On a good day, I spend about 30 minutes commuting to my job, which is good considering that the average one-way commute is 26.1 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But the problem is, these good commuting days are few and far between. Most of the times, train traffic or delays add at least 15 minutes to my commute, turning it into an irritating experience. It’s pretty hard not to grow frustrated when you’re stuck in traffic or in-between train stations, isn’t it? The worst part is, for most people, commuting to work is inevitable—even when it’s a hassle more often than not.
The same study from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that if you commute to a full-time, 5-day-a-week job, the roundtrip adds up to 4.35 hours a week and over 200 hours (nearly nine days) per year. Nine days per year! That’s an invaluable chunk of time.
After speaking to a few people about what they spend their commute doing, I put together a list of the top four apps that will help you get through a long commute. From podcasts to audio books and mindfulness tips, they offer a range of entertainment that will make it a more pleasant experience.
Castbox, the podcast discovery platform
Castbox is an unmatched podcast player on the market with over 50 million shows in over 70 languages from 175 different countries. You’re sure to find something you’ll like and with their awesome in-audio search capabilities, you’ll never have to sit through outside noise again. Some of my favorite podcasts include: The James Altucher Show, School of Greatness by Lewis Howes, Joblogues, Friends Lie Us, the Tim Ferris Show and Happier with Gretchen Rubin.
Pocket, the reading curation tool
Pocket lets you save and store articles and videos from your browser or apps like Twitter right on your phone to view or listen later. When you subscribe to their newsletter, you’ll also receive curated lists of interesting articles covering a variety of topics. The best part is you don’t even need an internet connection to use the app. It’s definitely a lifesaver for those of us who frequently end up stuck in a tunnel with no phone service.
Headspace, your zen companion
Headspace helps you take the stress out of your day by teaching you tips and tricks for meditation and mindfulness in just a few minutes. With its guided or self-taught meditations, using this app can kickstart your morning and set the mood for a great day. It works especially in the mornings when you feel overwhelmed with your workload, stressed about a particular meeting or apprehensive about a particular project. This app helps reduce anxiety and increase focus, so it’s definitely worth the try!
Kindle, your e-reader friend
For those of us who struggle to read on a train or who drive to work, Kindle is the perfect app! With discounted prices on most books, you’ll get through your reading list quickly and start your morning full of ideas. It’s also a start to going green and reading books electronically (even though, my old soul still prefers hard copies).