Meditation dates so far back that some of the earliest written records of its practice come from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism around 1500 BCE. Today, there is an expanding wealth of scientific literature demonstrating its positive effects on human health and wellbeing. For instance, did you know that meditation is a highly effective tool for chronic pain management and is widely used to reduce symptoms of panic and anxiety?
Luckily, you can now experience the numerous benefits that meditation has to offer from the comfort of your home with nothing but your mobile device. These helpful digital tools can also help shorten the learning curve and improve your success with meditation. There’s no shortage of meditation apps these days, so we scoured the app stores to find the top five that we’re addicted to so far.
This subscription-based meditation app can teach you how to meditate even with its free Basic pack. At its core, Headspace is about daily meditation exercises designed to provide you with a quick release from stress, anxiety, and even pain, as well as strengthen your meditation habit. You can also choose from a large library of targeted exercises for guided meditation even for a quick 5-minute session.
We love the sleep stories, short description bedtime stories that send you to the land of nod.
10 free sessions available, then £5.99/month
Rated Apple’s app of the year for 2017, Calm offers a variety of programmes to bring your life more clarity, peace, and joy each day. It is a great meditation app for beginners but is also an excellent choice for intermediate and advanced users. Calm is intended to reduce anxiety, break habits, and improve your sleep through the use of guided meditations, relaxing music, breathing techniques, and Sleep Stories.
With sessions ranging from 3 to 25 minutes, you can easily pick what best suits your schedule. Also features bedtime stories, read by well known treasures such as Stephen Fry and Matthew McConaughey.
A number of free sessions available, then £37.99/year
Voted the happiest app in the world, Insight Timer is one of the most popular meditation apps in the App Store. Unlike many other similar apps, it lets you access the content without having to pay for a membership. It contains thousands of guided meditations and free music meditation tracks from leading meditation teachers around the world. Insight Timer offers guided meditation ranging from 3 to 30 minutes and even lets you create your own customized meditation sessions.
Meditation style is very much a personal thing and the huge variety of meditation styles and teachers on this app means there's something for everyone.
Meditate based on how you feel with this award-winning meditation app. Stop, Breathe & Think is about creating a more deliberate, intentional experience through its over 55 tailored meditation sessions. For many of them, you can determine the length of the session and even choose a male or female voice as your meditation guide.
Includes an emotional check-in feature with personalised recommendation.
Lots of content in the free version, $4.91/month for extra sessions and teachers
Begin your journey to a more relaxed state of mind with The Mindfulness app, whether you are a beginner or an advanced user. With sessions ranging from 3 to 30 minutes, the app includes a five-day guided practice of meditation and an introduction to mindfulness. You can even keep track of your progress as you learn from influential teachers all over the world.
Includes lots of interesting topics like meditation for travel or emotions.
Access to some sessions, then £3.79/month
Mindfulness meditation is like any other new habit — it takes practice and discipline. It can take years to reach any level of real mastery of meditation, but even as a beginner, you will still enjoy many benefits from its practice, so why not check out one of these apps today?