These 9 (Free) iPhone Hacks Are Genius for Optimizing Your Health Effortlessly

I’m all for unplugging whenever possible, especially when it gets to the point where my phone feels like an extension of my arm: always at the ready for a mindless scroll to pass the time, to catch up on emails, or in case I stumble upon the “perfect” photo. The phone separation anxiety is real. We often hear the pitfalls of being attached to our phones 24/7 and encourage digital detoxes to share the negative effects of social media on mental health. But hold the phone—your tech sidekick can be used to make your health better instead of worse. These tried-and-true tips and tricks can be game-changers for your health and well-being. Keep reading for iPhone hacks that make enhancing your health a no-brainer.

1. Set your alarm to your favorite meditation

If you have to use an alarm, why choose a jarring ringtone that spikes cortisol rather than a guided meditation that can get you in a better mindset for the day and even help you manifest your dream life? Here are the steps to morning zen that TikTok wellness girlies swear by: 1. Download iTunes; 2. Search for your meditation of choice (i.e., Dr. Joe Dispenza—which you’ll likely have to purchase); 3. Go to your Alarms and tap your wake-up time; 4. Hit “Sound,” then “Pick a song”; 5. Search your library for the meditation you purchased and select it; 6. Tap “Vibration” and make sure “None” is selected. TikTok for the morning hack win.

Not only is it a more beneficial replacement for cortisol-raising alarm sounds, but you’ll fit in a meditation first thing in the morning without even having to think about it. Bonus? Dr. Joe Dispenza says that the best time to meditate is in that semi-groggy state when you’re just coming out of or falling asleep because your subconscious state goes through certain brain waves where a positive guided meditation can help better rewire your thoughts than when you’re fully awake.

2. Use your phone as a medical ID bracelet in an emergency

The little white box with a pink heart you probably overlook every day (AKA the “Health” app) has a bevy of features that make it a tool you want to have in your back pocket (literally). The medical ID feature allows first responders to access any medical conditions, allergies, medications, and emergency contacts you have stored from the lock screen. To set it up, open the Health app and tap the “Summary” tab. Then, tap your profile picture in the upper right-hand corner. Under your profile picture, tap “Medical ID,” then “Edit.” Input all the health information you’d want to share in the event of an emergency. To make your Medical ID available even if your phone is locked, toggle on “Show When Locked.”

Why buy a fitness tracker when your iPhone already has the same capabilities? The “Health” app steps up again with its automatic daily step count so you can automatically keep up with your daily step count goal. For easier access (or if you don’t check your “Health” app often,) download the app “Steps” and create a widget on your home screen so you can get real-time percentages and daily step counts every time you open your phone. Want to track more than just steps? Put the “Fitness” app to good use—it will follow all of your daily activity (step count, cardiovascular activity, and more), and you can record daily movement and goals to see your progress and review movement trends over time.

4. Track your menstrual cycle with smart tracking apps

If you’re changing up your routine to support your body’s needs based on the different phases of your reproductive cycle (AKA cycle syncing), consider your iPhone your right-hand woman for all your period-tracking needs: your next period start date, symptoms, flow level, spotting, basal body temperature, and more. To track your cycle, open the Health app, tap the Browse tab, and select Cycle Tracking. Swipe to the correct day of when your last period started and repeat every month. To add more details, scroll down and choose the category you want to elaborate on. For more advanced tips, cycle syncing, or fertility tracking, we like the “MyFlo” and “Natural Cycles” apps.

5. Monitor (and improve) your sleep with sleep settings

We’ve been told keeping your smartphone next to you at night is a big no-no, thanks to the negative effects it can have on your shut-eye (AKA blue light and that social media rabbit hole). While it may not live up to the likes of mouth taping or the Sleepy Girl Mocktail, your handheld device can be a welcomed overnight addition for its sleep-tracking capabilities. Go to your “Health” app and scroll down to “Set Up Sleep,” then hit “Get Started.” From there, you can establish the number of hours you’d like to sleep per night as well as your bedtime and wake-up times and activate “Sleep Focus” (i.e., block notifications and calls while you wind down) to reduce distractions during your designated wind-down window. And voila—you’ve got your own sleep tracker (for free!).

Source: Cora Pursley | Dupe

6. Enable red light tint on your screen

We know the drill: You slip into bed and grab your phone out of muscle memory, boredom, or because counting sheep isn’t cutting it, only to get lost in your FYP until you’ve lost all sense of time. We’ve all been there (no judgment), but your sleep pays the price since basking in all that blue light at night throws the body’s biological clock (AKA the circadian rhythm) out of whack. Good news: There’s a (somewhat hidden) Apple feature called Color Filters to solve just that. To transform your late-night browsing, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Color Filters. Next, toggle on the Color Filters and tap Color Tint. Then, move the Intensity and Hue sliders to the far-right position to enable the red tint on your screen. This trick sets it up so you just need to click your home button three times to enable the red light settings and then switch it back to normal. Turn it on when the sun sets to optimize your circadian rhythm or before bed to limit the urge to scroll.

7. Set communication boundaries with “Focus Status”

Setting boundaries can be daunting, so delegate some of the work to your iPhone. Enter: “Focus Status,” the new-and-improved Do Not Disturb, AKA your assistant in defining how and when you interact with people on your phone. Think: Setting up a profile and away message for when you’re behind the wheel and disabling notifications when you’re unplugging. To start, go to “Settings” and select “Focus.” From there, choose one of the Focus options: “Do Not Disturb,” “Driving,” “Personal,” “Sleep,” or “Work.” Tap on the area of your life that could benefit from establishing some ground rules. Then, customize which people and apps you want to receive notifications from during your Focus period.

8. Fit in a journaling practice on-the-go

You well know the benefits of journaling, but it can be hard to stick to a routine when life, work, and your “For You” page are demanding your attention. If you have trouble sticking to a journal routine, consider switching from a notebook to your beloved Apple device as your confidant or electronic journal. You’ll be so much more likely to keep up the routine when you can fit it in on your morning commute, when you’re on a break at work, or before you even get out of bed.

Under “Browse” in the “Health” app, you’ll find the category “Mental Wellbeing,” where you can reflect on how you’re feeling and log your momentary emotions and daily moods to identify patterns under “State of Mind.” You can also take a deep dive into how your state of mind may be associated with lifestyle factors like exercise, sleep, and time in daylight. Other apps you can download for journaling that we like are “Day One” or “Daylio.”

9. Limit screen time

Yes, you can limit technology use using technology. Nobody needs negativity when your iPhone so kindly alerts you of your average screen time every week, so instead, set boundaries for yourself in advance. Apple’s Screen Time feature allows you to set up boundaries for your desired time on the phone rather than hoping you’ll “do better next week.” Under “Settings,” find “Screen Time.” Schedule time away from the screen (AKA “Downtime”), set time limits for apps (ahem, TikTok), and reduce eye strain with the help of “Screen Distance.” Now comes the hard part: not ignoring the limits. Add an extra hoop to jump through to avoid any temptation to linger by setting up a screen time passcode. To create one, tap “Screen Time” in “Settings,” then select “Use Screen Time Passcode” toward the bottom. You’ll then be prompted to set a passcode (hot tip: use one that is different from the one you use to unlock your phone, so you have to stop and think about it).

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