In a mental rut? Feeling bored, or uninspired? We feel you. Verging on the fourth month of quarantine, most of us are sick of staring at the four walls of our house. Your at-home workouts are either dragging or have come to a complete halt, and you’ve probably exhausted your go-to recipes. Here’s a list of the 10 best free apps (in our humble opinion), to spark some inspo during your quarantine. We could all use a pick-me-up.
- Libby - Use the extra time during quarantine to put a dent in your reading list. Libby is an affordable way to read your favorite books; simply link your library card and rent e-books directly from your local library through Libby. You can download the books to a Kindle device or read it on the app. Whether it be audiobooks, magazines, or e-books— Libby has a huge (and free!) selection.
- Headspace - Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, Headspace is great for guided meditations. There are so many meditations to choose from ranging from 3 minute SOS sessions to 10-20 minute guides with a more targeted focus. The variety of meditations makes it easy to tailor your needs. During quarantine, our minds are way less challenged than usual, which can cause us to have more trouble sleeping at night. Luckily, Headspace also has an entire section of meditations dedicated to falling and staying asleep as well. Another awesome feature of the app is the free workouts focused on “Stress Release” or “Reframing Anxiety” to combine your mindfulness with exercise.
- Skillshare - As mentioned, our brains are understimulated during quarantine from literally doing less. Skillshare is a platform that offers free classes on virtually any topic you can think of. Writing, freelancing, painting, marketing, and interior design are some examples of the variety Skillshare has to offer. These classes are great for pursuing passions or learning something new outside of your comfort zone. You might not be able to leave your house, but you can challenge your brain and educate yourself on a new topic with the click of a button.
- FitOn - It can be really difficult to find a free workout app without any paywalls, but FitOn is the closest thing. You can browse different workouts and individualize your routine. No equipment? Small space? There are videos specifically for you. You can even enjoy workouts taught by celebrities like Gabrielle Union’s Ultimate HIIT, or Jonathon Van Ness’s Heart Opening Yoga Flow. These workouts are easily customizable and you can combine videos because they are relatively short in length, or do a quick 5-minute arm workout before dinner. FitOn provides a multitude of free workout videos to help you stay healthy and fit during quarantine!
- Shine - Shine is another meditation app similar to Headspace, with different features to calm anxiety and stress. What’s unique about Shine is the Discuss tab, in which you can anonymously respond to a Question Of The Day and post your answers publicly. Fellow users can like your response, and scroll through thousands of others. This beneficial feature allows users to know they’re not alone in their feelings of stress, exhaustion, or insecurity; sometimes, it can feel better to know that someone understands your feelings and experiences. In addition, Shine has meditations specifically designed for Black Mental Health and allies of minorities. These free resources are much-needed given both the quarantine and the current political climate.
- Tasty - Bored of eating the same thing every day? If you’re looking for new recipes to keep the kitchen exciting, download Tasty! You can look up recipes for desserts, breakfast, dinner, or even drinks. Choose between healthy options or cheat-day recipes and watch a video of how it’s made, accompanied by written directions and a list of ingredients. Trying new recipes is another way to learn and stimulate your brain during quarantine; it’s time to sharpen your knives and freshen up your cooking skills. Plus, Tasty is partnered with Walmart so you can directly order ingredients from the app.
- Grateful - It’s been scientifically proven that practicing gratitude can help you sleep better, make you happier, and help to manifest positive things into your life. Gratitude journals can be tedious to buy or set up but Grateful makes this easy by simply downloading an app. Each day, there are prompts to answer like, “What are you grateful for?” or, “What are you looking forward to today?” You can set reminders on your phone for a certain time to practice gratitude each day, and it only takes 5 minutes. The accessibility of this virtual gratitude journal makes it much easier to keep yourself accountable, too!
- Podcasts- This app normally comes previously downloaded on iPhones and is one of the easiest platforms to listen to your favorite podcasts on. Podcasts are the perfect source of inspiration and information. Listen to The Skinny Confidential to renew your health kick, Off She Goes to widen your perspective or, Women On Top to get motivated by business leaders and activists. More simply, you can use podcasts to listen to the news and stay educated on our world’s current state.
- Fooducate - Fooducate differs from traditional dieting apps in that its mission is to promote knowledge about the foods you’re putting into your body. Fooducate has a barcode scanner in which you can scan foods at the grocery store for their grade, and a scientifically-backed breakdown of the food’s ingredients. You might be thinking you’re making healthy choices, but once you use Fooducate to fact-check these decisions you might become aware of artificial ingredients or MSGs. Improve your eating habits during quarantine with this app and make sure your healthy snacks are actually nutritious.
- Drink Water Reminder N Tracker - When you’re home all day in quarantine it can be easy to forget to drink water— don’t worry, there’s an app for that. This app is the most simple and highly-rated for drinking water. It sends you reminders throughout the day to drink water and calculates how much you should be drinking each day based on height, weight, and activity. During these hot summer months, it is especially important to stay hydrated for your skin, body, and digestive system. Water is probably the answer to 95% of your problems.
The quarantine can be dull, understimulating, and stressful. We hope one of these free apps will encourage you to try a healthy lifestyle change or learn something new. Put a podcast on and mist our essential sprays to brighten your mood. Keep in mind that these are purely our opinions, not affiliate links, and we do not receive a commission from these apps. Comment below any app recommendations you have that are total mood-boosters and let us know what kind of articles you’d like to read!