In search of an anti-stress guide? Someone to whisper in your ear when it’s time to sit still and breath? Unless you have a meditation teacher that can fit in your pocket, an app is probably the best way to keep you on track.
While our smart phones are often the culprits of distraction, they can also aid our mission to be mindful. The options are endless when it comes to meditation and mindfulness apps that offer keep-calm practices right from your device. Even if you don’t have 30 minutes to set aside for a formal practice every day—plan for a shorter window. The benefits of a mindfulness practice start in as little as five minutes a day.
Whether you’re taking a break at work, waiting for the kids to finish soccer practice, on line at the DMV, or starting your day at home, apps are a great way to bring your practice with you wherever you go. Check out these 10 that offer different practices, sounds, styles, and features.
10 Mindfulness Apps
Buddhify2: Buddhify presents excuse-free meditations. Since Buddhify comes with a variety of location and activity settings, you can find a practice to suit your mode, whether you’re walking to work, trying to sleep, eating dinner, or feeling stressed out—it’ll motivate you to keep on keeping calm. Go ahead, try to find a reason to skip your meditation …
The Mindfulness App: This one leaves the shiny features behind and keeps it simple. The reminders are helpful in keeping you on-track and consistent, and the flexibility makes it work around your schedule, as guided meditations last anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes.
Simply Being: This one is great for new meditators. A calming voice walks you through each meditation step by step, so your mind doesn’t have room to get in the way. You can choose how long you want to meditate, and whether you listen to music or soothing nature sounds in the background.
Headspace: This app calls itself a “gym membership for your mind.” It’ll give you 10 days of free, guided meditations so you can get a taste of the video and audio practices, as well as instruction for beginners on how to begin meditating. Headspace also allows you to track your progress so you can see how your meditations are progressing, and it’ll send you mindful reminders to keep you on track. If you have 10 minutes a day, Headspace promises to train your mind so you can live a healthier, happier, more enjoyable life.
- After the free trial, you can subscribe for $7.99/month to gain access to hundreds of hours of guided instruction on mindfulness and meditation
- Start meditating with Headspace
21-Day Meditation Experience: The idea behind this app is that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so if you can stick with the program for its duration, you should be in the groove of a regular practice and set up for success. You can also sign up through the website and they’ll send you an email with the meditation each day for 21 days.
- Free for 21 days when a program is running. Available for purchase after program finishes
- Start meditating with the 21-Day Meditation Experience
Insight Timer: Features meditations to the soundtrack of Tibetan singing bowls and guided meditations by some of the best teachers in the world, including Jack Kornfield, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Eckhart Tolle. The timer can be configured to play the bells at the start, end and during pre-determined or random times throughout your meditation. Insight timer also offers a tracking tool, meditation journal, and global meditation community.
- Free for basic download; $2.99 for the upgraded version (recommended)
- Start meditating with Insight Timer
Breath2Relax: This app is great to have on-hand when you’re mid-panic or feeling stressed. It’ll walk you through deep breathing exercises step-by-step, helping you find relief from anxiety, stress, anger, or mood swings.
Ananda: Pair a guided meditation with music and choose how long you’d like to practice. The Ananda App by Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Center lets you mix and match the theme with the music, to create 484 unique meditation experiences.
- Each track is $2.99, or you can buy them all for $29.99
- Start meditating with Ananda
My Spirit Tools: Meditations, mantras, prayers, breathing, and more … My Spirit Tools comes with over 20 practices you can mix and match.
Omvana: Customize the meditations that work best for you. Omvana has the world’s largest library of digital meditations, so you can mix and match sounds, music, voices, and quotes. Omvana also offers a recommendation engine, where they recommend practices based on your stress level and state of mind.