It can be hard to get a good night’s sleep nowadays, what with stress and anxiety creeping in like rude houseguests with no concept of personal space. 2020 has been throwing sucker punch after sucker punch at us, and the impact is definitely keeping us up at night. All those pesky questions buzzing around your head about health, finances, stability, the future, the new normal …
Yeah. It’s enough to drive anyone mad.
Thankfully, we still have the technology. And technology has given us some pretty sweet meditation apps.
Seriously; they’re like the auditory equivalent of soft pyjamas and warm hugs.
If you need something to banish those midnight musings and 3 AM paranoia-induced panic attacks, we highly recommend getting your zen on with these ten meditation apps.
And get some…
1. Insight Timer
Insight Timer is a meditation app that’s got a little something for everyone. Guided meditation? Not a problem. Just choose from any of their bonafide mindfulness mentors on the app.
Prefer a more self-guided approach? Set the timer and do what you gotta do.
This app basically bends to suit your personal preferences, so you can stay happy and zen in your own comfort zone. It also provides meditation motivation in the form of a progress tracker and merit badges.
“Sleep more. Stress less. Live better.”
That tagline alone should be enough to sell you on Calm. If it doesn’t, then how about the chance to listen to Matthew Mcconaughey’s soothing southern drawl, or Stephen Fry’s cool, comforting Britishisms? Whichever you prefer, you’ll find it on Calm. They’ve got hundreds of short stories and guided meditations for any situation – some as short as 3 minutes, others running for as long as 25.
Want nature sounds instead of human voices? Not a problem. They’ve got plenty of stock audio clips, too.
Because not everyone can visit their luxury meditation studio in New York, Inscape has decided to open up a digital avenue. Their app gives you the flexibility to enjoy decades of mindfulness research in the palm of your hand – just like their in-house classes.
Not only is it aesthetically on the money (seriously; who doesn’t appreciate a calming interface?) but it’s got three comprehensive, health-specific programs you can switch between whenever you like. Breathwork, Visualisation, and Target Stress Relief. Try it free for one week, and then see if their subscription plan – coupled with what they offer – works best for you.
4. Simple Habit
Kudos to whoever came up with the name because meditation is, indeed, a simple habit.
One that can yield great results when practised daily, but we’re not here to preach. We’re here to recommend. And we definitely recommend this nifty meditation app specifically designed to “help busy people stress less, achieve more, and live better.”
And in today’s crazy society, who doesn’t want that?
Backed by almost a hundred licensed experts, legitimate practitioners, and world-renowned thought leaders, Simple Habit’s extensive library of 5-minute guided meditations is something you have to try for yourself.
Although Headspace comes off a little more like an educational program than a standard breathe-in-breathe-out meditation app, we still think it deserves a spot on this list. Instead of jumping in and choosing a program (i.e., guided meditations or sound clips), users instead start as beginners on the Headspace meditation journey. They then move up in rank as they learn the science and concepts behind meditating.
Definite bonus if they can apply said concepts immediately.
But if this doesn’t sound like your usual cup of calming tea, don’t worry. Headspace doesn’t just school you and then leave you hanging. They’ve got a pretty decent stash of emergency meditations, animated meditations for kids, and even stock sleep sounds to help you snooze better.
And according to their studies, just 10 days of using Headspace can increase your happiness by 16%. Worthy trying out, if you ask us.
Craving a little consistency in your life? Aura gets it – and Aura delivers.
Marketed as an app for emotional health and sleep, Aura makes it a point to check in with you every day to ask you how you’re feeling. It then asks you how you’d like it to help. These simple questions allow the app to create personalized stories and sounds just for you; perfectly tailored to fit your mood and your emotional/mental needs.
The more you use the app, the more data it gathers from you, the more it starts to pick out patterns and anomalies. This allows it to become way more intuitive than it was originally, further perfecting how it customizes your plans.
Basically, Aura can offer better, more personal suggestions if you’re consistent and committed to it. Pretty cool, right?
7. Smiling Mind
You’re never too young to start taking care of your mental health, Smiling Mind knows this well.
This app has got meditations and exercises for kids as young as seven years of age. And, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, they have new Digital Care Packs to help support kids’ mental health. They’ve got programs for adults too, of course.
“Driven by impact, not profits,” (which basically means they’re not-for-profit), Smiling Mind is a daily meditation guide that allows you to achieve mindfulness wherever you are.
Sattva uses old Vedic principles that originated a couple hundred centuries ago in ancient India. Now, it’s not something a lot of people would feel comfortable jumping in to. There’s a lot of religion and culture involved in it, so it’s understandable why someone with a strong set of beliefs would feel wary about participating.
However, rest assured that Sattva only uses the principles of the practice. It doesn’t teach the practice itself. It uses the sounds, music, mantras, and chants by Sanskrit scholars to evoke a feeling of peace and calmness in the listeners.
If you’re open to trying new things and would love a splash of colourful history while you’re at it, go ahead and get this app.
Glo – or YogaGlo – provides users with unlimited access to the best online yoga, meditation, and Pilates classes to help them feel better in body and mind. Winner of the Women’s Health’s Fit Tech Award 2020, this app is perfect for people who find peace in exercising. Customize your guided meditations and your workout plan based on your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.
So go get your body and mind fit. They have a free 15-day trial so you can try before you buy.
Buddhify offers meditation “done differently.” Unlike other meditation apps, its system is specifically designed to fit into a modern lifestyle. So you don’t need to find the time for meditation; it instead comes to you.
The app has over 200 guided meditations written by hand-picked teachers, all categorised by certain parts of your day – like Walking, Work Break, Going to Sleep, Experiencing Stress & Difficult Emotions, and more.
All you need to do is pick whatever’s happening and the app gives you the ones that best fit your current feelings and situation.
We personally think that meditation apps couldn’t be more relevant. A lot is going on right now, and mental health is just as important as physical. So de-stress, decompress, and get in the zen zone. After all, if you really think about it, what have you got to lose except excess cortisol.
Shop our favourite zen-inspired buys below
Speaking of apps, have you tried taking a social media break lately? 100% can vouch for its positive benefits (don’t get us wrong, we love us some mindless scrolling too). Keen to give it a go? Here are the best smartphone apps to, ironically, help get you off your smartphone.