Keeping up with healthy habits consistently is known to improve your mental health, but sometimes you need a little extra push.
As this 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology shows, it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. But often, we switch habits and behaviors too quickly, only to burn out after a few days. That’s where Fabulous comes in.
Fabulous is a daily planner and self-care habit tracking app available on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. The app works like a “coach” and uses behavioral science to help people make smart changes and build healthy habits.
Keep reading to see how the Fabulous app works and whether it’s right for you.
- The sessions are science-backed and created in collaboration with researchers.
- It uses a “gamified” experience that can make goal setting and staying consistent enjoyable.
- It has an easy-to-navigate interface with pleasing designs and graphics.
- There’s a large collection of exercises and meditations.
- All the routines show how long each task is going to take.
- The notifications can be easy to ignore.
- There’s no warning that your free trial is going to end.
- There’s not a lot of options or customization if you don’t pay for the full version.
- You’re unable to set nondaily habits.
- The healthy eating portion centers on losing weight, which might not fit everyone’s goal and can be triggering for some.
Fabulous is a daily self-care app available for both Android and iPhone users under the health and fitness category. In 2018, the app was named one of the best apps under Self-Care in the Apple Store and was a Best App Finalist in the Google Play Awards.
The app helps you build routines over time by breaking habits down into small, attainable steps and “journeys.” The initial journey revolves around creating a healthy morning routine to set yourself up for a successful day.
For example, during the first three days, your only goal will be to drink a glass of water right when you wake up. The app will send you a notification each morning at the time you specify.
Over time, you are able to add more habits to your journey, also known as “habit stacking.” This is a common technique used to sustain long-term routines. The app allows you to customize your routines and choose the habits you want to stack.
Fabulous has an easy-to-navigate interface and a comforting aesthetic of blue and purple colors. It also has a built-in soundtrack, ambient sounds, and beautifully designed background templates.
After hopping on the app, it asks you a series of questions, such as “How often do you focus on the future?” and “What single change would improve your life right now?” It also asks how you identify, what time you generally wake up, and whether you’re ready to transform your life for the better.
After answering a few more basic questions, Fabulous configures a “journey” for you based on your answers and will ask you to sign a “contract” that says:
“I, [your name], will make the most of tomorrow. I will always remember that I will not live forever. Every fear and irritation that threatens to distract me will become fuel for building my best life one day at a time.”
The first journey on the app centers on adding one positive step to your routine each day, like drinking water as soon as you wake up.
The app then plays an animated video explaining the importance of a morning routine by highlighting the daily routines of Michelle Obama, Benjamin Franklin, and Nelson Mandela.
After you get in the habit of drinking water, you get to continue building on to your morning routine by adding a new habit, such as eating a nutritious breakfast or exercising after waking up. It takes three days to “unlock” the next task.
The app will notify you before each habit with a reminder alert at the time you specify.
This is the preliminary routine-building journey. Once you lock that one down, you can select any of four different journeys you want to focus on: feel more energized, lose weight, sleep better, and focus and concentrate.
Make Me Fabulous
The “Make Me Fabulous” icon is located on the lower right panel, and it comes with a variety of activities to try out. There’s a dashboard that showcases your goals and journey progress, allowing you to track your performance.
There are six ways to become “fabulous”: exercise, focused work, meditation, yoga, stretch, and power nap. Fabulous consulted with top researchers to create these sessions, and they regularly update them with new insights from scientific studies.
After selecting a category, you get to choose an activity from their library, depending on how much time you want to dedicate. There’s a timer next to each activity so you can see how long it will take you to complete it.
For example, if you only have a minute, it’ll ask you to do a quick and easy task like make the bed. If you have more time, you can choose something like the “Do Anywhere Exercise,” a 10-minute endurance and strength workout session that requires no additional equipment. If you have a lot of time, you could try 4-Hour Deep Work, a session to help you find focus by dedicating four hours to meaningful and creative work.
After you complete a task, you get to read a short motivating letter that encourages your progress. The Fabulous team sends you a weekly recap report and letter to read.
The premium version of the app also unlocks:
- personal one-on-one coaching to keep you motivated and focused
- integrated fitness programming like yoga, stretching, meditation, etc.
- sleep coaching
- assistance in creating a morning ritual
- targeted health advice
Fabulous is an app for anyone looking to improve their daily life. The app can benefit you if you struggle with chronic fatigue, want to increase your energy levels, can’t sleep at night, can’t concentrate, live with ADHD, or have anxiety.
The app can help you build healthy habits and routines, which in turn can help increase your focus, creativity, energy levels, and sleep.
According to a 2011 research paper, when a habit is strong, deliberate intentions have been shown to have a reduced influence on behavior.
Even after new habits have been learned, old memory traces are not necessarily replaced, which is why an app like Fabulous is helpful with its daily notifications and repetitive tasks.
The journeys are free. For the paid premium version with additional offerings, the app offers a 7-day free trial, and from there it’s $24.99 every semester, or $4.16 a month (billed every six months).
You have to sign up for the free trial through your Apple ID, and your subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off.
The app does not currently take insurance.
The app does not currently have any pending lawsuits. Fabulous is a highly reviewed app that has an overall positive reputation.
The app has more than 400,000 reviews and a general star rating of 4.5 stars. Over 73 percent of the reviews on the app store are 5 stars.
Some people say that the journeys are not particularly flexible or customizable, making it difficult to complete the daily tasks.
Overall, people enjoy the app and claim that it has helped them make lasting change.
Fabulous is an app that is focused on building healthy habits, such as feeling more energized, getting in shape, sleeping more, and focusing. By using data and the science of habit, this app makes pacing and goal setting a lot easier than if done manually. As with everything, the app is only helpful if used consistently.
Iman Balagam is a writer based in Houston, Texas. When she’s not laughing at her own jokes or buying overpriced chia pudding, she can be found reading fiction novels, catching a spin class, doomscrolling through TikTok, or waiting for her delayed Spirit flight to board. You can see more of her work on her website.