Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Juliette Sebock | An Ideal Life
I live with an assortment of chronic health conditions and, 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…the list goes on and on.
I’ve even got an “Every Damn Day” list uploaded so I can track the basics and stop executive dysfunction before it strikes (should I write a full post on my EDD list? Let me know in the comments!)!
*Update: Recently, I’ve started using Todoist as an alternate system for lists and projects—it’s more involved than Reminders but it’s another useful option!*
Get the app: Reminders
If you’re looking for a bit of an extra urge to take your meds on time, MediSafe is one of the best options you’ll find. You can customise dosages and times, icons for each medication, and even invite a “Medfriend” to be alerted if you miss a dose.
Get the app: Medisafe
Depending on the sort of meditation I’m looking for at the moment, I use an assortment of meditation apps, including MyLife (previously Stop, Breathe & Think–and compatible with Achievement!), Insight Timer, and even YouTube. Whether I’m trying to relieve pain or anxiety, fall asleep after a long day, or focus with a little less stress, a good meditation can make that happen.
Get the apps: MyLife – Insight Timer – YouTube
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 or podcasts playing on my Echo Dot.
Get the app: Amazon Alexa
Now, I’m nowhere near as active as I’d like to be at times, largely due to chronic pain and other conditions, not to mention my constant state of busyness. But, my Fitbit Versa 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 all-around. I typically use it alongside My Fitness Pal and Plant Nanny to keep on top of my overall well-being.
Get the app: Fitbit
Virtual Hope Box contains distraction tools like sudoku and word search puzzles, some guided breathing and visualisation exercises, coping techniques, and more. If you’re looking for help coping with PTSD or other mental health conditions, VHB is especially soothing.
Get the app: Virtual Hope Box
I only check in on LifeCycle about once a week, but it’s one of my favourite apps! Using cell phone towers and wifi locations, LifeCycle tracks your movements throughout each day, week, month, and year. You’re able to adjust its 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 (especially amidst 2020’s quarantine cycles), and I might not notice until my mental health suffers as a result without LifeCycle.
Get the app: LifeCycle
My parents use 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!
Get the app: Walmart
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I love books! If the pain in my hands is making it difficult for me to hold a regular book or my Kindle Paperwhite, 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!
Get the app: Kindle
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.
Get the app: Trello
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.
Get the app: BoosterBuddy
…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.
Get the app: Twitter
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.
Get the app: Achievement
When one of my health issues is acting up, cleaning and organising tend 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!
Get the app: UFYH
This is one of 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.
Get the app: ReWi
One more productivity-based app to share! Particularly with anxiety and suspected ADHD/autism, I have a terrible habit of getting distracted when working on a task. With Flora, 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!
Get the app: Flora
Full disclosure, I’m terrible at remembering to track my migraines, even with this app. I think I’m subconsciously afraid that marking it as done will make it surge again! Nevertheless, this app is so well-done. Tracking symptoms, weather, and possible triggers makes for a fantastic migraine/headache tracker. I’m determined to get to a point where I’m utilising this one more fully!
*Update: I’ve just started tracking or trying to remember to track!) with Cove as well! While it’s not an app, you can add the web dashboard to your home screen for easy access.*
Get the app: Migraine Buddy