If the idea of attending a group meditation class or carving out an hour of quiet time in your bedroom seems impossible, you’re not alone. The breakneck American lifestyle is relentless and under that pressure, sometimes nothing sounds harder than confronting your own thoughts. Lucky for you (and whatever precious heirlooms you might inadvertently destroy in a rage fit), intrepid developers are delivering some of today’s best meditation practices via a platform we all know and love: mobile apps.
A clearer mind may be closer than you think, thanks to practices that incorporate deep breathing, inviting narrations, chanting and other calming techniques to get you grounded — regardless of whether you have an hour or mere minutes to spare. The key to developing a mindful practice is understanding precisely what that means for you. These five highly-rated applications are designed to help you do just that.
If the very thought of adopting a meditation practice spurs anxiety, then this is the app for you. Headspace is the perfect app for absolute beginners who desire a clear and placid mind, but don’t know where to begin. The free trial includes 10 sessions which provide a simple way for users to “reframe stress,” complete with guided meditations, eye-catching animations and a reward system for repeat users. With sessions clocking in as short as three minutes to start, Headspace is a great option for anyone who simply seeks a midday break or wants to explore the many health-related benefits of meditation. Premium plans with advanced features are available starting at only $12.99 per month. headspace.com
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When was the last time you had a restful night’s sleep? Start using Calm, an app that focuses on restfulness and relaxation, and your mornings are sure to get a whole lot sweeter. Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day with the help of Calm’s more than 100 guided meditations, which focus on problem areas like anxiety, sleep, relationships and more. In addition, Calm’s premium upgrade includes access to soothing sounds, a series of gentle stretching techniques and other features all intended to make you feel great. In the meantime, the free trial will have you have you sleeping faster than you can say Rip Van Winkle. calm.com
The Mindfulness App
Considered the “gold standard” of meditation mobile applications, the Mindfulness App goes beyond basics to help experienced and neophyte meditation practitioners develop a tailored routine based on their existing meditation habits — be they daily or non-existent. Whether you prefer silent or guided meditations, the Mindfulness app has you covered with practices ranging from three to 30 minutes in length. Plus its integration function allows you to flow statistics into the Apple Health app to promote total wellness by integrating body and mind. themindfulnessapp.com
With more than 4,500 free guided meditations in the palm of your hand, Insight Timer will help you reach your highest self. Experienced practitioners will appreciate the hundreds of meditation music tracks which can also be used for personal sessions. For easy offline listening, frequent travelers and instructors may wish to spring for Insight Timer’s paid subscription service. It’s currently the top-rated free meditation app for iPhone and Android, with more than 6,100,000 users calling it “om.” insighttimer.com
Are you traveling? With a friend? On a work break? Buddhify asks these questions straight away, then recommends the perfect practice to accommodate your busy schedule. Its colorful interface, inviting format and ability to weave mindfulness into everyday activities have made it an international sensation, and at only $30 a year for a membership, it also tops out as one of the most affordable meditation apps on the market. buddhify.com
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Also check out: Shhh: 6 Silent Meditation Retreats
Last modified: March 29, 2019