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(Credit: m-imagephotography/iStockphoto)

It's always a good feeling when a friend checks in with you on a bad day. Getting a quick text asking how your day is going or making sure you're taking care of yourself can have an underrated impact your day.

The Aloe Bud app (iOS) is like having a good friend to give you thoughtful reminders for self-care throughout the day.

"Aloe Bud is an all-in-one, self-care pocket companion. It gently brings awareness to self-care activities, using encouraging push notifications, rather than guilt or shame," the website said.

Living with anxiety or depression can be stressful--life itself is stressful without them. It can be easy to forget a meal or not hydrate. Sometimes we're so distracted, we forget to reach out to friends. Aloe Bud gently encourages mindfulness and to take a few moments for yourself each day.

SEE: Best apps to help stop panic and anxiety attacks

The app has a nostalgic, pixelated style reminiscent of vintage video games, with pastel colors.

On Aloe Bud's dashboard, you start with three activity cards--Breathe, Hydrate, and Motivate. If you tap Breathe, the app shows you a message that guides you through a breathing exercise that can last as long as you want. You can also tap "Check In" to log the activity.

You can see your self-care progress and "celebrate tiny victories" in the activity log.

If you tap the little pencil in the top left corner, you can set the activity on a reminder schedule. Aloe Bud reminds you to not set too many notifications though and possibly get overwhelmed.

The free version of the app has a built-in reminder message that help you to make a routine. When the app sends a reminder, you'll see clever little phrases like "Gotta nourish to flourish! Water yourself soon," for Hydrate.

If you upgrade to Premium, you can write your own message or get a message expansion pack. But, it could make the app more attractive to potential users that they can get the full app experience without paying--Premium just adds more customizations and flexibility.

If you do want to enhance your app experience, the Premium Reminders are available for a one-time $2 fee. Custom Reminders cost a one-time $4 fee, and unlocking everything costs $5.

The little "+" in the top left corner of the app allows you to add activity cards besides the default ones. You can choose from Move, Health, Break, Rest, Fuel, Refresh, People, and Stimulate. Each card offers a motivational, mindful message, the ability to set a reminder, and log each activity.

Activities range from average tasks like hydrating or eating, to texting a friend, or journaling for a moment.

Keep in mind that Aloe Bud doesn't claim to be a replacement for a mental health professional, only a tool to make self-care more personal and accessible. If you tap the settings gear on the dashboard, the app offers a tab for mental health resources and help lines.

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(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)


Takeaways

  1. Aloe Bud is a free app that sends users gentle reminders to practice self-care throughout the day.
  2. Users can customize the reminders and activities to send as many or as few notifications as they want.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.