8 Apps, Books, and Products Getting Me Through Self-Isolation

When self-isolation first began, I had a lot of positivity. I’m a Sagittarius, it’s in my blood. However, in Sag nature, once the idea of spontaneity, travel, face-to-face interaction, and honestly shopping inside a Sephora store was outside the realm of possibility for the near future, I panicked. I downloaded everything—apps, audiobooks, games, movies, and more—to help me get through this time with a little less anxiety.

Welp, we’ll be at home for at least another 30 days. Instead of stressing out even more, I’m turning to these things to get my mind off the present and think to the future. I’m not saying they’re all super productive (#1 might be my actual favorite), but that’s totally OK. 


1. Temple Run

No, you have not traveled back in time. Yes, I am recommending this game. I was obsessed with Temple Run in high school. I am not a gamer; I played High School Musical: Sing It! on my Wii and Nintendogs on my DS. But there’s just something about Temple Run. I’m one of those bad millennials who loves a second screen, so while I’m binge-watching Desperate Housewives all day, I’m probably going to play this game for a bit. Yeah, yeah, screen time isn’t good for us, but I feel truly alive running from those gorillas, so IDC.


2. The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

I’ve forced myself to get into audiobooks during this time since I can’t go to the library or as easily order straight from Amazon. I just downloaded this audiobook and the story immediately provided an escape and a distraction from day-to-day life. I wouldn’t call it “feel-good,” but if you loved Woman in the Window, Girl on the Train, or Gone Girl (you know, the classics), add this to your TBR ASAP.


3. Shine

My mental health definitely took a bit of a toll at the beginning of social distancing. I’m a classic extrovert who lives alone—you get the drift. I found this app just perusing the app store, and I’ve loved it for meditation and journaling. When you sign up in the app, you set an intention: feel less stressed, feel less anxiety, feel more confident, be more positive, etc. Every day, the app gives you a “Daily Shine” which includes reading (for example, today’s was about setting boundaries for watching and reading the news), then a place to discuss with other people on the app the question of the day, and listen to a short podcast from a wellness expert on the topic of the day. Then, you can “check in” for the day with a daily gratitude. It’s pretty simple, but the daily check-ins have given me something to look forward to every day. 

For $11.99 a month, the app offers mood check-ins, meditations, sleep podcasts to help you fall asleep faster, and more.


4. Leuchtturm Notebook

I bought this journal at the beginning of the year because I swore I’d become a bullet journaler. Eh, didn’t happen. But now has been the perfect time to get back into it! I don’t use it as a planner, but I love using it for lists and tracking my mood (and remembering to take my CBD). This is definitely the best notebook I’ve ever found for bullet journaling, but I’d also probably love it for regular journaling, note-taking, and more.


5. Soon

I actually discovered this app in this Everygirl article, but I need to discuss it again. It’s basically a movie/TV/book/etc. watch/read list. Pretty much every book, movie, and TV show you could think of is already built into the app. All you have to do is search and add to list. It’s made it easy for me to keep up with all the things I want to watch on various platforms, what I want to rent or see in theaters later on, and books to keep in mind to add to my Kindle app. So before I sit in front of the TV, I search my Soon app.


6. TikTok

Has TikTok saved my anxiety levels? Honestly, a little. I love seeing my favorite celebs (Joe Jonas, I love you), favorite YouTubers (have I fallen in love with David Dobrik? I regret to inform … yes), and hilarious content creators make me laugh and smile as I scroll my For You page for hours and hours on end. I was a huge Vine girl, so I was reluctant to give TikTok a chance. I now watch it for at least one hour every single day with zero shame.


7. Thick & Thin Podcast

I’ve watched Katy Bellotte on YouTube since I was in middle school. I watched her go through the college application process just before me, go through sorority recruitment, finding a job after college, and finding a first apartment. From afar, she’s felt like a bit of a role model. So when she started her podcast, Thick & Thin, I was a listener right away. I’m leaning in big time now though because it feels like I’m just listening to a friend discuss dating, life in the big city (she’s in New York while I’m in Chicago—same, but different), friendships, career, and more. I’m loving escapist media just as much as the next person—I mean, I put my favorite game from high school on this list—but it does feel good to tap back into reality and feel the feels for just a moment. My must-listen episodes are: “whiskey shots and commitment,” “red lipstick & femininity,” and “toxic relationships and zelda fitzgerald.”


8. Super Attractor: Methods for Manifesting a Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams by Gabrielle Bernstein

Our Associate Editor Josie talked about this book a few months ago, and I’ve had it on my list ever since. When I’m focused on reading (which has not been recently), I like to simultaneously read one non-fiction and one fiction. So, this has been my self-help pick. I bought this to read on my Kindle app (I guess this would be another favorite—reading on my computer isn’t ideal, but it beats waiting a month for a physical copy to get here!), and it’s very inspiring so far. I’m not brand new to the Law of Attraction, but this book makes it fun and trendy instead of weird and hokey. BRB, making a vision board.