Meditation is a skill rooted in ancient history, but the science behind it is catching up.
Research suggests it can help us de-stress, focus, sleep better, feel calmer, lower blood pressure, and even strengthen our relationships. More importantly, it can improve our relationship and our self-awareness and gives us a tool that takes us far beyond life in confinement.
Control smart devices, social media, music delivery or streaming services, you name it, there’s probably a smartphone app for that. According to statistical estimates from Statista, in 2020, around 218 billion mobile apps were downloaded to users’ connected devices in all app stores.
And with so many people around the world looking for the easiest way to relax and refocus, it makes sense that meditation apps are on the rise. Quartz reports that more than 2,500 meditation apps have been launched since 2015.
Cost: free version; Headspace Plus starting at $ 12.99 / month with a seven-day free trial, or $ 69.99 / year with a 14-day free trial
Arguably the best app for beginners in meditation, Headspace breaks down the basics in a user-friendly way. The 10-day and 30-day courses focus on presence as opposed to many applications that promote spirituality. The app’s extensive library offers breathing exercises, sleep meditations, and relaxation practices. The free version offers a decent try of what’s on offer, but for the full experience, the Headspace Plus version includes everything you might be looking for in a meditation app. There are over 500 meditations, music playlists, sleep sounds, yoga classes, workouts, and more.
Cost: free version; free lesson 7 days of calm; premium starting at $ 15 / month
One of the most popular mediation apps on the market, Calm has over 100 million downloads. The award-winning app has something for everyone in its huge library. It offers several types of mindfulness, including guided meditations, bedtime stories, music, and soundtracks. The Sleep Stories section features celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey or Jerome Flynn calmly inviting you to sleep.
Cost: Free version; premium starting at $ 9.99 / month or $ 59.99 / year
This meditation app is perfect for beginners as well as for gurus looking to develop a consistent meditation practice. The 5-Day Guided Practice and Introduction to Mindfulness are ideal for people who are just starting their meditation journey. Timed guided or silent meditation sessions range from 3 to 30 minutes – perfectly suited to a busy lifestyle. There’s also the choice of personalized meditation options, which include daily reminders throughout the day, as well as detailed stats to track the journey.
Cost: free version; subscriptions starting at $ 99.99 / year with a seven-day free trial
Based on the Bestselling New York Times book by Dan Harris, ABC American news anchor, this meditation app allows users to learn from the world’s top mindfulness experts. He teaches the practical techniques behind meditation in a relaxed, easy, and friendly manner. This is the perfect meditation app for those who are not necessarily “the meditation type” or who find it difficult to start a meditation practice. Stemming from Harris’s own meditation skepticism, the app guides users through short on-the-go meditations from experts such as Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein.
Cost: Free for five introductory meditations and theory classes, then starting at $ 14.99 / month
Another leading meditation app based on the work of a New York Times bestseller, Waking Up is the brainchild of neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris. The well-known public intellectual brings his expertise through mind, body and spirituality to reveal a more philosophical approach to meditation. The app includes an extensive collection of science-backed meditation classes, Zen Buddhist practices, and a 28-day beginner’s offer. This meditation app is perfect for people looking to use meditation as a tool for studying consciousness and existence.
Cost: Seven-day free trial; subscriptions are $ 3.99 / week, $ 11.99 / month and $ 69.99 / year
This is for people who think it can be overwhelming to start a meditation practice. Simple Habit goes back to basics by offering a range of 5-minute exercises to help users slip into the rhythm of cohesive meditation. The app strives to make meditation a simple habit with short practices designed to improve sleep, reduce stress, prepare for a job interview, or get through a rough day. This is the meditation app for individuals with no fuss, no bells or whistles – simple and effective exercises, easy to find and quick to perform.