Since the iPhone launched nearly 10 years ago, there truly seems to be an app for everything. You can trace the latest cultural trends reflected in the development of new apps as they pour onto the market.
Nowadays, mindfulness is all the rage, so it stands to reason that there would be an increase in the number of mindful and meditation apps. I, for one, am thrilled to see that this trend is gaining so much traction.
So I’ve rounded up 11 awesome apps that’ll help put your mobile devices to some mindful use. I mean, who couldn’t benefit from a little mental vacation from time to time?
11 Meditation Apps to Try
1. Yoga Wake Up. Are you a compulsive snooze-button abuser? This app takes the place of your alarm clock so that instead of being scared awake by that obnoxious blaring sound, you can wake up to light sounds designed to gradually coax you out of sleep as you’re directed to focus on your breath. Then, you’ll get step-by-step instructions to wake up gently without all the jumping-out-of-bed, hair-on-fire drama that most of us have gotten used to. The 10-minute programs include guided stretches, positive affirmations, short meditations and intention-setting that gradually increase in volume. Download it free in the App Store (some additional programs are available for purchase through the app).
2. OMG I Can Meditate. Not sure if meditation is for you? This app offers a seven-day guided progressive program that makes meditation super accessible for those who are new to meditation. It uses a super-simple interface and you can access additional programs, which are broken down by very relatable goals and issues such as Overcoming Negativity, Sports Performance, Dealing With Pressure, My Boss is a Jerk, Divorce and Remembering a Loved One. It even offers including one, two and -five-minute stress-relieving meditations for those of us who don’t have time to meditate. This app turns mediation into a no-brainer, which is sort of the point of meditation after all. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play. There is also a full-access upgrade available for a subscription fee.
3. MusicForMoods. Do you sometimes think that your heartbeat has a mind of its own? Through the application of findings from studies on the effect of music on our nervous systems, this app uses music to help relieve stress. Place your finger over the camera of your mobile device and it’ll detect your pulse to determine which music and five- to 10-minute guided-breathing exercises would be most helpful to soothe and calm you. You can even record and track your progress over time with the app. Download it for $2.99 from the App Store and on Google Play.
4. Headspace. Is your mind feeling a little cluttered and overwhelmed but can’t seem to make a meditation habit stick? Headspace makes regular meditation super simple. The app includes an absolute beginner-friendly “Take10” Program, which serves as an on-ramp to get you rolling with a regular daily meditation practice in only 10 minutes per day for 10 days. After that, you can purchase additional meditations on a huge selection of topics, whether you have 2 minutes or 60 minutes. It even offers a buddy system, reminders, progress tracking and rewards for regular practice. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play. There is also a full-access upgrade available for a subscription fee.
5. Buddhify. Do you think meditation is too woo-woo for you? This app takes the ancient practice of meditation and makes it more digestible for modern folks. The interface is genius — it simply asks you what you’re doing (like “feeling stressed,” “can’t sleep,” “just waiting” and “work break”) then it offers you a few options for themes and duration ranging from five to 30 minutes for you to choose from. Download it for $4.99 from the App Store and for $2.99 on Google Play.
6. Smiling Mind. Want your kids to benefit from the awesome effects of meditation? As part of a not-for-profit initiative, Smiling Mind was designed by youth and adolescent therapists, psychologists and mindfulness/meditation experts and includes programs for kids as young as 7 years old. The app comes with six free programs, which are broken up by age (7-11, 12-15, 16-22, adult) and time (Bite-Size and Extended). Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play.
7. Calm. Would you prefer your meditation time not come with a voiceover? When you open the app, you get an immediate non-verbal reminder to breathe with a cool visual aid to help you with deepening your breath. You can then choose from free nature scenes and sounds designed to help calm and soothe you without words. The app also comes with a free introductory “7 Days of Calm” guided meditation program and can be upgraded to add more programs such as 7 Days of Focus, 7 Days of Self-Esteem and 7 Days of Sleep. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play. There is also a full-access premium upgrade available for a subscription fee.
8. Mindfulness Daily. Looking for a mindful pause button? This app offers a button that does just that — anytime you feel tension creeping in, hit pause and it’ll lead you through a 15-second mindful pause. You also get 21 audio sessions on breathing, awareness, presence and kindness. Download it for $1.99 from the App Store. Additional programs are available for purchase through the app.
9. Mind The Bump. Find yourself struggling with the pressures of being or becoming a parent? This app is an awesome tool for new and expecting Fit Bottomed Mamas (and Papas) to prep for the mental and emotional aspects of parenthood. It provides meditation and mindfulness exercises designed to help you manage stress associated with this big life change, assist with pain management, develop a connection with your child, and provide support throughout the entire pregnancy until your child is 2 years old. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play.
10. Stop, Breathe & Think. Could you use a little mindful help with relationships? This app can help you check yo’self before you wreck yo’self through exercises designed to help you become aware of and manage your own thoughts and emotions, develop kindness and compassion towards yourself and others, increase tolerance and understanding, and build positive connections with those around you. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play. Additional programs are available for purchase through the app.
11. Digipill. Still having trouble shutting off your brain for meditation? This app uses guided meditations and the science of audio hypnosis to help you de-stress and boost your mood through modules called “pills.” You get one free 20-minute relaxation pill with the app. Then just pick your issue and the app will prescribe the right pill for you, such as Sleep Deeply, Motivation and Peace of Mind. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play. Additional programs are available for purchase through the app.
Do you use modern technology to help bring mindfulness and calm to your life? —Alison