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There’s a smartphone application for almost every aspect of life—from cooking and nutrition to medicine and music. But if you're of the 40 percent of seniors who don’t own a smartphone, apps may still be a mystery. So, consider this short list of helpful and free apps for iPhone and Android that just might make your life easier should you decide to take the tech leap.

1. Magnifying Glass + Flashlight

Whether it’s to power through the latest page-turner or to learn the nutrition facts of a food product, reading is vital for a healthy, productive life. But unfortunately, our sight and reading ability can degrade as we age. Magnifying Glass + Flashlight is a simple tool that turns your smartphone into a convenient magnifying glass and light for clearer reading. After downloading it, just open the app and hold the phone’s camera lens to whatever you want to read. The text will appear on your screen, larger and much easier to read.

2. Epicurious

Are you curious about what culinary wonders still await you? This app might be for you. It offers a variety of fun, simple, and nutritious meal and menu ideas for yourself or the family. You can learn new recipes and discover ways to spice up old favorites. New, exciting, and delicious meals for the whole family are just a few taps away.

3. Calm

Life may be full of beauty, excitement, and wonder, but it also carries many challenges that can hike your stress levels. This app illuminates various stress reduction and calming techniques designed to help people lead more peaceful and joyful lives. You can find informative articles, guided meditations, and calming stories that can help you keep your stress levels low and your spirits high.

4. WebMD: Symptom Checker

Got a health question or medical concern? WebMD has proven to be a great source for health and nutrition advice on the web. With the smart phone app, you can learn about signs, symptoms, treatments, and prevention of various medical issues while on the go. You can also set medication schedules and research medical professionals in your area. But remember, WebMD can only provide general medical insight; you should always consult your doctor about any serious health concerns you may have!

5. Spotify

We all know that music can soothe the soul. But according to studies, music can also ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain associated with illness. You’ve probably got your go-to music genre or artist, and they’re probably on Spotify waiting for you! With this app, you can pull up your favorite music right on your smartphone to find the right melodies for your mood. The app is free, but you can upgrade for more access for a small monthly fee.

Technology changes fast, and it can be overwhelming to try and keep up. But trying new pieces of technology here and there can make a world of a difference in your life. And smartphone apps are a great place to start!

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