It’s 2017. You don’t have to leave your house to obtain wine, a booty call, deposit a check, or—maybe best of all—go to the doctor. Frankly, I think the abundance of cutting-edge health care apps is one of the best perks of our digital lifestyles.
Do you really want to get out of bed when your throat is sore AF, your lady parts won’t stop itching, or you’re in the throes of post-breakup depression? Pretty sure the collective answer is absolutely not.
Yet along with the convenience of hundreds of new, brilliant apps all designed to make our lives easier comes the conundrum of deciding which ones to use. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you. Whether you’re looking for a therapist, a gynecologist, or a general practitioner, these apps have you covered.
Originally published September 206. Updated October 2017.
Launched in 2015, Maven is a do-it-all digital women's health clinic that lets you book all kinds of video appointments with a wide network of vetted experts, from therapists and gynecologists to GPs and nurse practitioners. With its newest addition, Maven Campus, the app now offers round-the-clock care for college students looking for same-day appointments or extra support. The app is free to download; appointments start at $18.
Glow is an award-winning free ovulation calculator that records your period, mood, symptoms, sex, and medication. It's packed with cycle charts and weight monitoring, will remind you to take your birth control, and, if you upgrade to Glow Permium, there's a great community support feature so you can chat with like-minded women. What's more, it syncs with other health devices and apps like Fitbit, Jawbone, and MyFitnessPal.
7 Cups provides free and anonymous emotional support and counseling from trained active listeners who volunteer and are available 24/7 to connect with you via text chat. It also features 300 free mindfulness exercises, videos, and mood-boosting activities.
A popular daily meditation app, Headspace will give you free, guided 10-minute meditations, which you can, in theory keep repeating forever. But, take it from me, you'll probably like it enough to want to subscribe to get the full pack of guided meditations geared toward specific goals, like easing anxiety, improving sleep, or being more focused. Plus, Andy, the app's co-founder and mindfulness expert, introduces each pack of sessions with tips delivered in his ultra-soothing British accent.
SleepBot is a super-popular sleep cycle tracker and smart alarm that lets you record movements and sounds throughout the night. It features ambient soundtracks to help you fall asleep and the ability to customize how you wake up, gently and during your lightest sleep phase. It'll also help you track your sleep quality and patterns over time, so you can identify where and how you could be getting more and better Z's.
SkinBetter captures a photo of your skin and analyzes it using dermatologist scanning technology in order to diagnose your problems and recommend the best products to treat them. While it definitely can't replace a visit to an actual dermatologist, it can help educate you about the state of your skin in a few minutes, and it'll do so at no cost to you.
Doctor on Demand
Doctor on Demand is free to sign up, and has zero subscription fees. You will have to pay $49 for an actual video appointment with a doctor, and a bunch of health insurance providers actually cover the service, so it might be even less for you. It's recommended for things like cold, flu, fever, allergies, UTIs, vomiting, diarrhea, STDs, sinus infections, and way more—and you can do it all from the comfort of your house.
The best free women's health apps | @stylecaster