BWB Beauty Awards: The Wellness Apps That Have Taken Off
From nutritional counseling to meditation to sleep tracking and fitness. here is a roundup of our favorite digital wellness platforms.
2020 was the year of at-home exercise and online fitness. Due to COVID-19, we will certainly be slow to return to nutritionists, luxury gyms and boutique fitness classes in 2021. It will take some time to resume our pre-pandemic habits, especially as consumers become accustomed to paying less for wellness experiences.In very little time, BWB has seen the growing success of apps and online platforms that offer virtual experiences from nutritional counseling to meditation to sleep tracking or fitness. Read on to discover the digital wellness options that have been keeping us happy and healthy at home!
Watch Out for Weight Watchers
Most of us remember Weight Watchers as a dieting program for our mothers. But, the company has kept up with tech-savvy millennials thanks to a user-friendly app that takes all the guesswork out of balancing your diet.
Now, members can rely on the app to track everything they eat. Weight Watchers provides point values for common brand foods, fresh ingredients and even chain restaurant dishes. If there are no search results for packaged items, you can add them into the app by inputting nutritional values. Further, you can even use the app to input the recipes you make frequently at home to calculate how many points are in one serving. The best part is the barcode scanner! Take a picture of an item at the grocery store and immediately know the point value.
New Kid on the Block
Wellory is a new favorite of the tech community for its “anti-diet approach” to nutrition and wellness. As a fresh start-up, the app recently raised 4.5 million dollars to successfully build its buzzing new platform. Tired of dating diets? Establish a long term relationship with a certified nutritionist!
Wellory pairs consumers with nutritionists to offer on-demand, personalized diet advice and coaching without judgment. Their mission is to put a human coach at the center of understanding the customer’s health data. With nutrition as the wedge, Wellory has built a trusted relationship with people who want to permanently better understand and improve their well-being.
The Membership by Erika Bloom
Erika Bloom has successfully converted her individual struggle into a garden of wellness for others. When COVID-19 closed her studios across Turks and Caicos, Los Angeles and the Hamptons, she developed an even larger online platform. In fact, her following has only continued to bloom during lockdown. Her online classes have helped many people nourish themselves and move their bodies through a deeply troubling time.
With Erika’s membership, you get exclusive access to their thoughtful and detailed videos from healing movement and nutrition to meditation and sleep. You will also get access to a comprehensive video library of Essential Movement, Restorative Movement, Nutrition, Meditation and Wellness. New content is shared through pre-recorded video as well as live practices that grant the opportunity to interact with Erika and her team of highly trained practitioners.
Cassey Ho is one of YouTube’s OG fitness instructors. Since 2009, she’s been uploading “POP” pilates routines for her loyal fan base, whom she lovingly calls her popsters. In addition to providing free monthly exercise plans on her website, she also sells full meal plans for vegetarians, pescatarians, omnivores and the like. After observing immense success with fan merch, Cassey used her platform to build a fitness apparel brand called POPFLEX Active. Now, you can also find some of her yoga mats, free weights, resistance bands and yoga blocks at Target thanks to a recent partnership.
I’ve been using Cassey’s videos since I was in high school, and I’ve never found a better fitness instructor on YouTube. Her bright and bubbly personality is enough to get anyone through even the toughest cardio routines. I’m never bored, and my muscles are always sore! — Teresa Deely
Rendez-vous with Tara Stiles
Strala Yoga combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. The practice helps relieve stress, challenge the body and boost energy. Memberships offer regular live classes and workshops alongside a huge library of classes, home-retreats, and training sessions, all led by Strala founders, Tara Stiles and Mike Taylor.
Imagine having a super cool best friend in your pocket at all times to calm you down, motivate you and move with you. Strala Home is just that. Tara Stiles – and her husband Mike Taylor – offer casual classes from the comfort of their home to yours for every level and mood. There are live classes every day to keep you—literally—on your toes. — Rebecca Leffler
Sam Harris, founded the Waking Up app around two core principles: practice and theory. While you meditate, you can also understand the why behind it.
Now, more than ever, I feel that it’s so important to check in with yourself every day. Meditation can do wonders to help calm your mind, destress, and overall, be more productive—but focusing isn’t always so easy. Over the past year, I’ve been using the Waking Up app founded by neuroscientist, philosopher, and author Sam Harris. Not only does it feature guided meditation sessions, but there are also mini lessons and life stories from a range of speakers that humanizes the experience. The greatest takeaway of it all? The quality of your mind determines the quality of your life. — Wendy Sy
Calm At Your Fingertips
A large part of the Calm app revolves around getting restful sleep and waking up refreshed. It also includes categories for meditation sessions according to particular themes (such as gratitude, confidence, anxiety release, and mindful eating). In addition to breathing exercises, there are wellness masterclasses led by doctors, authors, happiness experts and Calm’s head of mindfulness, Tamara Levitt.
Keep calm and… Download the Calm app at once. This app is like a portable therapist that wakes you up every day with Tamara Levitt’s soothing voice. Start the day with positive, inspirational messages and ease into your sleep with music and meditation. — Rebecca Leffler
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Who wouldn’t fall in love with an app that’s called Ten Percent Happier? Sounds realistic, right? Designed for “fidgety skeptics” of meditation, there are basic courses and talks to help you along your journey to a happier mind. The app was created by author and ABC news anchor Dan Harris, who had a panic attack on live TV and used the experience to create something positive instead. Ten Percent Happier also includes a book, podcast, and blog, so you can continue incorporating meditation into your life in bite-sized ways. And there’s no better time to start than now.
Keep Up With the Flow
It’s important to track your menstrual cycle for so many different reasons. Knowing when your period is coming keeps you prepared and in control. The Flo App lets you log any symptoms you experience on any given day, so you can also more easily identify premenstrual signs. If you are trying to plan your family, the app also provides an ovulation window for when you are most likely to be fertile. As the app learns more about your cycle, it will suggest informational health and wellness articles that pertain to your experience. If your period is late, for example, the Flo Health Assistant tries to help you figure out why!
When I first started getting my period, I felt like it often came as a surprise. Flo helps me feel more in control of my cycle and I am infinitely more knowledgeable about my own hormonal fluctuations and symptoms. I downloaded it in high school with a bunch of my friends and kept it ever since. — Teresa Deely
Strive For Fitness
Strava is the Swedish word for “strive.” This fitness app is built around pillars of ambition, self-improvement and progress. For all the freelance fitness lovers who run, bike or practice tai-chi on the grass in the park, Strava is a social platform that helps you track your progress and share it with others. In an interview with Outside Magazine, CEO James Quarles describes Strava as a central home base for the active person: “Strava wants to be the dashboard for tracking your fitness, a calendar for inviting friends to work out, a feed for you to follow others’ activities, a blog for your race reports and photos, and a message board to ask for recommendations on a new pair of trail-running shoes.”
I have been using Strava for years and love that it turns my phone into a sophisticated tool, tracking my performance when cycling or running. — Clémence von Mueffling
Teresa Deely is a graduate from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.