How To Meditate: 14 Best Apps To Get You Started

I learned to re-label my phone and tablet as ‘life helpers’ rather than ‘productivity tools’. The latter title makes them seem harsh and unsavory, like early prototypes of birthing forceps. Thinking of my ‘productivity tools’ constantly hovering over my life stresses me out more than keeps me calm.

By forcing myself to adapt to new uses for my tech gear, I allowed the devices to integrate into my life to help me, not haunt me. The advent of wide-range smartphone use comes with a plethora of applications out on a mission to solve your problems. You may gravitate toward the productivity and diet tracking/fitness apps, I’m going to suggest you take a different approach. At least once a week instead of tightly tracking your life, turn on a meditation app and tune into the free flow of life.

What do you get out of it? The benefits of meditation are staggering:
-Reduced stress (it lowers cortisol levels!)
– Increased self-awareness
-Reduction of negative emotions
-Anxiety reduction
-Higher creativity
-Increased memory
-Increased compassion
-Better sleep
-Weight management support

I’m not going to tell you how often you should do it although daily meditation is recommended. The important part is to establish consistency. The following apps will help you reap the benefits of meditation as well as help you with reminders:

1. Headspace

Platform: Apple iOS & Android
Cost: Free
Rating: 4 stars

“Starting with our free Take10 programme, we’ll teach you the basics of meditation in just 10 minutes a day.

If you enjoy Take10 and want to learn more, then you can choose to continue and get access to hundreds of hours of original meditations, including guided and unguided, ranging from 2 to 60 minutes.”

2. Omvana

Platform: Apple iOS
Cost: Free
Rating: 4.5 stars

“Omvana can help you manifest abundance, work on your breath like a zen buddhist, and can even help with your yoga practice. The app also has a mixer that allows you to customise each meditation to your own daily practice.

And by using Apple’s HealthKit, Omvana can recommend you a track whenever you are stressed.

From Apple’s HealthKit, Omvana uses your Date of Birth, Diastolic & Systolic Blood Pressure and your Heart Rate to evaluate your stress levels and recommend an appropriate meditation for you.

Once you grant Omvana the access to the above mentioned data from the HealthKit app, Omvana will automatically add suggested tracks to Omvana’s store section. These suggested meditations are determined based on your stress levels and your state of mind, by using the data mentioned above. Please note that Omvana does not store your health data and only use it to calculate your stress level.”

3. Take a Break!

Platform: Apple iOS & Anroid
Cost: Free
Rating: 4.5 stars

“You can enjoy the deep relaxation, stress relief and benefits of meditation now with this app by Meditation Oasis™. Featuring two popular meditations from the the Meditation Oasis podcast, the app gives you the option to listen with or without music or nature sounds. You can also listen to the relaxing music and nature sounds alone.”

4. Walking Meditation

Platform: Apple iOS & Android
Cost: $1.99
Rating: 4 stars

“Recommended by the HUFFINGTON POST. Enjoy the benefits of meditation as you walk with the Meditation Oasis® Walking Meditations app. Walking meditation can be just as profound as sitting meditation. It brings the meditative experience into daily activity.

Walking meditation is perfect for those who have trouble sitting still to meditate. For those who enjoy sitting meditations, walking meditation brings a new dimension, helping to bring meditation into every moment of the day.

Our approach to walking meditation is easy and informal. These meditations gently guide you to experience your body and your surroundings fully as you walk, letting go of the mind’s preoccupation with naming, analyzing and evaluating what’s going on. Letting go of thoughts about the past and future allows you to experience the present moment more fully.”

5. The Mindfulness App

Platform: Apple iOS & Android
Cost: $1.99
Rating: 4.5 stars

“The Mindfulness App can be used by everyone, both beginners and experienced practitioners of meditation and mindfulness. It is easy to use. You can choose between different types of guided meditations, or if you want to meditate in silence. You decide if you want a guided introduction, and for how long you want to sit.

The Mindfulness App has everything you need to get the scientifically proven benefits for your health that meditation and mindfulness brings. A few minutes a day together with The Mindfulness App will make you healthier: less stressed, more present and able to enjoy life more!”

6. Smiling Mind

Platform: Apple iOS
Cost: Free
Rating: 4.5 stars

“Smiling Mind is modern meditation for young people. It’s a simple tool that gives a sense of calm, clarity and contentment.

Smiling Mind is a unique web and App-based program developed by a team of psychologists with expertise in youth and adolescent therapy, Mindfulness Meditation and web-based wellness programs. Smiling Mind is a free tool that will assist in improving the lives of young people, and is available online or as a smartphone App.”

7. Mindfulness Meditation

Platform: Apple iOS & Android
Cost: Apple iOS, $1.99; Android, Free
Rating: 3.5 stars

“Always making excuses for not meditating? This is simply the best way to learn and enjoy mindfulness meditation – and it’s always in your pocket for short breaks, trips, and outdoor practice!

Mindfulness-based technique for stress-reduction with scientifically proven health benefits. Guided mindfulness meditations written and narrated by Stephan Bodian, author of the Meditation For Dummies®. “

8. Calm

Platform: Apple iOS
Cost: Free
Rating: 4 stars

“Highlights:
– The 7 Steps of Calm – learn how to meditate with this easy-to-follow program.
– 7 guided meditation sessions from 2 to 30 minutes – for whenever you need a break from your day.
– 10 beautiful, immersive nature scenes – choose the perfect background sounds and scene to help you relax!
– 16 blissful music tracks by meditation music master, Kip Mazuy.
– 50 premium guided meditations for focus, creativity, energy, confidence, sleep and much more!
– New content added monthly!”

9. Breathe2Relax

Platform: Apple iOS & Android
Cost: Free
Rating: 4.5 stars

“Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing.Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ (stress) response, and help with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management. Breathe2Relax can be used as a stand-alone stress reduction tool, or can be used in tandem with clinical care directed by a healthcare worker.”

10. Buddhist Meditation Trainer

Platform: Android
Cost: Free
Rating: 4.6 stars

“Buddhist Meditation Trainer is your personal trainer for relaxing and enlightening meditation. It features 10 levels of enlightenment with deeper quotes to meditate on in every level. All with a simple to use meditation timer.
Simply start meditating for 5 minutes everyday to feel the difference. After ten days you will gain a level and further enlightenment. Added End-Of-Meditation-Sound as requested!
You can easily set the meditation sounds and target duration in the preferences screen (click the phone’s menu button in the first screen). Added End-Of-Meditation-Sound as requested!
Buddhist Meditation Trainer helps you remember to meditate with a daily notification. You can turn this off or on in the configuration page.”

11. Simply Being

Platform: Apple iOS & Android
Cost: $0.99
Rating: 4.5 stars

“It allows you to choose from 4 meditation times and gives you to option to listen to the guided meditation with or without music or nature sounds. You can also listen to the music or nature sounds alone. In addition, you can choose how long to listen to the music or nature sounds after the voice guidance finishes.”

12. Buddhify 2

Platform: Apple iOS
Cost: $2.99
Rating: 4.5 stars

“buddhify 2 is the mindfulness app for your modern life. Practical, playful and beautifully-designed, buddhify 2 increases your wellbeing by teaching you mindfulness-based meditation on the go.

With dozens of custom meditations for 14 different parts of your day including traveling, being online, taking a work break and going to sleep, buddhify 2 gives you a simple but effective way to bring more mindfulness and calm to your busy day.”

13. Meditate Free Meditation Timer

Platform: Android
Cost: Free
Rating: 4.0

“Train your mind, calm your thoughts, analyze them or get deep inner insight of yourself.
By meditating, your body heals faster, brain runs smoother, thoughts begin to organize themselves. You start to clarify your existence.
This is the app that gives you full control of your self-development process. It is highly customizable, programmable and userfriendly meditation timer, trainer and also sleep helper. The app helps you to regularly meditate, affirmate, contemplate on the desired topic, fall asleep. Also encourages to do so by multiple useful functions, like defining own meditation sessions plans with different steps, categories, further analyzing statistics, history, creating notes.”

14. Breathful

Platform: Apple iOS
Cost: Free
Rating: 4.0 stars
“Breathful is a useful tool that allows users to engage in ten-minute “sessions” of mindfulness practice. The user gets to actively monitor each session by attaching a number of “distractions” as the session progresses. After the session ends, it is then archived by date and time in the apps session log, along with the number of distractions encountered.

If the user sees their average number of distractions dropping, they will know that the method they’re using for practicing mindfulness is an effective one. “