6 wellness apps that have actually improved my wellbeing without adding to tech burnout

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  • There are seemingly endless apps to help improve your life, but sometimes they can make you more stressed out or glued to your phone.
  • Below are six apps — from a cute reminder to drink water to a highly customizable yoga class — that are easy to use and can help organize your life without contributing to burnout. 
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Like many people, I often consider my phone my worst well-being enemy. Between derailing my productivity and fueling my doomscrolling habit with near-constant notifications, it likes to politely inform me that my weekly screen time went up 17%. 

As such, I'm naturally cynical around apps that make me feel like I need to use my phone even more in order to live a more balanced life. There's something a little too on-the-nose about using a complicated scheduler to optimize my wellness habits; it defeats the purpose of self-care if I feel even more plugged into my device.

However, there are apps that actually do make my life simpler and take little to no effort to actually use. From improving my physical and mental health to helping me save money without even thinking about it, these six apps easily make my life better.

6 apps to optimize your life:

To wake up on time without grogginess:

This is one of those apps I told everyone about when I first started using it because I honestly couldn't believe how well it worked. The concept is simple: By accessing your microphone and listening to your movements as you sleep, the app knows to wake you up within the 30-minute time frame you set, so that you're not mid-heavy slumber when the alarm jerks you awake.

I've always been bad at drinking water. I know I should do it for my health, but I can go an alarming number of hours without noticing I'm dehydrated. What got me into the habit of constantly refilling my glass, though, was Plant Nanny (now Plant Nanny 2).

Once, my therapist recommended that I write down my mood multiple times a day for a week, but the task felt a little…big. How would I remember to do it? What if I couldn't find the right words for how I felt (which was kind of the whole point of the exercise)?

During the pandemic, I knew my habit of working from the couch every single day needed to be balanced out with some kind of stretchy workout. But yoga classes seemed overwhelming — there were too many to choose from, and I would always conveniently lose track of time and miss a 6 PM session.

When left to my own devices, I throw money into my savings account when I feel like I can put a decent sum in there all at once. The problem, though, is that keeps me from doing it too often, so I might go months without putting anything away.

By the end of 2020, I blissfully re-deleted Twitter off my phone and hope to never look back. However, one of the main draws of the app is how quickly breaking news stories appear, as well as genuinely great feature stories or essays that are too good not to share. 

I want access to those things without scrolling through people telling me how I should feel about them or sift through negative pile-ons about minor drama I just don't care about. As a result, I've been leaning more on Nuzzel, which curates the top-shared stories on my feed. It means I can still dive into juicy reads or crucial news updates with minimal time wasted. 

(Now if someone could only invent such a utopic app exclusively for Twitter jokes, I'd have everything I'd need). 

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