In today’s fast-paced world, it can be hard to find time to stop, breathe, and focus on inner peace. Meditation is a powerful practice that can help you reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and improve overall well-being. As someone who has struggled to maintain a consistent meditation routine, I understand how challenging it can be to get started and stick with it.
Anxiety and sadness were reduced with the use of meditation programs, according to a meta-analysis of 47 studies published in 2014. Mindfulness meditation may lessen discomfort and boost wellbeing, according to a review published in september 2016 (Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis). In 2018 Harvard published also an article about the effectiveness at Harvard researchers study how mindfulness may change the brain in depressed patients – Harvard Gazette.
Meditation apps have made a significant difference in my own practice, providing guidance, helpful tips, and progress tracking. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the top 10 meditation apps that have made an impact on my meditation journey, and I believe they can help you too.
I’ve personally been using Headspace (4.2* Reviews out of 293,000 Reviews in Play Store) for a few months now, and it has made meditation so much more approachable. Andy Puddicombe and Richard Pierson founded it in May 2010 (Source: Headspace (company) – Wikipedia). Headspace has more than 400 employees and over 70 million members around the world. (Source: Headspace Revenue and Usage Statistics (2022) | Mobile Marketing Reads)
The app offers hundreds of sessions on topics like guided meditation, stress, sleep, and focus. One feature I particularly enjoy is the animations that explain meditation concepts and techniques in a simple, engaging way.
The negative aspects of the app include limited usefulness for experienced meditators, restricted free content, mandatory payment plan sign-up for a free trial, and challenges in canceling subscriptions or contacting customer service.
Expert Opinion: Leading neuroscientist and mindfulness practitioner Dr. Judson Brewer, MD, Ph.D., has made the following assertions: “Headspace is fantastic for novice meditators since it provides a straightforward introduction to the practice. Its straightforward instructions and brief, daily exercises make it approachable for both novice meditators and skeptics of mindfulness’ efficacy.”
Calm (4.1* Reviews out of 528,000 Reviews in Play Store) was founded on May 4, 2012 by Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calm_(company)). It is another highly-rated meditation software and for sure is one of the best meditations apps out there. It provides users with a selection of guided meditation sessions, sleep stories, and soothing music. Calm offers daily meditations, bedtime stories, calming music, ambient sounds, breathing exercises, and even gentle stretching routines, all with the goal of reducing stress and improving sleep quality. Next to the phone app, you can also use Calm as an App in your Browser, as you can see below. The app also has a 7-day free trial that lets you try out its features before you decide to pay for a subscription.
Expert Opinion: Calm’s usefulness and effectiveness have been the subject of several research. In a study of 88 college students published in 2019, Calm was shown to be effective in lowering stress levels and increasing levels of mindfulness and self-compassion.
Calm was found to be more effective than education about myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) in reducing depressive and anxious feelings in a research of 80 persons with this rare form of blood cancer conducted in 2020.
Link to the App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.calm.android
I have a friend who swears by Insight Timer (4.9* Reviews out of 210,000 Reviews in Play Store) and convinced me to give it a try. It’s a free meditation app with a massive library of over 70,000 guided meditations led by renowned teachers from all over the world. I love how I can search for sessions based on what they are about, how long they are, or who is teaching them. This makes it easy to find the right meditation for my specific needs. The app also has a customizable timer for self-guided sessions, ambient sounds, and a supportive community of fellow meditators.
Expert Opinion: In the words of Dr. Emma Seppälä, Ph.D., Scientific Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education: “The fact that Insight Timer includes classes taught by so many different teachers is one of its greatest strengths. Users can identify what works for them and experiment with alternative methods, both of which are crucial for developing a sustainable routine.”
When I first started exploring meditation, I was skeptical about its benefits. That’s when I discovered 10% Happier (4.8* Reviews out of 17,000 Reviews in Play Store), an app based on the bestselling book by Dan Harris. Designed specifically for skeptics, the app features expert guidance from world-class teachers and offers a wide range of meditation courses, single sessions, and sleep content. The personal coaching and podcast offered by Ten Percent Happier made a significant difference for me, providing a tailored meditation experience that eased my initial skepticism.
Expert Opinion: Sharon Salzberg, an internationally recognized meditation teacher and New York Times bestseller author, was interviewed by the app’s co-creator and author of the book “10% Happier,” Dan Harris. Earlier, Salzberg had stated, “I think the 10% Happier app is great because it takes a novel method to introducing meditation to individuals who might be skeptical of its benefits. The software aims to assist users establish a regular meditation practice by utilizing a variety of methods, including comedy, practical guidance, and guidance from qualified teachers.”
Aura (4.4* Reviews out of 12,400 Reviews in Play Store) is a unique meditation app that focuses on short, personalized meditations that are made to fit your needs. The app uses AI to suggest 3-minute guided sessions based on your mood and preferences. Aura also offers life coaching, sleep tales, stories, and music to help you sleep, relax, reduce stress and blood pressure. It also has a mood tracking feature that allows you to track your mood patterns. Aura has a network feature that allows you to connect with other app users and share experiences Aura is only available in Apple’s App Store.
Link to the App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aurahealth
Buddhify (4.4* Reviews out of 3450 Reviews in Play Store) is made to help people be more mindful while doing everyday things like walking, riding the bus, or taking a break at work. The app has more than 200 guided meditations and background music that are all organized by activity or theme, making it easy to find the right session for any situation. Buddhify also has a meditation timer, a way to keep track of your progress, and a way to check in with your practice.
Expert Opinion: Dr. Bethanne L. Moore MD is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist who practices in Maryland. She thinks that the app “introduces “urban meditation” by offering more than 80 guided meditations for mindfulness and well-being in everyday circumstances” and that the “the app creator is an expert in urban meditation” but that “Clinical studies measuring efficacy and outcome are unavailable”.
Link to the App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lvlup.buddhify
The Mindfulness App (4.4* Reviews of 18,900 Reviews in Google Play Store) is a complete meditation tool that includes both guided and silent so-called mindfulness meditations, as well as courses taught by experienced teachers. The app has a 5-day beginner’s course, customizable meditation timers, and daily reminders to help you keep up with your practice and improve your mental health.
Simple Habit (4.8* Reviews of 44,800 Reviews in Google Play Store) is a meditation app that focuses on short, guided 5-minute sessions that are made to fit into your busy schedule. Their website targets their app especially for very busy people. The app has more than 1,000 meditations on topics like reducing stress, increasing productivity, and improving relationships. Simple Habit also has meditations for specific situations, like commuting or taking a lunch break. This makes it easy to add mindfulness to your daily routine.
Breethe (4.4* Reviews of 5,180 Reviews in Google Play Store) is a meditation and wellness app that aims to help you with anxiety, stress, sleep, and more. It’s known for being user-friendly and has been called “the friendliest wellness app”. The app offers a variety of content including guided meditations, music, sleep sounds, hypnotherapy, nature sounds and more.
Breethe’s content is developed by qualified professionals to create an effective and supportive experience. The app is available on iOS and Android.
Link to the App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Meditation.app
Oak (4.8* Reviews of 30,300 Reviews in the Apple Store) is an IOS-only easy-to-use meditation app for iPhone Users that has both guided and unguided meditation sessions, as well as breathing exercises and content that helps you sleep. The app’s customizable meditation timers, ambient sounds, and progress tracking make it simple to personalize your practice.
Given that I live in a house with two children, a dog, a cat, and several other noisy pets, I am quite appreciative of the extensive library of background noises, which includes things like cave water, fireplace, rain, Tibetan “om,” and basic white noise. Also, they can help you get to sleep by masking the chatter in your head. Both the trainer’s voice and the outside noise may be adjusted independently.
Oak is a great option for both new and experienced meditators due to its simplicity and minimalist design.
Link to the App: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/oak-meditation-breathing/id1210209691
|Name of the App||Reviews||Number of Reviews||Link to the App|
|Insight Timer||4.9||210,000||Visit Insight Timer App|
|10% Happier||4.8||17,000||Visit Tenpercent Happier|
|Aura||4.4||12,400||Visit Aura App|
|Buddhify||4.4||3,450||Visit Buddhify App|
|The Mindfulness App||4.4||18,900||Visit The Mindfulness App|
|Simple Habit||4.8||44,800||Visit Simple Habit|
|Oak||4.8||30,300||Visit Oak App|
There are a lot of meditation apps out there, so it might be challenging to find the one that will best serve your needs. You can select the best app to help you start and maintain a regular meditation practice, regardless of where you are or how hectic your calendar is, by comparing the features, services, and styles of the top 10 meditation apps listed above. Almost every app of our list does offer free trials. Keep in mind that finding the right app for your meditation practice is a highly individual process. Take the time to check out these apps and see which one speaks to you. You’ll be able to calm down and practice mindfulness as a result.
Maria ist staatl. geprüfte Yoga Trainerin (Yoga-Trainer-B-Lizenz) und Pilates Trainerin, lehrt seit über 9 Jahren und kommt ursprünglich aus Süddeutschland.