Meditation and mindfulness have become more conventional over the passage of time. That being said, these two forms of self-care aren’t new by any means.
Did you know that meditation has been in practice since prehistoric times? It holds significant value in several religious beliefs and traditions and is often regarded as a means to achieve enlightenment and self-realization. Since its origin in the 6th to 5th century BCE, meditation has come a long way and has seeped into mainstream cultures (like American culture) as well.
According to research conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in 2012, 18 million adults meditated in the United States. According to the same report, about 927,000 children in the United States have meditation practices at school.
Of course, over the years, the figures have drastically increased as more and more people have incorporated this healthy practice into their lifestyle.
If you also want to get started with meditation, here are the top 23 apps that will get you going. Have a look!
1. Insight Timer
Unlike many other apps, Insight Timer is regarded as the best free meditation apps for Android phones and iPhones alike. Insight Timers comprises over 13000 free guided meditations from over 2500 teachers. You can find meditations on a wide range of topics – insomnia, stress, creativity, relationships, to name a few.
This easy-to-use app appears to be more like a friendly community that has over 5 million people who practice meditation across the world. Once you are done with your meditation session, the app shows you the number of people that were meditating with you at the same time. By turning on the location, you will also find the meditators near you.
2. Calm App
If you want to practice mindfulness more than meditation, Calm is the app you should download right away. The moment you open the app, you are instantly transported to a land of serenity. The background music starts to play which is calming and relaxing. What’s more, you can also change the soundtrack from the provided options based on your preferences and the type of mood you’re in on any particular day.
Calm is considered the first app that features a separate section for sleep, called “Sleep Stories.” Mind you, these bedtime stories are no ordinary ones; these stories are read by celebrities with great voices like Emma Whispers Red and Bob Ross. The best thing about these stories is that they get updated every week so you will always have something new to listen to.
Get the premium subscription if you want to enjoy more activities like Calm Masterclasses and Calm Body programs.
Developed by a Buddhist monk – Andy Puddicombe – Headspace is prized for its comprehensive and easy-to-use features. Initially, Headspace was simply an event company, but now it comprises articles, blogs, meditation-videos, and guided meditations that aids both beginners and experts in their meditation sessions.
The app offers a free basic course that includes 10 different meditation sessions. To access their entire library of meditations, you will need a subscription. You can find numerous meditations, relating to different themes sleep, relaxation, pleasure, bliss, etc. The app also boasts incredible features such as relaxing music that helps users unwind and fall asleep.
Buddhify is an advanced meditation app, ideal for those who are equipped with the basics of meditation already. Buddhify is unique on so many levels; the busy nature of our lives makes it difficult to dedicate even five minutes to ourselves which is why the developers of this app focus on the go mediation.
This is precisely what makes Buddhify different from the rest. Although it has more modern forms of meditations, it also offers traditional ones.
Another stand-out quality of this meditation app is that it requires no expensive monthly subscriptions whatsoever. However, the app does charge a small fee which makes it affordable for all. While some apps may only be affordable for the rich and elite, Buddhify is available for everyone.
5. 10% Happier
10% Happier is all about what its tagline says “meditation for fidgety skeptics.” Hosted by Dan Harris – a news anchor that suffered from a panic attack on live TV and pursued meditation to improve his well-being – the app features a new video on meditation every day.
The video also features notable instructors like Joseph Goldstein and other professional meditators; together they have meaningful discussions on mindfulness and meditation. These videos are exceedingly useful to newbies as everything is discussed in the most basic and easiest language.
Outside the app, Harris also hosts a free podcast of the 10% Happier which includes conversations with eminent personalities like Arianna Huffington, Dalai Lama, Kabat Zinn, and Richard Davidson.
6. Meditation Studio.
If you are all about traditional meditations, Meditation Studio is just for you. The app offers introductory videos, featuring a well-qualified psychologist and co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living – Dr. Elisha Goldstein.
Goldstein guides you on the basics of meditations – how to focus on breathing while meditating and cultivating calm and positive energy as a result. The app also boasts the “Discover Series” that allows you to access its paid features. The Discover Series is also a platform from where you can select soundtracks for your meditation. This includes tracks to alleviate stress, depression, etc.
The app has meditations for experienced practitioners; that being said, there are meditations for kids and students as well. The paid forum attributes their meditation practices to mothers, veterans, business people, etc.
7. Stop, Breathe & Think
This popular meditation app started off as a non-profit organization to develop kindness and compassion. As we all know that these emotions are easy to instill at a young age which is why the app primarily targeted kids and teens to achieve their goals. They inculcate feelings of love and care among young kids through meditation and mindfulness.
As the app became more popular, the developers decided to expand their audience reach as well. Today, the app has something for every age group. There are over 40 free meditations and about 100 paid ones. The app comprises meditations for various moods, soulful soundtracks, and breathing exercises.
As the name implies, Sleepfulness is specifically devoted to helping you get a good night’s sleep. Therefore, this app is ideal for those who have trouble falling asleep or are insomniacs. Everyone has different sleeping issues; some may have a hard time shutting their brain to fall asleep, some may have abrupt sleeping patterns. Sleepfulness makes sure that it is helpful for every user.
By making their users fill out an in-app questionnaire. The answers you provide will automatically get saved into the app’s Insight section. The app will give you suggestions that will cater to your own specific needs.
9. Simple Habit
Simple Habit is the best meditation app for all the busy people out there. Each and every guided meditation is only 5 minutes long which is why it is easy to practice them on a daily basis. Their 5-minute guided meditations help alleviate stress, increase focus, and instill a sense of wellness.
Simple habit allows you to get unlimited access anywhere and anytime with a premium subscription. The app comes with an auto-renewing subscription which means that it automatically renews at the end of your term and you will be charged through your Google Play Store account.
Omvana offers the world’s best life-changing audios for sleep, focus, relaxation, inspiration, meditation, and lots more.
Transformational audios are not the only feature of Omvana; you can find hundreds of inspirational speeches, binaural tracks, and lots more. This amazing app also brings guided meditations by experienced teachers, famous authors, and pious celebrities that assist you in your meditation practices.
You can access Omvana via your smartphone (android or iPhone) or download it directly on the Omvana web!
11. Simply Being
Simply Being is a beautifully simple app designed by Meditation Oasis. It comes with a voice guide that helps beginners every step of the way. With this app, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of meditation – relaxation, happiness, etc.
You can choose the length of your meditation depending on your free time; the meditation guides can range from five minutes to 20 minutes. To make it more worthwhile, you can meditate with nature sounds or any other type of music.
Carefully read the instructions to enhance your meditation.
While many apps focus on promoting relaxation, Mindwell aims to enhance creativity and focus. The app also offers guided and unguided meditations that allow you to lower your stress level. For instance, you fail a test or didn’t perform too well, you can use the app to boost your morale. Through various meditations, you can help rebuild your lost self-esteem. Doing so will help you move on with confidence.
Mindwell also features a “MoodShift” which deduces your overall mood and suggests meditation sessions accordingly. It also keeps track of your meditation progress.
13. The Breathing App
The name says it all!
The Breathing app is a meditation app that focuses on your breathing. The app guides you on how to take deep breaths, especially in stressful situations. By turning on the reminder, it reminds you to stop whatever you are doing and take time to just breathe. You can also turn the reminder off if you like.
The excellent part is that you can choose the length of your session. You can also put duration as your default on your iPhone. In addition, you can track your sessions to figure out your daily graph of breathing.
Note that your breathing sessions don’t appear in your Activity app on your iPhone or Apple Watch.
Brain.fm is probably one of the most unique meditation apps on this list. That’s primarily because the app is meant to improve focus through functional music. The sounds that these app offers are different from any other music you may listen to on a daily basis.
Scientists at Brain.fm have developed purpose-built music from an advanced technology – patented technology – that affects different parts of your brain cells differently.
The app offers five free sessions that help you achieve the desired mental state. At the end of each session, the person comes out refreshed and more focused than ever.
Sattva is a simple yet soothing guided meditation that comes with a sacred soundtrack – verdict mantras and chants.
The app brings you over 100 guided meditations, sacred sounds, and music tracks to enhance your meditation. You can set goals, gain milestone trophies, and track your entire meditation journey. Doing all of this will only help you get better in your meditation practice every day.
The app offers a collection of themes to choose from. Depending on the mood, you can pick the theme your meditation will be based on. The app also boasts beneficial features like a heart rate monitor and mood tracker to assess your overall well-being. You will also come across wisdom quotes that will help you get through a bad day.
In this modern, busy world, not many people find time to meditate. For those people, MindFi might be something to consider.
Instead of closing your eyes, you can practice meditation sessions with your eyes opened and reap just as many benefits as you may through traditional meditation. With this app, you can de-stress yourself anywhere – at home, work, or outdoors. Learn how to be mindful via their 10-minute courses and track your meditation progress with their measurable feature.
Pause is a meditation app that is built on Tai Chai and mindfulness practice. Validated with EEG technology, Pause boasts a new digital approach. You will need to continuously move your fingertip across your mobile phone’s screen. This will trigger the “rest and digest” response of your body, helping you to enhance your focus and release stress symptoms within minutes.
During your meditation, you can use comforting soundtracks to help maintain your focus and attention in the precise moment. The feasibility to access the app at any time from anywhere makes the app more practicable.
The Inscape app comes with guided meditation sessions for beginners, intermediate, and advanced users and ranges in length from 5 minutes to 1 hour and so. The purpose of this app is to help relieve anxiety, improve focus, boost creativity, achieve happiness, and reduce stress and anxiety.
The simple meditation exercises allow you to enjoy a happy and healthy lifestyle. And if you are a busy person, it will be easier for you to incorporate these easy-to-follow meditations in your busy schedule. You can download this app for free. Or visit their relaxation studio in the Flatiron district, NYC.
19. Guided Meditation – VR-
This is the app that will allow you to practice meditation in exotic places. Don’t worry, you won’t need your passport or even leave your room for that matter.
You will just need to turn on the app, choose the “virtual reality” you want to be in and practice your meditation like never before. Even if you are not in the mood to choose a VR for yourself, let Guided Meditation VR make the best choice for you. The enticing virtual surrounding will help you de-stress, refresh your mind, and regain your focus.
20. Meditation and Relaxation Pro
As the name suggests, the Meditation and Relaxation app focuses on making you more calm and relaxed. By achieving this state of mind, you will improve your overall health and wellbeing. You will sleep better, focus more easily, and elevate your happiness and self-esteem. In other words, it will drastically improve your quality of life.
There are several programs that you can follow, depending on the area you want to work on. For example, if you want to relieve stress, choose 7 days of a stress relief program.
21. Smiling Mind
You will be impressed to find out that this app is created by well-known psychologists and educators. Hence, you can expect the app to bring positive change to your life. People who use Smiling Mind boast achieving balance in their lives.
Many don’t know but Smiling Mind is a 100% non-profit organization that makes mindfulness meditation accessible to all via their app. The programs are designed to aid people in dealing with various negative emotions such as overpressure, stress, anxiety, sadness, depression, etc. These are daily life issues and the Smiling Mind makes sure to help combat these problems.
Enso is one of those apps that are not necessarily for beginners. It works best for well-versed meditators as it consists of slightly complex features. It is a sleek and elegant app that comes with soothing notifications and indicators to help you keep track of your meditation progress.
The most notable feature of Enso is that it boasts a minimalistic design that improves your meditation without getting in your way.
Yogaglo is a large platform for guided meditations that lets you choose your meditation session according to your length, teacher, goal, and level. This is an amazing app for both new and experienced meditators.
The best part is that every guide is led by a teacher that helps you every step of the way.
Each one of these meditation apps is worth trying as they all focus on improving the mental health of the user.