An increasing number of professionals are extolling the value of meditation; it is relaxing, helps lower blood pressure, and more. Getting started, though, can seem daunting and that’s where guided instruction comes in. If you’re not keen to visit an actual meditation center and get in-person instruction, your preferred app store has the second-best option: high-quality meditation apps with guided meditations.
Headspace (mostly free)
Headspace is one of the most notable meditation apps at the moment, and it is available on iTunes, Google Play, and the Kindle App Store. The app offers a large collection of meditation audio — hundreds of hours, to be precise — though you have to subscribe to get full access to it all. Content is split into categories such as lifestyle and mood.
The app has several useful features, including keeping track of how many meditation sessions a user has performed. Meditation audio can be downloaded for use when offline, as well. The app’s subscription is priced at $12.95/month if paid on a monthly basis; the price goes down from there to $6.24/month for two years or $7.99/month for one year. The service also offers a lifetime unlimited subscription for $419.95 USD.
Calm (mostly free)
Calm is yet another popular meditation app, though it is quite different from Headspace. This app contains many looping audio tracks that can be set to play for specific durations; they can also be downloaded for use offline. Calm also contains some guided meditations for those who prefer them or are just getting started.
In addition to guided meditations, Calm provide ‘Sleep Stories’ that include audio and a calming voice to talk a person to sleep. The app is available for both iOS and Android via their respective app stores, and includes a monthly subscription at $12.99/month (or $4.99/month for a year or $299.99 for a lifetime) to get access to hundreds of sleep stories and meditations.
Yet another cross-platform meditation app is Buddhify, an offering with a unique design and meditations tailored to different activities: walking, taking a break, going to sleep, and more. The app ultimately offers more than 11 hours of customized meditations that are suitable for fifteen different aspects of a day. This amounts to a total of more than 80 guided meditations with lengths ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes.
The app includes some other notable features, including the ability to keep track of your meditation stats to get a bigger picture of your habits. There’s also a check-in system, a timer for solo meditation, and support for HealthKit on iOS. Unlike the other two apps, Buddhify comes with a price tag, which is higher for iPhone users.
Simple Habit (mostly free)
Simple Habit is an app growing in popularity, one that is free to download for iOS and Android but that requires a premium subscription to unlock all of the benefits. This subscription costs $11.99/month if paid on a monthly basis or $8.33/month if a full year is paid for outright. As with competing apps, there’s also a $299 option for a lifetime subscription.
This meditation app features more than 1,000 sessions from various teachers, as well as meditations that were designed by Harvard psychologists. In addition to the mobile apps, Simple Habit is also accessible on the web via desktop; new meditation content is added on a weekly basis.
Many meditation apps are available for both of the major mobile platforms, some that come with an outright cost and others that are free to get started. While some apps are available that are totally free, such as Mind Therapy, the four above offer the best combination of stability, content variety, and extra features like session tracking.