An award-winning app with a very high rating on the App Store, Shine is a full-service self-care tool. Its many features include wellness courses, daily meditations, virtual workshops, and mood trackers. An inclusive, interactive app, Shine also encourages discussions and socialization among its members. Here's a rundown of the many features that you can use to make the most of your time with Shine.


How to Get Started With the Shine App

When you download the Shine app, you'll have to set up a new account by answering questions about your self-care needs. For instance, you may want to prioritize managing work stress or creating a space for rest in your day. You can also select preferences for the audio content. Once you're through the quiz, you can access the app's content.

The Home tab displays a motivational phrase and a calming scene, and it's there that you can quickly access some of the app's audio content, as well as a daily check-in. A link to the Daily Shine, a meditation podcast that offers self-care skills, also appears on the Home tab.

The free version of the Shine app includes a daily meditation and article as well as gratitude logs. You will need a subscription to access the rest of the app's content. If you're on the fence, a free trial gives you some time to play around with the app and its many features.

Download: Shine for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)

How to Meditate With the Shine App

The Shine app's Library tab contains a robust selection of audio content. To start, the Quick Hitters section offers a selection of meditations for the morning, midday, and evening. They are all under 10 minutes, so you can enjoy a little Shine meditation throughout your day.

Next, browse the playlists. The topics include an introduction to meditation, sleep, guided journaling, and breath work. There's even a series of meditations designed to help ease anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, an archive of the Daily Shine gives you access to any of the daily episodes you might have missed.

One of the Shine app's unique features is its selection of meditations based on identity. Playlists focused on Latinx, BIPOC, Black, AAPI, and LGBTQ+ mental health include content created with these particular experiences in mind. For instance, the BIPOC playlist includes meditations centered around representation burnout, having pride for your whole self, and resilience. The narrators address challenging topics with compassion and care, and many reviewers praise the app's focus on inclusivity.

In addition, the Shine app can help incorporate mindfulness practices into your everyday life with the Daily Rituals selections. Quick audio discussions can keep you company as you fold laundry, brush your teeth, or drink coffee. Gentle reminders to attend to each task with your full attention and breathing exercises help make these everyday moments a little more meaningful.

Next, the Mindful Mornings section offers intentions, meditations, and stretching routines for that crucial part of the day. Lastly, the Mealtime Moods collection offers up brief 10-minute talks designed to help you feel more connected with your dining companions, calm your mind and body, or find joy.

You can also allow Apple Health to access your mindful minutes from the Shine app from the Profile screen. If you're using multiple meditation apps, for instance, then this is one way to keep track of all your meditation time in one place.

In addition, there's Shine's wellness podcast, Friends with Mental Health Benefits. In these episodes, Shine founders Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi speak with industry leaders about balancing wellness with your career. Burnout, mental health, and the parenthood balance are a few of the topics covered here.

If you'd like to learn more about wellness and work, the app also features courses on productivity, balance, and motivation, as well as meditations that address workplace stress, the Sunday scaries, and job interview jitters.

Sleep Better With the Shine App

There are many apps to help improve your sleep, and the Shine app offers a whole selection of sleep content, as well.

  • First, there's the Sleep Sounds section. Select from calming ambient music tracks or nature sounds designed to help you drift off more easily.
  • Next, the Sleep Meditations collection features a variety of different approaches to help you rest. Visual meditations, progressive muscle relaxation, and breath work exercises are all available to ease you into sleep.
  • In a fun approach to sleep content, the Nightcaps series retells classic '90s movies in a soothing way. Relax while you listen to the chill stories of Bring Sleep On, Space PaJAMas, and Men in Blankets.

Take Courses With Shine

To go a bit deeper with your self-care practice, try the Shine app's selection of wellness courses. Over the course of several days, listen to the multipart series on topics ranging from reclaiming joy to navigating anxiety. It's a simple way to take a deeper dive into many of the themes covered throughout the app.

How to Use Shine’s Reflect Feature

Click on the Reflect tab at the bottom of the screen to access the app's interactive mood checker. Answer a series of questions about your mood at the moment. The app responds with a few follow-up questions and offers you some form of support, whether that's an article, meditation, or additional chat time.

Even when you're discussing serious feelings of anxiety or anger, the app's responses are gentle and supportive. It feels like texting an especially compassionate friend.

In addition to the mood tracker, there's also a gratitude check-in option. Enter anything you feel grateful for, and the app records your answer. Over time, you can scroll back through the calendar to review all your reasons for gratitude.

Whether you're already a fan of gratitude journaling apps or totally new to the practice, keeping track of things you appreciate every day can become a powerful, positive habit.

Get Social With the Shine App

The Discuss tab gives you a daily prompt and lets you add your thoughts and read responses from the Shine community to see how others react to the idea. These questions also connect with themes from the Daily Shine.

This feature is meant to create a space for discussion where other Shine users can feel supported and express themselves, according to Shine.

Light Up Your Wellness Journey With the Shine App

With its rich library of meditations, courses, podcasts, and articles, the Shine app already has countless fans. Anyone looking for a compassionate, inclusive, and nuanced approach to self-care and wellness should give this app a try.

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