Helping You Define Your Lifestyle

The 3 BEST Apps for Fans of NFL

Superbowl season may be well and truly over for the year, but it’s never too late to start getting ready for the new season starting in September. Whether you’re an avid Patriots fan, a die-hard supporter of the Raiders, or even if you’re just a regular spectator and don’t much care about who wins, anyone interested in the sport should equip their phones and tablets with ways to keep tabs on the sport and have fun with it. That’s why, today, we’ve compiled a list of the three best NFL apps out there.

theScore [iOS/Android, Free]

theScore is the app for the no-nonsense analytics guy. Not only does it provide stats for every major sport in the states (including NHL, MLB, NBA and, of course, NFL, among others), but it allows the user to have a completely unique experience depending on how they choose to set the app up.

Using the app’s custom Feeds feature, you can make sure that you’re always kept up to date on just the stuff that you care about; so, if you’re only wanting to receive alerts about certain players or teams, you can set it up to do that. In fact, that’s exactly what this app does best!

Likewise, if you care about breaking news, getting real-time scores, or seeing how well a player has done in every game this season so far, this is definitely what you need on your device. In fact, you can even add a widget to your home screen which will update you on scores without needing to even open theScore. Trust us—this is the one for deep stats nerds, so make sure you check it out!

Football Heroes [iOS/Android, Free]

Football Heroes is, without a doubt, one of the most fun and most action-packed football games for mobile devices. Fans of the classic NBA Jam series will lose it when they see what this app has to offer. Featuring charming 2d graphics, over one hundred insane super moves (like the Power Throw and Spear Tackle), and custom teams with fully editable logos and team colors, Heroes is a game that you can pick up for a few minutes and end up losing hours with.

If beating the hell out of the AI opponents doesn’t get you excited, though, how about cross-platform multiplayer games? You can easily battle your friends, either in local ad-hoc wi-fi games or when you’re on opposing sides of the earth thanks to its well-optimized online play, and earn rewards while climbing your way up the online leagues. This game is incredible, trust us.

NFL Fantasy Football [iOS/Android, Free]

For those of you who are obsessed with the NFL enough to make use of theScore, but aren’t into games enough to start drafting a team in Football Heroes, there is a third (equally nerdy) option: NFL Fantasy Football. If you think you could put together the best team in the sport, you can now do it with standard, auction, live draft lobby and mock drafts.

Featuring the option to make adds, drops, and trades, get live score updates, join and create leagues, and providing exclusive access to NFL highlights of all your most-used plays, this is definitely the app to choose if you love fantasy football.

Other bonuses include breaking news about players, analysis from NFL experts, and the ability to manage multiple teams. The app features a beautifully streamlined interface and is being constantly updated, with the last major changes being made in mid-May.

Hopefully, these three apps can help you get started on your way to becoming the #1 NFL expert on earth—or, at least, help you to waste dozens of hours as you watch your fantasy teams climb the rankings.

How to Use Poker as a Mindfulness Practice

Most common mindfulness practices are fundamentally simple. Things like deep breathing, counted breaths, and short breaks and walks can help to calm us, clear our minds, and generate simultaneous states of relaxation and awareness. As much purpose as these small, simple practices have though, there are also some more involved activities that can assist with the development of greater mindfulness. And it may surprise some to learn that the game of poker is among them.

Gaming and Meditation

It is first important to understand that a link has been established between gaming and meditation in general. For a long time there were a lot of misconceptions about gaming as an active, almost violent practice meant solely for young people. But perceptions have changed over time. We now understand that people in all age groups play games of all kinds, and we further accept that a lot of these games have meditative qualities. Gamer testaments and a few scientific studies alike have indicated that the right game can have a soothing effect on one’s mental state.

This is the case with poker as well. A passion for many around the world, it’s a unique game that doesn’t necessarily fall under the umbrella of traditional “gaming” as we tend to think of the term. It is nonetheless similar with regard to mindfulness, however. Approached with intention, it can be a calming, almost meditative hobby for players.

Mental and Emotional Calm

When considering the game of poker specifically, one tends to think first of strategy, luck, and mathematics. In some sense, these are the building blocks of any given game of poker, and it will of course be important for any aspiring player to learn how they all factor in. However, what really helps successful players to win at poker is a sound mindset. The manifestation of a sound overall poker game requires that players learn to accept defeat and to avoid getting too high from a win. It demands reasonable approaches to betting and competition, clear-eyed social interaction, and the ability to operate without ego.

Add those factors up, and what success in poker really demands is mental and emotional calm. Players need skill and strategy to be sure, but above all else they need to be able to clear their minds of various pressures and shut out hasty impulses. This in and of itself is nearly a form of meditation, and certainly serves as a sort of training for mindfulness practice.

Focused Meditation

Beyond helping players to establish a general sense of mental and emotional calm, poker also leads to an ability to focus that, in its own way, is meditative. Generally, a focused meditation is described as the practice of focusing on something intently as a way of staying in the present moment and slowing down inner dialogue. It more or less means zeroing in on one subject to the exclusion of all else for the purpose of clearing one’s head — which is pretty much exactly what one has to do in poker! Even the slightest distraction can be a problem, and while the game demands a lot of attention it still makes for such narrow focus that one can clear one’s mind in a useful and soothing way.

Even given all of these benefits, poker does not comprise an entire mindfulness or meditation routine. For those interested in working on these aspects of personal wellness though, it’s always good to have one more option! Some will find this simple, popular card game to be legitimately beneficial.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our piece on how to boost your energy, especially useful as we enter a new year and search for fresh motivations!

Earfree Nitebuds: For Better Sleep

Earfree Nitebuds, the two-in-one speaker and pillow that plays calming music, improving the quality of your sleep, is launching on Indiegogo.

The idea for the Nitebuds sleep pillow came from people who used to sleep with earphones in. Many of us who have trouble sleeping at night use earphones to listen to calming sleep music, but sleeping with earphones in is just too uncomfortable. Using earphones while you sleep can cause pain and inflammation in the ear; plus, earphones tend to fall out in the middle of the night. But the adverse effects of earphones on ear health is undoubtedly the most critical of these issues.

Nitebuds puts music IN the pillow to solve the problems caused by conventional earbuds. All you have to do is lay your head down on the pillow to be serenated with lovely music. There’s no earbuds involved – so you can roll around in bed all you like without having to worry about damage to your ears or earbuds falling out.

Nitebuds are simple to use. Just place the speakers in the special sleep-aid pillow, then use Bluetooth to pair your smartphone and begin your music therapy. Once your music is playing, Nitebuds’ crater-shaped design enhances the acoustics, making you feel like you’re listening in on a concert hall performance. This design also prevents the sound from leaking out, giving you the same quality of sound at a 30% lower volume, so as not to bother whoever’s sleeping next to you.

The Nitebuds app also provides free ASMR music and ambience, soothing the brain and easing any anxiety. This white noise works has great benefits on mental health and attentiveness, making the sleep music from the Nitebuds app particularly effective at inducing a natural sleep.

Nitebuds uses 3D mesh material for full, fluffy comfort. The mesh also helps the music play through the pillow without getting muffled, plus high-quality microfiber cotton is also used to give the perfect amount of depth and coziness. The microfiber cotton is also a renewable, biodegradable material, which means Nitebuds is eco-friendly, too.

Even though Nitebuds is electronic, the speaker and pillow are fully separable, meaning the pillow can be washed without issue. If you want, you can even use the pillow by itself without the speakers, or even place other items inside the pillow to help you sleep.

For instance, if you find yourself sweating a lot in those hot summer nights, you can place ice-packs in the pillow to help cool off. Or, when you’re stressed out and in the mood for aromatherapy, the CYPRESS insert can be used for some phytoncide healing.

Also, if you have a preference for a specific pillow height, just use the COTTON insert to adjust the pillow’s height to your preference.

You can back Earfree Nitebuds – the high-tech pillow that serenades you to sleep – by finding their campaign on Indiegogo.