Forget resolutions: start this New Year on a positive note and allow these constructive apps to boost your mind, body, spirit and attitude.

This year, why not do yourself a favour and eschew traditional New Year’s Resolutions in favour of healthy habits that feel like positive, enriching changes, not self-imposed deprivation?

Whether you’re interested in trying a plant-based diet; implementing some mindfulness practices; or getting active, here are five apps to help you get the year off to an constructive and upbeat start.

The Vegan Recipe App

When terms like ‘Veganuary’ cross over into the mainstream lexicon, you know that a movement is born. Indeed, increasing numbers of us are pledging to add more plant-based foods to our diets, both for health and environmental benefits, and the trend is only gathering momentum. Whether you want to go cold turkey (literally), or just to introduce ‘Meat-Free Mondays’, the Deliciously Ella app, from plant-based entrepreneur Ella Mills, is brimming with inspiration to get you started. Happily, there’s no hint of ‘rabbit food’ in sight; just a huge dollop of flavour-filled comfort-food. Updated weekly with new content, expect 400-plus easy-to-follow recipes, instructional cooking videos and a meal-planner function, as well as a health and wellbeing podcast and 40 yoga videos. A one-stop hub for your New Year’s health kick.
99p/mth subscription

The Mindfulness App

The award-winning Aura app takes a ‘high-tech approach to mindfulness’, with clever AI learning to deliver you a tailored, daily meditation practice in as little as three minutes, all aimed at reducing stress and increasing positivity. Short and sweet, but science-backed, the exercises are designed to increase feelings of happiness and gratitude. Simply tell the app how you’re feeling and it will deliver you just the guided meditation you need to turn things around. Feed back on the results and the clever app will tailor your next session to build on your personalised mindfulness journey. A great, easy-to-implement daily practice to boost your mood.
$12/mth subscription, free version available

The Sobriety App
If ditching alcohol, cigarettes or any other addiction is your goal for 2020, the Sober Day tracker app is a great pocket companion to help you stay focused and feel supported. The app asks you to commit by starting each day with a pledge to stay sober and it reviews your struggles and emotions each evening. A great tool to help you see patterns in your addictive behaviours and identify your triggers, there’s also an encouraging sobriety calculator to show you the money and time you’ve saved by staying sober too. Track and celebrate your progress with an in-built photo journal that you can either keep private as a reminder of your milestones, or share with friends and family. The app can be fully customised, depending on the level of support and type of addiction you are looking to tackle, and there are peer support groups and access to professional sobriety resources should you need them, too.

The Gratitude App

Researchers at the Harvard Medical School have found that ‘gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships’ – who doesn’t want to achieve that in 2020? The Grateful App is designed to build the daily habit of expressing gratitude in your life, making it an easy and fun practice that you can reflect and draw on in moments of low mood or anxiety. Rather than staring at a blank page, the daily prompts offer you leading questions to kickstart your gratitude tracking. All you have to do is answer: ‘What made you smile today?’ or ‘what made today a good day?’. You simply fill in your answer in words or photos and start to build up a memory bank of positive thoughts and times. The clever feed allows you to then filter your answers and look back at past entries when you need a boost – whether that’s recalling everything that made you smile that year, or looking at your highlights from a particular month. A thought-provoking, habit-forming app for positive change.
Free version available

The Couch to 5k

If you’re looking for a no-frills, free Couch to 5k app to get you off the sofa and out the door, the One You Couch to 5k app, devised by Public Health England has had 2 million downloads and counting. It’s a great, easy-to-follow nine-week course, designed by experts to build your fitness slowly. Starting with run/walk intervals, you can choose from a range of well-known ‘coaches’, from Olympian Michael Johnson to BBC Presenter Jo Whiley. Your coach will give you prompts as you run, plus tips and encouragement as you build up to running a full 30 mins by the end of the programme. Log your progress and achievements within the app and even track the mood-boosting benefits you feel with those post-run, endorphin highs. Looking for more support? You can connect with like-minded new runners through the Couch to 5k HealthUnlocked community forums to share advice, tips and motivation to keep you on track.


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