As you likely already know, I live with an assortment of chronic health conditions. The longer I’ve had them, the more ways I’ve found to make managing them a little easier! Some of the best tools I’ve found come from smartphone apps. Today I’m sharing a few of my all-time favourite apps for spoonies and others with chronic illnesses.
This app comes pre-installed on the iPhone, and there are plenty of options available for Android, too. Despite its simplicity, it’s one of my favourite apps for spoonies! I use this for so many different things! I’ve got reminders to take medicine, reminders to pay bills, reminders of deadlines for writing gigs or blog posts…
I’ve even got an “Every Damn Day” list uploaded so I can track the basics (Should I write a full post on my EDD list? Let me know in the comments!)!
Stop, Breathe, Think
I’ve written a full post on the 10% Happier app, but lately I’ve been using Stop, Breathe, Think instead. A bit of variety is good, even in regards to meditation!
I’ve barely tested out the full functionality of this app, but I’ve heard amazing things! 7 Cups of Tea provides online therapy as well as free support from volunteer “listeners.” I absolutely love the concept–even if you’re not fond of the idea of going to therapy, it never hurts to have someone to talk to!
I recently wrote a post featuring my favourite uses for Alexa, so this one should come as no surprise! I love the app for additional reminders, lists, and even controlling music playing on my Echo!
Now, I’m nowhere near as active as I’d like to be at times, largely due to chronic pain and other conditions. But, my Fitbit and its connected app make sure I at least keep an eye on my fitness! From tracking water intake, steps, heart rate, and even menstrual cycles, it’s a fantastic app.
Virtual Hope Box
This app is actually targeted at military personnel, but it can be a great help for civilians suffering from mental health conditions like depression and PTSD. Virtual Hope Box contains distraction tools like sudoku and word search puzzles, some guided breathing and visualisation exercises, coping techniques, and more.
I only check in on LifeCycle about once a week, but it’s one of my favourite apps! Using your phone’s GPS technology, LifeCycle tracks your movements throughout each day, week, month, and year. You’re able to adjust it’s locations and activities and see at a glance how you’ve spent your time!
For me, this serves as an amazing reminder to get out of the house. Working from home, I can go days without much movement, and I might not notice until my mental health suffers as a result without LifeCycle.
My mom recently started using Walmart Grocery, and I must say, it’s a fantastic service! If grocery shopping is too labour-intensive, or a flare hits when you meant to restock some essentials, you can order through Walmart Grocery and have an employee do the shopping for you, with it ready to pick up for you at the store, bagged and ready to go!
As you probably know if you’re a For the Sake of Good Taste reader, I love books! If the pain in my hands is making it difficult for me to hold a regular book, or if I’m out of the house and don’t want to trigger a flare by carrying around a heavy volume, the Kindle app is the perfect solution.
While I don’t use it myself, you could also use Audible (or a similar app) to download and listen to audiobooks!
Another productivity app! I’ve actually written a full review of Trello and shared a bit about how its revolutionised my productivity. Alongside my bullet journal and other tools, Trello helps me manage even my busiest days, despite brain fog.
This is another app that I haven’t been using much recently, but it’s an old favourite! BoosterBuddy uses adorable animations to help you tackle self-care and mental health, checking in with you each day and helping you manage medications, appointments, and other routines.
…or your social media outlet of choice. Of course, social media has its drawbacks, but it also has benefits–especially for those living with chronic illness(es). Dealing with these conditions can be incredibly isolating and social media is a great way to stay connected anyway. Take breaks if you need to, but remember: you can always reach out to someone if you need it, even if they can’t be there in person.
This app actually works in conjunction with some others–including a few on this list! Achievement monitors your healthy habits, like steps, meditation, water intake, and more, and rewards you for them–with points that you can exchange for money! You won’t get rich by tweeting about your latest flare or reading an article (other reward-worthy tasks, with Achievement), but it’s a nice motivator when you need it.
When one of my health issues is acting up, cleaning and organising tends to fall to the wayside, despite my love for doing it. UFYH breaks these chores into quick, manageable challenges that are bound to make you feel like you can tackle the world…or at least the corner of your bedroom you’ve been avoiding!
This is the most recent additions to my smartphone health arsenal! ReWi comes from Yale University’s The Science of Well-Being course, taught by Dr. Laurie Santos. I’ve been taking the class on Coursera and loving it! ReWi lets you track healthy tasks like sleep, gratitude, kindness, connection, and meditation to help you reach your best life. I’d say it’s definitely best used alongside the course, but it could certainly stand on its own! ReWi isn’t the most high-tech app out there, but it’s got a simple, colourful design (its black and white basics turn to bright charts as you track your “homework!”) that makes for a lovely experience.
One more productivity-based app to share! Particularly with anxiety, I have a terrible habit of getting distracted when working on a task. With Forest, you can set the app to a grow a plant for a certain period of time. During that time, you can’t pick up your phone without killing your tree–that Facebook message will wait a few minutes! I love to watch my virtual garden grow as I make my way through my to-do list!
Of course, don’t feel too bad if you do need to use your phone for a legitimate reason–emergencies happen!
Have you tried any of my favourite apps for spoonies? What others do you use to help manage your life with chronic illness?