After many years of varying commitment levels to mediation, I’ve found that a consistent, daily practice is the part of my routine with the most profound effect on my day. I’m able to think more clearly and make better decisions. I have more will power, and do a lot less ego-driven overthinking/worrying about things out of my control. There’s a marked difference in my own happiness, my relationships, and level of general well-being when I’m meditating every day. I cannot recommend it enough!
If you’re new to mediation or struggling to find a meditation style that works for you, guided meditation apps are the perfect place to start. These typically feature soothing background music playing as an instructor talks you through the process of calming your mind. The guides will often give you a mantra to repeat, a centering thought, or a peaceful place to visualize.
Most meditation apps have medi times ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. I recommend starting with 5 and working your way up as you get comfortable.
And the best part – you can always find 5 minutes in your schedule, especially when these apps are right on your phone. Pop headphones in and away you go!
HERE ARE MY TOP 4 MEDITATION APPS:
Headspace offers a free 10-day intro program called, “Take 10” which is a perfect way to learn the basics of meditation and mindfulness for 10 minutes a day. The app includes hundreds of hours of mindfulness exercises that range from 2 mins to 2 hours. They also offer exercises tailored to your mood as well as options that focus on health and relationships. You even have access to short guided meditations that help you stay mindful while doing daily tasks, like cooking breakfast.
You have the ability to track your progress, and stay motivated by “buddying up” with your meditating friends who can hold you accountable to your goals.
Most of the Headspace meditations feature periods of complete silence. I personally enjoy it, but if you find total silence challenging and prefer background music, you may want to start with another app.
Headspace is a perfect place for beginners to dip their toes in and see what meditation and mindfulness are all about.
Cost: $12.95/Month Subscription . NOTE: Headspace matches your subscription by giving a subscription to someone in need.
Simply Being is the app that I use most often at this point. There are better apps to start with, but this one is great if you already have a bit of experience with mediation.
Medi times range from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, and you choose one of several background music options or nature sounds. I enjoy “Sanctuary.”
A woman with a soft, soothing voice guides you through calming your mind and elegantly provides very simple, clear instructions and reminders, such as, “This is a time to do nothing. Simply be.” The downtime between her instruction increases with the meditation time. Though, she always seems to pop back in to keep me on track when I’m following my thoughts.
My favorite thing about Simply Being is I can do the meditations anywhere. It’s my go-to app for plane rides and train journeys because I can jump right into the meditation and the music cancels out any background noise.
I highly recommend Simply Being for those of you with some previous meditation experience.
Cost: $1.99 App Purchase
My meditation practice really moved forward when I participated in one of the first 21-Day Meditation Experiences from Oprah and Deepak Chopra. The meditations range from about 15 minutes to 20+ minutes.
Each session begins with an inspiring introduction from Oprah, then Deepak explains the spiritual side of the mediation and gives you a mantra to repeat during the meditation session. The actual meditation does not feature guidance, only peaceful background music. Deepak wraps up each session with a centering thought to consider throughout your day.
New 21-Day Experiences are released every season and you can participate for FREE. Amazing. Each program has a theme, for example: “Perfect Health,” “Manifesting True Success,” and “Expanding Your Happiness.”
I always feel inspired, relaxed, motivated and more mindful after these meditations. Plus, who doesn’t want to spend a few minutes with Oprah every day?
If you’re interested in starting a daily meditation practice, this app is for you. You’ll even receive a daily email reminder to keep you on track.
A 21-day package is the perfect way to kickstart a daily meditation practice. They offer free sample meditations, so if you miss one of the 21-Day Experiences, you can still try a meditation for free before purchasing.
Cost: Packages average $49.99 /each 21-Day Meditation Experience
Calm is a great option for beginners who prefer consistent guidance rather than quiet time during mindfulness sessions. Calm offers themed 7-day and 21-day programs with meditation exercises ranging from about 5 minutes to 20 minutes. A woman with a very calming voice guides you through the relaxing your body and mind. You’ll feel relaxed and focused on the present moment.
The 7-day programs include “7 Days of Calm,” “7 Days of Happiness,” and “7 Days of Gratitude.” There are also guided sessions based on moods, which include: “Calm,” “Body Scan,” “Deep Sleep,” and “Calming Anxiety.”
If you prefer guided mindfulness sessions to quieter meditations, Calm is a great option. There are several free trial programs so you can see if it’s a good fit for you.
Cost: $9.99/Month Subscription
Kevin Rose, is developing a meditation app called Oak Meditation App, and he’s documenting the entire app building process on the Oak Meditation App Facebook page.
He recently posted the introduction video that will play to first-time meditators and it’s AWESOME. It’s the most clear, straightforward and accessible explanation of meditation I’ve come across. Everyone who’s curious, or nervous about meditation should watch it.
I’m looking forward to the launch and in the meantime, I’ll be geeking out over Kevin’s updates in the Facebook group.
Do you meditate? I’d love to hear about your experience, or app recommendations in the comments!
photos by Faith See