Recently I was minding my own business, browsing facebook – to read up on the latest news from eating disorder centers and body image blogs, of course – and what do I get but an invitation to learn… wait for it… “How sexy is your name?”
I immediately dismissed the invitation as junk, until I found myself thinking back to the the application and the question it posed a few moments later. How sexy is my name? I wondered. Does it sound sexier if I put “Doctor” in front of it? And more importantly, Why does anyone care enough to create a program to provide an answer?
After that, I decided to browse the app store to see what other philosophical questions creators were posing and what I found was, well, disheartening. From apps based on the concept of “Hot or Not” to ones in which you could remove blemishes from your profile picture (I guess I need to add facebook airbrushing to my media literacy curriculum. Sigh…), there were tons of applications that just felt icky. And yes, icky is a technical term in my field.
My mind started mulling over the post that I would write on this topic, when I thought, Hey, there have got to be some really positive, healthy apps out there too. Check me out – always looking for the positive! Or something.
What I found was that there truly are some awesome apps out there for your smartphone that can make living a life balanced in body, mind, and spirit a bit easier. Who says technology has to be the end of healthy civilization as we know it?
Here are some of the best that I found. Please be advised that some of these do have a cost attached, but no more than $1.99. I got your back, right?
If you have trouble coming up with your own affirmations, let your iPhone do it for you. This app offers inspirational phrases and positive self-statements, a strategy that many therapists encourage clients to use to boost self-esteem and body image. This app even lets you select a category, such as “Career” or “Anxiety.”
It can be difficult to be deep in a meditative state and watch the clock. This app takes care of that by signaling when your time has elapsed with the high-quality ringing of a Tibetan singing bowl. Set your phone to Airplane mode to prevent interruptions and you’re set!
Curious about that mole on your neck or have an unexplained headache? This app allows you to search your symptoms based on your gender, age, body type and more to find out if your ailments might require medical attention. It’s based on the A.D.A.M. Health Illustrated Encyclopedia, so this is legit, people.
So I don’t want to put myself or my colleagues out of business here, but this app is pretty darn cool. Based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy, it allows you to assess your stress, log and explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and challenge your automatic thoughts and core beliefs. It’s like a therapist in your purse. That’s a weird visual.
Whether you’re a certified yogi or a total yoga beginner, this app will help you learn various poses and customize routines, as well as connect you to others to ask questions. It’s a beautifully done application and now you have no excuse to not keep up with your practice while traveling!
To expand your mind and potentially even your heart, download the free TED app. This simple tool brings you ideas worth spreading via your own phone or iPad. You can watch incredible speeches by the best of the best and learn a little something instead of playing that silly Angry Birds game. (A personal TED favorite is Dr. Brene Brown’s talk on vulnerability. Go watch it now!)
Have you ever used an app to enhance your mind, body, or soul? What are you favorites?