5 Apps for Mental and Physical Health I Can’t Live Without

July 17, 2018

Apps, right?  Who needs ’em anyway?

I have to be totally honest, never did I think I would do a post about apps.  I’ve never been much of an app person and kind of scoffed when I would see people flipping past pages of them on their phones.

But, in the past year or two I’ve come around and now find myself depending on a handful that actually improve my quality of life from my physical health and mental well being, to continuing to help me learn and grow every single day.  I wanted to share this list so that you can take advantage of them as well.

Bear in mind I have an iPhone, so if you are using an Android or different type of phone, these exact apps *may* not be available.


Cost: FREE

Some information has indicated that we pick up our phones an average of 150 times per day.  That’s a clear indication of how attached we are to our devices a lot more than we need to be and that’s where this little app comes in handy!

The Moment app tracks phone usage, including the number of times you pick up your phone in a day, how long you spend on it each time you pick it up, and total time spent on it in a 24 hour period.  Plus, it can even give you an exact breakdown of which apps you’re spending your time on.

Yes, it might seem a little scary, but it’s a huge wake-up call.  It forces you to take responsibility for your time, and no more making excuses about being too busy or having no time when the app is showing that you spent 3 hours scrolling Instagram yesterday.

Yes, that’s a real-life example – this is why I use the app to keep myself in check!  However, on my now more limited IG time, I’d love to connect over @emilygoughcoach, it’s still definitely my favourite place to hang out.

2. HRV4Training

Cost: $13.99 CAD / will likely be different in the US and elsewhere.

This is a paid app, and it’s a bit pricey.  I would rarely ever bother spending money on an app, but in this case, it’s been completely worth it.

I first heard about the app a couple of years ago from Dr. Jade Teta (who will be appearing on the podcast in a couple weeks, stay tuned) and it tracks your heart rate variability to help you determine correlations around the physiological effects of different kinds of stressors.  

What I love about it is that it’s a great tool to give tailored feedback and help people better learn to listen to their bodies, and when used over time, it can help you pinpoint particular factors that change your heart rate variability and affect your physiology.

How it works:

  • The app utilizes your camera, which means you don’t have to use a chest strap or anything like that.  Hold your finger over the camera for 60 seconds when prompted, breathing normally.
  • Measurements are best done first thing in the morning.
  • You’ll then be asked a short series of questions about your workout the pervious day (or rest), stress levels, mental and physical energy, menstrual cycle and stress.  It will even ask about things like sleep quality and quantity, along with consumption of alcohol or if you’ve been travelling, all of which have an enormous impact on our health.

The app will then give you a rating that, once you have a baseline established, will help you determine if you should do a tough workout, take it easy, or recharge your batteries as much as possible.  It’s best used over time for optimal results, if you’re going to spend the money on it I would definitely suggest using it every morning if you can.

Such a cool tool and I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful!  You can find more info about the app here, including all of the various types of measurements, and how you can use it to your benefit to support your health (and training.)

3. Insight Timer

Cost: FREE

This is officially my favourite meditation app.  It’s simple, user-friendly, and easy to navigate, with thousands of totally free meditations at your fingertips.  I love how the app has broken things down and cross-referenced meditations so that you can search according to:

  • Length of time (anywhere from 1 minute to 60+ minutes)
  • Guided vs. silent or music only
  • Topics, such as abundance, body image, overcoming fear, anxiety, forgiveness, & strength and resilience
  • Teacher

This is especially helpful if you’re struggling with a particular issue, are short on time and don’t want to dig through pages of meditations to find one that will fill a couple of free minutes you’re able to squeeze in, or if you find a particular teacher that really speaks to you and you want to see what other meditations they offer.

My personal favourite right now is Sarah Blondin, she has an unusual and beautiful story-telling style of meditation that’s incredibly calming.

While I don’t meditate every single day (yet), I usually take advantage of the practice at least 3 – 4 times per week.  I highly recommend it, it’s an incredibly gentle way to start the day, or can help you calm down in a stressful situation.

4. Tabata Stopwatch Pro

Cost: FREE

If you’re not familiar with tabata-style workouts, they’re generally 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.  Seems easy, right?  I can assure you that you will be breaking a sweat in under 5 minutes, ha!

However, I don’t often perform actual tabata workouts.  Instead, this is a really handy timer that can be set to allow for warm-up, working-out time and rest time as you see fit, especially if you are switching exercises at all.  For example, let’s say you’re doing a 20-minute workout with one minute of back squats and one minute of lunges, alternated for the 20 minute time frame.  This makes it super easy to customize the timer to suit your workout so you’re not constantly resetting your timer.

What I love most about it is that it saves precious time from the workout itself where you would normally be constantly checking your phone to see where you’re at.  I don’t know about you, but when I’m working out, I check my phone as little as possible so that I can concentrate on the task at hand.  This app make it super easy to fit in whatever workout you have planned.

5. Podcast App

Cost: FREE

You didn’t actually think I’d make it through this list without listing the podcast app, did you?!

I listen to podcasts every single day, whether it’s while going for a walk, cooking/cleaning, running errands or driving.  It’s one of my favourite ways to learn, and there are so many amazing podcasts these days!  Some of my faves (there’s a mix of business, marketing, mindset, health and relationships):

  • Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy
  • Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger
  • James Wedmore’s Mind Your Business
  • The Tim Ferriss Show
  • Dear Sugars, by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond
  • Where Should We Begin, by Esther Perel
  • Balanced Bites, by Diane Sanfilipo and Liz Wolfe
  • My old podcast with my co-host Kate, Fit & Nourished Mind

I’m of the belief that there’s always more to learn and room to grow, and a great podcast is such an awesome place to start, and the best part is that you can be listening while you’re doing other things.

If you don’t have an iPhone or access to iTunes, some of the options can include Google Play, Spotify and Stitcher, AND the Room to Grow podcast is available on all of them!  Simply open the app and search “Room to Grow” under podcasts, or click on the links I attached for you ;).

Now it’s YOUR turn!  I want to hear all about the apps you’re loving right now, pop by the Room to Grow Podcast Facebook group and let us know what you’re using.  You’ll also find a bi-monthly book club, free trainings from me and other guests live, plus sneak peeks at upcoming episodes and more.  Click here for more.

And if you loved this episode  as much as I did, can you do me ONE favour?  If you can take a quick second to leave a review on iTunes, it would mean the world to me!  I read every single one, and they keep me going when I’m podcasting alone and talking to a wall, ha!  You can even take a screenshot and tag me on Instagram so that I can connect with you and get to know YOU a little better! @emilygoughcoach


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