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There are a lot of great meditation apps on the market, and with so many different options to choose from, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you. But where do you start? If you’re looking for an app to help you relax, focus, and de-stress, I’m sharing with you six that are the best of the best.
The days I meditate always unfold more peacefully than the days I don’t. Rightfully so, meditation has a lot of benefits. It can help people with physical and emotional pain, reduce the risk of heart disease, and lower blood pressure. A study found that those who meditate for at least eight hours a week had a reduction in inflammation response caused by stress, and improved symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia. The apps listed are not only great for meditation, but they also offer different practices like yoga and mindfulness. Each person will have to find which one will work best for them as everyone is different.
With the rise of mindfulness as a wellness trend, more people are discovering the benefits of meditation. When done on a regular basis, meditation can make you calmer and more focused, reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, make you sleep better, help heal relationships, and even lower blood pressure.
Two years ago, I was a total meditation devotee. I got in my ten minutes of quiet reflection every morning, no matter what. But then I got lazy. Facing busier days that started earlier and ended later, hitting the snooze button for ten extra minutes of sleep was way more tempting than sitting cross-legged while a soothing voice told me to breathe in and out. Soon, I was hardly meditating at all.
There’s just one problem: I missed the benefits of meditation. I became a lot more anxious and could become irritable or moody in a snap.
Getting back into healthier habits, or any habit for that matter can always be a challenge for the first few weeks.
For a long time, I felt I was doing it ‘wrong’ and was more fixated on the outcome than the process or the journey itself. The truth is, simply observing your breath or sitting for a few moments with closed eyes counts as meditation.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a mental exercise that aims to induce calm and relaxation. It can be done in many ways, including with certain sounds, breathing exercises, and guided meditation. The objective is to calm the mind, observe thoughts and emotions and focus on a single thing, in order to slow the torrent of a busy, anxious, or overwhelmed mind, and clear your head, reset your energy and step into the authentic power that you hold within. Some people — including myself — use meditation apps to help them focus on achieving a particular goal or reaching a certain state of mind.
Meditation, for me, helps release anxiety and helps me feel supported and empowered in letting go. It helps remove resistance, doubt, and fear so that you can move forward in whatever you desire, without the mental blocks and constraints that you’ve habitually learned and held onto over the years.
Meditation apps can really be a lifesaver. It’s not just a rising trend, it’s an essential tool for anyone who wants to feel more relaxed and have a bit of headspace in an always-connected world.
Here are the 7 best meditation apps in 2024
Just as the name of this meditation app states, Calm is a portal to peace of mind. Once you open the app, which has been downloaded more than 50 million times, you’re invited to complete the Daily Calm or locate a meditation more specific to soothing what you have going on: anxiety, stress, a desire to break bad habits, etc. Further, there are walking meditations, body scans, masterclasses, and Sleep Stories—one of which comes courtesy of Matthew McConaughey. Nothing like letting his deep Southern drawl tuck you in at night.
Muse is a brain-sensing headband that helps you refocus. The device measures brain activity via 4 electroencephalography sensors. An accompanying mobile app converts the EEG signal into audio feedback that is fed to the user via headphones
After each session, you’ll see how you did with easy charts showing how much time your mind spends in active, calm, and neutral states. Muse’s whole approach revolves around helping you find what type of guidance works best for you.
Cost: The app itself is free; the headband starts at $249.
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As if the delightful illustrations on the Headspace app aren’t enough of a sell, the guided courses and quick meditations should do the trick. The team has branded Headspace as “your gym membership for the mind” and believes that your mind is a muscle that merits just as much attention as your biceps or glutes. (Forget leg day, it’s brain day!) Beyond practicing silencing your rapid thoughts while sitting with your legs crossed, the app offers sleep music and soundscapes to help you get to sleep.
10% Happier hears your “I suck at meditation” and responds by saying its app is “meditation for fidgety skeptics.” An offshoot of the New York Times best-selling book by the same name, the app (which is great for beginners!) connects you directly with expert teachers who can coach you through the basics of meditation. They even personally respond to your queries, usually within the day. The point of the app is this: Chaos will reign, but with a little help from its gratitude, joy, and love meditations, you can indeed become just a bit happier.
The Open meditation app is a treasure trove of features that simplify the journey of mindfulness and meditation. The app boasts an extensive library of guided meditations, breathwork, sound healing, and gentle yoga, each led by experienced meditation teachers. These sessions are meticulously crafted to help individuals relax, reduce stress, and nurture a profound inner peace. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced meditator, these guided sessions cater to various needs and preferences.
Get a month free of Open! Our hybrid methodology is designed to strengthen the mind-body connection. Meditation, breathwork, music, movement, practice — Open classes combine traditions and technologies to explore greater collective presence and awareness. (Read our review!)
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It’s easy to find a meditation app that touts a free trial. It’s a lot harder to find a quality meditation app that is in its entirety free. Enter the unicorn of gratis meditation apps: Insight Timer.
A multifaceted gateway to more than 30,000 guided sessions that tap into every emotion rattling your nerves, it also offers relaxing music tracks, a section for kids, and therapeutic pep talks from the likes of Indian yogi Sadhguru and psychotherapist Anthony DeMello.
There are a lot of great meditation apps on the market, but these six are the best of the best. If you’re looking for an app to help you relax, focus, and de-stress, any one of these would be a great choice. And if you’re new to meditation, don’t worry – they all have options for beginners. So dive in and find the perfect app for your needs!
I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.