Apps and podcasts we love: Nike Training Club

Reading Time: 2 minutes A student reviews the app “Nike Training Club” and shares how it helped her.

Apps and podcasts we love: Timely

Reading Time: 2 minutes A student reviews the app “Timely” and shares how it helped him.

Apps and podcasts we love: How To Do Everything

Reading Time: 2 minutes Looking for an entertaining podcast? This one’s for you.

Thing of the month: Field Trip

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Steven TranSteven Tran,

fourth-year undergraduate, New Jersey Institute of Technology

“Don’t we all want to feel welcomed when visiting a new city? Field Trip suggests off-the-beaten-path attractions at any destination, with advice from the locals on places to explore. Choose from six interest categories: Architecture; Historic Places & Events; Lifestyle; Food, Drinks, & Fun; Cool & Unique; and Arts & Museums. You can listen to info via headphones while walking to these places. It uses Google Maps to pinpoint your location, and it’s pretty cool.”

Useful?   3 out of 5 stars

I used the app to visit New York City to see what types of attractions were nearby. It mostly brought me to restaurants. I stopped at an ice cream shop and, to be honest, it was really just average ice cream. However, some of the local attractions that were in walking distance from there were fun to explore.

Fun?  Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Not gonna lie: The walk to get the ice cream was a bit shady. I didn’t expect to feel uncomfortable, but there isn’t really a guide on how to get to your destination safely. The idea of the app is fun, though.

Effective?  Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Overall, this app does its job—and maybe in less-touristy places, I’d have a better experience. It’s a great tool to help narrow searches to attractions nearby, instead of using Google, where you might be overloaded by info.

Where to buy
Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store

Thing of the month: Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jerome Siangco

Vishal Kummetha,
second-year graduate student, University of Kansas

“If you can’t jump out of bed in the morning (e.g., most people?), this app is for you. It’s a creative alarm system that requires you to be alert before you can turn off the sound. Choose from having to answer math questions, take pictures of objects or places, shake the phone, and others. My choice to cancel the alarm was to take a picture of the sink, which worked super well. Once I fumbled to take the picture, there was nothing else to do but brush my teeth and get ready for the day.”

Useful?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Who doesn’t go through phases of extreme workloads or plain old burnout in college? This app will get you up and out of the comfortable bed that we all cherish, so you can submit that project on time or not be late to class.

Fun?
3 out of 5 stars
Eh, it’s sort of a fun way to start your day. However, I admit I seriously considered breaking my phone to stop the sound.

Effective?
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
This is one of the most effective apps I’ve ever used to get out of bed. I can’t see how anyone with normal hearing could continue sleeping through this alarm. I felt both enraged and full of adrenaline, making it impossible to go back to bed after waking up.

Where to buy

Android
iOS

Thing of the month: LearnVest

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Apps we love reviewer Jasmine, Los Angeles, California

“Finally, an app that makes you stop feeling so broke all the time! LearnVest helps you plan how much to spend for different occasions, whether it’s gifts, personal care, your dog’s chew toys…whatevs. It also helps make debt repayment plans. You can do it all on your own or with expert help by working with a LearnVest planner.”

Useful?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
If you can’t remember where your last paycheck went (or if you don’t get a paycheck at all), then definitely! LeanVest syncs to your online bank account. There’s an option to have an expert help you plan and budget: Everyone gets a free 15-minute consultation, and you can buy more time.

Fun?
2 out of 5 stars
Managing money isn’t what I’d call “fun,” but it’s necessary. The app is pretty straightforward. It didn’t take very long to set goals and categorize my spending. I was able to categorize cash transactions fairly quickly and write in where I spent the money.

Effective?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
No one is responsible for your money issues but yourself. LearnVest showed me how much interest my savings account was generating each month. It also showed me my net worth. All my recent transactions were displayed and categorized so I could see how much I typically spend on food, school, and personal items. It also subtracted spending from the income I said I received monthly, and so it shows me my progress.

Where to buy

iTunes 

The One You Feed Podcast

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Mental health series (January 28, 2015–September 7, 2016)
The One You Feed Media

Sarah

Sarah Nicole Henderson

Fourth-year undergraduate majoring in English and minoring in chemistry, University of New Mexico

“The creators Eric Zimmer and Chris Ford say on their website: ‘we were both prone to being sad sacks, so we figured we needed the content of the show as much or more than any listeners.’ By interviewing successful authors, comedians, psychologists, and others who have pushed through the angst, they demonstrate how to live better with issues like depression and anxiety. These episodes invite us to improve our mental wellbeing without beating ourselves up for whatever tends to get in our way.”

USEFUL?
5 out of 5 star rating
I realized that being honest and proactive about my mental health is priority #1, no matter what. Always share; never run away!

FUN?
5 out of 5 star rating
Daydreaming can actually improve mental health. Just WOOP your life: wish it, see the outcomes and obstacles, and then plan it. Be proactive. WOOP it up.

EFFECTIVE?
4 out of 5 star rating
Whether it’s being honest, sharing, or WOOPing, this podcast definitely made me want to take charge of my mental health—something left to the wayside since I started college.

Thing of the month: Freakonomics Radio

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Freakonomics radio

Self-improvement series, April 20–May 18, 2016, 40–50 mins. each
by Dubner Productions and WNYC Studios

Sonya Mendoza

Sonya Mendoza
Fourth-year undergraduate majoring in nursing and minoring in psychology
Northern Illinois University, SH101 Student Advisory Board 2016–17

“Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics, turns economics (no thanks) into behavioral economics (yes, please)—an exploration of quirky human functioning and how we can be better at pretty much everything.

“This series of episodes about self-improvement is full of surprising ways to be more productive, resilient, and successful. Dubner and his guests deliver data, anecdotes, skepticism, and humor.”


Useful?
This podcast taught me that habits are key to accomplishing goals. It helped me set SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.5 out of 5 stars Fun?
Inspirational. From spelling bee champions to board game enthusiasts, elderly basketball players to Danish pop stars—these folks all had grit, setting small goals to establish effective habits and achieve their dreams.5 out of 5 stars

Effective?
Stress, anxiety, and I have decided to take time apart, thanks to Freakonomics Radio. Now I’m writing to-do notes on my iPhone and being more mindful about tasks. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Get the podcast:
Apple App Store

Thing of the month: pzizz

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Amy Nielsen

Fourth-year undergraduate at Western Washington University, majoring in communication studies with a minor in business administration; Student Health 101 Student Advisory Board 2016–17.

“This free app uses restful music and soothing vocal suggestions to help you relax, fall asleep, take a nap, and wake up. It is easily adjusted for individual preferences. The alarm can be preloaded or chosen from your music playlist.”

Useful?

Pzizz can help relax and de-stress students, but achieving a restful night’s sleep will vary among individuals. The music and voice relaxed me, but I had to close the app to fall asleep.

Fun?

It’s a fun idea. I found the speaking voice helpful yet a bit frightening. Luckily, you can always turn off the voice and sounds.

Effective?

It helped me relax. My body succumbed to numbness as I melted into the bed sheets. But when I used it to fall asleep, I awoke groggier than usual. For me, pzziz worked for resting, not sleeping.

Devices