Stress management. Increased self-awareness. Being present. Reducing anxiety. The benefits of meditation are bountiful and fruitful. And whether you’re a seasoned Zen master or a newbie to mindfulness, there’s an app out there for any level of meditation practice.
Some are free (or offer a few free sessions) and others cost about $5 a month. Regardless, using a meditation app and headphones is a convenient way to keep up a regular practice. Whether guided or on your own, there’s something for everyone out there. Here are 10 of our favorites…
The most popular and widely used meditation app. Headspace offers the most variety, meaning it’s great for beginners to pros.
Right up there with Headspace in terms of popularity, Calm is slightly less structured, offers a more personalized experience as well as a solid library of ambient sounds.
Healthy Minds Program, Free
This free app is extremely user-friendly and provides a goal-driven approach while focusing on key areas of meditation such as awareness, connection, insight and purpose.
Ten Percent Happier, $100/year
This one is great for beginners with an easy-to-follow interface and offers shorter-timed options to get your feet wet before diving deeper.
Insight Timer, Free or premium for $69.99/year
The motherlode with over 45,000 free mediations. In addition to guided meditations and sleep sounds, Insight Timer allows users to a customized timer complete with your choice of sounds (gongs, bells, etc). It even offers free live yoga and meditation video sessions from teachers around the globe.
Buddhify, $4.99 in the app store
The only app with a “wheel” with color-coded mediations that address the many challenges that accompany a busy modern lifestyle as well as mental health issues. Offers 200 targeted mediations.
Shorter but powerful meditations by world-renowned teachers. Unplug offers live classes and workshops and the app houses over 1000 videos.
Simple Habit, Free or $90/year for premium
Intuitively catalogued making specific meditations easy to find. Plus, it includes bedtime stories and even free yoga sessions.
The Mindfulness App, $59.99/year
Released in 2011, The Mindfulness App is probably the most established of the bunch, offering 250 guided or silent mediations that are fully customizable and available in 10 languages.
Waking Up, $129.99/year
Founded by neuroscientist and author Sam Harris, Waking Up ranges from the fundamentals of mindfulness to the deeper depths of mediation. It also offers thought-provoking conversations and lessons for some of life’s toughest questions.
These meditation apps are an excellent way for newbies to begin their meditation practice in a non-intimidating way. Most apps have free trials, so start off by trying a few that you gravitate to, then purchase the full year if you like what you see. And remember, meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. Clear your mind, find a peaceful area in your home, and just start! We promise, once you begin, you’ll soon get the hang of it.