Whether at a wellness retreat, as part of a classroom ritual, or even as a company-wide program offering, meditation has become more commonplace. The benefits of meditation are largely well-known at this point (less stress, greater ability to handle difficulties, and improved health), but knowing how and where to start can feel daunting. For those looking to add meditation into their life, apps with guided meditation are an easy-to-use, easy-to-follow option. Here are five of the best meditation apps on the market. 1. Headspace
The most well-known of the meditation apps on the market, Headspace is a simple-to-use product with charming illustrations, meditations as short as one minute, and guided movement practices. Meditations span numerous categories, including anxiety, sleep, focus, and work. Whether you’re looking for a walking meditation, mindful eating practice, or meditation for social anxiety, you’ll find all that and more in the app. Additionally, there’s a large number of guided meditations for kids. Even if you don’t download the app, check out the TED Talk from Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe, called “All It Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes.”
Price: $69.99/year or $12.99/month
*If you’re unemployed, Headspace is offering free Headspace Plus subscriptions for a year.
Billing itself as “a mental fitness app designed to help you build the strength to face life's ups and downs,” Calm stays true to its name. When first signing up, users will answer a few questions on what they’re looking for, their meditation experience, and when they want to meditate to create a personalized experience. The peace-inducing app has a huge library of meditations and sleep stories, including some from well-known meditation experts like Tara Brach, and famous celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey, Lebron James, and Lucy Liu. Users can opt for relaxing music playlists, or be guided in mindful movements such as morning stretches.
Price: $70/year with a seven-day free trial or $399.99 for a lifetime membership
3. Insight Timer
Insight Timer stands out from the pack by offering a completely free platform, all with the aim at getting meditation to more people. There are several courses available for new and practiced meditators alike, and a whopping 45,000 free guided meditations spanning 200 topics such as fear, pregnancy, patience, and forgiveness. There are also music playlists and meditations from renowned teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh. For those struggling with the effects of coronavirus, such as loneliness and anxiety.
Price: Free, or MemberPlus for $60/year
4. 10% Happier
Based on the bestselling book written by ABC News anchor Dan Harris, 10% Happier is geared toward the meditation and mindfulness skeptic. It provides science- and research-backed evidence around meditation, and largely omits the spirituality found in some practices to provide a simple yet effective tool. There’s a two-week course offered for beginners, and personal coaches are available to help answer any questions and keep you motivated. For help during the coronavirus pandemic, 10% Happier has free meditation resources, a podcast, and blog post to combat the anxiety, fear, and other emotions that have undoubtedly increased. Price: Seven-Day Free Trial, or $99/year
Offering a smaller-scale, family-run meditation app, buddhify is designed with the on-the-go person in mind. The app has guided meditations for walking, traveling, and work breaks, as well as for sleeping and for specific emotions. One unique feature is that there are meditations created to be done with friends, romantic partners, and colleagues, which allows for a special connection between practitioners and for the gift of meditation to be shared. Users can even send a customizable meditation to others who don’t have the app but may be in need of a mindful moment. There are also approximately 60 meditations specifically geared toward children.