5 Apps to Start Your Day Right

Whether you’re an early riser or prefer to sleep in, everyone wants to begin the day on a good note. In this world of modern technology, it’s easy to start scrolling social media or checking work emails the minute you open your eyes. This kind of routine doesn’t give your sleepy brain or body any time to adjust and find a moment of peace before you’re thrown back into the thick of it. That’s why I’ve gathered a list of the best apps to open before you put yourself out into the world that will bring a little bit of positivity, learning, good habit-building, and gratitude into your fast-paced life.

Fabulous ($40/year)

The Fabulous app is a daily habit builder that provides you with uplifting and inspirational prompts or activities to help you create routines that work for you. Every day that you check off your daily habits and routines, you move your character further down the path to a better you. Fabulous will track your streaks and offer encouragement along the way. Set up various routines throughout the day: things like drink water, spend 10 minutes writing a reflection on what you’re grateful for with the in-app journal, do a guided meditation, or simply breathe for one minute. These routines work to create long-lasting habits, scheduled into your busy day. Plus, the satisfaction of checking things off the to-do list builds confidence and trust in yourself over time!

Timehop (Free)

I cannot stress enough how dear this app is to me. One of the oldest apps on my iPhone, I downloaded Timehop as one of my first-ever apps back in 2012. It is so wonderful, bittersweet, and baffling to look back on things and wonder where the time went, and that’s what Timehop is all about. When you connect your photos and all your social media accounts to the app, it will show you what you posted on that day on that account as far back as it goes. I have watched things go from “1 Year Ago Today” to “8 Years Ago Today” and it never ceases to amaze me, take me back to my favorite memories, and trigger my nostalgia (and sometimes cringey embarrassment) for times long passed. I have rarely missed a day, and I love waking up in the morning to that little notification that is sure to bring me back in time and give me a hearty laugh. Currently, I’m on a 1,000+ day streak!

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Vocabulary ($4.99/month)

I might be a writer and a word-nerd, but I absolutely love the Vocabulary app. The idea is simple: scroll through the app as if it’s social media, except it’s just rare vocab words you haven’t heard of since studying for the SAT. The app offers such a great way to build your vocabulary. You can like a word to add it to your dictionary, tap the speaker button to hear how the word is pronounced, and you simply must add the widget to your Home Screen and Lock Screen so you always have a word and its definition displayed. While the app itself is fairly straightforward, it’s the customization features that excite me. Not only can you choose from a list of app icons to pick the image you like the most to go on your Home Screen, but you can also pick themes and background images to create a certain aesthetic that will update the widget as well! As someone who loves words and learning new things, especially first thing in the morning, this surprising little app is a joy to open right when I wake up.

DailyBean (Free or $2.99/month)

Probably the cutest app on my iPhone, the DailyBean prioritizes simplicity, a quality that’s extra important early in the morning. The app allows you to record your mood through different colored smiley faces. After some time, you will be able to see your mood trends throughout the month and view a graph of how your mood has fluctuated over time. When you record your mood, you have the option to upload three photos as well. I have recently gotten into the habit of uploading whatever photos I took on that day, whether that be memes and screenshots or actual photos of my family. Personally, I like to use this app in the morning to reflect on the previous day, but you can also set it up to have a moment of reflection to log your mood at the end of the day as a part of your evening routine. Regardless of when you choose to use this app, the DailyBean is a cute yet helpful app that makes my mornings a little brighter.

The Weather Channel (Free or $29.99/year)

The Weather Channel is my go-to app for all things weather, especially when it comes to planning a day trip. While Apple’s built-in Weather app is solid, the Weather Channel reaches a whole new level, and while the paid subscription offers an ad-free experience and additional features, the free version is pretty amazing on its own. With features like 8-hour radar tracker (and up to 72 hours with the subscription), allergy level indicators, and air quality assessments, the Weather Channel will prepare you for any outdoor activity. My favorite feature is the Outdoor Conditions section on the home page that gives stats about mosquito activity, how sweaty or chilly you might feel, or how likely you are to need an umbrella among other things.

Here’s To a Brighter Day

It’s important that we implement even small things into our daily lives that bring us joy, especially first thing in the morning. Not only is it good for your health to set up systems in your life that help you reach your goals, but you should also prioritize habits that bring you gratitude, teach you something new, and get you excited about your day. With so much information being thrown at us from the minute we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, taking that extra moment in the morning to reflect and learn can be the difference between a good day and a great day.

Top image credit: Marish / Shutterstock.com 

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Author Details

Rachel Needell's picture

Author Details

Rachel Needell

Rachel Needell is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and a poet and author. With 10-plus years of experience working with Apple devices, she specializes in all-things iPad and is a Notes App expert, having worked on both the 2023 iPad Guide and the Notes App Guide. You can usually find her writing in the Daily Tip newsletter as one of our senior Tip writers. Rachel received her Master’s degree in English Literature in 2021 and her most recent work appears in the Winter ’21 edition of New Note Poetry. When she’s not obsessing about Apple products, you can find her voraciously reading fantasy books with her cat in Asheville, North Carolina.