5 Apps to Download for an Easier Morning Routine

Channel your inner rooster and take on the day with these phone apps

by Jennifer Stevens | Mon, January 16, 2017

With the Year of the Monkey coming to a close and the Year of the Rooster taking its place, it's prime time to start a morning routine. Everyone from Oprah Winfrey and Cameron Diaz to political leaders have publicly touted the effects of starting their day on the right foot--whether that be drinking a glass of lemon water followed by meditation, performing a series of sun salutations after making a green smoothie, or simply repeating a few short affirmations.


"The whole point of a morning routine is to set up your day and connect yourself to your priorities," says holistic psychologist at Body & Soul Medical Clinics, Bibiana Rueda Bueno. She states that it doesn't matter what it is, just as long as it makes you feel good.


After searching the web for popular practices, we at Shanghai Family decided we needed some help--in the form of apps. Here were some of our favorites:



Headspace is described as "your very own personal trainer, here to help you train your mind." The app has been developed in part by scientists in order to teach users how to meditate. The company's mission is to provide the training tools and techniques in order to "cultivate awareness and compassion so that we might better understand the mind, as well as our relationship with the world around us."  Try out the app's 10 introductory guided meditation sessions to get a feel for what it's all about.


Price: $12.95/month, $7.99/month when you sign up for a year, $6.24/month for a 2-year subscription, and $419.95 for a "forever" membership. 

Available on iTunes and Google Play, www.headspace.com



7 Minute Workout Challenge

An easy way to rev up your metabolism, the 7 Minute Workout Challenge's researchers have selected 12 exercises that are performed for 30 seconds with 10 second rest intervals to get a high-intensity, full body workout "equivalent of working out for over an hour." The app allows users to choose between male and female trainers (audio), and gives the option to track weight fluctuations and frequency of activity. There are also a variety of workout challenges in addition to the classic 7-minute routine.

Price: $2.99

Available on iTunes and Google Play, www.7minworkoutapp.net



One of the best ways to relieve anxiety in the morning is to write down (or type) everything you need to accomplish during the day. Wunderlist is the ultimate planning app and virtual to-do list, with options to plan holidays, create shopping lists and manage multiple work projects. Set due dates and reminders, and share your lists with colleagues, friends and family if you're so inclined.


Price: Free

Available on iTunes, Google Play, Kindle Fire and Web, www.wunderlist.com


Pocket Yoga

The easiest way to get in some yoga any time, anwhere, Pocket Yoga provides a variety of routines, ranging from a 7-minute Sun Salutation practice to a 60-minute Vinyasa practice. Users can choose between different environments on their screen (home, studio, mountain, beach), select their skill level (beginner, intermediate or expert) and time availability, and a soothing voice guides you through the  practice while soothing music plays in the background. The app doesn't require internet connectivity and ncludes an extensive dictionary of poses that is categorized and easily searchable. 


Price: $2.99

Available on iTunes and Google Play, www.pocketyoga.com/



While Spotify isn't technically supported in China, it's an app worth turning on the VPN for. With access to millions of songs and hundreds of playlists, the app allows users to download music and listen offline, save playlists and create your own. Whether you want to calm your mind with ambient music, or listen to a "feel good indie playlist," it's a great experiment to see what motivates you--or puts you in a good mood--in the morning. 


Price: Free, Premium account (no ads, along with other listening bonuses) $9.99/mo

Available on iTunes, Google Play and Web, www.spotify.com