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We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

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This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Your Guide to Wellness Apps

October 24, 2023

By: Roubir Riad Andrawes and Marwa Alkhalaf

Wellness applications aim to improve the user’s lifestyle via the promotion of health and wellness, through physical, psychological, and behavioural engagement. Many incorporate fitness activities and track one’s progress, and some are more involved in mindfulness and meditation, while others focus on nutrition and diet management.

Wellness apps have many benefits. They allow you to enter your personal health information and help you set goals tailored to your needs. Many also help you monitor progress as they track lifestyle parameters so that you can tell if you are making positive changes to your health behaviours. These apps also help you stay motivated by providing regular reminders and tips to help you accomplish your personal wellness goals!

Recent research conducted by the National Institute of Health has shown that using wellness apps regularly and frequently improves mental and physical health. They can help facilitate relaxation by integrating different aspects of neurophysiological responses to the inhibition of stress hormones and the increased production of certain “feel-good” hormones, mainly serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins.

There are different types of wellness apps. Some examples include crisis support, mindfulness, stress management, nutrition, fitness, and so much more.

There are a few things to consider when looking for health and wellness apps. It is important to know the credibility of the app. Make sure to actively research the developers of the app and their specific expertise before downloading. Another important factor to look for is the ratings of the app. Read the reviews and see what other people say! Make sure to review the description and costs associated with the apps. Under each application, there is information discussing the perks and any costs of additional features.

When choosing a wellness app, one would want it to help users achieve their physical and mental health goals. To do this, the app needs to provide features that will help users track their progress and stay motivated. This includes features such as habit tracking, goal setting, and reminders, as well as features that provide information and resources on nutrition, physical fitness, and mental health. Additionally, the app needs to offer users a personalized experience by providing tailored content and recommendations based on their individual needs. Finally, there are social components that allow users to connect with one another and share their progress and experiences.

The effect of wellness app reviews on users can be both positive and negative. Positive reviews can help encourage users by providing validation that their efforts are making a difference. Negative reviews, on the other hand, can be discouraging and lead to users either deleting the app or abandoning their efforts. Ultimately, reviews can be useful sources of feedback that can help users make better decisions about their health and wellness.

In the next post, you will find specific information on some of the top wellness apps for sleep, mindfulness and nutrition available on the app store and the Google Play store!

Wellness Apps

Wellness apps are mobile applications that are designed to help individuals improve their overall health and well-being. These apps can be used for a variety of purposes, such as managing stress, improving sleep, promoting healthy habits, and tracking fitness goals. The primary purpose of wellness apps is to provide users with tools and resources to help them achieve better physical, mental, and emotional health. This includes features such as tracking steps or calories burned, providing healthy recipes or meal plans, offering mindfulness exercises or guided meditations, and more.

Below are 3 wellness apps that you can download:

  • Tide
  • Relax Melodies
  • Insight Timer

Tide 

“This app is incredible. I love how it combines a focus timer with sounds and meditation. Makes me feel better that I only have to download one app for white noise, meditation, and a focus timer now because this app checks off all the boxes. I really like how the app gives you a lot of choices with the free version. You get access to a lot of meditation exercises and I think it’s great how you can use the app pretty freely with the choice to pay being an option. Also, I like how the focus timer has a lot of flexibility. I like it when I can put my phone down and have the timer run, but the timer stops when I lift my phone. I’ve been looking for apps with this function and I love how this app has it, but I can also turn it to other modes too. I also love the overall look of the app. It’s very calming to look at!”

‘Tide’ focuses on meditation, relaxation, and unwinding through the use of auditory stimuli that relieves stress and helps with sleep issues. The app also enhances productivity, creativity, and focus.

‘Tide’ is a free app with an additional soundtrack, available for both Android and iOS users.

Tide

Relax Melodies

“The app’s interface is extremely user-friendly. It’s very easy to find what you’re looking for, and each of the bottom tabs is organized into a different category. If you know you’re able to relax better to nature sounds, you can simply click the “Nature” label at the top of the screen and find what you’re looking for. Sound icons highlighted in blue are ASMR sounds, which do require headphones.”

‘Relax Melodies’ uses intensive breathing techniques to achieve a state of peaceful relaxation in a short amount of time. It regulates nap and sleep schedules according to recent psychology research and provides a series of bedtime exercises through SleepMoves that is built in collaboration with physiotherapists and neuropsychologists to present gentle body-mind exercises using a pillow to gradually guide the user to a deep slumber. ‘Relax Melodies’ also uses music and sound therapy to reduce stress and anxiety.

‘Relax Melodies’ is a free app available for both Android and iOS users.

Relax Melodies: Music therapy

Insight Timer

“I could not recommend this app more highly. The options are endless, and you can financially support the content creators as/when you’re able…so you can use it regardless of your financial state. I view it as having a personal meditation “trainer” come to my home a few times a day, for support and guidance. For me, that’s priceless.

‘Insight Timer’ helps reduce anxiety and improve sleep through guided meditation across a range of different styles: Buddhist mindfulness, Kundalini yoga (which focuses on posture), walking meditation (which is meditation on the move), and many other comprehensive and helpful lessons. 

‘Insight Timer’ is a free app available for both Android and iOS users. https://insighttimer.com/en-ca 

With that being said, it is important to keep in mind that wellness apps are not a substitute for therapy or professional/medical help.

Nutrition Apps

Nutrition apps are mobile applications that are designed to help individuals improve their dietary habits and make healthier food choices. These apps can be used for a variety of purposes, such as tracking food intake, monitoring macronutrients and micronutrients, offering personalized meal plans, and providing educational resources. The goal of the apps is to provide users with the information and resources they need to make healthy food choices and maintain a balanced diet. This includes features such as tracking calorie intake, offering recipes and meal plans based on dietary restrictions or preferences and providing information on the nutritional content of various foods.

Below are 3 Nutrition apps that you can download:

  • MyPlate Calorie Counter
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Yummly Recipes & Cooking Tools

MyPlate Calorie Counter

“MyPlate Calorie Counter is an excellent calorie-tracking app that has provided me with a simple and easy way to keep track of my daily food intake. The app's user-friendly interface and intuitive design make it a breeze to use. I especially like the ability to quickly add meals, snacks, and beverages to my daily food diary. The barcode scanner feature is especially useful for quickly finding nutritional information and calorie counts for packaged food. The dashboard and detailed reporting features allow me to easily monitor my progress and make adjustments as needed. Overall, MyPlate Calorie Counter is an excellent app that has helped me become more mindful of my eating habits and stay on track with my health goals. I highly recommend using this app if you wish to track your exercises or nutrition!”

LiveStrong

MyFitnessPal

My experience with MyFitnessPal has been amazing! As someone who is trying to get into healthier eating and exercise habits, it is so helpful to have an app that is so comprehensive. The food logging and calorie tracking feature is especially great for me, because it allows me to keep a better eye on my nutrition and ensure that I am meeting my goals. The barcode scanning feature is also super convenient, since it makes logging food much easier. Additionally, the exercise logging feature is great for tracking my workouts. It's been so helpful to have all of this information in one place, and I'm really impressed with how user-friendly the app is. Highly recommended!”

My Fitness Pal

Yummly Recipes & Cooking Tools

“I have been using the Yummly Recipes & Cooking Tools app for a few weeks now, and I have to say it is one of the best apps I have ever used. The app offers a vast selection of recipes, all categorized in an easy-to-find way. I love that I can search for recipes based on ingredients, dietary restrictions, and even specific cuisines. It also offers a wide variety of cooking tools, such as timers, measurement conversion charts, and even nutrition guides. I appreciate the convenience of having all of these tools in one place. The interface is intuitive and easy to use, and I love that I can save my favourite recipes for future reference. All in all, Yummly Recipes & Cooking Tools is an invaluable tool for any home chef.”

Yummly

Sleep Apps

Sleep apps are tools that are designed to help individuals improve the quality and duration of their sleep. These apps can be used for a variety of purposes, such as tracking sleep patterns, providing relaxation techniques, and offering personalized sleep recommendations. The primary purpose of sleep apps is to provide users with tools and resources to help them achieve better sleep habits and improve their overall sleep quality. This includes features such as sleep tracking, guided meditations, white noise or relaxing sounds, and sleep reminders.

Below are 3 Nutrition apps that you can download:

  • Sleep Cycle
  • HeadSpace
  • SleepEasy

Sleep Cycle

I've been using the Sleep Cycle app for a few months now and it's been a great help in getting a better night's sleep. The app uses body movement tracking to detect when I'm in a light or deep sleep and helps me wake up at the optimal time. The alarm gradually wakes me up with soothing music so I don't feel like I'm being jolted out of bed. I also love the sleep analysis feature which tells me how long I've been in each sleep stage throughout the night and how much sleep I've gotten. I would highly recommend this app to anyone looking to improve their sleep quality.”

Sleep Cycle

HeadSpace

“I have been using HeadSpace for a few weeks now and I have to say that I am truly impressed with the app. From the moment I opened the app and saw the simple, intuitive user interface, I felt like I was in good hands. The design of the app is very familiar and easy to navigate, allowing me to quickly find the lessons and sessions that I was looking for. The guided meditations are well-crafted and have been helping me to relax and find some inner peace. The app also features a range of other features such as sleep sounds and breathing exercises, which have been really helpful in helping me to fall asleep more easily. Overall, I highly recommend this app and I am sure it will continue to help me with my wellbeing.”

HeadSpace

SleepEasy

iOS only

“SleepEasy is an amazing app that has helped me get the best night's sleep of my life. I used to struggle with insomnia due to stress and anxiety, but since I've started using this app I've noticed a huge difference. It has a range of different features that make it easy to personalize the experience to suit your individual needs. For example, I use the sleep timer and the relaxing sounds to help me drift off to sleep. I also love the way the app tracks my sleep cycle so I can see how well I'm sleeping each night. Overall, I highly recommend SleepEasy to anyone who wants to get a better night's sleep.”

SleepEasy