Unless you’re one of those people who can close their eyes, clear their mind and find some zen without instantly thinking about the 3,485 things they need to do that day, you’re probably not sure where to start when it comes to meditation.
Luckily, there’s a heap of meditation apps out there to get you started, read on for the best.
Meditopia: Sleep, Meditation
Less stress and anxiety, that's what we all want, right? Meditopia: Sleep, Meditation is all about creating a long-term solution to falling asleep and destressing—so you don't have to keep downloading and deleting wellness apps #amirite. This app offers each member over 100o deep dive meditations in nine different languages, specialised sleep meditations, bedtime stories, daily meditations on a new topic every day, inspirational quotes, personal note-taking, a mindful meter and in-app challenges with friends too.
The Mindfulness App
The Mindfulness App's lates update includes video integration of 'get started' videos for newbies so if that's not your surefire sign to download this wellness app, we don't know what is. Guided meditations and courses have been created in over 10 different languages, there's personalised user statistics and reminders to help you remember to meditate.
Waking Up: Guided Meditation
Get onboard Waking Up: Guided Meditation, a app with daily mindfulness and meditation practices from Sam Harris—neuroscientist, philospher and best-selling author. On this guy you'll find daily guided meditation sessions you can squeeze in before work, lessons on zen, the stoic path, on-demand mindfulness sessions and exercises to help turn meditation in a new-habit for you. There's lots of theory on this app (if you're into that) which takes you behind concepts of nonduality, enlightenment, zen, stoicism, Dzogchen and a heap more.
Refine your practice with your own brainwaves? It’s actually a thing—and Muse has made it happen. A headband and app combo, Muse monitors how engaged you are while meditating via your heart rate and body movements. Quite simply, if it detects you are off track, you are drawn back in. And even without the headband, Muse app offers over 300 guided meditations from gurus like Dr Elisha Goldstein and Dr Shelby Harris.
If you’re seeking what could be the largest collection of guided meditations on the app store—for free—you may have just found it. Touting over 30,000 sessions, no matter what kind of meditation you’re seeking, chances are, Insight Timer has it. The app also offers relaxing music tracks and therapeutic pep talks from yogis and psychotherapists alike, supporting overall mental wellness.
Be A Looper
So technically it’s not a meditation app ‘per se’, but Be A Looper will help you become more mindful—a key objective of the practice. Requiring you to check in daily on key facets you’ve chosen, like stress, sleep and relaxation, the app helps you be more aware of your emotions on day to day basis. Cleverly, if you consistently score low, the app automatically alerts five people you’ve selected to be in your ‘loop' that you’re feeling off—which supports their mindfulness too. Founded by the only Australian thus far to win a coveted Time Magazine ‘Next Generation Leader’ under 35, the app was also a 2018 Global Mobile Award finalist.
If you’d like to be coached through the basics of meditation and receive direct responses from expert teachers for all your questions, 10% Happier offers it. An offshoot of the New York Times best-selling book by the same name, the app has a catalogue of meditations, so you can find the one which resonates most with you. And remember, if you’ve got questions, your new teachers have answers.
Curated by psychologists, Smiling Mind aims to ‘bring mindfulness to life’ via meditation. Helping ensure you find the one that will work best for you, the app is categorised into different ages, settings, whether it’s for workplace or home, and topics. So be it for stress, sleep, performance or attention, there is a dedicated program for you.
Of course, no list of meditation apps is complete without mentioning Headspace, as we did previously in our round up of best sleep apps. In a nutshell, the app is tailored towards beginners, and is perfect for anyone who isn’t sure how to start meditating. The ‘basics’ course ranges in length from 3-10 minutes, and takes you through different elements of meditation, from becoming more aware of your thought patterns, to breathing rate and how you feel in your body.
Here’s a few more tips on how to start meditating and make daily practice part of your routine.
Image credit: Azia Acharchi