5 meditation apps you need to download

Published: March 19, 2020

Photo by fizkes/Shutterstock

The world may feel a little crazy right now, so we’re making it our job to help you find some zen. Whether you’ve got the kids at home while you’re working from home, or just trying to find a little joy and happiness, meditation is a great place to start when it comes to taking care of your mental health. 

It’s also something you can do anytime and from anywhere—at your cottage on the dock, watching the sunrise with your morning coffee, after a particularly stressful video conference, or before you go to bed at night. There is no right or wrong way to meditate or right or wrong issue worth meditating about—it’s sole purpose is to make you feel good—or at least better. 

Maybe you’ve never considered meditation before because you “didn’t have the time” or thought breathing and visualization exercises “weren’t for me”. Over the years, and especially in the last six months, the idea of how we meditate has completely transformed—so don’t knock it until you try it. Here are our top five mediation apps we think you should download. And, of course, we think a few yoga poses wouldn’t hurt too. 

1. Calm
Cost: Free, in-app purchases
Whether you love the pitter-patter of gentle rain falling, or nature calls are what really calm you down, Calm has a soothing sound for you. You can choose what to listen to from an on-demand section of the app, or follow a suggestion based on how you want to feel (develop gratitude, increase performance, and more). Completely new to the idea of sticking headphones in your ears and counting your inhales and exhales? There’s a seven-day beginner program with specific daily goals.

2. Insight Timer
Cost: Free, in-app purchases
Meditation should make you feel free, not bound by constraints on time or style. Insight Timer offers thousands of free recordings from top mental health professionals to help with sleep, stress, and anxiety. Choose your desired length, what you’d like to practice during your session (do you want to emerge with a sense of self-love or need a little grounding?), then pick a style. There’s a selection of traditional meditation recordings, hundreds of musical tracks to choose from, or longer talks that will open your mind in new ways. 

3. Aura
Cost: Free, in-app purchases
Ready to change your mood? Aura is all about how you are feeling in an y given moment. Open the app and tap the mood that most applies to you. It will then curate a selection of appropriate life coaching, stories, nature sounds, music, and breathing exercises that will help the most. This app differentiates itself from the others by focusing on emotions and overall well being. 

4. Sattva
Cost: Free, in-app purchases
Maybe you’ve been meditating for a while and want to take your practice to the next level, or perhaps learning keeps you zen—either way, Sattva is for you. This app is aimed at educating listeners on the history of mediation by sharing sessions from Sanskrit scholars, as well as chants and mantras. One of the most unique selections is a curation of meditative music with voice overlay that includes topic-based wisdom. After your practice, you’ll hopefully not only feel more relaxed, but also more knowledgeable about everything meditation has to offer.

5. Simple Habit
Cost: Free, in-app purchases
We’ve all tried to start a new routine and make it through a few days or weeks before it finally falls by the wayside (we’re looking at you, New Year’s resolutions!). Simple Habit makes it easy to create and form a new way of approaching meditation so it becomes something you can easily incorporate—and will want to incorporate—into your life. There are hundreds of five-minute sessions that range from classically guided to motivational coaching to bedtime stories. No matter what you’re looking for, there is something to choose that will help compliment your day. 

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