Have you ever considered how much time you spend on your phone throughout the day? Most people spend their time spread between different social media platforms, mindless games and music. None of this really benefits you in the long run; sure, a catchy tune on the way to class can raise your spirits but other than that you aren’t gaining much from the hours of screen time.
There is a way to maximize your brain power by being on your phone. In the sea of endless applications that you can add to your home screen, you might want to consider these next.
This app can help you learn a new language, and many of the courses are created by native language speakers. Duolingo allows people to connect with other cultures. Think about traveling abroad and holding a conversation with someone who has lived there their whole life. According to Kids Count Date Center, in 2016 only 22 percent of children were bilingual in America. Consider expanding beyond your own borders or maybe even the galaxy (Duolingo offers a lesson or two in Klingon for those Trekkies).
Even if you are not looking to learn something new, there are apps to help you tackle your stress. Using positive psychology, Happify has quizzes, polls and a gratitude journal to promote an upbeat look on life. Along with a positive community, these activities allow you to conquer your stress and empathize with others. It’s free, so why not give it a try? It can be especially beneficial during exam weeks.
This app is sometimes considered the original brain trainer. Lumosity is designed to build five cognitive functions — speed, memory, attention, flexibility and problem-solving. It does this through more than 50 mini games. It was created with the help of more than 100 researchers from around the world, so that it could be extremely effective in promoting brain health. This app encourages daily brain workouts after calculating your weaknesses from an initial “fit test.” Lumosity is free to download on Android and iOS, though upgrading to a premium subscription costs $11.99 per month or $59.99 per year.
While originally created for suicide prevention, this is a great app for a general mood tracker. It includes coping methods such as voice-recorded mindfulness, relaxation exercises and relaxing music. This app allows you to better understand your emotions. The map locator pinpoints nearby therapists, support groups and mental health treatment facilities, in case you ever feel like the app just isn’t doing enough. After all, technology still can’t replace a face-to-face conversation.
Not everything has to be about quizzes and minigames. Add to your brain power by putting a little culture in your life. DailyArt sends a picture of a painting and a description of the artist and work to your smartphone every day. According to Education Next, exposure to art can encourage intelligence and critical thinking skills. With over 8,500 ratings and 4.8 stars, why not give it a go?
Whether you are sitting on the bus, waiting on your cup of coffee or just lying in bed, consider using one of these apps before opening Instagram. In the end, you might find that it is more fulfilling than any social media.