15 Apps to Boost Your Daily Serotonin (+ Make Money)

Collage of photos of the same brunette displaying different emotions
Disclosure: We’re letting you know that this post contains sponsored links which The Smart Wallet receives compensation for, which may impact their order of appearance because talking about money should always be an honest discussion.

If you normally feel the “winter blues,” take comfort that you’re not alone. Around 10 million Americans get affected every year. Since winter days get shorter, colder, and darker, it’s hard not to feel a little trapped.

This year may even affect more people as the pandemic continues on and keeps normalcy out of reach. Instead of focusing on what’s being taken away from you, uplift your mood by trying new things or incorporating a different routine.

You’ll need that serotonin boost to keep you powering through the winter and we suggest some of the apps below that can help! Even better that they can also earn you a little side money too.

1. Make Easy Money Just Trying and Playing Games

One of the best ways to kill time is to check out new games that you can play to have fun and still feel productive. How?

Check out AppStation, an app that pays you to try out new games. Yes, you’ll get paid just to play games.

When you earn coins from trying new games, you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And too much more to list

Nab a 4,444 coin welcome bonus too, which is basically around 50 cents in value. And if you don’t like to wait, you can choose to payout as low as $1.

If your friends want to get it on the money action from afar, introduce them to AppStation, where you’ll get bonus coins and 25% of all their earnings. To make it a supportive group, your friends will also earn 25% of your earnings too!

2. Get $5* to Invest in Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and More

Office Manager Sarah investing with $5 / Danny Guinta /*Photo for illustrative purposes only

You might think that investing is complicated. Or that you’ll never get a share of these well-known brands like Apple, Facebook, Spotify, etc., but you can. And you don’t have to be rich either.

That’s because Stash, an investment app, lets you start investing1 with just $1. You can choose where to put your money in and they provide guidance and tools to help you along the way. You can invest in major companies that you use or buy from regularly to make the investing process custom to you. Plus, it’s affordable.

As a bonus, Stash is giving new members $5 for any first investment so create an account to get started.*

And as an extra bonus for October, earn up to 2% rewards if you use their card at McDonald’s, Dunkin’, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Spotify!*

3. Get Extra Cash Back on Grocery Pickup & Delivery Plus More

Who wouldn’t want cash back?

Use Ibotta, an app that pays you real money on your everyday purchases, from groceries (both online and in-store), essentials, personal care items, to meal delivery to online shopping.

It’s simple:

  1. Just check Ibotta first to find offers, and when you purchase your items, scan the receipt to get cash back. Popular stores and services include Target, Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s, Uber Eats, and more.
  2. NEW: Online grocery purchase for pickup & delivery – Just open Ibotta, and see a list of supported grocery retailers and delivery services including Walmart Grocery, Instacart, Shipt, and more. Link accounts & get cash back on eligible products within 24 hours after your order is picked up or delivered!
  3. Online shopping – purchase from 100+ online retailers that include Sephora, Under Armour, Gap, and more to get money back.

Ibotta has also teamed up with 50 leading brand partners like Flipz®, Macy’s, TOMS, Jell-O, and more to be committed to giving $10 million in extra cash back for the new school year. This means you get more cash back than normal!

Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up so use it before buying anything!

4. Fetch All Your Receipts (Even Virtual/Halloween) & Get Free Money Back

Alice Ly / The Smart Wallet

Check your pockets; check your purse.

Grab all the recent receipts you have and scan them into Fetch Rewards to earn points towards free money. Even better? Connect your email inbox and it’ll count your email receipts too from Amazon, Instacart, Shipt, and more!

Basically, shop at any store (grocery, drugstore, warehouse, everywhere), snap a pic with the app, and boom, you’ve got points for money. Upload your restaurant and drive-thru receipts too.

And since Halloween is coming up, get money back for candy, costume(s), and spooky decor!

There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items, just scan in any receipt from any store and it’ll automatically reward you.

Be sure to grab a $2 welcome bonus when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt!

5. Budgeting Made Easy With This App - Even if You Don’t Know How

First things first, if you have trouble budgeting, you’re not alone as most people actually don’t know how to. When you understand how much money comes in and how much goes out, it’ll all start making sense.

Truebill easily helps you budget, even if you’re clueless. Their simple to follow budgeting pulls your historical spending, organizes it, and allows you to clearly see your spending so you can set a target budget with context. (Aka you can see where you’re wasting money on).

Truebill’s five-star reviews come from people formerly bad at budgeting. Nicole M. said Truebill “tracks spending and makes you accountable for every place your dollar is going. Shows you how a ‘few bucks’ here and there can really add up over time. Also gives you clues on how to save based on your spending. It’s like having a personal accountant tracking my money.”

Truebill will also alert you if you’re getting a little too spend-happy in your budgeted categories so you know when to curb it. Another user, Krystyna D. said, “This app is a lifesaver for budgeting. It lists your transactions in a minimalist and customizable way, has a spending graph that compares your current spending based on last month, and has a really great budgeting feature. I’ve been using the app for just about 7 months and they’ve done nothing but make a really great improvement to the service. I’ve tried some of the other services and they’re all cluttered and give you too much info without making what you want to see accessible.”

It’s simple but actionable budgeting that anyone can follow and it’s free to use! Join the many users today and control your spending with Truebill!

6. Get Up to 80% Off Anything In The Hottest Shopping App of 2020

When you think of auction sites, eBay might come to mind. But instead of waiting 7-10 days for an auction to end, how about just 60-90 seconds? Almost instant gratification.

That’s Klever, a highly interactive, fun, and I admit, addictive shopping app where you can bid on shopping auctions that are up to 80% off. It’s free to download and use!

You can find these categories every day: Fashion & Beauty, Electronics, Home & Hobby, Trendy, Kitchen, Pet, and more.

Most are auction-style and start at $1 bidding. It’s free to bid and you only pay when you win. Just tap to bid, and you’ll see in real-time if you’re winning or not. If no one outbids you within the extremely short time-frame, you win! (Or you can just bid again)

Other bonuses are “Buy Now” options where you can skip the auction, a 30-day return policy, and free shipping on items.

In addition to getting massive discounts, your activity in the app can also earn you Klever Cash, which is basically free money! More ways to earn include just logging in, bidding, winning auctions, referring friends, and more so download now.

7. More New Games, More Cash to Earn

When you’re ready to add even more games to your lineup, then download Cash ‘Em All, an app that pays you to try out new games for yes, you guessed it, for cash. All are free to download!

Just earn coins from trying new games, and then you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And more good stuff

A 4,444 coin welcome bonus is yours immediately too when you sign in.  (Worth 50 cents!) If you’re impatient, you can cash out as low as $1 as well.

Enjoy playing new-to-you games for some side fun money!

8. Get Paid for Playing Free Lotto Tickets

When you’re stuck at home, you have to keep yourself occupied. Make killing time fun and productive when you play free digital scratchers on Lucktastic. It’s just like getting the ones from the gas station, but…free.

There are a ton of different scratchers you can play, and you can earn both cash and tokens.

Scratched all of them for the day? Don’t worry, there are specific night-time scratchers that are available every night too!

When you want to redeem your earnings, you can choose from:

  • Amazon gift cards
  • CVS gift cards
  • Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards
  • Check mailed to you
  • Visa gift cards

Lucktastic keeps things free by showing a few ads here and there plus it’s easy to play and multi-task at the same time. Get a chance of up to $1M in cash prizes!

9. Try Games, Get Gift Cards. Play More to Earn More

Alice Ly | The Smart Wallet

We’ll probably be the only ones to tell you this but, please play more mobile games.

Play more games so you can earn more gift cards through the Rewarded Play app, a free to download game platform that lets you try as many games as you want.

Popular games include Yahtzee, Wheel of Fortune, Words with Friends, mystery games, fantasy games, puzzle games, and a lot more.

You can then redeem for gift cards from 20+ retailers including favorites like Target, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, etc. The games are fun, it’s an easy way to earn some cash especially when we’re bored at home, and bonus, there is an active customer support team!

10. Get Paid to Try New Games. Every Gamer’s Dream.

Adobe

Who would’ve thought you can play games to make some money? Especially now when that’s easy to do from home.

All you need is Mistplay, a game platform where you can try new games to earn points redeemable for gift cards like Amazon, VISA, PlayStation Network, XBOX Live, and more.

In the app, all available free games are listed so just take your pick to try, especially high unit multiplier games! For example, the 4x unit multiplier games will earn you 8 times more units (and dollars) per level than the 0.5x unit multiplier games.

You’ll only get paid for playing games if Mistplay is running so be sure to always install games from the Mistplay app!

11. Get Paid in Gift Cards if You’re Chill with Lock Screen Ads

The average person unlocks their phone 110 times per day – that’s a lot of time spent looking at a screen for free.

With S’more you get paid every day you unlock your phone. It’s even easier than it sounds, and since you can cash out with as little as $1 there’s no waiting around for your rewards!

They partner up with brands looking for more impressions (aka your eyeballs) and you don’t need to click on anything to get paid either.

S’mores pays in gift cards so you can redeem for:

  • Amazon.com
  • AMC Theaters
  • Best Buy
  • CVS
  • Target
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Starbucks and more!

Just use your phone normally, and your earnings will apply daily. Pretty much the easiest thing to do and you’ll be earning gift cards to use online while social distancing and for IRL fun when quarantining is over!

12. This Paid Survey Panel Gives Out 7,000 Gift Cards Daily

There are a lot of survey programs out there, but none as popular as Swagbucks, a free rewards program where you can earn cash for your time and opinion. Members can earn an average of $50 a month!

You get rewarded for doing surveys, searching the web, reading articles, watching videos, and playing fun games but the one activity that earns you the most points is completing surveys. (Don’t skip out on those!)

Points can then be redeemed for free gift cards, cash, and sweepstakes entries. All just by completing fun activities and giving your opinions.

New members can get a free $5 just for signing up, so join the other 10 million members already part of Swagbucks and start earning free rewards!

13. How to Save $2,500 Without Thinking About It

You’ve got enough to worry about so let Digit, a smart money app, do the work for you in saving money and to help you feel more in control of your finances.

Everyday it’ll analyze your spending habits and income, then choose just the right amount of money to save. Not so big that you’d miss it but enough to add to a good chunk of savings! It’s all automatic so you don’t have to do anything else but let it do its thing.

Digit members save an average of $2,500 a year, and the savings are FDIC-insured and available to transfer at any time. Plus savers also get a 0.1% annual savings bonus, a.k.a. free money!

Members say “You truly forget you’re even saving and then get SO excited when you open the app and see how much you saved in a short period of time. I’ve been a customer for over a year and Digit saving for me has NEVER interfered with my bills or anything. I love, love, love it! Something about not actively saving and having it somewhere else takes the temptation out of spending your savings.”

Try Digit free for 30 days and see how much it can save for you!

14. Don’t Go Shopping Without This Free Money-Making App

Do you shop at brands like UberEats, Walmart Grocery, Old Navy, Groupon, Sephora, Lululemon, and Sam’s Club? You’re missing out on free gift cards for those purchases if you’re not using Drop as you shop online and in-stores at brands like these.

Drop, is a 100% free app that lets you earn reward points back on your normal shopping! All you have to remember is: Start with Drop before you shop. From there, it’s as simple as “Tap, Shop, Earn, Redeem.”

  1. Tap on the brand’s offer on Drop
  2. Shop through the brand’s app/website as you normally would. Drop will direct you there!
  3. Earn points back on your purchase.
  4. Redeem your points for a gift card of your choice – whenever and wherever you want!

Plus, when you link the debit/credit cards that you use most, you’ll get access to exclusive deals (like earning points back on every Postmates order) where purchases will automatically get tracked. You’ll even get personalized recommendations based on your shopping preferences.

And use Drop on top of your loyalty and credit card points to stack rewards!

The bottom line is: Not using this app would be like going to an all-inclusive resort, not knowing about all the free food/drinks/activities, and just staying in your room and eating crackers the whole time. No one wants that!

BONUS OFFER: Use promo code SMARTWALLET to unlock 10,000 points ($10!!) automatically when you earn your first 1,000 points.

15. Flex the Bod: Get Paid to Lose Weight

There’s nothing like money motivation right? Especially for fitness. It’ll also give you something else to do besides being a couch potato and reading about unhappy news.

You might be extra inspired because there’s a health and wellness company that will pay you to lose weight. Seriously!

It’s called HealthyWage .

They have a ton of testimonial/pictures on their site along with legit places reviewing them from CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.

So if you need some money motivation to lose weight, here’s how it works:
1. Start with the HealthyWage calculator (Read More )
2. Decide on a weight goal & amount of time to achieve it
3. Bet on yourself ranging from $20-$150 a month
4. Achieve your goal and you could win up to $10,000 depending on your HealthyWager!
5. If you don’t achieve your goal, the money goes to support HealthyWage, including prizes for others who achieve their goals