2018 has been a breakthrough year for corporate wellness, with employee wellbeing rising up the agenda of businesses large and small.
To help you improve your own wellbeing, and that of your entire company, we thought we’d share the digital apps, tools and podcasts leading the way in driving positive habits in the workplace and powering a new wave of wellness-led companies that everybody wants to work for.
Here’s to the Top 50 wellness resources
- The Upside of Stress: Why stress is good for you (and how to get good at it) By Kelly McGonigal. This book shows you how to do stress better, to improve your health and resilience, focus your energy, build relationships and boost courage. Rethink stress, and watch your life change for the better.
- How to Turn Stress on Its Head: The simple truth that can change your relationship with work By Dr Rani Bora. Provides great insight from first-hand accounts of people who overcame work-related stress, anxiety and mental distress after understanding the true nature of their life experiences.
- How Not To Worry: The Remarkable Truth of How a Small Change Can Help You Stress Less and Enjoy Life More By Paul McGee. Helps us understand why worrying is such a big deal and the reasons for it, exposing the behavioural traps we fall into when faced with challenges. It then helps us to move on with tools and ideas to deal with our worries in a more constructive way.
- The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness By Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. With an infectious joy and insatiable curiosity, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche weaves together the principles of Tibetan Buddhism, neuroscience, and quantum physics in a way that will forever change the way we understand the human experience. And using the basic meditation practices, he offers readers a chance to recognize the unlimited potential of our own minds.
- Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions By Johann Hari. Across the world, Hari found social scientists who were uncovering evidence that depression and anxiety are not caused by a chemical imbalance in our brains. In fact, they are largely caused by key problems with the way we live today. This has strong links to what we should see as meaningful work.
- The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for managing your anxiety so you can get on with your life By Dr Alice Boyes. In The Anxiety Toolkit, Dr Alice Boyes translates powerful, evidence-based tools used in therapy clinics into tips and tricks you can employ in everyday life. You’ll have all the tools you need to succeed in life and work.
- Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst By Robert Sapolsky. Why do human beings behave as they do? We are capable of savage acts of violence but also spectacular feats of kindness: is one side of our nature destined to win out over the other?
- Welbot – Currently in beta, Welbot is a personalised wellness trainer from Studio Something. The digital platform works with you to help build meaningful daily habits that you’re actually likely to keep – Helping you and your colleagues to become fitter, healthier and more focussed on a daily basis.
- The Pomodoro Technique – The Pomodoro Technique is the revolutionary but widely-adopted concept for managing time in creative pursuits, consisting of 25-minute intervals of work followed by short breaks. It not only is proved to improve productivity, but also allows you to use your time more wisely. Find out all you need to start using the technique, and reduce your stress levels by instating a healthier work-life balance in your life.
- Address Your Stress – 1 in 6 adults in Britain will experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at any one time. This practical toolkit from Mental Health England helps employers to support their people by better identifying the sources and signs of stress and take steps to help reduce the impact.
- Unmind – Calling itself a world-class gym for the mind, Unmind is a curated a toolbox of evidenced-based interventions for employees to confidentially call on in times of need. As an employer, you get anonymised data on your company’s improved wellbeing via a simple dashboard.
- OECD – There is more to life than the cold numbers of economic statistics – This Index allows you to compare well-being across countries and your home county. It’s based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.
- Hub of Hope – There’s been some promising improvements to access times for mental health support in recent years. Hub of Hope uses your postcode to find the nearest grassroots support group which can provide impartial advice or a listening ear. Developed by Chasing the Stigma, a Mental Health Charity which aims to normalise and humanise Mental Illness.
- Head Talks – Managing your own wellness can be difficult at first, sometimes it feels as though you’re out on your own. You might even feel devoid of motivation or lacking in inspiration. On Head Talks, you can watch and listen (through videos and podcasts) to people sharing their own personal experiences with mental health issues. It’s a helpful reminder that we all struggle, and might help you come to terms with whatever you are facing.
- Mindful – Mindful provides comprehensive guides to mindfulness practices and how those practices can be applied in everyday life and work to enhance your mental wellbeing. As well as this, you can find more general articles discussing tips for managing wellbeing. This is a great place to begin for anyone interested in mindfulness.
- Possibility of Change – Possibility of Change features over 1,000 articles detailing personal experiences of growth and change. What began as a site for one man’s story has transformed into a site for hundreds of stories. This is another useful source of inspiration, motivation, and advice when it comes to improving mental and physical health.
- Emotional Intelligence Toolkit – a step-by-step guide based on the empowering life work of HelpGuide’s co-founder, Dr. Jeanne Segal. By learning to keep stress and emotions in check, you’ll not only improve how you communicate with others, but you’ll also be able to get off the “emotional rollercoaster,” even out extremes in mood, and bring your life into balance. @helpguideorg
- Vitality – An insurance company with a difference. Take out a policy and get rewarded for taking care of your health and wellbeing by exercising. You’re rewarded with points according to the level of exercise you do on a daily basis, and can redeem those points for various rewards. Vitality is perfect if you require a little bit more motivation to be active, or if you are already active and want to build upon that.
- 100 Happy Days – Challenge yourself to be happy for one hundred days. Sign up to the challenge on their website, and begin to notice what makes you happy on a day-to-day basis. Simply take a picture each day of what has made you happy, you can use their site, or even their Twitter hashtag, #100HappyDays. The hope is that, by noticing what makes you happy, you are able to begin to fill your life with those very things.
- Thrive Global – Arianna Huffington launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.
Wellness & Wellbeing Apps:
- Calm App (iOS and Android) – With guided meditations, soothing sounds, and even stories designed to help with sleep, Calm allows you to target different areas of your wellbeing according to your needs. The service offers a 7 day free trial if you’d like to try the premium features out, with the opportunity to pay for those features afterwards.
- Pacifica (iOS and Android) – Pacifica is an app designed to track your mood over time, checking in with you at random moments throughout the day to remind you to think about how you are feeling. There are additional paid features, but, sometimes, even a reminder from your phone to consider your mood can be a step in the right direction.
- Habitify (iOS and Android) – If you’re looking to make a habit of something helpful, such as meditation, running, reading, etc, Habitify allows you to make a point of including it in your day with helpful reminders. It even allows you to track the completion of your healthy ‘habit’. It is an excellent way of putting your wellbeing first by making a habit out of a healthy commitment. Most of the features are free, but there is a monthly subscription to track an unlimited number of habits.
- Headspace (iOS and Android) – Offering both a free and premium service, Headspace is an app that provides helpful introductions to mindfulness and allows you to tackle specific health concerns such as: stress, anxiety, and your capacity to focus. It is a perfect way to try out mindfulness, and target aspects of your mental wellbeing that you’d like to improve.
- Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (iOS and Android) – After tracking your sleep throughout the night, this app wakes you up when you are in the lightest stage of sleep. The aim is to wake you up more naturally, and to ensure that, when you do wake, you feel as rested as you ought to after a good night’s sleep. For anyone struggling to get a good night’s sleep, or to get more out of their sleep, this app could really help, especially since lack of sleep can have all kinds of adverse effects upon our mental and physical wellbeing.
- Sweatcoin (iOS and Android) – If you need some motivation to get you moving, Sweatcoin might be for you. This app pays you (in a currency within the app) to walk around – the more you walk, the more you earn. You can even reward yourself, if the health benefits of being more active weren’t enough, by using your coins to purchase something through the app’s store. It’s perfect if you’re looking to become more healthy and active, or if you want to make the most of already being active.
- What’s Up (iOS and Android) – What’s Up uses methods drawn from both Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) so you can find a way to deal with anxiety, stress, or even depression. It aims to use these proven methods of therapy to empower you to disrupt negative or unhelpful thoughts, and is an easy way of making more time for your mental health.
- Meditation Studio (iOS and Android) – Meditation Studio is an app that offers guided meditation straight from experts. You can access some of the meditations for free, but there is also a premium subscription mode to access even more.
- My Possible Self (iOS and Android) – Learn skills in order to cope with challenging aspects of life, complete a questionnaire to unlock a plan to manage your wellbeing, and read the latest blog posts from MY Possible Self, all through the app.
- Couch to 5K (iOS and Android) – This app, made in partnership with the BBC, aims to help you get active, especially if you don’t do a great deal of exercise. Allowing you to build your fitness gradually and calculatedly, Couch to 5K can help you instate some exercise into your life.
- Happify (iOS and Android) – Happify features scientifically backed activities to boost happiness and overall emotional wellbeing. If you’re not particularly suited to mindfulness, and want a little more entertainment, try Happify’s activities and games to boost your mood.
- Moment (iOS) – The average person touches their phone 2,617 time every day. Break the habit by finding out how you compare. If you want to cut down, you can set daily limits on yourself and be notified when you go over. You can even force yourself off your device and into a digital detox!
- Breathe (iOS) – If you’re feeling stressed or irritated, take a break and a deep breath with Breathe. The app sends you gentle reminders and inspirational quotes throughout the day to get you back to your calmer self.
- Tomo – A problem shared is a problem halved. Tomo pairs you up with others looking to build similar positive daily habits to provide extra motivation. Other features include a social option to let a wellness community celebrate their wins with one another, however big or small. And the more you use the Tomo app, the more it learns what nudges work best for you.
- Strava – Strava turns every iPhone and Android into a sophisticated running and cycling computer (and we work with your GPS watches and head units, too). It’s great for motivation and meeting other community members all over the world.
Wellness & Wellbeing Podcasts:
- Sleep With Me Podcast – The podcast to help you get to sleep. It might not work for everyone, but it’s worth a shot. Listen to Drew Ackerman (“Dearest Scooter”) as he talks for upwards of an hour about topics that grow progressively more boring. You might not finish the episode before it lulls you to sleep, but that is part of his aim. Getting a good night’s sleep is an intrinsic part of maintaining good overall wellness, so if you struggle to get to sleep, try this podcast out.
- NHS Couch to 5K Podcast – We all feel better after exercise, and this podcast from the NHS is an excellent way to put yourself back into motion. With nine episodes, one for each week of the plan, the aim is to get listeners up off their couch and onto their feet, all in the interests of health. Working similarly to the app (listed above), the podcast will walk you through the steps you need to take to be fit enough to run five kilometres.
- Radio Headspace Podcast – The Headspace podcast, from the makers of the app, covers topics related to the mind and its capabilities and aims to provide inspiration for happier and healthier lives.
- Untangle Podcast – Untangle is a podcast from the makers of the Meditation Studio app. Experts and real people share their stories and experiences of mindful practices and how they helped them. Tune in for a regular dose of inspiration and motivation.
- TedTalks Health Podcast – Covering a range of topics related to health and science, including new breakthroughs, not every episode might be of use when it comes to wellness, but there are certainly some that provide useful insight into improving day-to-day wellbeing.
- Happier with Gretchen Rubin – Bestselling author, Gretchen Rubin, covers tips for happiness and wellbeing, as well as how to enact good habits in your life. With 181 episodes and counting there’s something for everyone.
- The Thrive Global Podcast – Established and run by reformed media mogul Arianna Huffington this podcast covers topics and tips related to wellbeing in an interview format. After suffering from a workplace burnout as a result of neglecting self-care, Huffington has taken to raising awareness of the importance of balancing work and life commitments.
- Happy Place Podcast – Fearne Cotton speaks to celebrities about their experiences with mental health and how they find happiness in their lives. This podcast offers inspiration and food for thought when it comes to mental wellbeing particularly.
- BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind Podcast – This podcast is all about the mind and its capacities and covers topics from stress, to depression, to mental health awareness.
- Motivate Yourself, The Richard Nicholls Podcast – A podcast aimed at personal development, providing tips on how to strengthen your personal wellbeing. Recent topics have included resilience, self-worth, and how to be more grateful.
- Hidden Brain Podcast – The Hidden Brain Podcast is described by its creators as using science and storytelling ‘to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behaviour, shape our choices and direct our relationships.’ It is an insightful and inspiring podcast about the human self.
- The Daily Boost Podcast – This podcast provides short, motivational episodes to help you start your day with some inspiration.
- The Minimalists Podcast – Tackling a range of topics all revolving around how to live a more meaningful life with less. They offer guidance and advice whilst talking about personal experiences.
- Killing It – Adventures In Start-ups & Mental Health – A six-part series from Spotify, scratching beyond the surface appearance of start-up success and exploring at what cost this comes to those that work for one. Tech journalist and psychologist Aleks Krotoski leads the discussion with therapist and coach Petra Velzeboer and James Routledge, founder of Sanctus, the mental health gym.
- BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Podcast – Not every episode of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour covers topics specifically related to wellbeing, but discussion of wellbeing is never far away. Aimed at a female audience, as the title implies, but useful for all, recent topics have included: workplace stress and anxiety, and how to support the wellbeing of children and students.