Free App Friday: 5 Ways To Survive This Godawful Winter

Look on the bright side: Come July, we’ll probably have only a few inches left.

I live in Boston, so you’ll excuse me if I’ve been a bit surly lately. Every parking spot is marked with some jamoke’s busted-up lawn chair, giant icicles are tumbling from rooftops like thunderbolts thrown by Zeus, and the mass transit system is pokier than a kiddie train at an amusement park. Except far less reliable.


Anyway, here are some apps to help get you through the rest of the winter. Leave me alone.

1. If you can’t stand one more minute of this nonsense

Try Jetsetter (iOS, Web). This last-minute travel-deals site is chock-full of discounted hotel rooms at fancy places around the world. The deals run from so-so to stellar, and include some exclusives that can top out at 60% off regular prices. The iOS app leverages your camera to scan your credit card so you can book a trip in less than a minute. Dangerous.

2. If you’re more of a lemons-to-lemonade type of person

Make sure to load up the app (Android, iOS). Believe it or believe it, getting 700 feet of snow dumped on top of the Northeast has made for some pretty great skiing out here. has the lowdown on about 5,000 resorts around the world, and can pinpoint the closest one to you. You can see how many runs are open (hint: all of them, if you’re in the Northeast), view zoomable trail maps, look up ticket prices, and even view live video feeds from various resorts.

3. If your mood’s been swinging a bit more than usual

Quantify your feelings with Moodlytics (Android, iOS). My mood has been totally fine, so I don’t need something that can track more than 40 variations, complete with charts and calendars and suggestions for how to improve said mood. I don’t need to set goals in order to reach an optimum number for my own personal Happiness Index. I don’t need to export the data to a PDF file so I can share it with my therapist. I’m fine!

4. If getting to the gym takes longer than your actual workout

Work out at home with Virtual Trainer Bodyweight (Android, iOS). As its name suggests, you use your own body weight to perform exercises from the comfort of your own home. The app features instructional videos for 46 exercises that you can cobble together into a custom workout routine. You’ll earn points for each exercise you complete, and you can target specific muscle groups.

5. If you’ve run out of TV and movies to watch

Take Jinni (iOS, Web) for a spin. You tell it what you like, and it’ll recommend stuff to watch on TV and on Amazon, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and iTunes. Jinni’s content recommendation engine runs deeper than most, tracking content based on things like mood, plot, place, style, type of humor, story tempo, levity, and a whole bunch of other markers. Take some time to train it, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its recommendations.