Spending time with family and friends over the holidays can be delightful, entertaining, and refreshing. It can also be, well... a lot. Every now and then we need a break from the chaos—some alone time to relax, recharge, and shake off the rust (and extra calories from baked goods). That's why we've put together a list of our favorite digital tools to help you break out of the winter holiday doldrums or to liven up that long road trip home in a Getaround.
Find your serenity now with calming apps
- The 2017 Apple app of the year, Calm has several useful tools to aid relaxation. The Sleep Stories collection features soothing bedtime stories read by Matthew McConaughey, Nick Offerman, Tamara Levitt, and more.
- Moodrise uses science to deliver content designed to progressively improve your mood.
Zone out with a classic holiday playlist
- Take the car ride to a festive level or pipe up the holiday vibes around the house with a curated holiday playlist. We just happen to have one ready for you here: Getaround December playlist on Spotify
Immerse yourself in engaging podcasts
We love passing the time with captivating podcasts. Here are some of the Getaround team's favorite shows:
- The latest season of Slow Burn focuses on the murders of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.
- The critically acclaimed Criminal tells a different true-crime story each episode.
- From the producers of Criminal, This is Love investigates stories of love.
- Hosted by comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, My Favorite Murder is a lighter look at true-crime stories in a conversation format.
- From the Council on Foreign Relations, Why It Matters examines a different issue shaping the world's future in each episode.
- Episodes of 99% Invisible focus on the overlooked aspects of design and architecture.
- On The Dollop, comedian Dave Anthony narrates historical events with fellow comedian Gareth Reynolds reacting.
Leave the couch behind with activity apps
- Whether you want to sprint away from the house or just go for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood, the Nike Run Club app tracks your distance, route, calories burned, and has guided runs and motivational messages from trainers.
- MoveWith offers hundreds of exercise programs of all kinds, with personal fitness coaches and playlist integration.
- If you're looking to head off the beaten path, AllTrails finds the perfect trail routes, hikes, and bike rides near you.
Exercise your mind with brain training apps
- Billed as a "personal gym" for your brain, BrainHQ helps exercise your memory, attention, brain speed, and even people skills. Each level takes fewer than five minutes.
- Lumosity offers personalized cognitive training exercises and games that help improve memory and increase focus.
- Learn a new language (or sharpen your skills) on Duolingo. There are 35 course offerings, including Spanish, French, Japanese, and even High Valyrian from Game of Thrones.
Play mobile games that get you moving
- The original augmented reality sensation, Pokemon Go, is still going strong. Bring a friend on your hunt—the latest update includes a revamped buddy system.
- The recently released Minecraft Earth allows you to build (and explore) anything your heart desires, in your living room, back yard, or the local park.
Hear new stories with audiobooks
- The hub for all things audiobook, Audible has a 30-day free trial offer (plus three free titles) and new original content releasing all the time. Prepare for long afternoons and road trips to fly by.
Relax with stress-free gaming
- The gorgeous side-scrolling landscapes in the award-winning Alto’s Odyssey will help you kill time in a fun and aesthetically pleasing way.
- Monument Valley 2 is a newer, colorful puzzle adventure about a mother and daughter with a soothing soundtrack.
- Connect with your inner child with Mario Kart Tour, which features all your favorite characters and plenty of tracks from the SNES and N64 days.
Doze off with gentle nap aids
- Dubbed "the official home of white noise", the TMSoft app comes with a warning: "app causes instant sleep".
- Here's a list of the best noise-canceling headphones—great for the plane ride or if the Settlers of Catan match in the other room takes a rowdy turn.
Find what you need with instant access to valuable services
- If you really want a night away from the fam, check out Sonder to find a hotel that feels more like home.
- If you're feeling overwhelmed by the holidays and need someone to talk to, try Talkspace, an app that matches users with licensed therapists.
- Order a massage on-demand with the Soothe app, where the spa comes to you.