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5 Apps For a Balanced Life

"Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers is transformational" - George Couros

Technology has gotten a bad reputation. Ever since former Facebook employees criticized the social network for destroying “the social fabric of how society works,” the discussion on how tech is affecting our health has reignited.

But instead of passively consuming social media and videos, we can take ownership of how we use technology. One trend that has been emerging during the last years is so-called transformational technology. This is tech that helps people build mindfulness, skills, and habits. Ultimately, it helps you to lead a more meaningful and content life.

We collected five of our favorite transformational tech apps that we love to use at Coachilla.

1) Headspace: Learn how to meditate

Headspace was founded by former Buddhist Monk Andy Puddicombe. He had a simple idea to bring meditation into everyday life. If you meditate 10 minutes per day, it will make your life more mindful.

You do not need any prior experience in meditation to start with Headspace. It offers an introduction session and plenty of different packs that approach specific topics such as anxiety, productivity or creativity. You can also try out single meditations for everyday situations like "end of the day", "housework" or "commuting."

This is a gemstone on my phone. I love Headspace, and I use it every day. What makes this meditation app my favorite (and I tried out many) is the incredibly simple and empathetic way that you learn meditation. There are plenty of beautiful animations that help you understand what meditation is about and that will explain common struggles you will experience.

 

2) Woebot: Improve your mood

Can a robot help you with your mental health? After using Woebot for three weeks, I have to say: yes, it can.

Woebot is an internet bot for the Facebook messenger. It was built by Stanford researchers to help you monitor your mood and learn about yourself. It uses techniques of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and sends you videos and graphs on helpful psychological concepts.

On a daily basis, you get a short notice from Woebot to check in and tell how you are doing. By analyzing your information, it can discover patterns in when you are feeling happy or stressed out.

But what I love most about Woebot is that it finds a way to explain psychological theories in a simple way and with lots of fun. Woebot makes dorky jokes, sends you memes and can laugh at itself. Until it sometimes feels like you are talking to a person.

3) Evernote: Organize your thoughts

You probably now that feeling when you're driving with the subway or are at the grocery store and have a great idea for your work. But you have no pen and paper, and the memo app on your phone is already piling up with memos you never opened afterward.

That's where Evernote comes in. It allows you to write down all your ideas fast and easy on your phone, organize them and turn them into To-Do-Lists. Plus: you can also install the app on your laptop to have your notes always available. Save articles or web pages that you want to have a look on later with the Evernote plug-in.

Technology can help you in achieving a balanced life

4) Optimize: Get wisdom in short sessions

Are you interested in personal growth ideas, want to learn about philosophy and develop positive habits? Then Optimize is the right app for you. Founder Brian Johnson offers a variety of tools to learn about optimal living.

Every day you can listen to his +1 micro lessons that you can apply to your daily life. Discover how to calculate the odds of your success, find out about ancient Greek wisdom or how to seize moments instead of days.  

Optimize offers so-called philosopher’s notes which are reviews and summaries of some of the most influential personal growth books. Lastly, Brian teaches 60 minute long Master classes and puts a big idea into a practical guide to help you optimize.

What makes Optimize so unique is Brian’s way of efficiently explaining complex concepts and being able to make them adaptable to your daily routines. With +1 you have an easily digestible induction of wisdom every morning.

5) Bliss: Start a Gratitude Journal

I'm a firm believer in gratitude journals. It is an accessible and well-researched strategy to improve your health. Studies have found a range of benefits to writing down the things we are grateful for. They include better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness and more happiness.

That is why I try to write down three things every day that I'm proud of and that make me happy. But I'm only human, so some days I forget to do it or just feel like I'm too tired. And I don't want to carry around my journal all the time.

Then I discovered Bliss. Bliss is a gratitude journal for on the go. You can note what makes you grateful at this moment or in general. Also, Bliss offers different exercises that are all based on positive psychology to increase happiness.

The app uses a simple and easy design and will send you reminders to develop a habit of gratitude.

Let us know if you have any favorite apps that we missed out on.

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