Do you find yourself spending hours on end scrolling on your phone? Are you closing an app only to reopen it a few seconds later? Is too much of your time spent blankly staring at a screen without doing anything of real value? If so, you’re not alone — people everywhere are starting to find that addictions to their smartphones are very real.

If this sounds like you, you may be in need of a phone detox. Since this is a problem that plenty of people face, there are plenty of solutions out there that can help you take control of your attention span. Check out our list of the five best digital detox apps for phone addicts and get started on your path to a digital cleanse!

What is a Digital Detox?

So what is digital detoxing? A digital detox is a period of time where someone refrains from using smartphones, tablets, televisions, computers and social media for any non-essential work purposes. 

 

It’s clear why people are feeling the need for an electronic detox: the average U.S. adult spends 11 hours per day interacting with media. While our devices provide entertainment and connection, at some point, people want a reason to return to reality. But unless you make a concerted effort to do so, this can be hard to accomplish.

 

For some people, it can feel nearly impossible. Searches for phrases like “cell phone addiction” have been rising in the past few years, and it’s been proven that there are similarities between cell phone overuse and addictions like compulsive gambling. These similarities include withdrawal, loss of control over the behavior, relapses and even increasing levels of tolerance towards the action. 

When you think about how many of us use cell phones regularly (if not constantly), it’s easy to see how digital detoxing got to be so popular. Digital detox challenges are popular on the Internet, which encourage people to avoid their social media apps and other distractions for a set period of time.

There are plenty of benefits to a device detox, including:

  • Better quality of sleep
  • Lower stress levels
  • Higher rates of productivity
  • Breaking habit cycles
  • Reconnecting with people in your life

However, if completely cutting out tech for a while is intimidating or simply not possible for your lifestyle, there is a great workaround. 

Apps exist to help you control your phone usage (not the other way around). These 5 digital detox apps will help you be more intentional about your device use and build better habits.

1. Moment (available on iOS)

If you don’t think you’re ready for a full-fledged cell phone detox (but still want to make some changes in your habits), then Moment is for you. Moment is built to break your screen addiction down with small, manageable habit changes. 

The app uses free guided coaching that gives you daily recommendations on how you can improve, along with easy-to-understand recaps of your phone usage statistics from the previous day. You can even create your own friend groups within the app so that you can keep each other accountable and work towards a common mission!

Ratings & Reviews

Current Rating: 4.4 stars on the App Store

“This app works great and gives you lots of interesting information about your usage with insights, graphs, etc.” – Christian Joseph Grant

“I have absolutely loved this application and it has saved me so much time. I went from using my phone for roughly three hours a day down to less than an hour a day. Some days, I’ll even use my phone for less than 20 minutes.” – user RykerH

2. Flipd (Available on iOS and Android)

Sometimes, productivity and happiness don’t go hand in hand. If you’re always “on”, it can be hard to flip the switch and relax, which can lead to feelings of burnout. Flipd is all about helping you to boost your productivity without causing you to become resentful of it.

This digital detox app features productivity timers that helps you keep track of time where you’re being productive — however you define it. It also has live study rooms where you can join other people attempting to focus, break timers that allow you track your breaks and even focus music that will keep your creative juices flowing. If you’re looking for an extra sense of accountability, then Flipd can help you out.

Ratings & Reviews

Current Rating: 4.4 stars on the App Store

“Flipd has been a great way for me to stay accountable.  In a time where staying on task and maximizing my time is crucial, as a medical student, being able to set custom timers ensures that I use my time wisely, but also make sure I don’t burnout.  I schedule time to study, exercise, and even meditate!”user @drdobidoesit

3. Forest (Available on iOS and Android)

When you’re working on a project, picking up your phone every now and again can feel harmless in the moment. But, as we’re sure you’re aware, these quick breaks can easily turn into long distractions that knock you off track. 

Forest is an app that rewards you for not giving into the urge to break your concentration for a quick look at your phone. Every time you want to sit down and get focused, you’ll open the Forest app, which then “plants a tree” for you. The longer you stay on the app, the more your tree will grow. However, if you leave the app, your tree will die. This encourages you to stay focused on your task from start to end rather than distract yourself and throw off your schedule.

The best part? Thanks to a partnership with Trees for the Future, users of Forest can spend the virtual coins they earn in the app to have a real tree planted somewhere in the world. To this day, users of Forest have planted over 1,116,835 trees. The app provides you with a tangible way to make a difference in the world!

Ratings & Reviews

Current Rating: 4.8 stars on the App Store

“I use Forest mostly in small increments, and it keeps me from picking up my phone whenever I have a few free minutes and get bored. Since I don’t actually need or want to be on my phone, the small motivation of growing little bushes and trees is enough for me to direct my attention elsewhere- and it turns out that those few free minutes throughout the day can translate into a lot of extra productivity!” – user KezOnDemand

4. Digital Detox (Available on Android)

The Digital Detox app is built on the idea of challenging yourself to do a full detox away from the screen. There are multiple detox challenges of varying difficulties, and you can choose how long the break occurs. Desperate to break into your phone? You can do so, but it’ll cost you real-life money to break the challenge (unless it’s an emergency). 

This app is a great way to set up certain times of the day where you can’t use your phone. If you find yourself spending certain times of the day glued to your phone when you shouldn’t be, the Digital Detox app is a great way to break that habit. 

Ratings & Reviews

Current Rating: 4.7 stars on the Google Play store

“Super useful, best app in all that has to do with blocking apps for productivity.” – Patricio M.

5. Quality Time (Available on Android)

Of all the phone addict apps out there, this one may be the one that gives you the biggest reality check. Quality Time tracks all your phone usage and compiles them into a detailed report that will show you just how much of your day is spent scrolling. Seeing how often you use your phone on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis can be the wake-up call that you need to change your habits.

Quality Time also allows you to set usage limits on apps so that you can better control your screen time. It’s the caloric diary of smartphone apps — it shows you what you’re consuming, which makes you want to make the changes for yourself.

Ratings & Reivews

Current Rating: 3.8 stars on the Google Play store

“Better app than any other screen time tracking app on playstore. I have used all apps with a 4.5+ rating. But not a single app came close to this app’s user interface. Other apps make it habitual to open their app and see. In this app, you can just see in the notification panel and can avoid your phone from using it. My whole family is using this app.” – Rajesh D.

Regain Control of Your Digital Life

With these apps and this information at your disposal, we hope that you’re able to undergo a successful cell phone detox and get control of your attention span once again.

Does this detox have you thinking about more ways to declutter and organize your life? We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn useful life organization techniques and how to do a simple digital declutter.