Modern technology devices are often blamed for wasting time, making people less social, and encouraging a sedentary life. While this may be true on some levels, modern technology can also make us more productive, allow us to connect with more people, and help promote a healthy lifestyle. Today, there are seemingly endless health and wellness apps available that can provide us with more information, motivation, and entertainment than ever before. Here you will find the best health-related apps that can keep you informed, active, and relaxed, simply by using your favorite smartphone or handheld device. Have fun, be safe, and stay healthy!
Best Emergency Medical Care Apps
Winner: First Aid by American Red Cross
Emergencies can happen at any moment and knowing what to do can be life-threatening at times. The American Red Cross is there for you with its official first aid app. There is an easy-to-navigate list of the top emergencies with videos, animation, and information on what to do. The preparedness section provides emergency advice for everything from tornadoes and wildfires to tsunamis and volcanos. There’s also a fun quiz section where you can test your knowledge of what to do during an emergency. All information is pre-loaded onto your phone, so even when cell service is down, you will have access to the information. The app is also now available in Spanish, muy bien!
iTunes: First Aid by American Red Cross
Life360 is one of the most popular health and safety apps. Subscribers benefit from real-time support including:
- crash detection with emergency dispatch
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- 24/7 nurse helpline
- medical assistance
- disaster response
Life360 also provides users with real-time location detection. Additional features include ID theft protection and data breach alerts. The free version of this app still offers significant benefits like location history and a family driving summary. Parents love this app because it allows them to keep tabs on their children without saying a word.
App Store and Google Play: Life360
Cost: plans range from free to $24.99/month
Best Time to See the Doctor Apps
Winner: Doctor on Demand
When you are sick, there is nothing worse than calling the doctor’s office, seeing if they can squeeze you in, dragging yourself out of the house, and sitting in a waiting room with all the other sick people. Doctor on Demand has solved this annoying problem by creating an app that allows you to speak directly with a doctor using your phone or tablet. Doctor on Demand costs just $79 per 15-minute video/audio visit with a Board Certified Clinician. These doctors can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications for a broad range of non-chronic, non-life-threatening conditions. The most common conditions that can be treated include:
- cold and flu
- sports injuries
- skin rashes
- eye problems
- gastrointestinal illnesses
You can also meet with pediatricians, lactation consultants, or psychologists (alternate pricing may apply). While you cannot choose your doctor, you will get to see one from the comfort of your own home.
iTunes: Doctor on Demand
When you need to make an appointment to see a doctor in person, ZocDoc makes it easier to book it without having to call the office. You can search for doctors (and dentists) by:
- insurance carrier
The health app will show you a list of healthcare providers to choose from with the appointment times that are currently available. These appointments can be scheduled within the app with the touch of a button. You can also:
- save your preferred doctors
- fill out paperwork ahead of time
- read verified patient reviews
ZocDoc will also remind you of future scheduled appointments or remind you that it is time to make another appointment.
Best Remember to Take Your Pill Apps
Remembering when to take your pills can be a chore, especially if you are taking multiple kinds with sliding doses. Medisafe is one of the best health apps out there if you need a reminder to take your medication. Medisafe makes taking the right pill at the right time a no-brainer by messaging you when it is time to take your pills. What makes this health app brilliant is that if you forget to take your pill, your spouse, parent, or caretaker will then get a message letting them know that you missed a dose. It is the perfect solution for people taking lifesaving medicines or those who have trouble remembering when or if they took their medicine. Medisafe also features a prescription refill reminder and a fun new sound alert that reminds you to take your pills in character voices like Darth Vader or Austin Powers.
iTunes: Medisafe Medication Reminder
Runner-Up: myPill Birth Control Reminder
If you just want to be reminded to take your birth control pills, this health app will do just that. You’ll receive daily reminders at the time of day you choose, and it automatically stops during your break days. You can also keep track of your history by logging menstrual symptoms, pain levels, or other issues your doctor will appreciate. Probably the best feature is the prediction function where it will automatically calculate which days you will be on your period to make scheduling vacations and special events worry-free!
iTunes: myPill Birth Control Reminder
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Best Track What You Eat Apps
Calorie counting is an effective way to lose or maintain weight by keeping track of everything you eat throughout the day. While this may seem like a daunting task, MyFitnessPal makes it easy, fast, and fun to do. By logging in every item consumed throughout the day, you get a much clearer idea of how much food you eat. By setting daily goals, you can make more informed decisions about what you eat throughout the day.
The thing that makes MyFitnessPal stand out from the rest of the top apps for health and wellness is its exceptional barcode function. With over 4 million recognized barcodes, scanning food labels makes it the fastest way to log foods. If you do not have the barcode, you can add foods by searching a database of over 5 million foods. You can also:
- save favorite foods/meals
- log your water intake
- track your exercises
- set goals
- monitor your progress
Collecting all this information provides for a complete food intake/outtake assessment. MyFitnessPal connects with other popular fitness devices and apps, such as Fitbit, Jawbone, and Strava.
iTunes: Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal
Runner-Up: Lose It!
Lose It! is a popular health and wellness app. It is similar in its simplicity to MyFitnessPal with a:
- barcode scanner
- food database
- calorie counter
- recipe builder
However, it is the runner-up because of the paid premium upgrades you need to buy for the extra functions. These include tracking features such as:
- body fat
- sleep habits
- daily steps
- meal planning
- advanced exercise metrics
- nutritional data
Lose It! also provides access to support groups, goal challenges, and connection to other devices through in-app purchases. If your goal is to lose weight, check out this top health app.
iTunes: Lose It! – Weight Loss Program
Cost: Free with premium upgrades and in-app purchases
Best Get Your Butt Off the Couch Apps
You know you should exercise, but getting your butt off the couch is usually the hardest part. C25K (Couch to 5K) is a training program for beginning runners who want to achieve the goal of completing a 5K run in just eight weeks. One of the most popular health apps for couch potatoes, C25K works by creating a beginning exercise routine that starts with a mix of walking and running while gradually building up your strength and stamina. In just 30 minutes a day, three times a week, you will be running your first 5K in two months. C25K connects with MyFitnessPal, Apple Watch, Spotify, and other apps to make your 5K training as enjoyable as possible. C25K is easy to use and guides you through training with an audio coach that encourages you to achieve goals and not give up. Once you complete the 5K goal, you can continue training for a 10K and half marathon. This top health app also integrates with an iPad to use with indoor treadmills.
iTunes: C25K – 5K Trainer
Cost: Free with a pro version available for $1.99-$2.99
Runner-Up: Zombies, Run! 5K Training
For those who want to train for a 5K, but just can’t manage to tear themselves away from their favorite zombie shows, there is now an app for that! A companion to the wildly popular Zombies, Run! app, this 5K trainer version integrates an adventure storyline with missions to complete while running. There are 25 workouts to complete over eight weeks as you are sent out on dangerous missions to earn the supplies and help save the other survivors by walking and running on cue. As you listen to the story unfold, clear instructions are given about when to walk, jog, run, or stretch. You will almost forget you are working out while those brain-hungry zombies are nipping at your feet. Look out, they are right behind you…run!
iTunes: Zombies, Run! 5K Training
Best Walking with a Purpose Apps
Winner: Charity Miles
Walking, running, and biking regularly can be challenging, so if you won’t do it for yourself, maybe you’ll do it for your favorite charity. Through corporate sponsorship, charities like the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, Alzheimer’s Association, ASPCA, and Stand Up to Cancer can earn up to $1 million. All you have to do is:
- turn on the app
- choose a charity
- start moving
Walkers and runners earn 25 cents per mile and bikers earn 10 cents per mile. The app tracks miles by using your phone’s internal pedometer. Charity Miles also syncs with the Apple Health app. For the donation to count, you are required to share your activity on social media, but who doesn’t want to spread the word about a good cause?
iTunes: Charity Miles
This health app allows you to earn money for your local animal shelter, simply by taking a walk…preferably with your dog! The fun part is you can upload your dog’s picture and profile to keep track of how much each dog has walked and earned for a local shelter. Corporate sponsors provide the donation money, and you can direct those dollars to a shelter of your choice just by taking a walk with your own dog…or cat!
Best Find Your Inner Happy Apps
Winner: Daily Yoga: Fitness+Meditation
Gone are the days of embarrassing yourself in a room full of yoga masters while trying to achieve downward-facing dog pose. Now you can struggle with beginning yoga poses in the privacy of your own home. Daily Yoga is a coaching program that is suitable for beginning and advanced users. It’s also a meditation app, providing guidance for both physical and mental health. You will learn how to perform more than 400 yoga poses and 50 yoga classes by watching instructional HD videos. Clear voice instructions and soothing music will guide you through each step. You can choose from three workout mode intensities, casual, moderate, or intense, and durations from 5 to 45 minutes. New content is added monthly, so you will not get bored with the same old routines.
iTunes: Daily Yoga: Fitness+Meditation
Cost: Free with in-app purchases or subscription
Runner-Up: Pocket Yoga
Pocket Yoga is a simple yoga trainer that uses cartoon animation to demonstrate poses and exercises. There are three different exercise sets with three levels of difficulty and three different lengths of time. Ocean is a yoga/cardio workout, Desert is a detox and flexibility workout, and Mountain is a power yoga workout. Choose beginner, intermediate, or advanced poses and a 30-, 45-, or 60- minute workout time. Voice instructions guide you on when to inhale and exhale, an important factor that is often left out of other yoga apps.
iTunes: Pocket Yoga
Honorable Mention: Headspace
Headspace is one of the best health apps for your mental health. Headspace offers hundreds of different meditations. Sleep sounds and music can help even the most stressed mind unwind. Mood boosting workouts and yoga keep the mind and body connected. Headspace is dedicated to helping you create habits that support mental and emotional health.
This top mental health app is proven to reduce stress by 14% in just 10 days. What have you got to lose?
App Store or Google Play: Headspace
Cost: $12.00/month or $69.99/year
Best Fall Asleep Faster Apps
Winner: BetterSleep: Sleep Tracker
Approximately 1 in 3 people experiences some form of insomnia every night. So, finding ways to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer are essential to getting a good night’s sleep. BetterSleep just might be the solution for some of those who suffer from sleep cycle disruptions. This relaxing health app is, at its core, a sound mixer for sounds that can calm a worried mind and potentially help you to fall asleep faster.
Its best feature is the ability to combine multiple sounds for a layered, fuller effect. The downfall of this feature is that you might spend too much time trying to pick the perfect mix of different sounds. Options range from typical sound machine noises, like water and the wind, to unique sounds, such as Medieval flute music, a vacuum cleaner, or what it might sound like on Jupiter…which is strangely relaxing.
Once a relaxing combination of sounds is chosen, you can set the timer from 5 minutes to 4 hours. Favorite sound combinations can be saved, so that you can just choose one and get straight to the business of sleeping. Relax Melodies also features isochronic tones and binaural beats, sounds that are thought to directly affect brain waves and encouraging it to relax, fall asleep, or even concentrate better.
BetterSleep is one of the best health and wellness apps on the market. It also features a bedtime reminder so you’ll never lose track of time. Another great feature are the breathing techniques that can be done day or night. Clear your mind and remove those feelings of stress and anxiety by engaging in these techniques throughout the day.
iTunes: BetterSleep: Sleep Tracker
Cost: Free with $2.99 upgrade for full function and no ads
If you are not a fan of repetitive noises that lull you to sleep, then you might want to mix it up with this randomizing sound app. Pzizz can create over 100 billion different sounds that continuously change to keep your brain entertained. A combination of binaural beats, tones, and other sounds can help lull you into a good night’s sleep. There are two modes, sleep and power nap, which include a timer, volume controls, alarm clock, and a soothing voice option that will help guide you through a series of relaxation techniques. While you cannot choose your own sounds, that almost makes it less stressful because you just hit the start button and go directly to relaxation mode.
iTunes: Pzizz – Solve Sleep Problems
Honorable Mention: Sleep Cycle
Sleep Cycle is more than an alarm clock app. It can analyze your sleep patterns to detect sounds like:
- sleep talking
Sleep cycle provides a detailed analysis of bedtime patterns and includes both sleep sounds and story library.
App Store: Sleep Cycle-Sleep Tracker