Last week we shared some strategies for meditating even if you don’t like it. Today we are going to be sharing some apps that have been effective at helping others make that transition from non-meditator to people who meditate often.
So, here is a round-up of some of the best meditation apps.
Headspace is one of the most popular and longest-running meditation apps. It’s very accessible for beginners, but there are also some advanced ‘pro’ courses and a range of mindfulness exercises to suit different needs and approaches. Headspace has meditation sessions and multiple session courses for a range of other purposes. These are clearly organised into categories including anxiety, stress, productivity and sleep.
Open the Calm app and you’ll immediately be greeted with the gentle sound of the outdoors. It varies from person to person, but we loved this touch and found it helped us on the path to relaxation (if you don’t like the outdoors, you can change it to rolling waves, pouring rain, crackling firewood or crickets). As well as guided Daily Calm sessions, which help you unwind and refocus your attention, there are also programmes for intermediate and advanced users.
If you fancy something a little different, you can pick from exclusive music tracks engineered to help you focus, relax or sleep, such as Calm Body – a series of 10-minute guided videos on mindful movement – and Sleep Stories, which are calming tales narrated by celebrities.
This app offers stress relief for busy people. It was set up by Yunha Kim, who recognised that many of us do not have time (or at least *think* we don’t have time) to squeeze yet another thing onto our to-do list. To help combat this, the app offers audio meditations as short as five minutes, with good quality guided meditations that really do help to reduce stress and calm the mind.
The meditations themselves are well-paced and offer good guidance. We found there was a little more space towards the end of each recording, which helped us really relax without the need for continual instruction. We were also impressed by the variety on the app. Users are asked to choose topics that interest them when they open it for the first time and there really is something for everyone – from meditations that will help you find your feet after a breakup, to post-argument relaxation, stress-free commutes and pre-date mindfulness to help you get into the zone.
Insight Timer is an app with an expansive range of free guided meditations, plus a solo meditation timer (from which it gets its name). When you open the app it greets you with a world map with dots representing how many people are currently using the app to meditate, which is quite a nice touch. The app organises its large breadth of content fairly intuitively so you can explore or find what you want, but it’s not as attractively designed as some others.
The app’s biggest’ selling’ point is its expansive library. It has 45,000 free guided meditations. You can filter by desired benefit, length and type of practice, or just dive into the entire mammoth list. If the scale of the library sounds somewhat intimidating, the app has put together some beginner meditation kits, which you can also sort by topic.
Do you have a favourite meditation app? What do you love about it? Tell us in the comments below.