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6 Apps to Help You Build Better Habits

Track your progress on living a healthier life with today's mobile apps.
Photo: Shutterstock

Nothing eases stress and anxiety like making positive decisions that lead to overall wellbeing. Building healthy habits can help you make those decisions without all the excuses, procrastination, and drama. Fortunately, technology can help. A host of apps are available to help you track your progress and provide motivation to stay on track. For list lovers, it’s the ultimate to-do list with perks. Although the common thought is that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, a study in the European Journal of Social Psychology reveals it actually takes a bit longer, 66 days to be precise. However, that number can vary depending on the individual. To start living your best life, consider tackling the issues that are holding you back and begin building better habits today with these helpful apps.

Daylio ($0.99 to $32.99)

If you’ve always wanted to create a bullet journal but were too overwhelmed by the level of detail required, this self-care bullet journal simplifies the process. You create an entry in two taps, picking your mood and activities. Daylio then crunches the data and displays it in stats, charts, and correlations. The app also comes with a goals mood diary and a happiness tracker. Other fun features include a database of icons for custom activities, funny emojis to mix and match your mood, customizable color themes, your “Year in Pixels,” and more.

Fabulous ($3.99 to $299.99)

Using behavioral science, this app, incubated in Duke University’s Behavioral Economics Lab, is designed to help you build healthy rituals. It relies on the same method that elite athletes and successful entrepreneurs use to improve their games. Fabulous will build you a personal road map following a brief questionnaire to help you improve in a variety of areas, such as productivity, energy, motivation, healthy living, and confidence.   

Most Days (currently free)

Partnering with top wellness experts in everything from depression to sleep, Most Days is designed to help you understand what you need to improve your life and create lasting change. To begin, you create or join a routine, which is a set of habits to be completed most days that will help you focus on improving the quality of your life. Some existing routines include General Wellness, Depression, Sleep, Stress & Burnout, Anxiety, Grief, Addiction, Relationship, Divorce, Loneliness, Trauma/PTSD, and OCD. Each day, the app will prompt you to record any habits completed and share your journey with others. Available on the Apple App Store, Most Days charts your progress so you can understand the correlation between healthy habits and quality of life.

Productive ($0.99 to $29.99)

This habit tracker app lets you set personal goals, build new habits, and create momentum. It begins with a series of questions, and the responses are then used to create a customized plan to help you achieve your goals. Fully customizable, it lets you name your habits, choose specific icons, and even select a color that resonates. Smart reminders share a summary of the tasks scheduled for various parts of the day. From taking your vitamins to working out, Productive helps you make the most of your day with time management strategies that let you accomplish more in less time.

Streaks ($2.99)

A to-do list to help you form good habits, Streaks lets you create your own tasks, such as eating healthily, meditating, or practicing Spanish. Every day you complete a task, your streak is extended. Streaks can also track specific goals, including walking a certain number of steps, monitoring your heart rate, recording your blood pressure, running a specific distance, and more. And because not all tasks need to be completed daily, you can also specify when they need to be done. For instance, calling your parents every Sunday, avoiding junk food Monday through Friday, hitting the gym three times a week. Best of all, you can track your progress, which keeps you motivated to stay on track. Streaks is available for iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac.

Todayist ($5.99 to $64.99)

Designed to help you make the most of each day, this planning tool allows you to create daily rituals that enhance your life, find flexible ways to fit your goals into each day, add tasks to improve your day, discover daily mindsets that help you prioritize wellbeing, track your mood, and reflect on what adds value to your day. A fun and easy way to stay inspired, Todayist helps you tackle the issues you keep putting on the back burner.

About The Author
Heather-Mikesell-author-1

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent, abcnews.com, jetsetter.com, outside.com, and wellandgood.com, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.