5 best apps for a healthy mind


Male nurse with a smart phone

iStockphoto | ThinkStock + Scrubs

We’ve previously written about great apps designed to help improve your physical fitness, but what if you are looking for ways to improve your mental wellness?

Well, there’s an app for that.

In fact, we found five apps designed to help exercise your brain! If you’ve used any of these before, share your experience with your fellow nurses in the comments below. And also be sure to share your own favorite mind apps!

1. Headspace
Appropriately named, Headspace bills itself as “meditation for modern living.” The app is designed to teach meditation in 10-minute sessions to fit a bit of relaxation into the hurriedness of modern life…we can’t think of anything more perfect for nurses!

You can use the app every day, and Headspace cites research that brain activity begins to change within a few days.

Price: Though the app itself is free, you’ll have to pay for full access. It’s $14.95 per month, though you can receive discounts for signing up for one or two years.
Platform: iOS, Android

2. Lumosity
Perhaps the most popular of the so-called “brain training” apps, Lumosity uses a variety of games to train your “memory and attention.” As you may have seen in commercials for the app, the company says the games are based on “the science of neuroplasticity.”

Though there are some skeptics of the benefits Lumosity claims to provide, a new study shows that game performance can distinguish between patients with cirrhosis of the liver, pre-cirrhotic patients and healthy controls.

Price: The app is free and you can play a limited number of games at no cost. To access all games and features, you must purchase a subscription that starts at $5 per month, though a two year subscription is required for this price.
*Note: you must create an account to see pricing information.
Platform: iOS

3. BrainHQ
BrainHQ is similar to Lumosity, but has exercises specially designed for more specific areas. These include exercises focusing on people skills, navigation, brain speed, attention and memory.

Price: The app is free and free to try, though monthly subscriptions start at $8.
Platform: Web and iPad

4. Breathe2Relax
We all know anxiety can be a problem some nurses face on a daily basis, and Breathe2Relax is designed, as its name implies, to help you relax through breathing techniques.

The app is based on the concept of diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes known as belly breathing. The method has been used for centuries and is said to turn on the body’s relaxation response.

Price: Free
Platform: iOS, Android

5. Code Happy
OK, we couldn’t help but toot our own horn a bit with this one. While Code Happy isn’t expressly created for your mental health, we always feel a little happier when we log on–and we hope you do, too.

Code Happy is a community of nurses that come together to support each other through the good and the bad of our profession. In addition to being able to send support to and receive it from other nurses, you also can also check out the Smile of the Day, Code Happy Support Circles and tons more!

Price: Free
Platform: iOS, Android


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