Self-care looks different for everyone. Maybe it’s monthly massages for someone, while for another sis, it’s a nightly “me” hour. If both of those sound good to you, let it be a reminder that we need to care for our whole selves. Yes, our self-care routines should address our mind, body and spirit.
Thankfully, there are tons of free resources to help us do just that. And we gathered some of the best for you. If your self-care game could use a little help, take a look at these freebies.
Access meditations, music, workshops and other resources through free mindfulness apps. A few options include InsightTimer, the UCLA Mindful App and the Healthy Minds Program app.
Stretch your brain with free online classes. Offered by recognizable institutions, such as Harvard, MIT and University of California, Berkeley, you can take free courses on many subjects ranging from managing your nutrition to learning a new language. Online course platforms with free classes include edX.org, Coursera.org and Udemy.com.
Explore AARP’s Virtual Community Center for various events ranging from self-improvement to history lectures to career tips.
Online games are a great way to exercise your brain, challenge your memory and improve mental function. Lumosity.com and CogniFit.com are popular brain-training programs. While you can choose paid memberships, their websites and apps offer numerous free brain games and resources. And AARP also offers select games to nonmembers.
Books and magazines
Access free e-books and audiobooks through the Libby app and Project Gutenberg or free magazines on ValueMags.com.
Skin care products
Treat your skin well with a variety of skin care samples. Right now, you can score CeraVe’s Moisturizing Cream; La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Face Moisturizer; and SkinCeuticals products. For more skin care and beauty samples, check out Freeflys.com (the selection changes daily).
If joining a gym was on your to-do list for the new year, take advantage of complimentary passes offered by many gym chains. They’re a great way to try a gym before committing. Anytime Fitness, Crunch, 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and Planet Fitness offer free passes, ranging from one to seven days. Local independently owned gyms may offer free trials as well.
If at-home workouts are more your thing, you can access exercise videos and plans on free fitness apps. From yoga to running to strength training, there’s something for everyone. Runtastic.com by Adidas, the Nike Training Club, Runkeeper.com and Yoga for Beginners all have free workouts available. And, of course, YouTube has an endless number of fitness videos.
Access weight loss resources and nutrition guidance with websites and apps like Myplate.gov, Livestrong.com, Myfitnesspal.com and Loseit.com. While you can pay for premium features on some of these apps, the free versions will have basic functions like meal tracking, calorie counting and logging your exercise, and the websites have a wealth of resources. Some also have free meal plans and access to a community.
Stay healthy with free medications. Some supermarkets like Meijer and Price Chopper provide select prescribed medications free of charge regardless of insurance or copays.
CVS offers free health screenings and tests at select locations through its Project Health program. And some supermarket chains offer complimentary screenings as well, so stop by your pharmacy on your next visit to check.
Check out our guide to free mediations here.
Guided prayer and devotions
In addition to offering multiple translations of the Bible for your computer and devices, Bible.com also has guided prayer, devotions, reading plans and other resources. Current plans include “Cultivating a Heart of Mercy,” led by Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King.
Music is good for the soul. And free music is even better. Find playlists for your every mood on Pandora, Spotify or iHeartRadio. And check out our curated playlists too. Here's our soul-lifting Miracle Music playlist.
National park admission
Embrace and experience nature during one of five Free Entrance Days at National Parks.
While formal art therapy requires working with a professional, you can soothe your soul with some of the activities used by art therapists. Here’s a resource of 100 art therapy exercises.
The Smithsonian offers many free online events sponsored by its numerous museums. Upcoming events include documentary screenings, a tribute concert to jazz masters including Cassandra Wilson and a discussion about trailblazing civil rights lawyer and federal judge Constance Baker Motley.