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9 Apps to motivate you towards self-improvement

9 Apps to motivate you towards self-improvement

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Text: Redzhanna Jazmin


Image: Illustration by Hanna Barczyk
Image: Illustration by Anna Orlova

2020 is the decade of empowerment and self-improvement—whether it be in taking charge of your mental and physical health or sinking yourself into your hobbies, it's time to get your butt into gear.

Have you set yourself another new year's resolution you're still yet to follow through on? Well, while January and February have flown by, it's not too late to start! Whether you wanted to start running, learn a new language or pick up a new hobby, here are some apps to help you stay on track!

If you're trying to learn a new language...

Duolingo

Possibly the most infamous language app (and the most meme-able), Duolingo is a lot more than just an intimidating owl mascot. It's an incredible platform to help you learn, with set lessons in French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian and Japanese. The lessons are short and easy to work into a busy schedule, and the way that the interface works will make sure you remember what you've learnt! It's available for Apple and Android devices, as well as on the web.

Tinycards

Created by the same team behind Duolingo, the basis behind Tinycards is learning while playing a game—the app boasts countless decks on anything you can imagine. You can search decks or create your own, and the main attraction are the language decks to help you memorise vocabulary. It's available on Apple and Android devices, as well as on the web.

Rosetta Stone

Another language learning app, Rosetta Stone focuses on fine-tuning your pronunciation and enforcing real-world conversation skills. It comes highly recommended by top organisations and has great reviews from users. The platform offers lessons in Spanish, French, Italian, German, English, Japanese and Chinese, so there's definitely plenty of choice. Learn more on their website.

If you're trying to enforce good habits and thinking...

Lift

Self-improvement doesn't have to be a huge leap—if you just want to make some good habits (like drinking more water or meditating every night) stick, Lift helps you keep track of them by tracking your progress and allowing you to 'check in' whenever you perform your chosen tasks. It's available for Apple and Android devices, as well as on the web.

Headspace

If you're looking to clock out for a couple minutes a day for some alone time, Headspace is the ideal app for you. The app provides 350 hours of guided meditation sessions on everything from stress to sleep, and comes with a 10-session free trial to allow you to try the app out before you buy it. It's available for Apple and Android devices.

If you're trying to get fit or stay fit...

Couch to 5k

If you're a little bit of a couch potato and can't muster the will to run consistently, this app is the perfect way to get off your butt and get to work. The app employs a 9-week training regime with a virtual trainer to guide you through the programme. You'll start off with alternating running and walking intervals until you can run for 20 minutes straight! Plus, you can listen to tunes on your regular music app while the app runs in the background so you get that extra boost of motivation. Get it for Apple or Android devices.

Strava: Run, Ride, Swim

Strava is a social network created by a group of athletes that doubles as a progress tracker for  running, cycling and swimming. The app allows you to connect with other runners and cyclers, and has nifty little features that allow you to log both your routes to share with other users, as well as use the routes established by other users. On top of that, if your friends are also on the app you can give each other kudos for additional motivational support! It's available for Apple and Android devices.

Seconds - Interval Timer

Seconds is a very popular, super versatile and effective interval timer app for HIIT, Tabata and circuit training workouts. Based on their pre-set templates or your own needs, the app allows you to build advanced timers in a matter of moments for your custom training scheme. Also, the app has plenty of options for your workout music; you can assign songs to intervals, play a playlist throughout a set, turn music off for breaks, shuffle an album throughout the timer or play your music in the background while alerts play over the top. It's available for Apple and Android devices.

If you're trying to learn a new instrument...

Simply Piano

The free app helps you learn how to play over 200 of your favourite songs fast. Just place your device by your piano and start playing to get immediate feedback from the app. In addition, get tips on how to read sheet music and 5-minute musical workouts to help you improve further. It's available for Apple and Android devices.

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