12 Amazon Alexa Skills You Need to Try ASAP

These daily commands will put Alexa's smarts to the test.

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If you have an Echo, it's about time you started to make the most of it. With over 10,000 skills on tap, Amazon's Alexa is handily the most capable smart home platform you can use today. You'll need an Amazon Prime account and Alexa-compatible device (like the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Look, Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Amazon Fire TV Stick) in order to take advantage of the skills. We've rounded up the coolest Alexa skills that go a step beyond setting a timer or reporting the news. Once you start using them, your life will never be the same. From the fun to the functional, these are our favorite Alexa skills.

1 Fall Asleep Faster

Sleep and Relaxation Sounds
Enable the skill here

This Alexa skill will help you sleep better, unwind, or simply stay focused during work or study sessions by playing a selection of high-quality sounds. There are more than 20 sounds to pick from, along with the option to add new ones by contacting the skill's developer.

More: Hilarious Things You Can Make Alexa Do on Your Echo

2 Get a Real-Time Pollen Count

Zyrtec Daily AllergyCast
Enable the skill here

The Zyrtec Daily AllergyCast will help you stay on top of your allergies by delivering you real-feel forecasts about the pollen count and other allergens in your area, as well as the weather. This is a must-have Alexa skill during allergy season.

More: Shop the Alexa-Enabled Echo Here

3 Live Greener

Glad Recycler
Enable the skill here

The Glad Recycler is a nifty Alexa skill to help you and your family live a greener lifestyle. The service will help you identify whether or not an item you're planning to discard is recyclable by digging into a comprehensive database compiled by leading universities.

4 Learn from Some Fascinating Speakers

TED Talks
Enable the skill here

This is an Alexa skill to keep you inspired and informed by playing TED Talks speeches from today's most brilliant and accomplished minds. You can search the talks for subjects that interest you or for a particular speaker.

5 Keep You (Or Your Kids) Safe

Ask My Buddy
Enable the skill here

Ask My Buddy is an Alexa skill that lets you alert a friend or a group of friends for help in case you can't reach a phone. Your contacts will receive the alerts via an email, a text, or a call. A potential life saver, this skill should be enabled on everyone's Echo and Echo Dot.

6 Connect All Your Smart Devices

SmartThings
Enable the skill here

The SmartThings Alexa skill allows you to control all devices that support Samsung's popular home automation platform with your voice — from lights and kitchen appliances, all the way to your robot vacuum.

7 Keep Tabs on Your Karma

ELLE Horoscopes by The Astro Twins
Enable the skill here

If you're into it, you can keep tabs on your karma via the ELLE Horoscopes Alexa skill. You'll get daily astrological predictions from the Astro Twins ― a duo of professional astrologers with a serious celebrity following.

8 Learn Something New About Your Feline Friend

Cat Facts
Enable the skill here

This Alexa skill is pretty self-explanatory. It delivers fun facts about cats every time you ask. Hundreds of facts are available, so there's plenty to learn. It's obviously great for cat lovers!

More: Shop the Alexa-Enabled Echo Here

9 Stay Motivated During the Day

Daily Affirmation
Enable the skill here

Daily Affirmation is an Alexa trick that's designed to keep your spirits high at all times. When called upon, Alexa will deliver motivating words to bring uplifting mental images and keep you on point.

10 Conquer All Stains

Good Housekeeping
Enable the skill here

This Alexa skill will help you conquer common stains by giving you advice from the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab experts. You'll receive step-by-step instructions for removing stains from all kinds of fabric, carpet, and upholstery.

11 Rule the Stock Market

TD Ameritrade
Enable the skill here

Enable the TD Ameritrade skill to keep track of the pricing of over 75,000 stocks, securities, and market indexes by chatting with Alexa. She'll help you know when to hold or trade your shares.

12 Impress Your Kids with Your NASA Facts

NASA Mars
Enable the skill here

If you're even remotely interested in space exploration, you need to try this Alexa skill! You'll learn cool facts about Mars, as well as get updates on the NASA Curiosity rover roaming the red planet and its activities directly from the space agency itself.

More: Shop the Alexa-Enabled Echo Here

13 Pin It for Later!