Top 5 Mindfulness Meditation Apps
Whether you're a beginner or a more seasoned meditator, there are so many great apps available now to introduce you to mindfulness meditation or elevate or add some variety to your practice. These apps make it very easy to be consistent with incorporating meditation into your daily routine.
With the help of technology, I'm so thankful that meditation is now made so much more fun and easier!
These are my 5 favorite meditation apps that have also been well received by my clients:
This is a good app for especially for people who are new to meditating. Even for those of you who scared to even try or think it's something only zen masters can do, there is something in this app that can slowly let you warm up to it, without feeling like a failed meditator (even though there is no such thing!). Andy Puddicombe, cofounder of Headspace, has a soothing calm voice that guides you through the meditations in a simple and straightforward manner, starting from the foundational basics of breath and awareness. There are different programs or "packs" for different moods or intentions (e.g., anxiety, stress, depression, sleep, anger, pain, productivity, focus, creativity, balance). Many sessions are just 10 minutes long and designed for you to do a little a day or longer and more frequent if you feel like it. Headspace is free to download and includes a beginner pack. To unlock the rest of the packs, you can sign up for a monthly or annual subscription.
2. Oprah and Deepak
Get it straight from the experts and a great duo - Oprah and Deepak Chopra's spiritually guided meditations. Every few months, Oprah and Deepak release a free 21-day daily meditation program, each with themes such as Hope, Destiny and Desire, or Creating Peace from Inside Out. Each daily meditation is about 15-20 minutes long with a powerful message, guidance or advice. Oprah starts off by introducing the topic (love her soothing voice) and then Deepak takes over with his spiritual and practical guidance and mantra that leads into the silent meditation. These programs are fantastic when you want a dose of inspiration, spiritual guidance, self-discovery or awareness, or fulfilling a higher purpose or desire. The teachings and messages are also incredibly helpful for relieving daily anxieties and stress, feeling peaceful and calm, and to not sweat the small stuff. I love listening to one of these sessions first thing in the morning to help set my intention for the day or before bed for de-stressing and relaxation. The meditations are free during the 21-meditation challenge periods and past programs can be purchased or downloaded. www.chopracentermeditation.com
3. Unplug Meditation
Did you know there is a studio in Los Angeles dedicated to just meditating? The studio is called Unplug Meditation. CEO and founder, Suze Yalof Schwartz, wanted to create the "Drybar of meditation...where you can walk in feeling icky and walk out feeling great." Now, people from fly in from all over the country and the world to experience Unplug. Even if you can't make it to the studio itself, they have an app with meditations guided by the same top-notch teachers at the studio. There are meditations sorted by the length of time (as short as under 5 minutes) and different situations, like introduction to meditation, morning meditation, at work, evening meditation, meditation for kids, soothe and heal, and meditation for travel. There are even meditations for each astrological sign! All the ones I've tried have left me feeling calm and rejuvenated and like I just left a fancy meditation studio in LA. The free app includes samples of the different types of meditations and you have the option of a subscription for full access. To access the meditations, download the Unplug app for the meditations, not the one for the studio. www.unplugmeditation.com
4. Insight Timer
It's pretty cool to know that even though you're sitting by yourself meditating, you're actually doing it with thousands of people around the world at the same time and are part of a community. Insight timer has over 5000 free guided meditations for everything under the sun, submitted by people from all over the world, so you get can get an international feel to them too. The first time I used it, a kind person sent me a message just thanking me for meditating with him. I was feeling the positive vibes. :) I found this app to be a really fun way to explore different styles of meditation and feel connected with others while doing so. It also has a timer that you can use to create your own meditation by choosing your starting bell, length of session, and type of ambient background music.
5. My Calm Beat
It doesn't get simpler than this. My Calm Beat is an app focused primarily on training and guiding you on diagphramatic breathing. All you have to do is set the number of breaths you want to take per minute and how long you want to be practicing for. When you first start off, you can set it at higher number of breaths per minute (meaning each inhale and exhale takes less time) and gradually work your way to fewer breathes per minute (longer breathes each time). There is a visual showing the lungs fill up with air and empty out and you can model your own breathing to match the diagram. This is great foundational breathwork even for those who have been meditating for a while, because when in doubt, always return to your breath. The app is free to download and use.
I hope this gives you a few ideas to start your meditation practice or continue to expand it. No matter which app you go with, the best one is the one you actually use. Most of the time, it's the one that we enjoy the most and feel the best during and after the meditation, naturally! Now go and get your OM on!
credit: @unplugmeditation (Instagram)
credit: @unplugmeditation (Instagram)