Health and lifestyle apps for students

Staying healthy and focused through university with technology

Graphic by Jondell Coombs

With only a month left in this semester midterms have been written, GPAs are being cemented, and studying for finals procrastinated on. It may be safe to assume that health and wellness is not at the top of a student’s priority list, given the multitude of other concerns on their minds.

It may not be feasible for all of us to get eight hours of sleep every night, eat delicious and nutritious Instagram-worthy meals, and work out for an hour every day. Baby steps are more realistic in working towards better health.

Here in no particular order is a round up of five apps vetted by a fellow student which I found to be worth their data in gold.


Grades 3 (iOS)

Free with numerous features, this app lets you plan ahead by showing upcoming due dates and tests, allows you to set reminders for when to do an assignment or study, keeps your notes in one place, sends group texts and emails right from the app, and can even call your professor.

The best feature of them all: determine what you need to get on your next test to get the grade you want in your class. And there’s even a GPA calculator as the cherry on top.

My verdict: I’ve used this app for almost two years. I input all the necessary assignments, discussions, midterms, essays, and final exams and assign the weight. After doing that, I can see what I need to achieve the grade I want. This app has been incredibly valuable for planning and achieving my academic goals.


SexPositive (Android/iOS)

SexPositive, a free sexual health app developed by the University of Oregon Health Centre, allows users to educate themselves on safe sex practices in an easy and accessible way.

The app includes a function in which the user can match up two body parts that may be involved in a sexual encounter, and is presented with the corresponding sexually transmitted infection risks, along with advice on safer sex practices and related tips on communication. The app also has links to various sexual health resources.

My verdict: This app is great. I think the body-part function is an awesome way for users to really home in on the specific sexual interactions they are curious about, and receive thorough feedback on the kinds of risks and options for prevention that are associated with it. I would totally consult this app for information on keeping myself safe and minimizing risks.


Calm in the storm (iOS)

This app is designed to help individuals get through everyday life stressors – a thing students know a little bit about!

By helping you track and identify your sources or times of stress, you can learn how to better cope with whatever may come your way. The app will even make suggestions specific to your stress patterns to help cope.

Packed with inspirational quotes, educational chapters, and a wide variety of stress relief options (everything from ‘breathing meditation’ to ‘relax in a hurry’ to ‘Aboriginal teachings’) this will be a go-to app for anyone looking for a sense of calm.

My verdict: I love that this app was designed here in Winnipeg and has links to local resources such as Klinic. It has worked pretty seamlessly for me and it’s the perfect companion to some of the things available here on campus like the Student Counselling Centre (located in 474 University Centre).


Foursquare (Android/iOS)

If you are a newcomer in Winnipeg and finding new places to explore is difficult, Foursquare is for you.

This is an ultimate city guide about places to eat, drink, shop, and visit. You can set your favourite interests and the app will show you local options accordingly. There are also short reviews and ranking for different places by other users, and price points.

My verdict: I’ve found this app recently and I’m totally in love with it. It would have been great to have in my first year in the city. Not only does it give different choices, but I can also save places I have been to and make it more personalized.

This app has search options such as night time, romantic dinner, or more specific options such as seafood and French pastries.


Nike + Training Club (Android/iOS)

Nike + Training Club uses the motto “Your personal trainer. Designed by Nike. Powered by friends.” It features over 100 workouts and multiple programs you can personalize to your needs. Workouts can be streamed to your group to keep you accountable and motivated.

My verdict: For those of us that aren’t at home in the gym, Nike + Training Club is a good place to start. My favourite feature is that it shows you exactly how to do each exercise with proper form, which is always one of the things I’m most intimidated by when trying a new workout. Another great thing is that many of the exercises can be completed wherever, which might also be good for those of us that aren’t quite ready to strut our stuff in the Active Living Centre, or don’t have the time to make it to a gym.