I graduated from law school 14 years ago, and the one thing I wish I’d learned or paid closer attention to during and after law school was my own well-being. We lawyers can be externally focused, constantly worrying and thinking about our clients and their cases and neglecting our own well-being.
Your well-being isn’t merely about an absence of illness, according to an August 2017 report published by the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. Rather, well-being is multifaceted, the report noted.
It’s the process through which you seek to thrive when it comes to your emotional health, your career, your creative or intellectual endeavors, your sense of spirituality or greater purpose in life, your physical health, and your social connections with others.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to care for your well-being thanks to apps and other online programs.
So the next time you catch yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, give one of these apps a try instead.
One way you can care for your well-being is through therapy.
Therapy isn’t just for those who are suffering from a mental illness. It can also help you develop better coping skills to deal with stress, anxiety, and conflict.
With Talkspace online therapy, anyone can get therapy without traveling to an office—and for significantly less money than traditional therapy. Unlimited messaging therapy costs $32 per week; unlimited talk therapy costs $99 per week. However, before you seek therapy on or offline, remember that many states require bar applicants to disclose the fact that they sought therapy during law school (regardless of whether you were diagnosed with a mental illness).
Since this could affect your admission to the bar, be sure you discuss the status of bar rules in your state with a trusted and informed advisor.
This is another option for therapy, and it offers convenient, affordable, private online counseling. For $35-$70 per week, you get unlimited online access to a licensed, professional therapist.
Can’t make it to the gym or yoga studio? Have 10 minutes before bedtime? Grab your yoga mat at home and join Adriene for free yoga. She has hundreds of YouTube videos appropriate for beginners as well as advanced practitioners. I’m a huge
fan of her 5-minute morning yoga.
Research indicates that meditation and mindfulness practice can help decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress while increasing your focus and concentration.
You don’t have to meditate for hours per day or head to a meditation center to gain the many benefits of the practice. The key isn’t duration but consistency. Aim for 5-10 minutes per day to start.
Here are some of my favorite meditation apps:
It’s free, and it offers thousands of guided meditations. You can sort by teacher, duration, with or without music, or simply use it as a timer. I love this app because it makes it easy to track your progress, and it’s motivating to get the gold stars after practice.
If you want more of a structured program, Headspace is for you.
Just download and do the “homework” for the day. There are also meditation packs for various topics, such as sleep or relationships.
You can use the app for 10 days for free. After that, you can choose from a $7.99 or $12.99 per month plan or opt for the $399.99 lifetime subscription.
Similar to Headspace, this app offers meditations for different situations and topics. I like Calm because it’s easy to customize the duration of the meditation, and you can choose different music or soothing sounds of nature.
The cost is $4.99 or $12.99 per month or $299.99 for a lifetime subscription.
This is an easy-to-use, science-based sleep coaching app that helps you change behaviors to improve sleep. The platform is driven by neuroscience and specializes in optimizing productivity, health, and well-being.
It’s easy to get focused on all the things in your life that are wrong and not to your liking. Gratitude practice can be a powerful antidote to the negativity bias. Studies have shown that recording three things each day that were positive for you can boost your overall feelings of well-being and happiness. The daily practice has also been linked to reduced depression.
HappyFeed is a free private daily gratitude journal app for iPhone users, and it can help you focus on the positive occurrences of any given day.
This is a six week online health and fitness challenge that teaches participants to build seven daily habits around health. It focuses on nutrition, exercise, mobility, sleep, hydration, reflection, and lifestyle practices.The program offers online support; daily accountability; and a friendly, community-driven atmosphere. The cost is $39 per challenge, or $24 for returning players.
Airo is an anxiety tracker—which costs $199.99—to help you gain better control of your stress and live a fulfilled life. It works by tracking your nervous system every minute. Then, you use the information to identify the triggers for your stress, relieve the stress, and change your habits.
The app lets you objectively measure your anxiety so no one can claim it’s not real or tell you, “Just get over it.” It aims to help not just the sufferer but also the sufferer’s loved ones. Apps to help you manage your finances— Although you may not think of your personal finance as part of your well-being, I’ve found having a grasp of money has been hugely helpful.
As a bankruptcy lawyer, I’ve seen a lot of people suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression over financial troubles. It can feel overwhelming to even look at your student loan debt and figure out how you’ll pay it back.
But there are a lot of resources and tools out there to help you. Here are a few.
Create and track your budget, your upcoming bills, your debt, and investments.
Similar to Mint. You can house all of your financial information and get a screenshot of where you stand. I’ve found this app to be more intuitive than Mint, but try both to see which works for you. They’re both free.
This is another free app, and it’s geared to help couples manage money together. On top of helping you budget and spend mindfully, Honeyfi also helps you get aligned with your partner on money. “Law school debt can be really stressful,” says Sam Schultz, the co-founder and CAO of Honeyfi and a former Biglaw attorney.
“I know because I still have some. Getting on top of your finances will help you keep your debt under control and stress less about money.”
This free app acts as a personal nutritionist at your fingertips. When you’re dieting or dealing with a health issue, every mealtime presents a challenge. It can be difficult to find something to eat. Suggestic helps you navigate the restrictions you’ve selected.
The app employs AI to help you make optimal food choices and, as the health industry is discovering, heal your body with the right foods. It also helps you build a precision-eating plan for your health goals, whether it’s weight loss, health improvement, or the management of a chronic disease.