a one-on-one coaching experience, try Ladder. Once you join, you’ll be matched with a certified personal coach who will help motivate you to accomplish your fitness goals by recommending custom workouts and nutrition guidance. Using a holistic approach, this app helps you build—and stick to—healthy habits. Quarantine or not, you can keep your workouts going smoothly.
Available at: Apple Store
This app makes working out feel like a party. The backdrop of the live and on-demand classes are set against dreamy periwinkle hues, while the workouts are upbeat and motivating thanks to the skilled instructors. Try the signature 28-minute classes, and remember: consistency is everything.
Available at: Apple Store
Cost: $27/month, or $199.99/year
For Making Meals
Courtesy of Kitchen Stories Recipes
It’s all about community with Kitchen Stories Recipes, where you can connect with food lovers all over the world. Like and save recipes, and even upload your meal photos to share with others. New recipes are added every day so you can keep coming back to find fresh content.
There’s no better time than now to continue or get back on track with your New Year resolutions. If eating better is one of them, Fooducate is for you. This app helps you track calories, sleep, mood, and hunger levels. What’s new: it also offers advice for boosting your immune system and gives recommendations for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Vegetarians, rejoice! This app serves up inspo for healthy dishes and features 159 handpicked recipes so you can play the role of chef right in your own kitchen. The detailed instructions break down each step so you can easily follow along, no matter if you’re a newbie or a pro at cooking.
Available at: Apple Store
For End of Day Fun
Courtesy of Houseparty
This casual social app makes self-isolation feel less lonely with its video chat and gaming features. It lets you know when those on your contact list are “in the house” (read: online) and you can chat with up to eight people at a time. Use it on your phone or desktop to toast a glass of Pinot Noir during virtual happy hour.
Popular for work and school, Zoom can also be used for leisure chats alike. Tap the app for video and web conferencing features on your phone or desktop. The free version allows up to 100 people on each chat session which lasts up to 40 minutes. P.S. There’s even a hidden beauty filter to make your skin look smoother and dewier, a plus for makeup-free WFH days. Just go to the lower-left corner of the screen, press Video Settings, and check the box, Touch Up My Appearance.
Cost: Free and or upgraded plans starting at $14.99/month
There’s nothing like upbeat music (and a solo dance party!) to brighten up the day. Spotify lets you listen to your favorite tunes and discover new albums from artists worldwide. Currently, we can’t stop hitting replay on “My Love” by Anna of the North, “Pretty Great” by Fickle Friends, and “I Love You Always Forever” by Donna Lewis. Click here for a happy playlist we created with these songs plus a few more mood-boosting melodies for you to enjoy.
Cost: Free, or upgraded plans starting at $9.99/month
Illustration by Prune Cirelli
Wendy Sy is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle writer based in New York City. In addition to her editorial website, Style Meets Story, her work has been featured in Allure, Avenue Magazine, InStyle, and more. When she’s not brainstorming ideas for upcoming articles, you can find her spending countless hours searching for lost treasures at vintage shops. Photo by Sophie Elgort.