Some of us have full days, and stressful lifestyles so we can’t always remember to meditate. Here is a solution: smart phone and tablet apps for meditation. Most of these applications have alerts or reminders, and are great choices to use in your meditation space in your home paired with bluetooth speakers. Some have guided meditation, while others are just quiet time within a set time period. See meditation app reviews below for more information about different apps out there.
For those who are just trying meditation, or someone who would like to get their feet wet before choosing a path or teacher, there are apps with some guided instruction and help. A couple that are popular are Calm and Headspace. Both have some great features, both have a free trial (see below for more info).
One of the most difficult parts to meditation is not only the space in which to do meditation, but also remembering to take time. Our teachers instruct us to try and do practice and meditation at the same time every day to help keep a rhythm to your bio-flows. An meditation app alert is a great way to support that discipline. I have an app on my iPhone called Here and Now (see review below) that gives me a daily reminder to stop and breathe. Mindfulness Daily has the ability to remind you more than once a day, which is helpful for more advanced meditators who have different practice times for mantra and just sitting in silence.
A Few Examples to Try
There is a large selection of mobile applications that are useful for meditation in your meditation space, or when your on the go at work, and during waiting times such as a commuters ride on trains and buses. Many are free, but if you’d like to learn more here are a few reviews of popular meditation applications taken from Healthline.com
The free version has sounds, and a circle with the word ‘breathe’ in the center that expands and contracts slowly at a rate you chose. As you meditate you gaze at this circle (which has a beautiful nature photo as a background), listen to soothing sounds of gentle ocean waves, and match your breath to the circles expansion and contraction.
This app comes packed with features, including a five-day guided meditation practice, meditation reminders, personalized meditation offers, and timers for keeping you on track. There’s even a health app integration capability. This is the gold standard app for anyone serious about the practice of meditation. Again, it has a free version, and has some robust in-app purchases such as the Premium Library for $59.99, and several other small purchases for $.99. Not quit as creative as some, but an excellent all around application for meditation.
Headspace is a great app for people just starting out, with 10 newbie-focused 10-minute meditation exercises, known as Take 10. It’s designed to help you quickly understand what the practice is all about. There’s also a personalized progress page, a reward system for continued practice, and even a buddy system for you and your friends to help each other stay on track. Once you’ve completed Take 10, the app contains other meditation exercises that can be purchased in the app. This app is free for 10 days, then cost $12.99 a month. Well worth it if it helps you be less stressed, more focused and happier. Great info graphics.
With Calm, you can choose from an assortment of guided meditation experiences. The selections range from three-minute to 25-minute sessions. Another option is Daily Calm, a 10-minute program you can practice right before your day begins or as it’s about to end. Other features include more than 20 sleep stories, breathing exercises, unguided meditations, and more than 25 soothing sounds to help you get to sleep. It has a free version, and like most apps has a more robust version for a fee.
This app supports quick, effective guided practices to reduce stress/anxiety, improve performance and enhance sleep (along with the growing list of other evidence based benefits of Mindfulness like pain management). It’s been featured in New York Times, and has features such as a free 21 day mindfulness audio lessons. Themes include mindful breathing, body awareness, kindness, and present moment awareness. Popular in app purchases pause feature, and audio pack.
Users have access to over 11 hours of custom meditation with buddhify. What’s really unique is that each exercise is tailored to target a specific aspect of your life. Need help going to sleep? The app has you covered. Need help staying offline? Check. Need a work break? It’s here. The tracks range from 5 to 30 minutes. A check-in system lets you evaluate how well you’re meditating and tracks your progress overtime.
Here are some good place to go to get more ratings and information about meditation apps: Enjoy!
New York Times: How to Choose a Meditation App