Meditation is an excellent way to relax and improve focus, but where do you start?
Well, you could give a mobile meditation app a try. With an app, you won’t have to research and then implement meditation programs on your own – meditation apps have done that for you and provide you with a ready-made roadmap for relaxation anywhere and anytime.
The not so good thing about meditation apps is that there are hundreds of them available out there. But don’t you worry – to help you save time, let us introduce you to what we think are the 10 best meditation apps you can get.
Platforms: iOS, Android
Price: Free with limited features, or $14.99/month, $69.99/year, or $399.99 for life
Calm has been awarded the title of the best app of the year on iOS in 2017 and 2018 and is recommended by top mental health experts, therapists, and psychologists.
The highlight of Calm is the Sleep Stories – bedtime stories narrated by the likes of Matthew McConaughey and Stephen Fry. For ease for the entire day, you also gain access to the 10-minute Daily Calm program, among many other things.
Price: Free with limited features, or $12.99/month, $69.99/year
Launched in 2010, Headspace is one of the oldest meditation apps around and has gathered millions of users around the world over the years. This app has aged well and stays a competitive option for meditation and stress relief.
The free Basics course does a good job of introducing you to the app, as well as preparing you for more advanced sessions. If you choose to go for the Headspace membership, you’ll gain access to things like 2-3 mini-meditations, SOS sessions for moments of stress, and hundreds of guided meditations on topics like sleep or focus.
Price: Free with limited features, or $9.99/month, $58.99/year
Stop, Breathe & Think offers a more customized experience by asking you to share how you’re feeling before each session. Based on your input, the app will recommend what it thinks are the best guided meditations for your condition.
Stop, Breathe & Think provides great tracking capabilities as well, recording your emotions pre- and post-meditation, total meditation time, and other handy stats.
Price: Free with limited features, or $9.99/month, $59.99/year
The Mindfulness App greets you with programs galore – with over 250 guided meditations narrated by influential teachers from around the globe, this meditation app is likely to have a tailored guide just for you.
And like Stop, Breathe & Think, The Mindfulness App allows you to customize your meditation sessions through a guided introduction, as well as track post-meditation progress with ease.
Price: $4.99 on iOS, $3.88 on Android, optional $29.99 yearly membership
Although not free, Buddhify perhaps is the most cost-efficient meditation app out there. After paying upfront, Buddhify offers over 200 guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, introductory sessions, and a few other things.
If you choose to purchase the annual subscription, then you will gain access to Transmission (allows you to share meditations in your own voice with those close to you), Formal (teaches you core meditation techniques), and Together (additional weekly courses).
Price: Free with limited features, or $11.99/month, $89.99/year
Simple Habit is focused on short 5-minute meditation sessions, which makes it suitable for users who have little to no time to dedicate to full-bodied programs. In spite of their shortness, Simple Habit meditation sessions are rich with helpful tips and don’t feel rushed or incomplete.
If you purchase the monthly or annual membership, you’ll also be able to access the programs offline no matter where you are.
Price: Free with limited features, or $12.95/month, $89.95/year, or $149.95 for life
Breethe offers a bit of everything. You have hours of music & nature sounds and visualizations to relax. Then, the app features hundreds of guided meditations (including short ones) to help you go through whatever you’re dealing with right now. You are even provided with access to hypnotherapy to hopefully get better sleep and overcome challenges easier.
Breethe is also available on tablets and computers, allowing cross-platform synchronization of your progress.
Price: Free with limited features, or $4.99/month, $14.99/year, or $19.99 for life
Meditation and Relaxation: Guided Meditation goes the more traditional way, providing you with guided meditation sessions and not much more. However, given how much cheaper this app is than others, it offers great value for the money.
This mindfulness app offers lengthy meditation programs aimed to improve focus, sleep, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life. Aside from that, you may choose to go through sessions of varying length one at a time.
Price: Free with limited features, or $12.99/month, $49.99/year
Sattva draws from thousands of years old Vedic principles of meditation to deliver over a hundred meditation programs guided by Sanskrit scholars. In addition, the app provides chants, mantras, and music tracks for soothing and inspiration.
And to help you get there, Sattva features an in-depth stat system with milestones, personalized notifications, location tracking, trophies, and a meditation community.
Price: Free with only 4 Portals, or $3.99 for an additional 14 Portals
Portal – Focus, Sleep, Escape has a unique concept – instead of providing guided meditation, it allows you to visit Portals – collections of 3D soundscapes and gorgeous visuals depicting locations from all around the world. Remarkably, this app is compatible with Philips Hue smart lighting, allowing you to set the mood and relax even better.
The number of Portals as of this post’s writing was kind of limited – just 14 (4 for free users). Hopefully, the developers add more – Portal – Focus, Sleep, Escape offers a very different approach to meditation, and we’d like to see it grow further.
Price: One-time payment of $29 (Lifetime access and download)
Meditainment is not an app but a website with professional guided meditation recordings to download. You start with one guided mediation (Island Paradise – For Rapid Relaxation), and one more will be unlocked each month.
If you are inpatient, you can choose to pay a reasonable fee to unlock all 20 meditations. After downloading, just use your music player in your smartphone, set a sleep timer of about 20 minutes, and you are ready to experience the power for a calm mind.
Insight Timer app boasts more than 30,000 guided meditations in its library, all for free! It is more like a community where everyone can be a teacher and upload their own guided meditation, so the quality is not consistent. Luckily there are user ratings so you can pick the higher-rated ones, which are usually of much higher quality. From getting deep sleep to dealing with anxiety to better relationships, the topics and meditation types are limitless.
Besides the guided meditations, it has a timer with a wide variety of authentic sounding bowls, blocks, and chimes.
Also, Insight Timer recently added their own paid courses from professional meditation teachers, so it has the potential to be the only mindfulness app you ever need!