We’re all guilty of spending a lot of time flicking through Instagram or mindlessly browsing the web. But, why not make your downtime a little more productive? There are plenty of fantastic apps that can teach you new skills, inspire you, and even work to improve your physical and mental health.

Whether you’re on a study break, sitting on the bus or train, or hanging out at home with nothing to do, here are seven apps that’ll help you make the most of your free time.

Duolingo

Available on iOS and Android

Cost: Free

If you’ve ever wanted to master a new language, Duolingo is a hugely popular app that can make learning fun and easy. With over 30 languages available – including Spanish, French, German, Japanese and many more – Duolingo breaks up language tutorials into short daily lessons that can be completed in a small amount of time. Each lesson is packed full of exercises and challenges, with plenty of virtual rewards to keep you motivated. In short, Duolingo makes learning a new language more like an addictive game than hard work.

Headspace

Available on iOS and Android

Cost: Free two-week trial, then from $5.83 per month

Make your free time a little more relaxing by using Headspace to de-stress. This app contains hundreds of simple meditations designed for anyone who is short on time; each guided meditation includes an easy breathing technique and quirky animations to help you re-focus and let go of stress and anxiety in a matter of minutes. There are plenty of mini-meditations available that can be completed between breaks, as well as useful exercises, videos and articles to help you get the most out of meditation.

Curiosity

Available on iOS and Android

Cost: Free

Curiosity compiles thousands of interesting articles and videos on countless subjects to help you learn something new each day. From astronomy, caffeine and dinosaurs to film, art and gender studies, this handy app has the answers to all of your burning questions. You can even follow and save the topics you love most so you’ll get the most recent stories, as well as browse a large selection of puzzles and quizzes on a wide range of subjects. Curiosity is great if your downtime is brief, such as if you’re on a lunch break at work. The articles are short, which makes it easy to cram in some fast facts during your break.

Tasty

Available on iOS and Android

Cost: Free

Broaden your culinary skills by browsing over 4000 easy-to-follow recipes on the Tasty app. The app offers plenty of variety, as well as step-by-step instructions and video tutorials that guide you through each meal from beginning to end. You can filter recipes by cuisine, diet, occasion or difficulty level, and you can save your favourites, view nutritional information, and learn handy tips and tricks from other users who have already made the meal. Tasty is a great app for anyone who wants to make impressive dishes but has minimal cooking experience.

Lumosity

Available on iOS and Android

Cost: Free for basic membership, with subscription option also available

As a popular brain training app, Lumosity has countless fun games designed to train your brain and sharpen your skills. Games are divided into categories that target different areas of the brain, including memory, speed, attention, flexibility, problem-solving, word and math. Simply playing three games a day for a few minutes is enough to keep you mentally alert, and any age or skill level can play – Lumosity adapts itself to each person’s strengths and weaknesses.

Blinkist 

Available on iOS and Android

Cost: From $9.99 per month

Blinkist is useful when you need to understand a book but don’t have time to read it. With a library of over 3000 books and counting, Blinkist collects the main themes and ideas from popular nonfiction titles and gives you a thorough summary to read or listen to in just 15 minutes. Books are grouped in categories so you can easily browse your topic of interest and learn key insights from experts in the field. Plus, the app adds 40 new titles every month, so you’ll probably never run out of material to read!

Zombies, Run!

Available on iOS and Android

Cost: Free to download, with in-app purchases starting from $2.99

Keen to get fit in your downtime but don’t have the motivation? Zombies, Run! is the perfect solution. This fitness app throws you into an immersive adventure where you need to run, jog or walk in order to save yourself (and the rest of humanity) from a zombie apocalypse. It combines audio storytelling with your own music playlist to give you all the motivation you need to keep up the pace. Every run you complete earns you vital supplies that will help prevent the living dead from taking over the world, and with a different heart-pounding mission each time, Zombies, Run! is the most fun you can have while doing a workout.


Vodafone makes it even easier for you to use your device to stay productive by offering awesome deals on data. Find out more about Vodafone’s latest student deals on the Vodafone website.