Valentine’s Day is fast approaching—too fast, perhaps, for you to find a significant other in the remaining hours between now and February 14. And you know what? That’s OK. Just because happy couples are sitting down for exorbitantly priced seven-course meals and painting the town red, you don’t have to hide in your lonely room. Embrace singledom. Take back February 14. And we’ve got some no-cost apps that will help you enjoy that “me” time, whether you’re in a crowd or all by yourself.
YourExtraLife has a different take on photo-sharing. Instead of allowing you to post random pics in the manner of Instagram, Facebook, and the like, YourExtraLife has you take on various challenges, encouraging you to post pics of your performance. In fact, each step requires you to post “proof” before you can unlock the next activity on the path, which is a big reason it’s so fun. The categories include everything from Geek to Gourmet to Altruism. Activities range from the easy, such as writing down a list of your top five artists of all time, to the more difficult, such as hosting a rooftop BBQ. The community encourages your progress, and as further incentive, you earn badges and rewards. (Free; iOS)
You could look at the entertainment section of your local newspaper for what’s happening around town, or you could access all that information in the palm of your hand with Gravy. The beauty of this app is that it offers several handy filtering options for homing in on your most ideal activity. You can view events by what’s trending or search by Channels such as Foodie and Around the Corner. But perhaps the most interesting filter is Mood, which let you select from categories such as Lively, Classy, Brainy, and Playtime. Once you find something of interest, the app provides a wealth of information on the event, including drive time. And you can add events to your calendar or share on social to invite friends. (Free; Android and iOS)
Don’t feel like going out? It is the dead of winter, which gives you the perfect excuse to throw on some footie pajamas and curl up on the couch with a movie—if you can find the appropriate flick. After all, who wants to sit through another by-the-book RomCom on a dateless Valentine’s Day? Movie Twist can help. This movie recommendation app lets you search movie concepts based on your mood, such as Silly, Tired, or Mean. Or if you want to really fine-tune your input, the Explore function features a variety of themed sliders that let you select the level of humor, violence, cleverness, and so on. Of course, if you’re feeling lazy, you can always use the auto recommender—just don’t blame me if the recommendation of Crazy, Stupid, Love launches you into a crying jag. (Free; Android and iOS)
Hipmunk Hotels & Flights
Arguably, one of the biggest perks about being single is that you don’t have to spend a huge chunk of cash to go out on Valentine’s Day. Here’s a thought—take all that money saved and splurge on an awesome weekend getaway. There are plenty of travel apps to check out, but Hipmunk offers a fun, streamlined design that’s easy to use. The Deals section lets you select your home airport to populate all the cheapest upcoming flights, and you can sort flights by Agony, which lets you easily filter out time-sucking options with multiple layovers. Plus, the accommodations section includes both hotels and featured properties from Airbnb, and there are last-minute discounts for same-night hotel bookings. (Free; Android and iOS)
A party with your closest friends can be one of the most entertaining ways to enjoy February 14. Make sure the drinks are on point with Mixology, a cocktail recipe app with an extensive library of alcoholic beverages (and even a few sans booze). The app lets you browse by cocktail type, such as hot drinks, jello shots and punches, or you can use the random “shaker” to generate a drink you may never have heard of. There’s also a “liquor cabinet” feature where you can enter all the types of alcohol and mixers you have for a customized list of the beverages you can make. The Bartending tab is also handy for those who want to learn more about terminology and glassware. (Free; Android and iOS)
This story, "Dateless on Valentine's? These 6 apps let you celebrate singlehood" was originally published by TechHive.