We all crave peace and a better night’s sleep, but after a long, crazy day it’s natural to crash on the couch and watch Netflix. That’s one way to get there, but you know what they say: meditation is the way to go. Instead of thinking of meditation as a way to fix problems, breath work and stillness actually help you release problems. Hopefully with more time on your hands amidst the worldwide chaos, dabble into the practice of mindfulness with the help of guided meditation apps. Each one is available free on the App Store and Google Play but should one really resonates you, there’s the option to take your practice further by going premium.
In our humble opinion, Headspace is the best of all meditation apps out there. It was co-created by a former Buddhist monk from the UK named Andy Puddicombe, whose calming voice lulls you into a beginner-friendly meditation that’s perfect for bedtime. In the app’s free version, you have a ten day course, but should you wish to purchase more from it you’ll have access to more specific meditations.
Go premium: USD 12.99 per month /USD 69.99 per year
Balance was released in 2019, and is ideal for those who also want to practice discipline and track their progress. Along with the guided breath work and meditation, the app throws in fun quizzes and trivia that customise your meditation plan. Your sessions are guided by Leah Santa Cruz who you can follow on Instagram for more nuggets of mindful wisdom.
Go premium: USD 11.99 per month / USD 49.99 per year
If you’re a more seasoned practitioner of meditation and you know sort of audio helps you — such as Tibetan singing bowls, the sound of ocean waves, yoga Nidra, music tracks — you’ll find it all here. Insight Timer has an extensive library of everything under one roof, even in its free version that’s already incredibly generous with content.
Go premium: USD 9.99 per month / USD 59.99 per year
Calm is the no.1 meditation app worldwide with over 50 million downloads. Helpful features meditations designed to aid in your desire to feel less stress, anxiety, quit bad habits, and of course, get better sleep. Then there are walking meditations, body scans, stretching exercises, and believe it or not; sleep stories narrated by celebs like Stephen Fry, Matthew McConaughey and Leona Lewis.
Go premium: USD 14.99per month / USD 69.99 per month
You’ve got a crazy, hectic schedule — hence, the need for some peace and calm. Aura is perfect for anyone with little time to spare. The app has a collection of 30-second and 3-minute meditations which make it an ideal pocket companion for social anxiety, or squeezing in a quick mindful practice on-the-go.
Go premium: USD 11.99 per month / USD 59.99 per year / USD 399 one-time charge for a lifetime
We really like how this app invites users to check in with themselves, reminding them to notice their feelings which also allows the app to tailor choice meditations suited to that particular time and day. You can do this in the morning, right before sleeping, and takes just a few minutes. All the better if you have kiddos so they too can practice mindfulness with its sister app, Stop, Think & Breathe Kids.
Go premium: USD 58.99 per year / USD 9.99 per month OR a bundle package that includes Stop, Think & Breathe Kids for USD 70.99 per year / USD 11.99 per month
Comprising of meditations, chants, and mantras, ‘Sattva’ means “existence” in Sanskrit. The app enlists industry experts for guided meditations, which includes meditative music tracks overplayed with topic-based wisdom delivered by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Additionally, a heart rate monitor also takes you physical health into account.
Go premium: USD 49.99 per year / USD 12.99 per month