19 apps to reinvent yourself in 2016


It’s a New Year and a new you. At least that’s the idea, tackling 2016 with sound mind, body, diet and finances. You want to be smarter, look better and feel centered. That’s a lot of you to fix.

Don’t try and go it alone. These 19 apps (all available on iOS and Android) can help you get off to a winning start in 2016.

Couch to 5K



The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step — or one 30-minute run. Couch to 5K’s goal is simple: The $2.99 app wants to help you run your very first 5K. It doesn’t expect you do to it tomorrow or even next week. Instead, it builds a nine-week program of three-times-a-week 30-minute workouts to slowly build up to making the run. It’ll even help you find 5K events in your area. (iOS, Android, Windows)




Sometimes you just need motivation, whether that comes from the milkshake you get to drink at the end of a workout or a really good trainer who runs an intense-yet-exhilarating spin class. Getting the best workout classes can be difficult if you’re not already working out and don’t know any other fitness enthusiasts (or nuts). ClassPass cuts through the clutter and gives you an excellent list of workout options near you.

Better yet, you have access to all the classes listed — as long as you pay $125 a month. The app lets you choose venues based on amenities and skill level, reserve a spot and will even keep track of your workout accomplishments. That milkshake is closer than ever. (iOS, Android)

Nike+ Training Club


Don’t want to go to the gym? Nike has pulled together an app full of training routines (over 100) guided by Nike Master trainers and, sometimes, celebrity trainers. To keep things light, you only download the workout videos you need. The app integrates with Nike’s other workout app programs and, if your wear a Nike FuelBand, will connect that to that data as well. (iOS, Android)

MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter from Under Armour



Remember that shake we mentioned? You might want to hold off on that until you’ve got your calorie intake under control. The aptly named MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker, will help you keep track of your daily caloric intake, breaking it down by calories, carbohydrates, fats, sodium, sugar and protein. You can enter what you know or, if you have the packaging, scan in a barcode and MyFitnessPal will match it against its database of 5 million foods.

You can also keep track of exercise and weight. Because it comes from Under Armour, the app will also work with the company’s fitness trackers. It will also track steps collected on your iPhone. The app even has a community element where you and your friends can share progress. (iOS, Android)

Clear your head




Mindfulness, the act of focusing on awareness, both in your mental and physical state, is becoming an increasingly popular way of managing stress, attention issues and overall well-being.

The free version of Headspace offers up 10 mediation sessions. All it asks of you is 10 minutes a day and listening to a calm, British voice guiding you through the process of finding your inner Chi. There are also unguided sessions. After you polish off those, you can purchase individual meditations (one off or Series) from the apps library of hundreds of self-soothing options. (iOS,Android)

Elevate Brain Training

Elevate Brain Training


Your body and mind feel good, but what about neural plasticity? Are you as smart as you used to be or want to be? Probably not (especially if you had to reread the last two sentences more than once). Elevate Brain Training works on memory, comprehension, math and concise writing. It actually starts by testing you on all these metrics, which can be quite daunting, especially when it comes up with a rating for you on all those factors. Once it has a benchmark, the training begins with 35 brain games (free version). You can get more training by paying $4.99 for the pro version. (iOS, Android)

Daily Yoga



Millions of people around the world practice yoga, but you’re probably not one of them. Adherents will tell you it can transform your body and your mind. It’s calming, soothing and can bring back childhood flexibility. Daily Yoga is packed full of 50 yoga poses and at least as many meditation exercises. You download the ones you want. The videos and voiceovers guide you step-by-step through each one. The app also includes activity tracking and a community of yoga enthusiasts. (iOS, Android, Windows)

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

Sleep Cycle Alarm


There are the lucky few who wake up without an alarm clock. Then there’s the rest of us, buzzer hitters, alarm ignorers and overall sleep-walkers. We need something different to get us out of bed. Sleep Cycle Alarm clock tries to work with your own sleep rhythms to help you wake up more easily.

The app uses your iPhone’s microphone to listen to your sleeping (you keep the phone by the bed, as you always do) and then, based on when you set the alarm, it will wake you up during your lightest sleep phase, which should help you feel more rested than if you’re jolted awake by an alarm during your deepest sleep. Don’t worry about waking up late — if you set the app for 9 a.m., it’ll start watching for a good time at 8:30 a.m. (iOS, Android)

Protect yourself

LastPass and 1Password



Isn’t it finally time to dispose of all those little slips of paper with your passwords for every service you use?

Apps and services like 1Password and LastPass take the password guesswork and management out of your hands. You simply remember one very strong master password and they’ll generate strong passwords for you, store them and retrieve them and even input them automatically (on the web and Android, at least). They’re mostly free, though the mobile and business options will cost you.

Better yet, if you can’t remember a long password, the latest versions of these apps will let you log in with your finger — as long as your phone has a fingerprint reader. 1Password: (iOS,Android, Windows) LastPass: (iOS, Android, Windows)

Organize your life




Perhaps you’d have more luck getting things done in 2016 is you had a little help. That’s Coach.me’s perspective. It lets you enter goals big and small, track your own progress and then use the app to hire coaches (they have over 5,000), starting at $14.99, to help you achieve goals. Once you sign up, you’ll get a steady stream of emails from your own coach pointing you to a ton of different goals and coaching options. (iOS, Android)

Google Photos


You have photos, Google has answers — perhaps the answer. Last summer, Google introduced Google Photos with unlimited cloud-based storage. All you have to do is install it on your mobile devices and let the app collect and store all of your photos (there’a also a desktop uploader to collect photos from your PC or Mac). The “Assistant” will suggest movies and collages from your photo collection, and it’ll also notify you when contacts share an awesome photo or album.

The free version will store a high-quality copy of every picture. If you want the original resolution, though, you can only store up to your amount of allotted Google Drive space (you can always buy more storage). Even if you just go for the free option, think of the peace of mind that comes with knowing that all your priceless photos are stored safely in the cloud. (iOS, Android)




I took a solid seven years of Spanish just so I could learn to say, “Yo no se.” In my defense, there were no apps like Duolingo offering to teach me how to speak Spanish, French, German, Swedish and a handful of other languages, if I just commit 10 minutes a day.

The app is straightforward and full of simple graphics and lots of audio to help you along. With this free app, the New Year’s Resolution of learning a new languages just might be achievable. (iOS, Android, Windows)

Put your financial house in order



Even before Intuit bought Mint, it was one of the best personal-finance services on the web. As an app and with the backing of Intuit, it’s even better; one-stop shopping for all your financial accounts, reports and budgetary matters.

Just pour all your account info into the app and you’ll instantly get a world-view of your spending habits, including cash flow, monthly budget, bill reminders and a spending breakdown. You can use that knowledge to make meaningful financial changes for the rest of 2016. (iOS, Android)



You know how when you pump gas you work extra hard to make the final bill round up to the nearest dollar? Stop doing that. In fact, for the rest of 2016, let the spare change bills come and then invest the rest. That’s the snappy idea behind Acorns. You give the app access to your main bank account and then every time you make a purchase — for, say, $1.25 — Acorns will take the remaining 75 cents and invest them in the stock portfolio of your choice.

The app tracks your investment performance, tells you about your latest round-up amounts, the overall size of your account and lets you deposit and withdraw funds at will. Just think, 2016 will be the year you save and, perhaps, make money without even really trying. (iOS, Android)

Work smarter




You can grouse and gripe about office productivity and communication, or you can do something about them.

Asana is a powerful project and team-management tool that helps you watch over projects big and small from start to finish. It’s easy to assign tasks and make sure everyone knows what’s due today, tomorrow and next week. You’ll also see when stuff is past due. (iOS, Android)



One of the best communication tools for organizations of any size is Slack. You can create rooms, have private conversations, use images and even easily punctuate exchanges with GIFs. It’s easily accessible on the web or via this app. In 2016 you could get very comfortable saying, “Slack me.” (iOS, Android, Windows)

Find a new look

Trunk Club



Clothes shopping can be a painful experience, especially if you’re not an off-the-rack size. I usually try to dress myself based on what the mannequins are wearing, but Trunk Club has a better way.

The free app (and online service) quizzes you on your clothing preferences (casual versus more formal and slim versus looser), your sizes in shirts, pants and shoes, and where you like to shop. Then a personal stylist (for men and women) helps you pick out clothes and outfits. They ship it to you for free and you pay only for what you keep. You have 10 days to try it all on and decide.


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