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25 best Alexa Skills for 2020

Use these with any of your Amazon Echo devices from an Echo Mini to an Echo Show to help you track the weather, be a better sous chef or just chill.

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Alexa can do much more than turn off your lights. You can use mini programs called Alexa Skills, which can boost how your Amazon Echo devices work every day.

Amazon often publishes Alexa Skills they love. We also have a few suggestions of our own. These 25 Alexa Skills can help you with meal planning, teach you a new fact for the day, or give you a mental boost when you've hit the afternoon lull. Each one is highly rated, and free to enable on your Amazon Echo device.

Food

From food prep to shopping reminders, these Alexa Skills will make it easier to face the refrigerator when you come home from work. Once you've mastered these abilities, there are many other Alexa Skills that can help you in the kitchen.

Chop Chop

Always envied the way chefs can julienne vegetables or wonder what diced means? This Alexa Skill gives free lesson on how to chop, veggies — and, yep, fruit — so you'll be a professional chopper in no time.

OurGroceries

Ever a fan favorite, this Alexa Skill lets you add items to a grocery list in your OurGroceries app, which can be used to shop from multiple retailers including Target.

Improve your mind

The image of the human brain, a hologram, a dark background. The concept of artificial intelligence, neural networks, robotization, machine learning. 3D illustration, copy space. Play one of these Alexa Skills everyday, and learn something new Getty Images/iStockphoto

These quick bites talk about subjects from household debt to major events in history, something you can learn while you're brewing coffee in the morning, or snacking on your lunch.

TED Talks

This Alexa Skill lets you play a selection of the famous TED Talks, which you can search for by topic, or speaker or even one that will make you laugh. Alexa can also find and play the latest TED talk available.

Alexa, Make Me Smart

With the app you can listen to short playbacks on different subjects from 5G to household debt. Run by Marketplace hosts Kal Ryssdal and Molly Wood.

This Day in History

A&E TV built this Alexa Skill which tell you a bit about some major events that happened on the same day in history. You can ask Alexa to also tell you details about other days as well.

Break Time

A woman in a meditation pose You don't need a long break to see some benefits, and these Alexa Skills can helpiStock

Alexa has quite a number of ways, in particular, to help people start a meditation practice. But these Alexa Skills below are also great for when you need to push back from the computer, walk away from the children or just tune out for a few.

Ocean Sounds

Look, we could all use a meditative moment these days, and hearing waves crashing on a beach can put most of us in a fairly calm state. A pro version of this Skill keeps the loop going for four hours, while the free version works for one. (Which, honestly, is a lot of chill time for free.)

Flatter Me

Who doesn't need a complement once in awhile? Flatter Me isn't going to get up close and personal, but offer a few comments to make you boost your mood during the day. Sure, what Alexa says with this Skill may start to sound repetitive, but let's hope you're not tapping this more than once a day.

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Daily Meditation

This Alexa Skill offers meditation guides that you can play through Amazon's digital assistant. You can try the Skill for free, but will need to eventually pay if you want to continue to use the routines.

A dose of positive energy

A Skill that also gives its mission away in the name, these are simple messages that play to help bring a more upbeat spin to your day.

Fitness goals

Someone holding a plank position These Alexa Skills can get started on your workout goals iStock

Can't always build a full workout into your day? Alexa has a number of quick exercise routines that can be finished in less than your coffee break. We have our favorites below, and you can tap into more Alexa Skills for Fitness once you're ready to expand your workouts, as well as those that just focus specifically on your health.

Fitbit

For the 28 million people who use the Fitbit wearable, this Skill is excellent, letting people check in on their goals from workouts to sleep.

7-Minute Workout

You get three different levels from low-impact to standard and advanced with this free Alexa Skill. If you pair it with the Alexa Show you can actually see the workouts on the screen.

6-Minute Full Body Stretch

This Skill is exactly what it says, six minutes of guided stretching that you can do at home with stretches for your legs, arms and shoulders. And it's completely free.

5-Minute Plank Workout

Again, we've got a Skill here that describes itself perfectly. For anyone looking to add some planks into their exercise routine, this free Skill helps you build to five minutes by breaking the plank poses into short bites. And you can have Alexa play music at the same time.

Smart home

A smart home with a robot vacuum and smart speaker Alexa Skills can expand how you control your home and connected devicesiStock

Alexa Skills for the smart home are mostly designed for a specific brand or product. There are thousands of them as well, and many specifically for the smart home, including smart locks. Here are just a few that work with some of the more popular products we've tested at GearBrain.

iRobot Home

This Alexa Skill connects to Roomba's iRobot line of smart vacuums and the Braava jet robot mop. You can use Alexa to get Roomba to start vacuuming or even go back to its charger.

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TP-Link

This highly-rated Skill gives Alexa the ability to control TP-Link lights, switches and the Kasa camera. All you have to do is ask Alexa to control the specific scene or group you've set up in the app.

Find My Phone

Ask Alexa, and with this Skill the digital assistant will call your phone number, helping you locate your missing phone. Set up is simple, but while you get the first five uses for free, you have to pay — just something to keep in mind.

Guard Dog

This skill defines DIY in terms of home security. Guard Dog does nothing more than start playing a barking and growling dog — from little pups to the bigger canines.

Games

voice controlled speaker and personal voice assistant at home Alexa Skills are great for games, with some that can be played on the fly, and others than immerse you in game play for longer Getty Images/iStockphoto

Designed for downtime, these Alexa Skills help you unwind a bit with some gaming and fun just for the asking.

Song Quiz

With this Alexa Skill, your device will play short bites of songs — Top 40 and even classic tunes — and you then have to guess the title.

The Magic Door

Alexa has a lot of interactive games available as Skills, and a favorite is The Magic Door which lets you go on an adventure, while you collect magic objects and explore different realms from an ancient temple to a dark forest.

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For entrepreneurs

Putting the deadline first Startups can tap into these Alexa Skills to keep their launches running more smoothly Getty Images

When launching a business, any bit of advice can come in handy and these Alexa Skills can help schedule you day, keep invoices paid and be more focused during your day.

Quick Events

This Alexa Skill tunnels into your Google Calendar — a quirky touch — letting you add events and dates just by asking.

PayPal

Now just ask Alexa to send money, ask for funds or even check your PayPal balance. You do need to create a four-digit pin to get the PayPal Skill working.

Front Row Entrepreneur

This Alexa Skill is actually a Flash Briefing, something that can be scheduled to play every morning. Jen Lehner records different pieces on areas from social media to how to be more productive during your day — skill every business owners want to sharpen.

Weather

A hurricane storm seen from the sky Alexa Skills to tell you the weather report for your specific areaiStock

Who doesn't want to know if the day is bringing sunshine of rain? These Alexa Skills can help you clue in on whether you need an umbrella or you can leave your jacket at home. And if you're facing some bad storms, check out our roundup of Alexa Skills to help you build an emergency plan.

Big Sky

This Alexa Skill needs your address, but then it can give you hourly forecasts of your area. Pay for a premium account and you can get radar imagery and also custom weather alerts on rain, wind, cold and more.

The Weather Channel

This Alexa Skill comes from one of the experts in all things weather-related. You do need to give the country and zip code to get the Skill working, but from there you can ask Alexa for details on pollen count, the UV index and if it might snow or not.

MyRadar NOAA Weather Radar

This Alexa Skill is designed for the Echo Show, pulling up radar maps on the screen based on your country and zip code.

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