In a booming era for health-focused apps, health coaches can recommend useful apps that meet their clients’ needs and interests. My Primal Health Coach peers and I put together this ultimate list!
Without further ado, we present: The 27 Best Apps for You and Your Health Coaching Clients in 2020.
Sleep, Meditation, and Mindfulness
Aura is unique among meditation apps because it’s driven by artificial intelligence that personalizes your sessions based on your mood and recent listening experience. Sessions are 3 minutes to an hour, and they involve meditation, life coaching, storytime, nature sounds, or music. Another unique feature is the social aspect, which allows users to reflect and leave comments after a session.
Currently rated #1 in Health & Fitness, Calm offers guided meditations and programs by world-renowned experts; breathing programs, stretching exercises, relaxing music, and sleep stories for adults and children. The 3-25 minute guided meditations are great for every skill level, and this is a great app for families.
Headspace was one of the first meditation apps available, and it’s designed with a more secular, approachable feel. They offer 2-3 minute mini-meditations, which further decreases the usual intimidation factor commonly experienced by new meditators. Move Mode is a new feature to get your clients through quick workouts and rest day meditations.
Insight Timer boasts a massive library of 45,000 free meditations (with over 80 new ones added daily). Meditations focus on dozens of topics like sleep and anxiety, or something more specific like leadership and loving-kindness. All searches can be filtered to include secular, science-based, spiritual, new age, or a specific religion in your results. There’s even a social aspect for specialized communities so users can experience more immersion and support.
Meditation Studio offers exclusive content from 70 of the world’s leading experts. It’s one of my preferred meditation apps because it’s easy to select meditations based on what I’m looking for—like my favorite instructors, or a certain category such as changing habits or confidence for instance, or a personally-relevant topic. Meditations can be sorted by demographic or community (think: Moms, Kids, Entrepreneurs).
Meditation Studio recently partnered with Muse, a brain-sensing headband that translates your brain activity through real-time feedback while you meditate. I owe Muse for my newfound confidence with meditation, because the headband takes the guesswork out of “am I doing this right?”
I’ve been recommending this app to my clients for years because it’s simple and effective. iSleepEasy offers a handful of guided meditations, playlists, and soundscapes to help you fall asleep, get back to sleep, and stop your racing thoughts. My favorite features: set a sleep timer for the music to continue after the meditation is over, or use “The Wee Hours Rescue” playlist to fall back asleep whenever you’re suddenly wide-eyed at 2 am. Before you know it, you’re passed out (because it works!).
Sleep Cycle is an intelligent alarm clock that monitors your sleep patterns so the alarm goes off during your lightest stage of sleep (within a 30-45 minute timeframe). That means you wake up less groggy than usual. Sleep Cycle helped me overcome chronic fatigue. I used the sleep tracking graphs and added tags to see if coffee or late meals affected my sleep; and in the end I learned so much—including how sensitive I am to my phone’s EMF signals (even with the wifi off).
7.5. Check out their sister app called Sleep Cycle Power Nap (iPhone only)
It uses the same technology that wakes you up in a lighter stage of sleep and offers a 20-minute power nap, a 45-minute recovery nap, and 1 full sleep cycle (up to 120 minutes)— this is great for clients dealing with chronic fatigue or burnout.
This guided meditation app is aimed at “fidgety skeptics” who seek a relatable and straightforward way to learn meditation. The fundamental video lessons, with world-renowned instructors, include interviews that help you understand the intention or common challenges regarding the meditation lesson you’re about to try. The beginner program, with Joseph Goldstein, is perfect for anyone who finds meditation a bit intimidating.
Exercise, Mobility, and Fitness Trackers
ALO is a mobile yoga and fitness studio that’s great for clients who want exercise and meditation ideas all in one place. They offer classes that can be filtered by goals like strength, flexibility, and stress reduction, or filtered by difficulty, time, or instructor. Users can choose from many different styles such as Vinyasa yoga, Cardio/HIIT, and even meditation. Videos are downloadable, there’s an online community, new classes are added daily and even personalized for the user’s home page.
This is an impressive family of apps by DownDog: Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Barre, 7 Minute Workouts, and the completely customizable HIIT Workouts. I’m always recommending the no-fuss HIIT Workouts app because it’s awesome for busy individuals who want simple solutions. Customizations include the degree of difficulty for upper body, lower body, and abs, and the length of workout ranging from 3-90 minutes. Your clients will never do the same workout twice with this app, and it goes by fast with 25-second moves and 10-second breaks (customizable, too). The music is included, and no equipment is needed.
P.S. The 7 Minute Workout App is free, but I suggest you visit their site to get the entire family of Down Dog apps for 33% off, a pandemic discount, at this time.
This exercise tracker offers a solid combination of weight lifting and bodybuilding programs, kettlebells, and even bodyweight exercises to do at home. The database includes 1300 videos and is fully customizable to create your own programs specific to a goal (like six-pack abs or losing weight). JEFIT has a community aspect to keep your clients motivated, too.
12. Map My Run -Fitness or -Hike Apps (by Under Armour)
This family of apps by Under Armour helps your endurance-loving clients log over 600 activities including running, cycling, gym workouts, yoga, and more. It maps out your runs, hikes, or cycling routes, with GPS, and it even provides real-time audio coaching that notifies you of your pace and distance. Save your favorite paths, share your map with friends, and monitor your heart rate zones. You can even connect Under Armour’s “smart shoes” to track your mileage.
This exercise app, called NTC, provides free workouts with high-quality videos by top Nike trainers and athletes. Workouts can be filtered by muscle group, time, workout type, and by the amount of equipment you have (zero equipment needed!). Classes included downloadable videos and fully developed programs including nutrition, recovery tips, and targeted goals.
This app is a virtual mobility coach for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone determined to recover from injury. The Ready State (TRS) is a mobility program that teaches the best mobility plans and exercises to recover, prevent injury, and optimize one’s game. The app is organized by sport, pre and post-workout, pain management, mobility, and more. It’s no wonder top athletes in the NBA and NFL, and all branches of the military, use TRS.
Strava is very similar to the Track My Run app from Under Armour, but it’s even more social. Clients can GPS their path, choose from thousands of trails, and analyze their training stats. They can also join monthly challenges to compete with others, share photos, and follow friends with Strava.
StrongLifts plans your client’s weight lifting workouts using a proven technique called 5×5, which means 5 sets of 5 reps and rest 90 seconds in between sets; then move onto the next workout and repeat for a total of 3 effective exercises in 45 minutes. This is for clients who want to build muscle and strength, but who also have experience with classic strength training like barbell squats, deadlifts, bench pressing, etc… The app tells users how much to lift, which exercises to do, when to increase weight, and more.
Nutrition and Fasting Trackers
When your clients try carbohydrate reduction for the first time, tracking carbs can be super helpful. This app allows them to easily track or scan over 1 million foods with the app’s database which also includes thousands of exclusive, low-carb tested recipes, plus 10,000 user-submitted recipes. Your clients can get personalized meal plans, shopping lists, track their ketones, blood glucose, fasting, and more.
Cronometer is a totally comprehensive nutrition and dietary tracker. Your clients can use it for specific diets like keto, paleo, or vegan, and track further details like micronutrients or fasting schedules. They’ll love these features: scan food labels, log supplements, integrate activity trackers, log their Body Mass Index, and keep track of water intake. This app also displays nutrition trends over time and offers a print option so clients can share progress with you.
LIFE is an innovative resource and social community built to help individuals reach their fasting goals while learning from educational content along the way. It’s completely free and includes social features, like niche “fasting circles,” which gives users a way to connect with people on the same fasting track so they can find support and encouragement along the way. I’m one of LIFE’s expert coaches, and my clients are loving it!
Zero is the world’s most popular fasting app, and it keeps things simple with essential fasting tools, educational content, and proven fasting protocols (without the social aspect of the LIFE app). Your clients should check out both, Zero and LIFE, and see which one feels right for them.
Habits and Routines
Although it has a peculiar name, this science-based app helps people build routines and stick to them. With recommendations straight from the behavioral economics lab at Duke, Fabulous encourages users to strive for healthy habits and stay on track with your routines. This is perfect for clients aiming to build more healthy habits and routines, or for clients who lose track of their goals, or the time it takes to complete recurring tasks.
Habits only become a habit when you stay consistent and don’t break the chain. Streaks tracks your habit completion very strictly so that it will reset every time you skip a day. It’s a very valuable tool for clients who like to see their efforts accumulating or need extra accountability. It works for any habit like exercise, meditation, or drinking water, but it’s great for breaking bad habits, too.
This app saved me from a week of agony—on more than one occasion. Timeshifter is a circadian rhythm reset plan developed by world-renowned scientists. Users enter their flight information and the app computes a personalized schedule to help alleviate insomnia, fatigue, and any symptoms caused by jet lag. Imagine taking a quick glance to see if it’s time to stop drinking coffee, shine bright lights in your face, or take a nap. This is a must-have app for any clients who travel across more than one timezone.
Miscellaneous Lifestyle and Wellbeing
Happify uses science-based methods and games to take your clients through a program designed to help them reach their chosen happiness-related goals. Goals include conquering negative thoughts, building self-confidence, career success, and dozens more. 86% of Happify users report that they feel better about their lives after 2 months of use.
Lumosity is one of the most beautifully designed, fun-to-play brain training apps available. Brain games can get your clients off of mindless screen time habits—like candy crush and social media—and into games that exercise their memory, attention, problem-solving, and more.
Meetup.com is a massive online host to search for communities with common interests, events by category, and local clubs. This is perfect for clients who want to start a new chapter, make friends, or nurture a hobby. The Meetup app makes it super easy to search for local interests, set up notifications, RSVP to free meetups, and even start their own club.
MyFlo is a period tracker, and it teaches users about each phase of the menstrual cycle. This period and fertility app helped me notice trends related to my hormones and my health, and then make changes needed to improve my well-being. My clients who practice intermittent fasting or keto love it because tracking their cycle is so important. This app is filled with valuable insights.