Have you jumped on the meditation bandwagon yet? What used to be one of those “woo woo” buzzwords is now a mainstream concept people are even introducing to their kids to help with things like emotional regulation and balance.
Meditation is nothing scary – in fact the only thing scary about it is how simple and effective it is.
Oh, and free.
Yes, meditating is completely free.
So, what’s the big deal with meditating and why are there all these meditating apps coming out?
Let’s talk about it:
The Benefits of Meditation:
Meditation is sort of like training your brain to think in a different, healthier way. Our brains are hardwired to focus on things like risks, fears, and anxieties – because being able to assess and avoid those risks kept humans alive for a long time.
But, we’re not cavemen anymore and it’s high time our thought patterns reflect that.
Meditation, or sometimes called mindfulness, is the act of relaxing your brain and focusing on certain thoughts, or trying not to think at all, so that your brain can reset and rebalance.
This practice has been linked to all sorts of possible health benefits, the most notable being reduced stress. By giving your brain a break – sort of like unplugging the router for ten seconds so the internet will work again – we are able to hit that reset button, thereby reducing stress and anxiety.
In addition, even just a few minutes of meditation a day has been linked to:
- Less stress
- Reduced anxiety
- Better quality sleep
- Increased focus
- Higher productivity
- Greater compassion
- Reduced aggression
- Increased empathy
- Improved positivity
- Greater control over moods
- and many more!
Meditation is seriously so simple!
Whether you just get in a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down and just clear your mind, practice breathing exercises designed to focus your brain and body on the same task, or use a meditation app, you’ll still get the same benefits of taking a few minutes each day to meditate.
The Best Meditation Apps:
I have been really enjoying using one of them these last few weeks. The benefit to using an app is that many of them offer guided meditation, which is when the narrator guides you through the meditation.
For me, listening to what they say and following their directions allows my mind to focus on something else and take a break from whatever I’m worried about or is keeping me up at night.
You can also do unguided meditations with soundscapes and relaxing imagery or even get an app designed for kids, too!
Here are the top rated, most loved meditation apps to try today:
This is the one I have been using recently. I was specifically drawn to Breethe because of the beautiful images and the options of meditations.
Breethe offers a full two-week trial before costing an affordable monthly fee of $12.99 or $89.99 a year.
Breethe has a full deck of meditation choices, including:
- Guided sleep meditations
- Sleep hypnotherapy
- Guided morning meditations
- Soundscapes for various meditations
- Subject specific meditations (such as mediations for being stressed out from being stuck at home!)
- and more
I typically play the bedtime ones while I lay on my back and practice deep breathing. I’m asleep much faster than before and tend to sleep more deeply, especially when combined with my weighted blanket.
Both my husband and I enjoy them and we like both the female and the male voice used.
I also like the soothing soundscapes for when we are doing homework time with the kids.
On that note, another great meditation app for kids is…
You’ve probably heard of this one. Everyone is talking about it! Many of the guided meditations are narrated by former Buddhist monk and co-founder Andy Puddicombe, who has a very relaxing voice.
Headspace also offers a free one or two-week trial before costing $12.99 a month or $69.99 a year.
I really like the graphics and animations used on the Headspace app. From the smiley orange circle to the little videos that teach how to meditate and train the brain, they really bring the idea home in a very tangible way.
Plus, there are a ton of “courses” with Headspace, on a ton of subjects, including:
- Stress and anxiety
- Meditation basics
- Sleep and waking up
- Performance mindset
- Personal growth
- Work and productivity
- Kids and parenting
- & more
There really is something for everyone here, even if what you are looking for is a guided meditation on mindful eating and coping with cravings.
Headspace is definitely a great option with a wide variety of choices.
The very first meditation app I tried, and wow, Calm is really amazing.
You can try Calm for 7 days for free and then it’s $69.99 a year.
From sleep stories to help you sleep to meditation masterclasses taught by experts in the field, Calm is designed to get you… calm. And it does.
I am so drawn to blues and water elements, which is a main design feature of Calm, so aesthetically – it’s right up my alley.
The female voice used in a lot of the meditations I selected is a bit more upbeat and moves a bit faster than the narrations in the other apps. This appeals to me when I am in a more upbeat mood as well and want to move it along.
I don’t typically use Calm when I want to fall asleep, though.
If you’re missing your yoga or pilates class right now, like I am, you can get some of that experience along with meditations with the Glo app.
With a generous 15-day-trial and is $18/month, but includes fitness classes and meditations.
Not sure you can even take a single pilates class for that price.
I also really liked the setup questions that get to know your goals, preference in teaching style and experience taking yoga and pilates classes.
Then, once you’re in, you can choose classes from under 10 minutes to 60 minutes!
This is an excellent choice if you’re also wanting some strengthening, stretching, relaxing workouts.
This easy to use meditation app has so many options on dozens of topics.
You can try it for a week free and then it’s $89.99 for the year.
What I really like is the short, focused meditations on relatable topics, like how to cope with compassion fatigue and learning to say no.
With available topics in all aspects of life, you can surely find 5 minutes a day to meditate on something specific to what you need on that day.
Insight Timer is a very cool app with guided meditations by some of the most well-known teachers. They are also one of the few meditation apps with a fully free option.
If you stay on the free plan, you still have access to the largest free library of guided meditations on earth, with over 40,000 titles.
You can also upgrade to the premium level to have access to even more and know that half of your fees are given straight to the talented teachers who contribute to the app.
Insight Timer also boasts a wide range of teachers, so you are sure to find not just a course you need, but a teaching style and narration that works best for you.
Smiling Mind is a free app that has served millions of people, particularly young adults and classrooms!
With tons of free programs to use, and a special Thrive Inside initiative to help with mental health while we stay home, Smiling Mind is all about supporting psychological well-being.
Plus, the classroom and youth specific programs are such an amazing option! But, with workplace and adult programs, too, there’s something for everyone.
Smiling Mind is the best choice if you’re meditating with kids, young adults, or want a super awesome, totally free option.
This streamlined app starts with the simple question, “How are you feeling?” Then, what follows are short, effective, targeted meditations to suit your needs.
Aura offers mediations, stories, life coaching, a gratitude journal, and more. Plus, with tracks you can complete in just under 5 minutes, you’ll be able to fit a few aura’s in your day – regardless of how busy you are.
Aura is truly the meditation app for the busy person.
Premium membership starts at $12/month.
Buddhify is the colorful, fun app designed to appeal to people who aren’t necessarily super into long medittaions. In fact, they are marketed to be “Meditation Done Differently”.
With a colorful wheel of choices, with options fitting a range of life experiences, Buddhify is an app that makes meditation relatable and fun for everyone.
Also designed to be quick and easy to use, similar to Aura, Buddhify will appeal to the person who doesn’t have the time or desire to do longer meditations.
Priced at just $30 for a year, it is also one of the more affordable of the paid options on this list and offers incredible value for that price.
Have you tried a mediation app before? What did you think?
I’m newer to using the apps, but I’ve really enjoyed trying these apps and know that you can find one that will work for you, too.
If the cost of these apps is prohibitive, start with the free trials. Just put a reminder in your phone to cancel it before it ends. That’ll get you at least a couple months of free meditation apps. Or, use the completely free versions available from some of these apps, too.
And, now, don’t mind me, I’m just going to use my meditation app to make me the most zen mother ever.
Have a fabulous day,