9 Apps for Intellectual Wellness

By: Sydney Carter ’13, Wellness Communications Assistant

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” -Albert Einstein

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

Ever wish that if you picked up a brush, dipped it in paint and spent hours in front of a canvas that your final product could rival the works of Salvador Dali? Have you thought about what wonders you could concoct with the imagination of Walt Disney? Want to tap into the intellect of Albert Einstein?

Well whip out your smart phone and start tapping away. There are a plethora of apps that offer fun and engaging ways to enhance your intellectual wellness with the simple tap of a touchscreen.

With over 500,000+ apps in the Apple App Store alone and nearly as many Android apps available, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing ones that can nurture your mind. But, we were up to the challenge.

Using Andrea Kuszewski’s 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential as a framework, we found 9 apps you should give a try. Kuszewski’s 5 primary principles for increased “fluid intelligence” (that is our ability to reason and think abstractly) are:

  1. Seek novelty.
  2. Challenge yourself.
  3. Think creatively.
  4. Do things the hard way.
  5. Network.

Novelty keeps you engaged. It promotes continual learning and constant intellectual advancement through intrigue.

Here are some novel apps to download:

TED®

Creator: TED Conferences
For: Apple and Android
$: FREE

Watch inspirational TEDTalks from some of the world’s most fascinating people. Explore over 900 talks on topics that range from crocheted coral reefs to toys made from trash or ones that simply provide inspiration to get organized.

Weird but True

Creator: National Geographic Society
For: Apple
$: 1.99

Impress your friends with wacky facts. This app developed by National Geographic Kids is bright, interactive and a great way to learn obscure information to stump your fellow Terps. Did you know slugs have 3,000 teeth? Easily share your favorite factoids on your go-to social media site with the share button, conveniently located on the right side of every fact.

Keep in mind that National Geographic Kids developed the app so some of the fun features, such as the Weird-O-Meter sound effects, may seem childish. Tapping into your inner child is a great way to spark the imagination.

Don’t shy away from a challenge. If you continue to face mental challenges your capacity for knowledge and creative thinking will expand.

Take on a challenge with these apps:

Words with Friends®

Creator: Zynga
For: Apple and Android
$: FREE

Consider yourself a wordsmith? Put your way with words to the test with this immensely popular app that brings the joys of Scrabble® to your smart phone. Already addicted? Try these other two Zynga-developed word games: Hanging with Friends™ brings a new twist to the classic game of hangman, while Scramble with Friends™ channels all of the fun of Boggle®.

Sign in with your Facebook account to find friendly opponents with ease, and when you dominate you can tweet your victory to all your loyal followers.

Vocabador

Creator: Vocabador
For: Apple
$: 1.99

Beef up your vocabulary abilities and battle light or heavyweight opponents to claim the Vocabulary Championship title with this app that serves a dual purpose as study aid and game.

This app contains 400+ words to learn and 12 wrestlers to challenge in vocabulary battles.

Draw Something®

Creator: OMGPOP
For: Apple and Android
$: FREE

Flex your fingers and find your artistic side to create images that help your friends guess a word. Think of it as Pictionary® on the go, but in color!

There are no time limits, so you can figure out or create a drawing at your own pace whether it is leisure or rapid-fire. Erase and re-start as often as you’d like. Try and see how many times you and your opponent can go back and forth without missing a single guess.

Do not neglect creativity for facts and figures. Intellectual wellness is enhanced when the left and right side of your brain work together.

Get creative with these apps:

Art

Creator: ADS Software Group
For: Apple
$: .99

Keep a vast art gallery in your pocket with this app that features 200+ artists and their renowned works. Biographies for artists are available and additional information is easily searchable through the app.

Create your own gallery by adding or deleting artists and their works to your “my gallery.” Viewing, appreciating and analyzing classic works of art may be just what you need to tap into your own creative reserves.

Shakespeare in Bits

Creator: Mindconnex Learning Limited
For: Apple
$: FREE

Bring the dramatic worlds of the Bard to life with this app. Each play features high-resolution animation and audio to depict the action of Shakespeare’s beloved works, while full unabridged text is a mere click away.

This app features handy in-line translations for antiquated phrases. The app itself is free, but each play has its own price and must be purchased through the app.

Apps make intellectual advancement convenient, but not necessarily easy. Try something that is hard for you to push your knowledge past its limits.

Learn difficult concepts with these apps:

Wolfram Alpha®

Creator: Wolfram Alpha
For: Apple and Android
$: 2.99

Stumped by a mathematical problem? Cannot figure out financial data? Or are you simply curious about the weather? Never fear because Wolfram Alpha® is here! This app can answer your questions and generate reports on a wide range of topics.

If you ever felt jealous of Siri® then this is the app for you since parts of Wolfram Alpha® are used in Apple’s Siri® Assistant.

However, if you have a simple question you might stump this app. It was created to tackle tough mathematical or scientific inquiries.

Star Walk®

Creator: Vito Technology
For: Apple
$: 2.99

If you’ve ever wondered what stars, constellations or satellites you are seeing when you looked up at the sky then this app is a must-have. With Star Walk® all you have to do is point your Apple device to the sky and it will label every star, constellation or satellite it detects.

Use the Time Machine feature to view the sky and its components in the past or future.

Keep in mind that if you have an iPhone® 3G or third generation iPod Touch, the app cannot detect any motion in real-time.

Finally, as you start to hone your personal sense of intellectual wellness, never forget to network with other people.

Sharing your intellectual pursuits with others, like your mentor or roommate, gives you the opportunity to learn from them and their unique experiences.

Imagine: a world of knowledge at your fingertips, literally. Choose to explore the app-sphere, and advance your intellectual wellness.

Share with us.

Do you use any of these apps? What are your opinions of them? What other apps do you use to enhance your intellectual wellness?

App info courtesy of: Apple App Store and Google Play.
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One Response to 9 Apps for Intellectual Wellness

  1. Pingback: The Path to Wellness | Michael Roberts blog

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