Best Practices in HR

Follow Us:
Robyn Whalen
  May 18, 2019

5 Free Apps to Make You Happier and Healthier

Technology makes it easier than ever to learn about health issues and make healthy choices. 

Whether you’re looking to add more steps into your day or get your full 7 hours of sleep, there are apps for creating a healthier lifestyle.

There’s plenty of health apps out there, but the best ones are the apps you’ll actually use.  

If you’re looking for health and wellness ideas in the workplace, start with what your employees are already using — cell phones. You might as well make health and technology work together, right?

Here we share our top 5 apps for everything from meditation to weight loss.

1. MyFitnessPal

For employees who want to lose weight, this app is a great way to encourage them to stay on track. A lot of us mindlessly eat in front of our computer screens or on the job throughout the day. Before you know it, that entire can of “healthy” nuts is gone. Oops. 

Studies show tracking food and activity keeps weight loss and health goals on track. 

With this free app, you can: 

  • Track fitness, diet, and food 
  • Access it via the app or website
  • Personalize a diet profile 
  • Search food nutrition details 
  • Add your recipes to have on-the-go

The best part of this free app is that it customizes each user’s experience. This offers more tailored results and makes food tracking easier than before. This is a huge benefit for those doing elimination or allergy diets. 

2. Shopwell

If you’ve ever realized you’ve run out of creative ways to make a healthy dinner, this app is for you. Shopwell recommends meals based on a user’s diet or preferences. This app helps you create a food profile to scan products to see if they are a good choice for you so you’re not tempted to grab those super-processed foods on your next grocery trip. 

With the app you can: 

  • Connect with your smart appliances
  • Avoid products that trigger your allergies 
  • Pick healthier choices of foods while shopping

Shopwell eliminates the fear of cooking entire meals that you end up disliking or that might make you feel less-than-healthy. Personalization makes shopping and cooking a breeze, especially for those who are learning to eat healthier. 

3. Insight Timer

Not quite ready to pay for meditation apps or classes? This app is free, really. Meditation can help you unwind and reduce stress, which most people could do a lot more of daily. There’s got to be something to it if nearly 18 millions Americans practice it. 

Insight Timer offers users:

  • Free 7-day meditation course
  • 15,000 meditation and music tracks to choose from
  • Premium access for offline listening, courses, and more

Whether you’re looking for a guided meditation or sleep meditation, there’s plenty of options with this app. Keep track of your meditation sessions, and note how your self-awareness and relaxation increases with each session. If you are interested in learning more about the Insight Timmer app, check out our Inspiring Healthy Workplaces podcast.

4. Sleep Cycle

Not only will this app track your sleep cycle, but it will wake you up at your ideal time. The Sleep Cycle alarm clock analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you up when you’re in a light stage of sleep so you won’t feel groggy. Hello, sunshine.

Sleep Cycle app benefits include: 

  • Feeling more rested upon waking
  • Tracking sleep patterns 
  • Accountability to get to bed earlier

One of the most unique (and fun!) features of this app is the global sleep map. See when other Sleep Cycle users go to bed and wake up. Plus, the website has a great blog that covers topics like insomnia, sleep apnea, and more.

5. Lose it! 

If it’s about time for another office challenge, this app is a great way to track overall weight loss. According to the app’s website, users have lost a collective 79,742,929 pounds.  

Some Lose It! benefits: 

  • Allows you to track your food easily (scan, snap pic, or database)
  • Provides community support
  • Saves your goals to track calories & exercise 
  • Syncs with other apps 

This app offers both free and premium options ($3.33 a month) for users. The premium option includes benefits like water tracking, no ads, and meal planning. Consider paying for the premium plan for employees who sign up for a 3-month weight loss challenge. 

Healthy Offices Can Start with Health Apps 

Busy schedules can make it difficult to focus on health. 

Luckily, there’s plenty of health apps to take the guesswork out of making healthier choices like eating clean to meditation. Employees are more likely to implement lifestyle changes when it’s a bit easier to do so. 

Give these apps a try. They’re free. Then, share your findings with employees. Or set up a health challenge to use these apps in your workplace. 

If you’re looking for a way to boost employee wellness, start with health and technology that make it easy. Before you know it, you’ll have well-rested, happier, and more fit employees on your hands. 

What apps do you encourage your employees to use? We’d love to know! 

New Call-to-action