I don’t know if this qualifies as my favorite app of the year, but it’s definitely the most 2020 app I used this year. Cardiio measures your heart rate, and I’m worried to announce that I’ve used it every day of the last several months—usually more than once a day. You may feel, as I do, that this has been the kind of year that sets anxious hearts racing and even jumpstarts a panic attack or three. When my heart feels like it’s bursting out of my chest, I find it helpful to get a reality check (okay, 78 is higher than my normal but not “high” in a “let’s go to the ER” sense) while taking a break from whatever is stressing me out.
It’s sad that checking my pulse has become my relaxation technique, but let’s face it—much of this year has been sad. You can upgrade to find out details like “potential life expectancy” based on your average heart rate, but that seems like sheer hubris at this point. —Alice Bradley, editor-in-chief