How to make your day a little ‘appier

Whether you are preparing for exams or in the midst of writing your dissertation, it is comforting to know that there are lots of apps out there that can help you to relax. From guided meditation to peaceful games, these apps could help you to unwind…By Jennifer McNally

While apps aren’t the answer to any of life’s big problems, some may have a positive impact on your daily routines. In this day and age, it is likely that you’ll have a smartphone or electronic device on you, and this means your apps will be conveniently where you are when you need them. Here are a handful of apps that may help you to decompress and recharge…

Guided Meditation: Get some Headspace

Available on iOS and Android, Headspace delivers a collection of guided meditation tutorials straight to your smartphone or device. Although there is a subscription fee to access the whole Headspace Library, the basic plan provides 10 free sessions. Supplemented by novel illustrations, these short videos explain to you the meditating essentials such as how to sit and how to choose a good time in your routine to meditate. Headspace is customisable to what you want to get out of it (personal growth, relaxation, anxiety support etc.) and to what experience you previously have had with meditation.

Mood Tracker: Daylio

Daylio is a free and simple mood tracker available on iOS and Android. It takes under a minute to add an entry, just select how you are feeling and what activities you have done that day.

This app is helpful for anyone who is interested in tracking and understanding their habits and how this can impact on their mood (or vice versa). Daylio also could be used as a tool to improve productivity. This is because there are handy features to track yourself over time using the stats and calendar functions. If you would like to add more detail about your day, you can also add notes to your daily entries and customise your activity list.

Unfortunately, you do have to pay for a premium account to receive the lock feature which enables you to lock the app if you share your device with anyone else. However, there are still helpful features that make the free version a useful app to use. If you are looking for a more detailed habit tracker there is Fabulous which helps you to set goals and work towards them.

Peaceful Games: Zen Koi

Found a spare 5 minutes with your phone? As an alternative to browsing social media, why not distract yourself with a peaceful game? Zen Koi is free and available on iOS and Android with elegant visuals of little fish and koi carp that you can breed and collect. Soothing music and gentle water noises supplement the game while you attempt to feed your fish so that they reach the next level. This is a visually beautiful game with a super chilled soundtrack that can help you relax your mind for a moment before embarking on that next assignment.

The Science of Happines: Happify

Happify offers several free features with the aim of improving emotional wellbeing. It does this by identifying 5 basic skills which make happy people stand apart from the rest which include: savouring the moment, thanking those who matter, aspiring to meaningful goals, being generous and empathising with others.

As well as structuring ‘tracks’ to help you achieve your goals, Happify also provides games which help to develop your ‘happiness’ skills. On top of that, you can explore the Science of Happiness by browsing the latest research in positive psychology and dip into the Happify Daily motivational blog posts.

It’s all in the music: Spotify

Chances are you have heard of this app if you’re a fan of music. Spotify offers a free service which is ad-supported. Cataloguing thousands of songs, one of the great features of Spotify is that it assembles playlists based on song genre or even specific moods. Under the category ‘focus’ you can find lots of playlists that may help you to concentrate while you are working or at least make the process a little less stressful. There has been much research looking into the positive effects of classical music on mood and concentration so perhaps there is something in it?

How can the Library support you?

The Study Happy programme is about supporting students’ wellbeing in Library spaces and beyond. Check out our events which will give you the opportunity to meet other students, develop new skills and take a break and have fun.

For further information on mindfulness, why not check out The Mindful Library. There are also free weekly mindfulness sessions held at the Library which are open to all students looking to manage stress and improve wellbeing. Don’t forget, Warwick Wellbeing Support Services has a range of support available for students, please visit their website for more information.

 

Have you got a favourite app to help you relax or to be more mindful? Tweet us at @warwicklibrary, email us at libraryblogs@warwick.ac.uk, or leave a comment below.

 

Don’t forget to share this post! #studyblog

 

Cover image:  waterfalls-phone-smartphone-nature-2987477 / noe_calderon / CC0 1.0

Image 1: sunset-peace-solitude-calm-nature-1207326 / winner01 / CC0 1.0

Image 2: cat-animal-sleep-cats-pet-animals-800760 / shanon / CC0 1.0

Image 3: water-lily-aquatic-plant-flower-3784022 / couleur / CC0 1.0

Image 4: dog-happy-car-head-car-window-1149964 / free-photos / CC0 1.0

Image 5: smartphone-mobile-cell-phone-music-791076 / kaboompics / CC0 1.0

Image 6: Study Happy Kirby: University of Warwick’s Photo

 

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