How We Chose The Best Apps To Curb Smartphone Addiction
To find the 10 best apps to curb smartphone addiction, we looked for ones that offer key features like usage alerts, customization, daily or weekly summaries, the ability to block apps, and the ability to set usage limits. These features help users take control of their time and avoid unnecessary distractions.
Put A Hairband Around Your Phone
In one of the most thoughtful personal stories Ive ever read on how to overcome cell phone addiction, Brad Soroka recommends placing a hairband around your cell phone. When placed in the middle of the phone, the hairband allows users to answer phone calls easily, but makes other uses of the phone more difficult .
In his words, Every time you want to use your phone, this brings about a mindfulness exercise and makes you ask what is my intention? If you really want to use the phone, set your intention for why, and remove the hair band.
The hairband trick is not about making your phone impossible to use. The practice is about bringing greater mindfulness to each specific use of it as opposed to mindlessly unlocking your phone every 3 minutes.
When used as a collection of tools to improve my work, health, parenting, and life, cell phones are wonderful and bring countless benefits. But when used mindlessly and unintentionally, they become a distraction from the things in life that matter mostin addition to the negative effects listed above.
Learning how to use our smartphones effectively may be one of the most important life skills any of us can learn.
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Choose The Right App To Help You Curb Smartphone Addiction
Nearly all of the apps on our list offer free versions with all of the basic features you need to track and manage your smartphone usage, meaning its up to you to test each app to find the one thats right for you. We recommend reading user reviews to learn more about how each of these apps helps users block out distractions and stay focused on their work.
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Best Addiction Recovery Apps For 2021
Addiction recovery is a difficult process that is often stigmatized and isolating. Many apps, however, are available to help ease the process, whether youre looking for a like-minded sober community or more accountability. Some apps are meant to be used with a treatment program or can be used on their own.
Choosing Therapys reviews are the result of first-hand testing, thorough research, and transparent methodology. Our reviewers are editorially independent so you can trust their recommendations. We may earn a commission from the companies reviewed. Learn more about our editorial standards, review process, and
Todays Step: Recovery App
Todays Step: Recovery app does not have a sobriety tracker like some other apps. However, if you love to receive daily inspirational quotes and messages along with video exercises to help you maintain sobriety, this is the app for you. Its a great app that can give you the reminder you need to keep you on track. It has stories from people who are also in recovery and offers meditation assistance. This app is available for $2.99 for both Apple and Android products.
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Smart Recovery Cost Benefit Analysis
The SMART Recovery Cost Benefit Analysis app is a complement to the SMART Recovery groups. Using the CBA tool you can quickly see the consequences of potential actions. The CBA strategy helps many people recover from addiction and addictive behaviors, ranging from substance abuse to sexual addiction. The app makes performing a CBA convenient and easy.
A CBA is an assessment of 4 questions:
Best Addiction Focused Startups
A report from Crunchbase states that venture-backed companies that offer treatments and services for addiction recovery have raised more than USD 1 billion in funding in the last few years.
Here are some of the top addiction focussed startup companies based in the USA. We have also mentioned the number of investors and total funding that these startups have raised. Lets take a look at the following table.
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Aa 12 Step Toolkit Recoverybox
Android Rating: 4.6 starsCost: Free with in-app purchases
This app is a good companion for those participating in Alcoholics Anonymous. It lines out the entire 12-step program including the entire Big Book. Recovery Box also features in-app sponsorship to support you on your recovery. Go through the 12-step program by yourself or alongside an AA team. Find support, journal your feelings, and read AA stories from others.
The Science Of Colors In Smartphone Addiction
Smartphones and most pieces of tech often rely on the same psychological tricks that power slot machines, which are equipped with a dazzling array of graphics to keep your attention and trigger the sort of electrical activity in your mind that inspires dopamine-fueled happy emotions. This is why, when well sometimes open our phone with a specific intention say, reading emails we can get distracted and end up tapping the shiny Instagram icon. Many activists and researchers believe the trick to counter such manipulation is to simply go gray.
Dr. Alex J. Holte, a behavioral science professor at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, found in his research that participants who switched to the monochrome mode spent significantly less time on social media and internet browsing.
The grayscale setting is so effective, Dr. Holte added, as it reduces the enjoyment of the user and makes the rewards companies use for positive reinforcement less appealing.
Though iPhones and Android phones ship with their own grayscale mode, its buried deep in settings. Blloc, which has nearly a million users so far, hopes to make it the default. And it really does make a difference.
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When To Talk With A Mental Health Professional
Therapy is often an important aspect of treating alcohol addiction. A professional can help walk you through the recovery process, either one-on-one or in a group setting.
Consider talking with a therapist or counselor if you feel like you need help learning to avoid triggers and gain healthy coping skills that will help you stay away from alcohol. You should also see a mental health professional if youre dealing with another mental health condition beyond addiction, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.
Best Addiction Recovery Apps
To find an application that best suits your needs, consider the issues you may be struggling with. Examples include:
- Fighting urges to give in to substance or alcohol use
- Recognizing and replacing bad habits with positive ones
- Building self-confidence and practicing mindfulness
- Meeting advocates and other members of the sobriety community
- Maintaining motivation, particularly on days of adversity
Besides, brainstorm about what forms of support would best help you cope or face your problems. Once you narrow down the field, you can start looking at apps that address your specific needs. Below are 12 options that we have found are great options:
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Set Aside One Day/week
This is, by far, the most common approach I see among people who have taken intentional steps to curb their cell phone habit nowadays. But I credit Tammy Strobel for being the first person I heard talk about italmost ten years ago. Choose one day each week and set your phone aside. Thats it, make a habit of it.
The Key To Breaking Smartphone Addiction
Blloc isnt alone. The quest to reinvent our relationship with smartphones has led to a score of radical projects. The Light Phone, for example, is a hyper-minimalist phone thats designed to be used as little as possible. The credit card-sized phone strips down the cellular experience to the essentials and only allows users to access a limited number of functions, such as calls, SMS, music, hotspot tethering, and navigation. Its Kindle-like screen, like Ratio, has no sign of color.
Similar to Ratio, Light Phones founder, Joe Hollier wants to encourage intentional use. By isolating different aspects of technology to different devices, like communicating with friends and family on a Light Phone and restricting emails to a work laptop, users can draw their own boundaries, Hollier believes. If we were trying to break our addiction to cigarettes, we wouldnt keep walking around with a pack of smokes on us, Hollier said, and I think that is one reason why the Light Phone is working so well.
Adam Alter, a marketing professor at the NYU Stern School of Business and author of Irresistible, a book on the rise of addictive tech, finds these projects a hard sell as people want digital wellbeing tools but dont like the idea of putting a ceiling on what their phones can do. And its true none of them have made it into the mainstream. Even Blloc began its journey with a minimalistic, proprietary smartphone and eventually pivoted to a home screen app.
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Causes And Effects Of Smartphone And Internet Addiction
While you can experience impulse-control problems with a laptop or desktop computer, the size and convenience of smartphones and tablets means that we can take them just about anywhere and gratify our compulsions at any time. In fact, most of us are rarely ever more than five feet from our smartphones. Like the use of drugs and alcohol, they can trigger the release of the brain chemical dopamine and alter your mood. You can also rapidly build up tolerance so that it takes more and more time in front of these screens to derive the same pleasurable reward.
Heavy smartphone use can often be symptomatic of other underlying problems, such as stress, anxiety, depression, or loneliness. At the same time, it can also exacerbate these problems. If you use your smartphone as a security blanket to relieve feelings of anxiety, loneliness, or awkwardness in social situations, for example, youll succeed only in cutting yourself off further from people around you. Staring at your phone will deny you the face-to-face interactions that can help to meaningfully connect you to others, alleviate anxiety, and boost your mood. In other words, the remedy youre choosing for your anxiety , is actually making your anxiety worse.
Pros & Cons From User Reviews
- Rewards good behavior
- Can only be used alongside a recognized treatment program, so may not be an option for those looking for alternative methods
Will my insurance pay for a Rehab Center?
Get Help Breaking Your Addiction At A Comfortable Facility Under The Care Of Medical Professionals.
- Rehab centers provide treatment for alcohol, opioid, kratom, heroin, and behavioral addictions including eating disorders.
- Most rehab centers work with multiple insurers and for free will look up your insurance benefits.
- If you like the rehab center, you can book a tour.
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Use Apps To Bolster Self
There are apps for almost every problem in life. In fact, there are even some wonderful apps built to help us limit our time on our devices. Here are some of my favorites:
Space. Set goals and track your daily progress to manage your habits.
Forest. Stay focused, be present. Forest is a beautifully designed app that brings gamification to productivity and results in real trees being planted based on your personal phone use habits.
Moment. Through short, daily exercises, Moment helps you use your phone in a healthy way.
Flipd. Lock away distracting apps for complete focus.
Screentime. Set daily usage limits on your phone or specific apps.
First Check Your Screen Time
Your smartphone keeps track of how much time you spend staring at your screen, as well as which apps take up the most time. Heres how to find your screen time report.
On an Android:
- Select Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
On an iPhone:
- Open Settings and select Screen Time.
- Go to See All Activity.
Youll see a graph of your activity, from the daily average time spent on your phone to your most popular apps. You can even see how many times you unlocked your phone.
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Put Your Phone Away When You Walk In The Door
Christopher Mims writes a weekly technology column for The Wall Street Journala job that certainly requires the use of tech on a consistent basis. His simple and proven way to keep life in healthy balance with his cell phone is to put it in a kitchen cabinet at the end of the workday. In his words, The more you physically remove the phone, the more you can build a habit of having some ability to ignore it when its on your person.
When you finish your day of work, put your phone in a drawer or cabinet. This is a helpful practice for all people, but I think it is especially important if you have kids or a spouse at home in need of our undivided attention.
Dont Charge Your Phone Near Your Bed
Want to know the best way to keep your kids off their phones too much? Dont allow them to charge their phones in their bedroom.
Want to know a great way to keep yourself off your phone? Dont charge it in your bedroom.
Many of the negative effects of overuse can be eliminated by keeping your cell phone out of your bedroom. As with many of the items on this list, this is a principle Ive found personally helpful.
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The One That Helps The Planet
Fancy an environmentally-friendly option? Forest is for you. The app grows a virtual tree which continues to grow for as long as you stay on the app. As soon as you leave the app, your tree will die.
Sad but a great reminder of the things you could be missing out on by scrolling through social media. Oh, and the app does actually plant real trees in Africa with its total at almost 300,000 and rising.
Break Your Phone Addiction With These Proven Settings
Our phones filled with emails to check, social media to scroll, and apps to open are designed to keep us glued to them. Its easy to get sucked in and find it difficult to put the phone down. The app and web developers specifically designed it that way.
Want to be shocked? Listen to my podcast that details how apps and sites manipulate you. Youll be aware of the techniques and able to spot them.
In fact, watch my show that aired on Bloomberg TV as its the first news story. Youll learn about it in a few minutes.
Sure, you can rely on willpower. Instead, I know it seems counterintuitive, but you can use your phones built-in features to limit the time you spend on it.
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What Can This App Do
- A personalized program based on your own phone usage habits and personality.
- The opportunity to set and refine your goals for time spent on your phone and the number of unlocks.
- Usage monitoring to study your phone usage patterns, with a quick way to track your progress over the course of 60 days. You can view usage stats for your most-used apps to shed light on how youre really using your phone.
- Tools, such as screen dimming, notification blocker, and SPACE-time to help you disconnect
- Non-intrusive notifications to interrupt your unhealthy phone behavior and keep you on track
- Achievements for meeting your goals which will build a beautiful galaxy over time
- The opportunity to share your results with friends and family with SPACE Pro, to help them get over their unhealthy phone usage
What Is Gray Area Drinking
Gray area drinking is a term used to describe when someone likely has a drinking problem, but the problem isnt considered severe.
If youre a gray area drinker, you might drink socially on a very regular basis, but you dont think you need a detox program or AA to cease drinking. Your drinking might be problematic but it doesnt appear that way.
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Our Apps To Curb Smartphone Addiction Reviews
Space is our pick for the best overall app to help users overcome smartphone addiction. It offers several useful features to help users manage their time, set usage goals, track their goal progress, and access tips for achieving digital balance. What sets this app apart from others is its unique social features, including the ability to share progress with friends and family, build habits with other users, and compare their progress with other Space users. Pro users have access to an eight-day phone/life balance course designed to teach users actionable steps they can take to overcome smartphone addiction.
- In-app purchases: $2.99 $14.99 per item
- Support available: Email and FAQs
|Space Pros & Cons|
Flipd is a research-backed app designed for high-achieving students and productivity enthusiasts. The app offers a wide range of features for productivity, including custom productivity timers, daily, weekly, and monthly stats, study rooms, background sounds, and productivity insights. Uniquely, users can also join live productivity sessions to work or study with others. The free version of the app is very generous, allowing users to set 40-minute timers, join live sessions for up to one hour, set daily goals, and take one break per session. For $5.99 per month, users can upgrade to Premium for unlimited breaks, unlimited timers, 12-hour live sessions, and more.