The third Monday in January has become known as Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year.
Though it is just an arbitrary day with no real science behind it, this is the time of year when holiday debt, winter weather and failed resolutions could wear people down — and technology definitely has a role in that, says North by Northwest tech columnist Jamey Ordolis, and author of the blog Empirella.com
"Social media envy, looking at the greatest hits of other people's lives, can bring you down … the constant bombardment of emails and notifications, our phones' non-stop buzzing, produces additional anxiety at this time when we're already feeling a little more down than usual."
However, Ordolis said that ironically, technology can also be part of the solution.
"There are some great apps and gadgets and sites that I can recommend that will help you break bad habits and specifically focus on improving your mood and your happiness on a daily basis."
Mental mood boosters
For quick and easy guided, or unguided meditations, two to 20 minutes long, users pick a nature scene to look at, and the sounds that go along with it.
"I think it's great for doing at your desk at work, especially. You can also do it on your phone," said Ordolis.
Another free online resource that gives the user mindfulness and meditation sessions, for a variety of needs, such as stress relief, increased creativity, or improving personal relationships.
For soothing ambient brainwave/sound sessions
The journal app that prompts you to focus on the positive.
"It'll ask you to take daily account of good things or moments. And that helps train your brain to think about the good things and to look for positive things, instead of looking for bad and thinking of negative things."
Activities and games that train your brain to be happy.
For a daily note of inspiration from the universe, to your e-mail inbox.
To send to a compliment to someone who needs one.
For a physical boost
For a more pleasant, energizing wake-up experience. "It's shown to improve the quality of your mood and help you feel more energized in the morning," says Ordolis.
"If you're searching for any of these sleep trackers, heart-rate trackers, step counters, calorie burners, this is the best all-in-one," said Ordolis.
Great free exercise streaming on YouTube.
For all kinds of fun cardio and muscle-building workouts.
Over 3,000 streaming yoga classes
Provides a more social night of gaming
For a more positive social feed
"Don't just sign up and then follow people and keep seeing things that after time you've discovered don't make you feel good, because what you see in your feed has been shown to impact your mood," Ordolis said.
To unsubscribe from everything cluttering up your inbox
To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Apps and websites to help people improve their mood and happiness