In a tech-driven society where 95 percent of adults in the U.S. own a cell phone and 77 percent of those phones are smartphones, according to Pew Research Center, people are relying more and more on these devices to navigate through life. It seems that just about everything can be achieved with a simple tap of the screen, thanks in part to the rise and popularity of apps. There are now more than two-million apps available, and people are downloading them for many different reasons, including self-care and wellness. According to Sensor Tower, an app analytics platform, in the first quarter of 2018, the top 10 grossing self-care apps in the U.S. earned about $15 million in combined iOS and Android revenue, and $27 million in worldwide revenue.
There are numerous wellness, self-care, and mindfulness apps available today that run the gamut from offering meditation and relaxation techniques, fitness support, weight-loss assistance, nutrition guidance, yoga instruction, stress reduction, sleep monitoring, and so much more. “We live in a connected world; people want instant gratification and immediate fulfillment of their needs,” says Sarah-Jade Lacoursière, head of business development for professional channel at Foreo, North America. “From ordering transportation to finding a soulmate, virtually everything is a click away. Wellness-oriented apps are no exception to the broad spectrum of possibilities through which one can find happiness on their mobile phone. Moreover, I believe skincare, meditation, and fitness apps, to name only a few, create balance within the performance-oriented app industry by reminding us of the importance of self-care.”
With the integration of technology into all aspects of the wellness realm, we reached out to several spa and wellness professionals to find out what apps they can’t live without:
Sarah McAbee, spa director at the Spa at Barnsley Resort (Adairsville, GA):
- Healthy Living: It rates cosmetics, household products, and food on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Meditation Studio: This app walks the user through meditation exercises based on the goal the user wishes to achieve, such as better sleep, happiness, and mindfulness. The sessions can be as short as five to 10 minutes each, making them totally doable.
- WaterMinder: This app customizes your goal and then easily tracks your intake. It reminds you when it’s time to drink something, and you can track all your beverages, not just water. It interfaces with the Apple Watch, so you can easily see your progress right on your watch face. The app makes it easier to consume the recommended amount of water each day, which is especially important after spa services.
Kim Watters, fitness manager at Red Mountain Resort (Ivins, UT):
- Apple Watch: "I currently use my Apple Watch to track exercise, moving, standing, and deep breathing, which motivates me to complete my activity rings."
- Tempo Magic and ZIN Play: "I use these for the fitness classes I currently teach. I can easily create playlists, add sound effects or cut the length of a song to customize my classes to meet the needs of our guests."
Wendy Ross, owner and esthetician at Cottage Breeze Day Spa & Boutique (Kennebunk, ME):
- Calm: "I like it because I have a challenging time meditating or even relaxing! This app makes it easy by offering tools to help promote rest and wellness as well as assisting in sleep. The music selection on the free version is so soothing and calming. Its Daily Calm offering is typically tied into nature, which I love, so even if I can’t physically get to the forest or woods, the app helps me mentally get there."
Simon Marxer, director of spa and wellbeing at Miraval Group:
- Headspace: "My greatest challenge is a schedule that is always in flux, whether it be time zone changes or simply finding a suitable place to make time for a meditation practice. I find that it provides on-demand support day or night, whenever and wherever I can find the time. The on-demand nature helps integrate meditation and the mindfulness practices it supports, more attainable and accessible for someone seeking to integrate a meditation practice into their wellbeing routine."
- MindBody: "The ease of MindBody makes signing up for spinning class light years ahead of coming early and fighting over the clipboard to sign up."
Nancy Deaton, spa director at The Lodge at Woodloch Spa at The Lodge at Woodloch (Hawley, PA):
- Fitbit App: "I recently started increasing my time outdoors—hiking, walking, and meditating—and this app helps me to track that."