6

Meditation Apps

Last Updated: February 15, 2024

Featured Image

Table of Contents

Explore our curated list of top meditation apps tailored for beginners. Dive into comprehensive reviews, features, and benefits to find the perfect fit for your mindfulness journey. Start your path to inner peace with the right digital guide today.

Where To Start

Meditation is a great practice not just for specific reasons like calming anxiety or gaining restful sleep, but it can also provide tranquility in your everyday life, which significantly helps your physical and mental health in the long term. 

Where do you start? Like many things in our modern world, there’s an app.

Using a meditation app may be less productive than getting a skilled meditation practitioner to assist you. 

However, many meditation apps with guided meditations can satisfy beginners and advanced practitioners and be just as supportive as having your meditation coach in person. 

Some are entirely free to download or may only charge for in-app purchases; others offer a free trial for you to test out their functions. Here are seven of the best meditation apps to try out today.

Insight Timer

  • Best for: meditating on a budget
  • Price: 7-day free trial, $60 per year

Insight Timer offers services for both beginners and seasoned practitioners, boasting a rich library of meditation practices and mindfulness exercises pre-recorded with experienced teachers. 

You can search and filter for specific guided sessions or content to see what works best for you and connect with a community of like-minded meditators worldwide. 

Pros

  • Free access: Insight Timer will work great as a free meditation app with all you need in mindfulness, whether experienced guides, calming music, or simply meditation timers. 
  • Vast library: It offers a vast library of up to 80,000 guided meditations for free. 

Cons

  • Distractions: The free version uses ads that could be distracting. 
  • Limited features: Although free to download, some app features are only available in the paid premium version. 

Simple Habit

  • Best for: quick meditation sessions
  • Price: $12 a month, $90 a year, or $300 for lifetime access

Simple Habit specializes in five-minute quick meditations for daily sessions on the go and bedtime stories for nighttime mindfulness; it also provides motivational guides from top mindfulness experts. 

Pros

  • All-day meditation: Makes mindfulness easy and accessible at any time of day and in any situation, as apparent in the session titles. 
  • Expert guidance: Mindfulness experts offer motivational guides that are easy to follow. 

Cons

  • Cost: There is no free version. 
  • Lack of long sessions: Beyond the quick meditations and sleep stories, Simple Habit doesn’t have many longer meditation sessions, though its paid version offers offline usage. 

Headspace

  • Best for: high-quality meditation experience for invested practitioners, perfect for kids too
  • Price: two-week free trial; $13 a month or $70 a year

Headspace boasts a user-friendly interface and aesthetic and classic guided meditations for all levels of meditation practitioners, from beginners to experts.

It brings guided sessions and breathing exercises for general meditative practices and dedicated challenges, whether a mindfulness practice to reduce stress or mini-sessions for mental health emergencies. 

Pros

  • Variety: Offers daily meditations and meditation sessions for nighttime, such as sleep sounds, breathing exercises, or bedtime stories. 
  • Guided, personalized sessions: It features guided meditation courses designed for kids interested in learning about mindfulness, and it can build up personalized meditation programs based on your input.

Cons

  • Level of sessions: The app may not be suitable for more advanced techniques. 
  • Cost: Subscription plans may be costly for some. 

Calm

  • Best for: A variety of meditations and sessions
  • Price: A seven-day free trial; $15 a month, $70 a year, or $400 for a lifetime subscription

Calm offers both guided and unguided meditations. One of Calm's more popular app features over other meditation apps is a section called ‘Sleep Stories,’ with recognizable voices like Matthew McConaughey and Harry Styles reading bedtime stories to help with more restful sleep.

Sessions range in time and topics, such as guided sessions for bettering your mental health, nature sounds, breathing techniques, calming music, and more. 

Pros

  • Flexibility: Calm has a variety of mindfulness exercises for flexibility and less rigidly structured meditation, as well as a mood tracker and meditation timers. 
  • Variety: Includes sleep stories, meditation for kids, breathing exercises, and short guided meditations for gentle body stretches

Cons

  • Cost: subscription plans are costly compared to other apps, making them inaccessible to many. 

Ten Percent Happier

  • Best for: Figuring out which meditation is most suitable for you. 
  • Price: A seven-day trial; $15 a month or $100 a year. 

Based on the book by ABC News anchor Dan Harris, who details his meditation experience from a skeptic to a believer, the concept has since spawned a podcast and this app.

Though the focus is on users just starting their meditation practice, the app features are also suited to more advanced meditators. They offer guided meditations targeting anxiety, stress, sleep, and more.  

Pros

  • Beginner level: Specializes in teaching beginners who don’t know if they’re the meditating type or can’t find the time to start and ease them into better mindfulness practices and overall mental health. 
  • Premium version: It has perks such as a library of more than 500 guided meditation videos and can connect you to well-known experts and practitioners to answer your questions.

Cons

  • Challenge level: The app may not be suitable for more advanced techniques. 
  • Cost: Subscription plans are above average. 

Healthy Minds Program

  • Best for: simple, straightforward meditations backed by science and completely free. 
  • Price: 100% free. 

Healthy Mind Program is known for helping users grow what is needed to improve their mental health by building resilience, mental focus, compassion, and more.

App features include guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, and podcast-like sessions; you can choose teachers to learn from, adjust the length to suit you on the guided meditation courses, and track your progress as you go on your journey to strengthen your mindfulness practices. 

Pros

  • Tracking: When you first use it, the app will give you a survey that scores you on the program's four pillars: Awareness, Connection, Insight, and Purpose, a baseline to improve upon over time. 
  • No cost: The app is entirely free. 

Cons

  • Content: Limited content that needs to be updated more frequently. 

Aura

  • Best for: Finding the best technique that suits your needs
  • Price: A seven-day trial,  $12 a month, $60 a year, or $400 for lifetime use

Aura offers many ways for its users to self-reflect and includes meditation offerings such as a mood tracker, nature sounds, life coaching, calming music, and more. For daily meditation, users can choose quick meditation to practice when needed. 

Pros

  • Personalization: Its algorithm can work with the needs and interests you share to personalize recommendations, such as music mixes for sleep or focus or whatever you need.
  • Variety of tools: Whether using the mood tracker and reviewing your mood patterns, setting reminders to practice more mindfulness, making notes in the gratitude journal, or connecting with a community of meditation teachers and practitioners, Aura could be your meditation app.

Cons

  • Rigidity in cost: A free trial can only be activated when you purchase a yearly or lifetime use, which is expensive. 
  • Limited content: The free trial offers little content and features. 

Breethe

  • Best for: Starting the meditation journey
  • Price: A 14-day free trial; $12.99 per month and $89.99 per year. 

Offering a wealth of features to help you find inner peace, improve your mental health, and cultivate meditation practices.

It's a meditation studio right in your pocket. Start your day with a sense of calm and purpose using Breethe's Daily Calm feature, which offers daily meditation and mindfulness exercises. 

Pros

  • Personalization: Breethe allows you to tailor your meditation experience by choosing plans that match your goals and intentions, such as reducing anxiety or boosting self-confidence in your meditation practices. 
  • Many features: The free version of Breethe provides access to several fundamental meditation and mindfulness exercises, making it an excellent starting point for newcomers exploring meditation practices. The paid version provides sleep stories, mood trackers, and connections with like-minded individuals.

Cons

  • Limited content: The free version includes limited content; some may find the paid version costly. 
  • Overwhelming content: The variety of features and sessions could be overwhelming for someone about to kick start their meditation journey. 

Buddhify

  • Best for: Accessibility of meditation guides
  • Price: A one-time app purchase at $30 (no subscription required).

Buddhify offers guided meditation sessions tailored to various aspects of life, from stress reduction to sleep improvement, making mindfulness accessible to everyone.

It also offers sessions for mindful walks and a customizable timer for your self-guided meditations. 

Pros

  • Easy and accessible: Buddhify's simple interface and guided sessions make mindfulness easy and accessible. 
  • Variety: Sessions fit different needs and desires 

Cons

  • Small library: While Buddhify offers valuable content, its library may be smaller than subscription-based apps. 
  • Cost: No free content. 

What Should You Look for in a Meditation App as a Beginner?

User-friendly Interface

For beginners, the app must be intuitive and easy to navigate. Look for a clear design, straightforward instructions, and a lack of overwhelming features so you can focus on the meditation itself.

Quality of Teaching

Research the credentials of the instructors or creators. The app should feature guidance from experienced meditation teachers, ensuring you're learning authentic and effective techniques. Bonus if they offer explanations about the benefits and purposes of each meditation.

Pricing 

Consider apps that offer a free version or trial period so you can assess their value. Examine the pricing details for subscription or one-time payment options, ensuring they offer good value for the content.

Variety of Meditation Styles

If you’re just starting to practice meditation, you may not yet know your preferred style. Look for an app that offers a range of styles (e.g., loving-kindness, mindfulness meditation, body scan) to help you discover what resonates best with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are meditation apps as effective as in-person meditation classes?

Meditation apps can be highly effective, especially for those requiring flexible schedules or prefer private practice. While they provide convenience, some people still benefit from in-person classes due to the personalized feedback and communal experience.

Are meditation apps suitable for kids?

Several apps have specific meditation sessions for children, focusing on their unique needs and challenges. Always ensure the content is age-appropriate and fits the child's comfort level.

Do I need previous meditation experience to use these apps?

No, most meditation apps cater to both beginners and experienced practitioners, offering a range of sessions and educational resources to support users at every level of their meditation journey.

References

The 3 Best Meditation Apps of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter 

11 Best Meditation Apps Of 2023, According To Experts 

11 Best Meditation Apps of 2023 for Anxiety and Sleep 

Disclaimer

The contents of this article are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any health-related changes or if you have any questions or concerns about your health. Anahana is not liable for any errors, omissions, or consequences that may occur from using the information provided.

What is Mindfulness

6 min read

What is Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of living in the present moment with openness and curiosity. It teaches becoming intensely aware through maintaining a...

Best Time to Meditate

10 min read

Best Time to Meditate

Learn how to fit meditation into your daily routine! Discover which meditation times work best for you and your schedule, if lunchtime, bedtime, or...

Types of Meditation

8 min read

Types of Meditation

This article covers various meditation practices, from mindfulness, loving-kindness and transcendental meditation. Discover new meditation techniques...

What is Tai Chi?

8 min read

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is a form of moving meditation that joins the mind and body through a series of soft exercises. It’s a Chinese martial art focused on...

What is Meditation?

7 min read

What is Meditation?

Have you ever experienced feelings of anxiety, stress, and tension? You're not alone. Many people encounter these challenges.

Joe Dispenza Meditation

7 min read

Joe Dispenza Meditation

Dr. Joe Dispenza is a doctor of chiropractic medicine, researcher, and speaker with training and knowledge of neuroscience, mind-body medicine, and...