If you’ve ever started your day with a few minutes of meditation, you know the amazing benefits that a little time in stillness can have on our nervous systems. Meditation originated in India thousands of years ago and has been practiced by humans all over the world since.
Recently, meditation and mindfulness have gained more popularity in the US as ways to manage anxiety, stress, and more. Many schools use meditation in the classroom as a tool for managing stress. For many people, embarking on starting a meditation practice can be overwhelming. For some, the thought of attending a meditation class is too anxiety-producing.
Luckily, there are a number of meditation apps that allow you to learn and practice a number of different meditation techniques in the comfort of your own home. With so many apps available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. If you are curious about meditating with an app, scroll down to learn about a few of the most popular meditation apps.
Insight Timer is an incredibly versatile and useful meditation app that almost seems like a social network. You can set a gentle timer to guide you in and out of an unguided meditation, or choose from 30,000 free guided meditations organized in categories like “Learning to Meditate,” “Coping with Anxiety,” and “Managing Stress.” Insight timer also tracks your meditation patterns and allows you to see who else is meditating at any given time.
Headspace teaches you mindfulness from the ground up in a more structured but approachable and easy to follow way. Download the app and try a series of three free meditations. If you still want to continue after that, you can download the app for $12.99/month. Headspace offers single meditations and “packs” which are a series of meditations that build on each other and range from 10-30 sessions.
Calm is an app that offers a range of meditations plus a library of relaxing music and even narrated bedtime stories to help you fall asleep. To unlock most of Calm’s features, you must purchase a membership for $14.99 a month but even if you choose not to sign up you can utilize the mood check-in feature for free.
10% Happier makes meditation seem easy and approachable. They offer courses to build skills, single meditations, sleep meditations, and thought-provoking talks. There is an option to purchase a premium membership, but if you’re looking for a free option they have a number of guided meditations that are offered free of charge.