How Meditation Apps Can Be Helpful
A mindfulness app can guide you through the process, ultimately helping you to attain mindfulness and mental assertiveness.
An article by Fast Company reports that meditation and relaxation apps improve emotional stability among consistent app users.
Hence, meditation app development can help business provide valuable means of attaining mental focus, tranquility, and happiness.
Other benefits of using meditation apps include
- Regular use of mindfulness apps can help in providing stressful interventions in pressure-filled situations, as per research.
- Practicing relaxing exercises via meditation apps can help in improving social relationships and alleviate loneliness to have better social interactions.
- Mindfulness apps help reduce depression and aggression in regular users, as stated by a Harvard Health
Lets now move towards our list of best apps for relaxing and meditation that you can leverage.
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Best Places For Guided Meditation Online In 2022
- Best paid guided meditation websites:Sattva, Yogi Approved
A national survey of more than 26,000 U.S. adults conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that the use of meditation increased more than threefold between 2012 and 2017, from 4.2 percent to 14.2 percent, making it the second most used complementary health technique after yoga.
The benefits of meditation are consistently being tested, measured, and tracked. Researchers from John Hopkins University found that general meditation programs can help to ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain related to stress. So its no surprise that meditation apps like Calm and Headspace which offer a brief respite from daily chaos are continuing to see subscriptions soar.
While you can practice unguided, silent meditation on your own without any technology, many people find it helpful to have a facilitator to guide them, especially as a beginner.
National Institutes of Health .
During a guided meditation, a narrator walks you through a series of steps. These might include getting into a comfortable posture, breathing exercises, mental imagery, and focusing your attention on the sensations in your body.
These techniques help cultivate mindfulness , or the ability to focus on the present moment and allow your thoughts to come and go without judgment.
It can reduce symptoms of chronic pain, depression and anxiety .
The New Yorker Fiction
The New Yorkers fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, also hosts their Fiction Podcast. In each episode, Deborah reads famous pieces of literature, then discusses it in depth. She invites plenty of guests most often authors to chat about texts ranging from the 1900s to present day. Tune in via the New York website, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or WNYC.
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Sleep Meditation For Kids
Sleepiest App for IOS – Free and Paid Versions
Lets not forget the little ones! Sleep meditation for kids is helpful as well. Sleepiest is one particular app that’s great for children! Full of bedtime stories as well as music, white noise and other soothing sounds help them drift off to a night of deep sleep.
The Sleepy Sloth Sleep Meditation for Children by New Horizon Meditation & Sleep Stories – 33 minutes
The New Horizon YouTube channel offers a host of guided sleep meditations and sleep stories for both children and adults.
Guided Sleep Meditation is not about forcing yourself to sleep. Instead, sleep meditation is a practice that will help you relax your body and slow your mind with falling asleep as an added bonus. Sleep meditations help create the conditions necessary for quality, restful, deep sleep. Using the best guided meditations linked above, you can help foster those conditions with the OSTRICHPILLOW Loop, which helps to block out lights and sounds in order to create the ideal sleeping environment to help you settle down and drift off.
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Best Sleep Meditation Apps For Bedtime
Relax and have a good night’s sleep
With the business of everyday life, a lot of time when you put your head on the pillow to finally get some rest, your brain just doesnt know how to shut off. If you find its taking you much longer to fall asleep, and youre doing a lot of tossing and turning, you could benefit from meditation practice before bed.
If youve never tried meditation before, the sound of it can be a little daunting or confusing. Do you just sit and try not to think about anything? Who can stay still for that long? Well, these worries usually come from a misunderstanding of what meditation actually is.
Try it out for yourself and see just how powerful it can be in getting you to relax before bed. Trying out an app that can help guide you through meditation is a great way to go. Below, we have listed the top apps for meditation that you can use to get some much-needed sleep.
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The Live Awake Podcast
Sarah Blondins free Live Awake podcast is an excellent free resource that offers some of the most beautifully written guided meditations weve ever heard.
Following along with these guided meditations is more like listening to a story from a very articulate life coach they are not only touching and healing, but they are great for people who really need a narrative to follow in their meditations.
If you dont feel like downloading yet another podcast, Blondins meditations are also available through Insight Timer . Just search her name and dive into the archive of rich, poetic meditations.
We specifically recommend her Honoring Life meditation, which is sensationally moving.
Balance: Meditation & Sleep
How are you feeling today? Balance was created to personalize your meditation experience depending on what youre facing each day. When you open the app, youre prompted to answer questions about how youre feeling, your mood, and generally whats going on in your life. You can even choose to include a body scan to determine how your mental state is affecting your physical health. Based on those answers, youre routed to meditations geared to help with exactly what you need. The more you share, the more the app learns about you, and the more tailored the offerings become. And right now, you can get the app for free for an entire year.
Cost: After the free year-long trial, membership is $11.99/month, $49.99/year
Apple App Store / not available on Google Play
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The Benefits Of Meditation And Sleep
Do you regularly get into bed feeling tired but wired and lay there tossing and turning? Perhaps you fall off to sleep quickly but wake in the small hours of the morning and cant go back to sleep?
The more you struggle to go to sleep the more elusive sleep becomes. Lying awake worrying about it just makes it harder to drift off.
When youre desperate to get to sleep yet sleep is illusive, your mind can make the situation worse. For many people sleep disorders are closely tied to stress and lifestyle.
This is where meditation is particularly useful. Meditation is wonderful for creating the conditions for getting better quality sleep by counterbalancing stress, relaxing the body, calming the mind, and allowing you to let go enough for sleep to arrive.
However, its not just about using these techniques in bed to help you to go to sleep of an evening. Practising mindfulness meditation during the day, ideally for 20 minutes, trains your body in the relaxation response, making it much easier to access that same state at night.
Lets explore how meditation works in a bit more detail.
Easy Meditation With Madeleine Shaw
- Alexa, open Easy Meditation.
- Alexa, ask Easy Meditation to begin my stress meditation.
As you can probably tell by now, there are a bunch of different guided meditation skills to choose from. While some are designed for different purposes they all more or less perform the same function: helping you to empty your mind.
Because many of these skills are so similar, the one you use most will often come down to the voice of the person narrating the meditation.
Madeleine Shaws guided meditation skill puts yet another narration option on the table. Madeline has a calm, soothing voice, and her 10-minute meditations on stress and anxiety are just the right length for someone who needs a quick mental break in the middle of their day.
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What Is Meditation And How Might It Help
There are many different types of meditation . But the most popular technique promoted by apps is mindfulness, which David Nichtern, a senior Buddhist teacher in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa, calls the foundation of all meditation practices. Youre just learning to pay attention, explained Nichtern, who consults on meditation for companies like Goldman Sachs, Journey Meditation, and CreativeLive. Mindfulness meditation usually involves deep breathing, physical and mental awareness, and visualization.
Even though meditation and mindfulness practices have been around for thousands of years, studies on meditation are still relatively new. Thus far, scientific findings have been mixed, though some research has suggested that meditation may ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, insomnia, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as reduce blood pressure. Diana Winston, director of mindfulness education at UCLAs Mindful Awareness Research Center, pointed out that meditation can also be beneficial beyond the self: Studies have suggested that mindfulness meditation may boost altruistic behavior .
Best Meditation App For Exploring The Science And Philosophy Of Meditation
Sam Harris, the neuroscientist and philosopher, is another author with their own meditation app-book combo: this time, it’s called Waking Up.
Waking Up takes a more philosophical approach to meditation with practice and theory being given near-equal billing. The idea isn’t just to use meditation as a quick-fix when you’re stressed or as a way to relax in the evenings, but also as a tool for investigating your own consciousness and existence. It can be heavy stuff, for sure, but if it all gets a bit much, you can just use the unguided Timer function.
Waking Up has a highly logical approach to everything. When you open the app, you’ll see featured content, the next meditation you’re due to do, and some suggested theory lectures. Tap into Theory,and you can explore things like whether free will exists and how to do good in the world. Practices breaks meditations into courses, including the obligatory 28-day beginner offering. There are also more structured introductions to other styles of meditation and mindfulness, like Zen Buddhist practices.
If all this sounds incredible to you, then Waking Up is definitely the right app. But if you’re unsure how you feel about meditation or just want a way to rein in your emotions from time to time, one of the other apps may suit you better.
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Best For Relaxation: The Honest Guys
The Honest Guys
- Cost: This meditation, as well as Clarke’s other offerings, are free and available on YouTube.
- Features: Calming imagery and background sounds.
Why We Chose It: The Honest Guys offer free, simple meditations with breathing techniques to help quell anxiety.
Soothing guide and background sounds
Reassuring for anxious users
Only one video
A bit generalized
Like many others who swear by this guided meditation, Rick Clarke’s voice is alluring because it isn’t distracting. He begins with deep breathing and points out that thoughts of anxiety and stress are common.
The key to success with this guided meditation is to allow yourself to be in total peace with your surroundings. As you feel more relaxed, Clarke counts down from five to zero, and each number takes you deeper into relaxation. At the eight-minute mark, youll notice the addition of chimes and he stops talking. This allows you to focus on your breath while calming your body.
As the chimes fade out and the only sound you hear is the waves, you have the option of drifting off to sleep, continuing in this deeply relaxed state, or resuming your day.
This meditation and Clarke’s other offerings are free and available on YouTube.
Why Is Meditation Beneficial
If you feel skeptical about meditation, know youre not alone. Its pretty normal to wonder how sitting with your thoughts and doing some deep breathing can help you feel better.
Many believe meditation can help create new pathways in your brain, improving mental and physical wellness in the process.
Quite a bit of evidence supports meditation as a helpful approach:
- According to a 2013 review of 209 studies, mindfulness-based therapy can help treat depression, anxiety, and stress, among other concerns.
- suggests meditation can help improve concentration and focus.
- According to
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health , meditation may help relieve symptoms of certain health concerns, including chronic pain, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome .
The American Psychological Association supports these benefits and more, recommending mindfulness meditation to ease stress, boost self-awareness, and acknowledge and let go of difficult emotions.
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Best For Sleep: Headspace: Meditation & Sleep
- Cost: Headspace offers a two-week free trial. An annual subscription is about $70 and a monthly membership costs around $13.
- App Features: Meditation guides for all levels.
Why We Chose It: We chose Headspace for its user-friendly interface with hundreds of guided meditations for beginners to experts.
Cues to cope with external sounds
100s of meditations to choose from
Membership is a bit expensive
Need a subscription
Not great for the less tech-minded
If youre the type whose mind gets lost in worry the minute your head hits the pillow, then Headspace should be your go-to. This app provides breathing exercises, sleep meditations, and wind-down practices. The screen is dimmed, so theres no blaring, headache-inducing bright light.
While the app is free, youll want to take advantage of the subscription to access the all-important sleepcasts to help get your mind ready for sleep.
Check out our reviews of the best books for anxiety.
Best Meditation Apps For Sleep
- Android rating: 4.3 stars
- Price: $$$
Calm is an award-winning app that has calming exercises and breathing techniques to help you relax. It even includes a Calm Kids section with meditations for kids ages 3 to 17. The Sleep Stories section features a mix of voice talents you may recognize actors Matthew McConaughey or Jerome Flynn to help you sleep. For a mindful experience you can access right from your Apple Watch, there are new breathing exercises, a mindful walking meditation, and calming exercises.
They offer a free 7-day trial. After, it costs about $15 per month or $70 per year.
- Android rating: 3.8 stars
- Price: $
With more than 200 meditations, the buddhify app teaches you how to lower anxiety and stress, promote sleep, and manage difficult emotions. Practice mindfulness exercises with categories suitable for whatever youre doing traveling, working, waking up, eating, or even scrolling online. Sessions range from 3 to 40 minutes, making this an option for beginners or experienced practitioners.
Buddhify costs about $5 with other in-app purchases available.
- Android rating: 3.4 stars
- Price: $$
INSCAPE is an all-purpose meditation app for a variety of scenarios where you may just want to stop and breathe. Feeling anxious? Stressed? Cant sleep? Angry? Had a bad commute? This app has meditation features that can help you address your range of emotions and help you take a minute or two to center yourself.
Subscriptions cost about $60 per year.
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The 7 Best Meditation Apps Of 2021
- Cost: Calm offers a seven-day free trial with annual membership for around $70. Or, if you want meditations for life, you can pay about $400 for indefinite access to the app.
- App Features: Calming background sounds and short meditations
Why We Chose It: We chose Calm because its a flexible app with less structured programs and exercises that help manage anxiety.
App offers more individual exercises
Need a subscription
App isnt the most intuitive
What are you working through? Anxious thoughts? Lack of focus? A stressed-out psyche? Calms guided meditations have you covered. More than that, though, the app really focuses on teaching you a variety of tools and using different modalities to help you stay centered throughout the day-to-day.
Calm stands out from the crowd because of its well-being offerings beyond that of its already impressive meditation catalog. Their newest offering is Calm Body, which are 10-minute guided videos that teach gentle stretching to help you unwind. One of the best features is Sleep Stories, which feature bedtime stories read by the soothing voices of celebs .
Looking for more ideas? Take a peek at our roundup of the best meditation books.
The Best Free Meditation Apps
Available for iOS and Android
Price: Free $12.99 a month or $7.99 annual monthly fee family plan for $19.99 a month
If youre new to meditating, this is a great app to start withit touts a huge following, with over 40 million users. Headspace offers a free Basics pack, a 10-day beginners course that helps show you what meditation and mindfulness are all about. The app also allows you to pick from different courses or just single meditation sessions based on how long youd like your session to be. It also features Sleep by Headspace, which includes meditations, music and nature sounds to help you fall asleep
Available for iOS and Android
Price: Free or $10 a month
This app is targeted for young adults, teens and kids. SBT says, We are the emotional wellness platform for the under 25 generation Our mission is to help kids, teens and young adults build the emotional strength to tackle lifes ups and downs. It features meditations based on how youre feeling physically and emotionally, with most lasting under 15 minutes. There are 34 free sessions, including a Spanish option. And if youre looking to buy the app, 10% of SBTs net revenue is shared with Tools for Peace, a non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk youth experience the benefits of meditation and mindfulness.
Available for iOS and Android
Price: Free $8.99 a month $53.99 annual
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