Download These Self-Care Apps When Everything Sucks

It's okay not to feel okay all the time.

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(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

What even is self-care? Is it taking a moment to be grateful? Eating that piece of chocolate? Putting on the face mask? Getting to the gym? Letting go of toxic relationships? Looking at hot pictures of Prince Harry? Nine out of 10 people would say yes to all of the above, but actually allowing ourselves to practice self-care guilt-free is a lot easier said than done (thanks, millennial culture).

Now that you've taken the first step toward achieving self-care by opening this article, download any of the 12 apps, below, that will work their stress-reducing magic to help you feel your best. Because that's what self-care is really all about.

1. Co-Star Astrology 


Sometimes all it takes is a little insight from the stars to shake off a bad mood. Co-Star's daily free personalized charts—which allow you to plug in your sun, moon and rising sign—can help you understand why you may be feeling stressed, and encourage some big-picture thinking. (Trust me, it gets deep.) You can also view your friends' charts once they accept you on the app.

2. White Noise Lite 


Trouble sleeping? White Noise Lite provides you with relaxing white noise, which contains frequencies with equal intensities proven to help you sleep and soothe migraines or headaches. Think: rain or birds chirping. You can mix your own sounds on the no-fee app for a personalized touch, depending on what makes you feel most comfortable.

3. PictureThis


When you need to remind yourself that better days are ahead, try heading to your local park and spending some time with nature. While you do that, download the free PictureThis plant identifier app to discover the gorgeous flowers and plants around you, and bring some of that happiness home with you. The botanical encyclopedia pinpoints nearly 30 million flowers, trees, succulents, cacti, mushrooms, herbs, shrubs, and grasses, so you're able to find the ones that spark joy.

4. Headspace


Headspace guides meditation beginners through hundreds of mindfulness techniques to help you achieve the balance you've desperately been craving. No need to worry about having enough time for it—two- to three-minute meditations exist for when you need to pause and center yourself in the middle of a stressful work day. Subscriptions begin at $13 per month or $95 per year.

5. Shine


Shine allows you to prioritize mental health by helping set personal growth goals, sending daily motivational texts, and providing "Shine talks" on everything from stress and anxiety to self-love to burnout. (Lookin' at you, 2020 election season.) It's like having your best friend in your pocket 24/7 reminding you how badass you are. Monthly subscriptions are $10 and yearly subscriptions are $54.

6. Goodreads


Curling up with an amazing book is a great escape from reality, but you don't have to do it alone. Connect with the millions of Goodreads readers (for free!) who are reading the same book as you, asking each other questions or discussing that crazy plot twist.

You can also join Marie Claire's virtual book club, #ReadWithMC, to ensure you always have someone to read with. Follow Marie Claire on Goodreads here and learn more about #ReadWithMC here.

7. Colorfy


Coloring book, but make it digital. Instead of bingeing that Netflix series you've re-watched twice already, crawl under the covers and open up the Colorfy app. It's super relaxing and the only thing you'll be worrying about is staying inside the lines. Once you're done, save it and print it out to add some new wall art to your room. Access the app with weekly ($3), monthly ($8), or annual ($40) subscriptions.

8. Moment

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(Image credit: Moment)


Ironically, there's an app to help you get off your phone and be more present. Moment tracks your phone usage, determining which apps you use the most (i.e. how much time you're spending scrolling through Twitter and Instagram in bed), and even offers coaching on how to reduce phone time—all for free. 2019, folks.

9. Amazon Music 


Sometimes self-care comes in the form of listening to your favorite artists on repeat. Plug in your headphones and open up Amazon Music to stream songs from artists like Daniel Caesar and Frank Ocean who never fail to put everyone in their feels. Prime members can join for $7.99/month (non-Prime members pay $9.99/month) or $79/year.

10. Five Minute Journal


Instead of fearing the tragic moment the musings in your Notes app accidentally get deleted, download the $5 Five Minute Journal app and start taking—you guessed it—five minutes out of your day to reflect and focus on the positive. It includes a timeline view to access all of your previous journal entries, daily inspiring quotes, and a one-photo-per-day tool to capture the feel-good moments, like sunsets and brunch...obviously!

11. Calm

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If the name didn't give it away, the free Calm app—equipped with Siri capabilities—helps people relax when dealing with stressful situations like consuming the never-ending news cycle or preparing for that upcoming job interview. It provides daily meditation, a sleep timer that will play calming music until you drift off, and masterclasses on topics including how to fuel your creativity without fear by best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert.

12. ClassPass


When many people think of self-care, they think of doing something great for their bodies, like exercising. With the free ClassPass app, you can book group fitness classes in your area, like yoga and boxing, to boost those endorphins. *Insert Legally Blonde reference here.* After you finish the class, go home and put a face mask on. You deserve it.

Rachel Epstein

Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.