We spend too much time staring at our phones—just ask the pedestrians we almost walk into on a daily basis. If scrolling through your Newsfeed or swiping right were Olympic sports, we’d definitely take home a medal. But in reality, the only things getting a workout in either case are our thumbs. That’s not to say your phone can’t help you lead a healthier, happier life. You just need to know the right apps to download.

Before you fall down the rabbit hole that is the app store, check out our list of the best health and fitness apps. We tested out hundreds before whittling it down to the 38 that are really worth checking out. (Some are repeats from last year’s list, but there are plenty of newbies as well.)

Note: This list is presented in no particular order. To check out the methodology we used to determine which apps made the cut, scroll to the bottom.


c25kIf you’ve wanted to try running but never known where to start, Couch to 5K should be the next app you download. The free eight-week program gives users three workouts per week that get you ready for your local Turkey Trot or Fourth of July road race. (Free; iOS and Android)

BlogilatesWe first fell in love with Cassey Ho while watching her Blogilates videos on YouTube. This app takes things to the next level—you get access to all of her videos, plus an online forum and monthly workout calendar. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

Zombies, Run!Running becomes way more fun when each step gets you closer to carrying out your mission, collecting materials for your base camp, and keeping humans safe from the zombie apocalypse. There’s a reason this game became the highest-grossing health and fitness app on iTunes in just two weeks—even though it’s free to download, you’ll start shelling out money like you do for Candy Crush. Except this game helps you get your sweat on. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

FitnetFitnet is the workout app for people who can’t carve out time to go to the gym. The app features an abundance of five- and seven-minute targeted workouts, so you don’t have to sacrifice time with your friends and family to achieve your fitness goals. Plus, the app uses your phone’s camera for a whole new kind of selfie—this one measures how closely you follow the moves shown on the screen. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

SworkitTell Sworkit the type of workout you’re looking for (strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching) and the amount of time you’ve got (anywhere from five minutes to an hour), and the app delivers the moves to follow during your sweat session. If you opt for premium ($4.99 per month), the app lets you get even more personalized, by setting the number of reps and the areas of the body you want to focus on. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

MotionTraxxListening to music can be the perfect way to add extra oomph to your workout, but crafting the perfect playlist is tricky. That’s where Motion Traxx comes in. The app combines coaching from world-class trainers with music designed to set the perfect intensity for every phase of your workout. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

Stronglifts 5x5No need to carry around a paper and pencil while lifting at the gym anymore. This app keeps track of the exercise, number of reps, and rest time, so all you have to worry about is getting to the gym and getting huge stronger. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

StravaIf you’re a serious runner or cyclist, you need one place to keep track of your most recent runs and rides, and no app comes close to the capabilities offered by Strava. The app can track distance, speed, elevation, calories burned, heart rate, power, and cadence. Then it synthesizes all of this data into easy-to-understand graphics. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

Spotify RunningPart of the Spotify app (and let’s be honest, you probably already have that on your phone), Spotify Running measures your pace and picks a song with the beats per minute to match it. It’s about time your music matches your cadence instead of the other way around. (Free; iOS and Android)

YonderThink of this like Yelp for the outdoor enthusiast. Enter your location and find dozens of suggestions for hiking, biking, kayaking, and skiing with reviews and tips from fellow outdoorsmen and women. (Free; iOS and Android)

Daily YogaNever be bored by yoga again: More than 50 classes shot in HD video are just a few taps away. Each sequence has a specific focus, from increasing flexibility to strengthening your core. Plus, there’s a library with detailed videos of more than 500 poses. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

Yoga Wake UpWhat better way to ease into the day than with a quick morning yoga flow? This app delivers a 10-minute sequence at your designated wake-up time. Each sequence is a little different. Some focus more on meditation, while others hone in on holding poses and setting intentions. Yoga every damn day just got a whole lot easier. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS)

Nike+ Training ClubNike+ Training Club comes with all the things you’d expect from a top-notch fitness app: workouts designed by professional trainers and athletes, customizable fitness programs, sharing capabilities to compare your progress with others, and a totally sleek interface. And in Nike fashion, it just does it better than the competition. (Free; iOS and Android)

EndomondoCardio exercise can quickly get boring and repetitive. That’s why Endomondo is so great. Set a goal for your run, walk, or bike ride, and the app’s virtual trainer lets you know if you’re on track to meet it or if you need to speed up. It’s great to compete against yourself (and your goals), but it’s even better when you can use Endomondo to challenge or cheer on friends. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

FreeleticsLooking for bodyweight workouts? Freeletics has more than 900 that last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Whether you choose to work out in the kitchen, on the subway, or in your office, you can rely on Freeletics to deliver a great workout for your fitness level. (Free; iOS and Android)

Food and Nutrition

FooducateFoodcuate makes grocery shopping surprisingly fun. Open the app, scan barcodes, and get a quick read on how healthy each item is. It also tracks sleep, mood, and hunger levels. Then Fooducate analyzes all of the information and provides feedback to help you meet your health and fitness goals. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

ShopwellThe field of calorie-counting apps is heavily saturated, but ShopWell still manages to stand out. The app is all about personalization. Enter in your height, weight, age, and allergies, and then it scores every food you can think of on how healthy it is for you—the closer to 100, the better. And it even makes individual recommendations for similar, healthier products to eat instead. (Free; iOS and Android)

SideChefSo you’re totally game to try out new recipes, but fiddling with your phone to follow the directions while your hands are sticky is a huge pain. That’s where SideChef comes in. The app provides step-by-step voice command instructions. If it’s going too fast, you can ask SideChef to repeat directions without ever having to get your phone dirty—or worse, waterlogged. (Free; iOS and Android)

mySugrMost of us can’t remember what we had for lunch yesterday, but diabetics don’t have the luxury of not paying attention to their food and how it affects their blood glucose levels. It’s very tricky to keep mental notes, and a pen and paper just doesn’t measure up to the tracking capabilities of this app. Wonder why certain days you feel crummier than others? mySugr can be your diabetes detective to determine the foods you need to cut back on. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

Thrive MarketBuying healthy food has never been easier and cheaper. Thrive Market is basically the Costco for natural and organic products. Pay a yearly fee ($59.95) and have access to insane deals on everything from coconut oil to kale chips. The app makes it easy to shop for groceries whenever you’ve got the time, and then Thrive sends your order right to your door. (Free; iOS)

RiseWe have the best of intentions when it comes to eating healthy, but Rise is the app that really keeps you honest. It pairs you up with a nutritionist, and every day you send them photos of the food you’ve eaten. Based on your specific goal (losing weight, gaining strength, feeling more energized), your nutritionist will help you tweak your diet. At $14.99 per week, it’s cheaper than IRL appointments with an R.D. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS)

MyFitnessPalMyFitnessPal is the most popular health and fitness app in the world, and it’s easy to see why. The app’s database of more than 6 million foods makes it easy to track your diet, no matter what you eat. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or put on muscle, the app helps determine the best things to eat to meet your goals. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

LifesumHave a sweet tooth or a love of junk food? It can feel like you need a whole lifestyle makeover to start eating healthy. But Lifesum proves it’s all about small, sustainable changes. Pick a goal (lose weight, bulk up, or eat better) and the app sends you reminders (drink more water), feedback to improve your diet, and simple graphics ways to visualize your progress. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

DietBetJust like its name implies, this app forces you to put your money where your mouth is and show you’re not full of hot air when it comes to your weight-loss goals. Users enter into a challenge where they can bet they’ll lose either 4 percent of their weight in four weeks or 10 percent of their weight in six months. Progress is monitored by DietBet’s referees, and the pot is then split between everyone in your group who makes their goal weight. (Free to download, $25-$25 per bet; iOS and Android)

Noom CoachDieting can be so complex. Don’t have time to check your macros (or don’t know what those are)? Time to download Noom Coach. Unlike other calorie-counting apps, Noom uses the stoplight approach (green is good, red is not so great) to label healthy food. And you can join in on challenges with other Noomers to get even more motivated to meet your health goals. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

Mind and Brain

Meditation StudioThere are so many different types of guided meditation. Rather than try a general practice that focuses on relaxation, this app offers meditations catered to your needs, whether it’s anxiety, stress, happiness, or gratitude. And best of all, it’s a one-time fee for access to more than 160 meditations. ($2.99; iOS)

Honest Meditation AppAh, the drunk uncle of meditation apps—it wants the best for you, but you know it will tell it like it f*cking is. Strangely enough, cussing and calm really do make a good combination. If anything, H*nest Meditation is bringing calm to the common (wo)man, and we’re damn grateful for that. Just make sure to wear your headphones. ($1.99; iOS)

TalkspaceBet you didn’t think you could chat with a therapist for just $25 per week. Well, Talkspace makes that possible. For that low fee, you can text with a trained professional as often as you need. They also offer services for individuals and couples. Oh, and the best part? You can do it from your couch. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

HappifyThis app is like a gym membership for your emotional health. The first time you open Happify, you’re prompted to select a track that best meets your needs, whether it's finding more “me” time or getting better at handling stress. Each track is designed by an expert using the latest scientific research and full of quick, daily activities, including games, mindful meditations, and assessments. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

7 CupsSometimes you just want to talk, and 7 Cups gives you an alternative to waking up your friends at 3 a.m. to vent about your annoying boss or significant other. The app offers fast, free responses from trained listeners. Now you can speak your mind without feeling judged whenever and wherever you need to. (Free; iOS and Android)

Overall Health

HealthTapNext time you have a pressing medical concern (should I be worried about this rash?), don’t ask Dr. Google. Turn to HealthTap instead. The app sends your question to its network of doctors, and one will answer you within a few hours. HealthTap also comes with a library of information on common ailments, so you can be better at spotting symptoms and picking the best remedy. And if you are looking for even more care, you can choose the prime membership ($99 per month), which allows you unlimited video and text chatting with doctors. (Free with in-app purchases; iOS and Android)

Sleep CycleSay sayonara to feeling groggy in the morning. This app measures your sleep cycle, as its name suggests. Then it wakes you sometime during a 30-minute window before your alarm when you’re in the lightest sleep state. Sure, you might get up before your alarm goes off, but you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. (Free with in-app purchases on iOS, $0.99 on Android)

Power Nap AppIf there are two things we love, it’s cats and naps. The Power Nap App combines these natural gifts, complete with a timer (that only goes up to 30 minutes), pleasant sounds to help you sleep, and an alarm that gently wakes you back up, so you can rock the rest of your day. (Free; iOS)

LeaflyThis sleek app is the Wikipedia of weed, offering exhaustive information on thousands of marijuana strains, from Girl Scout Cookies (yes, that’s a real strain) to Purple Urkle. It also offers directions to the nearest dispensary (in states where pot is legal) and regular updates on cannabis news. (Free; iOS and Android)

In addition to guided meditations, visual aids, and stress-reducing games, this app gives you a five-minute daily routine to reduce stress and increase happiness. Created by scientists, cognitive behavioral therapists, and breathing specialists, these quick exercises help ease anxiety and refresh your mind. But the best feature: A space to write your crappier thoughts and BURN THEM! Don't worry, your phone won't go up in smoke, but watching those limiting beliefs burn in the digital flames is oddly satisfying. (Free with optional in-app purchases; IOS and Android)

It's hard to clear your mind and achieve mental clarity when the news lists a new horror every day. The Awaken app lets you engage with the political and social movements without becoming overwhelmed by the problems of the world. Aiming to teach about love, justice, and healing, the creators are also committed to making change as all profits go to activism and campaigning. More than meditation, this is self-care that's anything but selfish. (Free with optional in-app purchases; IOS)

If you picked up a gratitude journal when Oprah mentioned it 20 years ago and just let it collect dust on your shelf, this app might give you something to be thankful for. Notifications remind you to be grateful (but that's less annoying than it sounds), and you get a blank page to write all your happy thoughts. Or if you had a less-than-dazzling day, the app gives prompts to make consistent gratitude feel easy and fun. (Free; IOS)

A lot more than just breathing exercises and pictures of peaceful mountains, this app has courses, guided meditations, and music to help you find a greater sense of calm in your life. The true standout feature is their wide variety of bedtime stories to get you snoozing with ease. Let Stephen Fry, Bob Ross, and Bronn from Game of Thrones lull you to sleep, then wake up and take a creativity class from Elizabeth Gilbert. (Free with optional in-app purchases; IOS and Android)

When you'd like to take a walk in a forest and hear a soothing sprinkling of rain, but you're stuck at your desk listening to your coworker crunch an entire bag of Cheetos, this app might bring some relief. With Spotify playlists to enhance your mood, a variety of calming soundscapes, and meditations for anxiety and depression, you'll feel better in just a few minutes. Plus, you can track your moods, set goals, and rewire negative thinking patterns. (Free with optional in-app purchases IOS and Android)

Track your period in half the time it takes to text back your needy friend. Let Flo know when you had your period and the app will track your cycle, tell you when you're ovulating, and let you know when the red menace is coming again. You can also record your moods, activity, caffeine and alcohol intake, and sex drive to see how they all impact your cycle (or how your cycle impacts them). Whether you want to track your fertility or just want to have tampons and painkillers at the ready, this app takes all the mystery out of menstruation. (Free; IOS and Android)

Wish you could talk to a cartoon penguin when you're feeling down? Well, Wysa grants that wish. Developed by therapists, life coaches, and AI specialists, this cute little bot will listen to your thoughts and troubles at all hours of the day. The app gives advice, meditation suggestions, and simple life coaching. Plus, the charming cartoon mascot makes you forget you're talking to a therapy robot. (Free; IOS and Android)

Whether you have insurance or not, getting a last minute doctor's appointment is a giant pain. Instead of heading out to Urgent Care or wasting money on an unnecessary trip to the emergency room, AmWell hooks you up with a certified doctor. Through Skype or Google Hangouts, the professional can give you a simple diagnosis or tell you to head to the hospital, if it's needed. You can even talk to a therapist without leaving your house. The app is free, but the appointments start at $65 (or less, depending on insurance). (Free; IOS and Android)

Turn new habits into an old-school role playing game. With Habitica, you get a cool 8-bit avatar to help you on the grand adventure of starting new healthy habits. List the habits you'd like to start (or stop) and the app will give you gold coins and health points for every step in the right direction. If you don't keep a habit going, your health points go down. Starting habits is hard, but watching it happen in a low-fi RPG makes it pretty interesting. (Free; IOS and Android)

Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. In this case, that means using an app to stop using so many apps. To help that happen, Moment monitors how much time you spend on your phone and lets you set goals to reduce screen time. Get back as much as an extra hour a day by curbing your addiction to certain apps (though none of the ones on this list, of course!) (Free; IOS)

It's like having a bat in your bed! Okay, that might not sound like a selling point, but this app uses sonar technology to monitor your sleep. In addition to scoring the quality of your sleep, the app offers an alarm that wakes you at your lightest sleep cycle (within a 30-minute period of when you need to get up). Not only will you know exactly how you're sleeping, the app gives daily recommendations to improve your snooze. (Free with optional in-app purchases; IOS and Android)

Methodology: We asked a number of questions to determine if each app we tested should appear on our list. Is it highly rated? Does it offer something unique? It is user-friendly? Is it reliable and not buggy? Does it drain a smartphone’s battery? Can it continue to grow and innovate? Apps that scored well on all criteria ended up the final list. Do you think we missed an app? Send a message to tips@greatist.com, and we’ll consider it for next year’s ranking.

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