Find out which apps, blogs, podcasts and recipe sites will improve your wellbeing.
In a fast paced age when it is difficult to catch a breath, it is important to keep on top of your wellness. Here is your ultimate guide to living a happier and healthier life through exercise, mindfulness, meditation and more.
Exercise is something that curiously goes in and out of fashion for no obvious reason. Yet, today, we are being told that exercise is indeed essential to our health and also our wellness. In fact, it has been proven that when we get moving, we are more able to connect with our inner thoughts and thus can process more effectively. Whether you haven’t been on a run for years or you are already a gym bunny, here are some of the best fitness and exercise apps going:
NHS Couch to 5k - a running plan for complete beginners meaning you can run 5k after just nine weeks. This exercise app became increasingly popular during the UK’s lockdowns. At a time of such tension and anxiety, Couch to 5k gave thousands some much needed connection with their wellness.
Strava – A running and cycling app that is great for motivation and connecting with others across the world.
Sweatcoin - Perfect for motivation, this app pays you (in a currency within the app) to walk and run around.
Nike Run Club - Connect with your friends for motivation to keep your exercise up.
Yoga Studio - Unleash your inner yogi by using this app to take part in premium yoga and meditation classes.
The concept of “self-help” books is nothing new. Now, though, there is a wave of wellness and lifestyle books being published that reject the traditional self-help style and aim to show anyone and everyone how we can live better. Here are a few of the best and most accessible books currently on the bookseller’s shelf:
Image: Time Out
The Joy Journal: Easy Activities & Creative Craft for Magical Everyday Play by Laura Brand. - Written by author and illustrator and wife of Russell Brand (yes, Russell Brand!) this book shares engaging activities and connections with nature - for grown ups!
The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. - Discover the principles of Tibetan Buddhism, neuroscience, and quantum physics.
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia. - Explore proven concepts which can help you to improve your way of living.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. - A lesson on how to tidy up your house and your life!
How Not To Worry: The Remarkable Truth of How a Small Change Can Help You Stress Less and Enjoy Life More by Paul McGee. McGee explains why worrying is such a big deal and why we do it whilst also exposing the behavioural traps we fall into when faced with challenges.
Slow: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Hectic World by Jo Peters. - This guide to slow living shows the ways you can slow down to change your life.
Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno - Written by an expert Zen garden designer and leader of a 450 year-old Buddhist temple, this is a guide to simplifying your life.
As an everyday mission, mindfulness works particularly well when exercised through the help and medium of an app. You can use these apps on the go during your busy day to day whilst also tapping into your much needed mindfulness practices. Here are some apps that have proven results:
Headspace – Heralded by students for several years now, Headspace is a free and premium service that provides helpful introductions to mindfulness and allows you to tackle specific health concerns. This could include: stress, anxiety, and your capacity to focus. It is a perfect way to try out mindfulness, and target aspects of your mental wellbeing that you’d like to improve.
Meditation Studio – Meditation can be a difficult practice to break into. Meditation Studio is an app that offers guided meditation directly from experts. You can access some of the meditations for free, but there is also a premium subscription option if you want to access even more.
Happify – The Happify app features scientifically backed activities to boost happiness and overall emotional wellbeing. Happify has activities and games that can boost your mood and are particularly well suited to those who struggle with mindfulness.
Breathe – We are told from a young age to remember to breathe, and yet it is one of the first things we forget to do when stressed as adults. The Breath app sends you gentle reminders and inspirational quotes throughout the day to help you retain a sense of calm and relaxation throughout your day.
Tomo – The Tomo App pairs you up with others looking to build similar positive daily habits, helping to give extra motivation. And, the more you use the Tomo app, the more it learns what habits work best for you. There is also a social option to allow a wellness community celebrate their wins with one another.
Wellness Blogs & Websites
When it comes to finding the basic information and inspiration on the idea of wellness and wellbeing, there are some incredible websites and blogs out there waiting to share their advice! Here are just a few:Hip & Healthy
A digital health and wellness magazine, Hip & Healthy promotes integrating healthy living into a daily routine. You can explore their advice on food, fitness, beauty and more.
An online blog dedicated to all things yoga, meditation and wellness, explore to improve your practices.
Mindful prioritises the concept of mental wellbeing as something that requires constant nourishment and appreciation.
Connecting soul and science, mindbodygreen incorporates mindfulness, diet and movement to create effective advice.
Based on a challenge to yourself to be happy for one hundred days, you can sign up to the website to begin to notice what makes you happy on a day-to-day basis.
Initially starting with one man’s story, Possibility of Change now features over 1,000 articles covering personal experiences of growth and change.
Much like what we take from our body in exercise, what we put in our body also matters to our health and wellness. Fortunately, there are some wonderful recipes out there that can be found via these websites:
Wholefully - Wholefully focusses on offering recipes that are healthy as well as beneficial for holistic wellness.
SELF - Dedicated to offering the most accurate and up to date information regarding wellness, SELF’s recipes are centred around healthy living.
Wellness Mama - Centred around eating as a family, Wellness Mama offers tips and recipes for healthier options that will improve your day-to-day living.
Taste of Home - Taste of Home has a page dedicated to healthy recipes for wellness. Advised by their registered dietitians, they have the very best information around!
Wellness & Wellbeing Podcasts
When it comes to maintaining effective wellness, it can be difficult to maintain motivation and inspiration. Podcasts are a fantastic way to curb this barrier as you can hear real voices of experience encouraging you through the process. Here are some of the best:
NHS Couch to 5K Podcast
If you’re feeling a drop in motivation, this podcast from the NHS is an excellent way to put yourself back into motion. With nine episodes, one for each week of the plan, the aim is to get listeners up off their couch and onto their feet, all in the interests of health.
Saturn Returns with Caggie - With a weekly guest, Caggie Dunlop explores various issues and concepts including sobriety, mental health and gathering authenticity.
Radio Headspace Podcast
The Headspace podcast, from the makers of the app (mentioned above), includes topics related to the mind and its capabilities. The podcast looks to provide inspiration for happier, healthier and more conscious living .
Sleep With Me Podcast
In today’s society, insomnia is an increasing issue. The Sleep With Me podcast aims to help you get to sleep. Listen to Drew Ackerman (“Dearest Scooter”) as he talks for over an hour about topics that grow more and more dull as time goes on. You might not finish the episode before it lulls you to sleep, but that is part of his aim.
The Daily Boost Podcast
The Daily Boost Podcast offers short and motivational episodes aimed to help you start or finish your day with a sense of positivity.
The Minimalists Podcast
Tackling a range of topics all revolving around how to live a more meaningful life with less. This podcast offers help and advice as well as reflecting on past, personal experiences.