Big employers frequently offer employees robust corporate wellness programs that come with benefits like a free gym membership to help them reduce stress and stay more mentally and physically fit. 

While small businesses might not be able to match those pricier benefits, there’s a growing crop of affordable health and wellness apps they can provide their employees. These apps almost all have employer versions and offer various types of support, including meditation exercises, physical fitness motivation (such as step-count challenges), nutritional guidance and even financial advice. 

And the business can reap benefits, too, in the form of improved employee morale and productivity. Various studies have found that wellness initiatives can boost productivity and overall performance while reducing absenteeism. 

So what are some low-cost or even free wellness apps that small businesses can offer? Here are five to check out:

  1. Headspace

The popular meditation and workout app helps people reduce stress, focus more and sleep better. Users can access hundreds of meditations and exercises, and analytics are provided to measure engagement. There’s a Headspace for Work version that comes with additional features and resources designed specifically for employers and teams—including engagement reporting, an administrative portal, live virtual events and dedicated technical support. There are three tiers, and employers pay a per-employee annual subscription fee. Pricing for the work version starts around $70 per employee per year.  


  1. Remente

A mental wellness app, Remente is designed to empower employees to thrive at and off work by way of daily guided self-care videos, including meditation and breathing exercises, a goal-setting guide and a mood journal. The self-monitoring and goal-setting app also provides the organization with real-time metrics on engagement levels, workplace well-being and productivity. There’s a free version, along with a premium one that starts at $3 per employee monthly.


  1. PsychologyCompass

PsychologyCompass is aimed at boosting cognitive abilities by helping participants overcome anxiety and stress, increase resilience, heighten focus and concentration and improve leadership and emotional intelligence. Every Sunday, the “cognition coach in your pocket” releases a three-minute customized video to help users develop healthy “micro-habits” that contribute to peak mental performance. It tracks progress as well. The business version, which costs $110 per employee per year, according to the software review site Capterra, also includes a dashboard that allows you to track the team’s engagement and impact.


  1. InKin

Designed to support wellness activities and team-building through fitness challenges and competitions, inKin also offers news feeds and health tips on topics like “Simple Ways to Help Employees Improve Posture” and “The Top 25 Healthy Habits.” The program is compatible with a wide variety of wearable activity trackers, including Fitbit, Garmin and Apple. There’s a free version, as well as an enhanced one that costs as little as $6 per month per participant.


  1. Kona

Built to deter burnout and lift morale, Kona serves as a check-in tool, tracking how employees feel—such as annoyed, pooped, sick, dumpster fire, excited or anxious. It encourages collaboration, support, celebration and conversation. It can be used on Slack, and highlights include, depending on the plan, actionable insights, unlimited check-ins, a team health dashboard and 24/7 product support. Pricing starts at $99 for one team (unlimited seats) per month.   

As small businesses look to enhance their employee experience, offering some sort of wellness guidance is a great way to do that.

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