We don’t think you need to use the new year to make a resolution to better yourself—you can do that any time. But if you recently decided to upgrade your eating habits, take up a new exercise routine, or work on your Zen—more power to you. To support your endeavors, check out these 15 apps that our students swear by.
Lose It! by FitNow, Inc.
Lose It! is great for checking and tracking your food’s nutritional information. You can also connect with family and friends who use the app to get extra support. Are you the competitive type? This app has a challenge feature where you can compete with people or work together toward a common goal.
“Lose It! breaks down all my meals and lets me know if what I’m eating will help me stay within my daily goals. The app also has a scan feature that scans the barcode of a food product and pulls up the nutritional information; it makes it super easy to input when I’m on the go!”
—Martin M., third-year student, San Bernardino Valley College, California
Fooducate by Fooducate, Ltd
With this app, you can use your phone to scan items in the grocery store. Scanned food gets a grade based on how nutritious it is, and the app will even recommend a healthier substitute for some products. This is a great way to see the stuff manufacturers try to hide, such as extra sugars and sneaky trans fats.
“With the mess of different foods on the market, it’s nice to have an app that provides detailed information on what’s truly healthy through their rating system.”
—William M., second-year undergraduate, Ashford University, California
Waterlogged by Day Logger, Inc.
Drinking enough water each day is great for your skin, hair, and health. Are you drinking enough? With this app, you can track how much water you drink to make sure you reach your daily goal.
Whether you eat meat, are vegetarian or vegan, or are gluten-free, MyPlate offers healthy recipes for meals and snacks based on your dietary preference. You can also chat others with the same health goals as you have within the app. The follow-along workouts are an added bonus.
“I have a tendency to overeat or undereat, and MyPlate helps me regulate my consumption of food. It really helps me make sure I have a balanced diet.”
—Caroline B., fourth-year undergraduate, University of Delaware
Headspace by Headspace, Inc.
Headspace uses relatable cartoons to illustrate meditation principles and mindfulness techniques so you can feel calm and balanced all day, every day.
“Headspace helped me a lot when I needed to take five. It also reminds you when you should meditate. The app isn’t just to help you stay calm, but it helps you get your thoughts under control and not [have] your thoughts controlling you.”
—Tyanna W., fourth-year undergraduate student, Georgia Gwinnett College
Sleep Cycle alarm clock by Sleep Cycle AB
This innovative app tracks your sleep and movement patterns, and it wakes you at the best time—when you’re in a light phase of sleep—so that you wake up feeling refreshed.
“Did Sleep Cycle alarm clock have me springing out of bed when the alarm went off? Sadly, no. However, after a few days of using it, I didn’t feel the need to hit snooze several times and actually felt more alert during my morning routine, as opposed to doing everything with my eyes half open. The app even calculated my sleep quality percentage. It was terrible, btw. Shocker!”
—Alexis A., third-year undergraduate student, University of Maryland
Calm by Calm.com
Lower your stress and anxiety or get better sleep with these guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing programs, and relaxing music. The app is recommended by top psychologists, therapists, and mental health experts. Many students said this was one of their favorite apps in a recent Student Health 101 survey. Note: You’ll need to pay for a subscription to access all the content.
“I always thought that in order to achieve something (e.g., a good grade on a test), I’d need to sacrifice something else, such as sleep, socializing, or mental sanity. Turns out I can maintain all of the above and do well on an exam with Calm. Not only does it have bed/nap time stories, it even has a college collection mindfulness 101 meditation feature to help relax those nerves before a big test.”
—Shruti R., second-year undergraduate student, St. Louis University, Missouri
Just 6 Weeks by Alexander Lomakin
This line of apps works well for students looking to reach specific exercise goals. The app coaches you through pushups, sit-ups, dips, squats, and pull-ups, all while providing helpful workout reminders and great visuals.
Endomondo Sports Tracker by Endomondo.com
This popular fitness app covers every angle of your workout, from the tunes you play to the trails you run. The app even gives audio feedback during your workout—to motivate you like a trainer would.
Daily Yoga by Daily Yoga Software Technology Co. Ltd
Need to get your Namaste on? Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced yogi, these poses target core strength, flexibility, and balance. They also focus on the mind/body connection, helping you de-stress.
“I love taking a break from studying and getting in a quick yoga routine without having to trek to the gym. It’s the best way to recoup when I’ve hit a rut, and it’s cheaper than a membership too!”
—Sadie P., second-year undergraduate, University of Portland, Oregon
Instant Heart Rate by Azumio, Inc.
Monitoring your heart rate is important for cardio and interval training. With this app, you can track your resting and exercising heart rates and heart rate recovery time.
Fitness Buddy by Azumio, Inc.
If you’re looking for detailed explanations and exercise demos, this app is one of the best. It includes step-by-step photos and videos of more than 1,700 exercises.
MyFitnessPal by MyFitnessPal
This super-popular app offers tools for weight and physical activity management. There are food and exercise trackers, message boards, and other useful functions to help you keep track of what you’re eating and how much, and how it affects you physically (and mentally).
“MyFitnessPal does a great job of keeping track of the food you eat as well as tracking all your workouts. I had no idea where to start to get to a healthier weight, but this app helped me understand how I could adjust my portions based off the amount of physical activity I was getting for the day. I’ve used MyFitnessPal since 2013, and it has helped me keep off the nearly 100 pounds I’ve lost since then.”
—Shayne K., second-year graduate student, Loyola Marymount University, California
The Walk by Six to Start
The Walk turns an everyday stroll into a game, all while tracking your steps. Before you head out, choose an episode and then walk to find the clues. The more you walk, the more clues are revealed, and the closer you get to saving the world.
Human by Mapbox, Inc. and Humanco, Inc.
This fitness app uses a more casual approach, encouraging you to get your “Daily 30” minutes of physical activity, whenever and however you want. As long as you’re active for more than a minute, Human will track your movement and let you know when you’ve reached your goal.