The Self-Care Apps We Actually Stan (Rather Than Cannot Stand)

I love the idea of a self-help app (make me better at living, ty) but rarely do I end up using one for more than two weeks before I delete it to make space for more screenshots from the Whatsapp group chat/dog content.

Most of them just aren’t that good… That or I’m expecting too much.

BUT: in a world where apps can deliver people to rework your t-shirt drawer; bake your friend a cake and make it look like you baked it; and shampoo your dog, I knew there had to be a wellness app (or 10) out there for me. One that could ping me daily serves of self-affirming pureness, minus the cheese. And so my quest began…

Below, the self-care apps you’ll actually use.

Sift – News Therapy

DL if: you’re over feeling depressed about the world but still want to know what’s up.

The world is dealing with some pretty heavy issues rn, and keeping up with the news cycle can leave us feeling drained/anxious/dispirited AF. Sift delivers considered and unbiased stories on topics like the climate crisis, immigration, media literacy and, currently, COVID-19. It costs around $20 every six months but comes with a free week-long trial.


DL if: you’re a chronic over thinker.

If you’re guilty of making up other peoples’ thoughts about you, this one’s for u. Shine is like Jerry from Cheer in an app. It pings you with daily motivational msgs, and includes meditation and research-backed advice (yes, science-y proof for your cynical soul). It checks in on you daily and comes with week-long self-care challenges. If you’re not convinced, trial it for its soothing interface instead. Rise and fucking Shine, honeys.


DL if: you need to go shopping for clothes but cbf to feeling bad ab your body.

If you’re not feeling fitting-room fit (hi mirrors everywhereeeee), MySize ID lets you buy without having to undress, dress, undress and dress again. As online shopping has taught us, no two brands have the same-size sizes (y tho?). This app uses sensors to take your measurements and then syncs the data to brands’ sizing charts, meaning you can buy up knowing your shit fit.


DL if: you want to kick goals but feel overwhelmed by where to even start.

Mindology is a new visualisation therapy/self-hypnosis app by Australian clinical hypnotherapist Claire Aristides that schools you on how to make positive and long-lasting changes to your life. Hit up your confidence and self-belief via visualisation, meditation and ~brainwave beats~ (frequencies embedded into the background of music that influences positive changes in brainwave activity).


DL if: you need solid techniques to deal with anxiety in-between therapy sessions.

There’s no replacement for counselling, but when you can’t get an appointment for another week and are feeling srsly low/on-edge, Sanvello is a sweet backup. It’s programmed with a series of cognitive behavioural therapy exercises to help kick stress and manage anxiety.  

Aloe Bud

DL if: you love a to-do list/get ‘too busy’ to self-care

Get you an app that can do both <3. Aloe Bud will help you to organise your life through curated self-care to-do lists + hold you accountable (cc: push notifications). It’s perfect for those that want to do all the good things but then get too busy and forget (it me).


DL if: your mate’s getting married and you’ve been nominated as (party-planning) tribute.

Weddings are wonderful and mad awful/stressful. BACH is your go-to bachie party planning tool that covers everything, including awks money situations. You can: group chat, group poll (Q: to stripper or not to stripper?), split costs, share itineraries and more. It also cute-ifies everything so your black heart can just focus on the logistics.  


DL if: you’re still not over the wellness colouring-in book trend/watched everything on Netflix.

The digi take on colouring in, Colorfy is a cosy way to enjoy some headspace free-time. You can print your creations too if you’re cute like that. It costs around $3 per week (less than your pack of Faber-Castells, righhht?).


DL if: seeing your steps makes you more motivated.

Um. You don’t have to own a Fitbit to Fitbit. This app will track your activity (and heartbeat etc.) through your phone, no watch needed. It’s free to download but does cost around $10 per month to use. There’s plenty of free similar apps, but if you’re someone that likes telling others about your step count (hehe soz) and is serious about tracking your progress, this be a goodie.


DL if: you get stressed about procrastinating

Forest, a time-management app, allows you to select a time period of ‘focus’ and then plant a tree. During the focus time, your phone locks you out and your tree gets busy growing into a baby forest. However, a break of focus = zero forest, so it’s a great way to pressure yourself into not checking on your DMs mid exam study. Bonus: Forest partners with Trees for the Future and plants real-life trees, too.


DL if: you want to keep track of your moods/struggle to unwind at the end of a day.

Driven by AI, Reflectly is a place where you can journal your daily thoughts/moods and receive personalised content that’s aimed to help you deal with negative thoughts. The app uses positive psychology, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy to teach you about the science of well being and make positivity your go-to (but really). It does cost but there’s a free trial so you can work out if it’s the one 4 u.

Nike Training Club

DL if: you struggle with exercise motivation

This super-slick app makes upping your fitness game achievable thanks to its easy-to-nav workout guide. Browse free workouts via time, equipment, fitness level and body area, and unlock trophies along the way. There are also recipes, training videos with athletes and weekly workout updates.  

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