Meditation and mindfulness are on the rise, thanks to their many benefits and how easy they are to incorporate into our lives. All it takes to do either is a little effort and time, and you can go from having a crazy, stressful life to one that is more meaningful and filled with peace.
Even though meditation is one of the fastest and simplest methods of self-care you can do, it is also one of the hardest, as our tendency towards neuroticism and relentless thinking is a habit that the majority of us have yet to break on our own.
Thankfully, there are many applications and courses out there that allow us to learn how to quiet the mind and live in the moment, and the best part is that you can do it all from the palm of your hand. In this guide, we will discuss our top three favorite meditation apps to get you started.
Headspace is one of the best apps out there for beginners. It has a straightforward interface and is easy to navigate like most apps, but it does so in style. The use of playful colors helps to take the edge off. The main screen always has the place you left off at the ready, and there are only four tabs to keep it neat.
One of the great things about the app is how it takes more of a personal approach with its users. It keeps up with your stats and progress to help you stay on track, and there is only one main narrator for the sessions. With one person, it feels less like a program and more like your favorite teacher that made you excited about learning.
If you aren’t a fan of long informational videos or lectures, headspace makes the process fun and to the point with the use of bite-sized animations that give you advice that coincides with the sessions provided. These sessions can range anywhere from basic meditation essentials to how to overcome painful life challenges that are hard to get through alone.
Like any app you download, there is the option to receive notifications, and headspace can remind you to meditate at a specific time every day to keep you afloat. What sets it apart is that it also sends you little mindful reminders periodically to help you stay focused and calm throughout the day.
Headspace has a free trial period to explore the app, and after, you have the option to pay about $13 monthly, $95 annually, or a $400 one-time payment to have forever. There are a limited amount of sessions that are always free even when not apart of premium, so that is a plus if the prices aren’t appealing.
InSight Timer takes on a different approach entirely compared to the other two options on the list. This app is more like an online program that has hundreds of teachers available to teach you the ways to a better life. With each course and session, there is also an interactive community.
Since the number of teachers and sessions are so vast, there are ratings to help you choose which ones are best for you based on others’ experiences and thoughts. The options to make friends is one of the app’s best assets that many in this category do not have.
On the profile that you are given, there is an in-depth progress tracker that displays how much time and sessions you do per day over the course of days, weeks, and months, along with milestones achieved and the consecutive days that you have practiced. It is a more structured system for ones that are really serious about their practice and improving their life.
The app is free, which is excellent, considering the number of great meditation apps that call for payment plans. You get access to all the meditation sessions available and the community that comes along with it. To get the courses, you will have to pay an annual fee of $60, a reasonable price for classes taught by professionals.
The Calm meditation app is one more focused on the peaceful and zen side of mindful meditation. The aesthetic of the app is filled with beautiful snapshots and artwork of nature. The soft colors used help to make you feel more at ease when browsing.
If you are someone that suffers from anxiety, insomnia, or anything else in life that is caused by overwhelming amounts of stress and restlessness, this one is a better match for you. The guided meditations are done at a slow pace to make them easy to follow along to.
There’s a separate library for sleep that tells bedtimes stories, ASMR recordings, and nature sounds to help. This, along with the soft sounds of birds and water lapping throughout the app, is incredibly soothing.
It may come as no surprise that the best apps for meditation have the option for a premium membership, but the difference between this one and others is that it also comes with music, on top of various classes, and access to the entire library. The annual fee is around $70 but has enough free content available in case this isn’t an option.
If you aren’t a fan of the three mentioned in this article or want a little more info on what else is out there, there are different routes you can go when choosing ways to meditate. There are apps that only help you keep track of your time spent meditating if you don’t want guided sessions or classes.
There are also types that are tied to fitness if you are more into exercise and physical health and want to keep everything in one place. Yoga is also a great option, as it not only enhances physical health but is a form of meditation itself. Since yoga and meditation are paired together most of the time, you might want to find an app that does it for you.
Headspace, InSight Timer and Calm are our top picks for meditation apps. Keep in mind that there are many to choose from, no matter the type of smartphone you have, so be sure to do your own research and choose one that best suits your needs. Thank you for reading.