by Peter Waite
I've been amazed at the new ways smartphones and mobile apps have been used to make our lives better, including our health. For someone dealing with chronic illness there are now mobile resources available on demand that didn't exist even a few years ago. So here are some of my favorite mobile apps that have helped me find healing and become more mindful.
I absolutely love this app! It's really simple, but oh so powerful. The premise of the app is to help you let go and "simply be". It allows you to choose a 5, 10, 15, or 20 minute guided meditation with or without music or nature sounds. It is my go-to app whenever I want to escape any daily stress and help my body just relax and rest. It does the trick for me! It's available for $0.99 in both the Apple and Android app stores
If you have Fibromyalgia, like I do, you know that sleep does not come easily. Sometimes the pain makes it too difficult to sleep. When that happens, this is the app I turn to. It allows you to listen to preset soothing nature sounds or music or to mix your own relaxation combination. For me the perfect mix is thunder in the background, light rain and crashing waves on a sandy beach. The rhythms it produces never fails to help me fall asleep quick! This app is chock-full of many more features, so check it out. There are a lot of apps similar to this one, but this is my favorite. Available for $0.99 on in the Apple store only.
This simple mobile app is for anyone interested in self-help meditation and according to it's creators, Mental Workout, is grounded in the latest mental health research. The app offers a meditation mode, where you can choose from 15, 20, 30 or 40 minute meditations, as well as a relax mode. What I think is most beneficial is the Guide screen that offers tips for meditating, deepening your dedication to it, and how to fit it into your busy life. And it allows you to share a 5 minute meditation with someone you care about via E-mail, Facebook or Twitter. That's cool! Available for $1.99 in the Apple store and from the creator for PC.
This app is terrific for those days when you are seeking some quiet meditation on the go. The app makers say they designed it for people that live an active lifestyle. It teaches mindfulness-based meditation in new ways. The app gets its name from the approach to mindfulness in Buddhism, however the app is really for anyone interested in maintaining good mental well being and doesn't advocate any religious beliefs. It's available in both the Apple and Android app stores. I'm pretty much a novice to meditation but I've found on tough days, sitting down for 20 minutes with the app is really what gets me through anything I might be experiencing. Available for $2.99 in the Apple store and $0.99 in the Android marketplace.
What are your favorite health apps? I know I've only scratched the surface here. I'd love to hear about what mobile apps you find helpful in the comments below.
Peter Waite, M.S., M.A. is founder and CEO of HealingWell.com, and holds graduate degrees from Utah State University and Brandeis University. Founded in 1997, HealingWell.com is the foremost support community on diseases, conditions, and chronic illness. HealingWell.com has been featured by BBC Online, USA Today, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Industry Standard, Reader's Digest, PBS.org, Forbes.com, and USA Weekend Magazine. HealingWell.com has also been the recipient of numerous health industry awards. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife and four children.