You can track so much more than your steps. From a deluge of health apps, this post from Cosmopolitan turns the spot light on seven health apps that will actually make your life better.
You probably already track your steps, but there’s a growing variety of apps for your phone to stay on top of every aspect of your health, from your birth control to your skin regimen. The influx of wellness-related apps has become almost overwhelming, so how many of these countless services are truly useful? Here are some of the apps for your body and mind that you’ll actually want to use.
1. Clue, period tracker, Android and iOS
There are many apps for period tracking, but Clue is by far the most sleek and and streamlined. The app has a circular, easy-to-navigate calendar that tracks the timing of your cycle, offering scientifically accurate footnotes so you know exactly what’s going on in your body at different times of the month. Be sure to check out the other customizable components to track, like sleep, energy, sexual activity, and even partying. Clue also lets you set up push notifications, so you can get a heads up when PMS is imminent (which, let’s face it, is sometimes much-needed) and has an option to input birth control notifications reminding you to take a daily pill or swap out a ring.
2. Spruce, dermatologist in your pocket, Android and iOS
Spruce tries to make doctor visits as easy as taking a selfie, with a real dermatologist available virtually at the touch of a button. In the nearly 20 states the service has been approved in, you can have your acne analyzed, diagnosed, and treated with a prescription called into your nearest pharmacy in less than 24 hours — all you have to do is send in a photo. The app recently expanded to diagnose other skin conditions including dandruff, rashes, cold sores, and rosacea. Don’t worry: if your condition requires in-person care or a procedure that can’t be accomplished online, Spruce will help connect you with a doctor IRL. It is free to download and charges a flat fee of $40 for appointments.
3. Nurx, birth control delivery, online service (mobile app to come soon)
Soon the days of awkward trips to the drugstore to buy plan B and trudging to the ob-gyn’s office for birth control prescriptions could be behind you, thanks to new delivery service Nurx. Input your insurance information on the website and a doctor in your state will remotely prescribe you birth control that can then be delivered to your home for free, often within 24 hours. The tool works with your insurance, which under the Affordable Healthcare Act should cover certain birth control brands at no out-of-pocket cost; if you don’t have insurance, the app offers certain brands of birth control for as little as $15. The website is still a bit clunky (I had trouble plugging my own information and opting for my preferred, non-generic brand of birth control when I first tried it) but Nurx is a good step toward making birth control more accessible and offers a discreet way to get emergency contraception when you need it.
4. Talkspace, mental health help on the go, Android and iOS
Shopping around for the right therapist can be a costly, emotionally exhausting, and all-around inconvenient process. Talkspace offers unlimited texting with a real, trained therapist for as little as $19 a week. If you feel your therapist isn’t working out for any reason, you can easily ask for a new one in the app, and with more than 300 professionals on the platform, your options are fairly expansive. In addition to unlimited texting, you can also opt for video sessions and even couples therapy. With the standard therapy falling in the range of $50-240, Talkspace is an affordable alternative. Talkspace offers a free consultation to start and you only need an email (not a real name) to sign up.
5. iSleep easy, sleep meditation app, Android and iOS
This app is the secret weapon you’ve been looking for to conquer your insomnia. iSleep offers a variety of relaxing sounds and guided meditations to help you get to sleep more quickly and sleep more soundly. For more restless nights, the app has a ‘rescue’ meditation for when you wake up and can’t get back to sleep. It also has helpful information built into the app about best sleep practices to help you rethink how you get to bed each night. The variety of meditations makes it a great value — although the tool is $4.99 in the app store, it’s worth it for all the extra ZZZs you’ll catch.
6. ZocDoc: Book any doctor appointment from your phone, Android and iOS
ZocDoc is kind of like the Seamless of health apps: Just plug your health insurance information into this easy-to-navigate app, and it will pull up doctors in your area (even specialists) and show available appointment slots you can book directly in the app. It also offers a map view so you can find the most convenient location near your work or home, making it easy to dash to a check-up over your lunch hour.
7. Stop, Breathe & Think: Meditation App, Android and iOS
When people think of monitoring health, they often focus on calorie-counting, step-tracking, and other physical fitness goals, but often forget about their mental well-being. Use meditation app Stop, Breathe & Think for the daily zen tune up you might not even realize you needed. There are many meditation services out there, but Breathe stands out with its customization tools: It analyzes your current mood through a short survey, then leads you through guided meditations based on the results.