5 Useful Meditation Apps

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Meditation is an ancient mindfulness and relaxation technique that many still practice today. Fortunately, it’s even easier to fit meditation into your daily life thanks to meditation apps. 

With the frantic pace of today’s world, meditation apps are a great way to work some meditation into your daily routine. Plus, an app gives you a guided meditation plan, and this structure can really help with your consistency.

Each of the meditation apps below are available for iOS and Android, so you’ll be on the path to Zen no matter what type of smartphone you use.

1. Insight Timer Brings Community to Meditation

Insight Timer is unique in the meditation app space because it focuses on meditation and community. When you launch the app, you’ll see a world map that shows how many people have used the app that day. The app will also show you how many people are currently meditating with Insight Timer.

Then, after you complete your meditation, the app will tell you how many people across the world were meditating along with you at the same time.

Another innovative feature of Insight Timer is called Circle of Teams. This feature lets your plan real-time meditations with a group so you can meditate together with friends, family, or co-workers. 

Key Features of Insight Timer

  • Over 80,000 free guided meditations
  • More than 10,000 meditation teachers
  • A range meditation topics including stress, healing, relationships, and sleep

Insight Timer is free to use, but there is an optional subscription for $60 per year. (It comes with a 30-day free trial.) So, if you opt for the subscription you’ll get:

  • Access to additional meditation courses
  • Downloads for offline listening
  • Advanced media player functions

2. UCLA Mindful Is a Meditation Teaching Tool

Developed by the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) at UCLA, the UCLA Mindful meditation app has fewer meditations than other apps on our list. But this meditation app gives you quality over quantity. This is because MARC researched and approved the dozen meditations you’ll find on UCLA Mindful.

Key Features of UCLA Mindful

  • Meditations in English and Spanish
  • A focus on your body, sounds, and breathing
  • A Getting Started section for those new to meditation
  • Weekly podcasts with 30-minute meditations on different topics

3. Unlock Your Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind is an Australia-based not-for-profit app that offers hundreds of free meditations. A unique aspect of Smiling Mind is the way the meditations are broken up into programs, including:

  • Mindful Foundations
  • Digital Detox
  • Stress Management

Each program contains several meditations that work together to accomplish a specific meditation goal. And a big plus of these mediation programs is that psychologists and healthcare professionals helped develop them.

Key Features of Smiling Mind

  • Short meditations of 5–15 minutes
  • Longer 45-minute meditations
  • Specialized programs for families, children, and teens
  • Completely free with no ads

4. Simple Habit Makes Meditation Easier to Fit Into Your Schedule

Simple Habit is a meditation app for people with busy lifestyles. The app primarily focuses on short five-minute meditation sessions, so that you can get in a quick meditation session each day, no matter your schedule. One important aspect of Simple Habit is that mindfulness experts from Google and even former monks are the ones leading many of these short sessions.

Key Features of Simple Habit

  • Short sessions so you can meditate then go about your day
  • Total meditation minutes tracking
  • “On-the-go” feature to quickly calm anxiety when needed
  • Motivational talks

Simple Habit has many free meditations. But if you subscribe for $89.99 per year you get:

  • Access to more meditations
  • Downloadable sessions for offline listening
  • Other premium features

5. Stay Calm With Calm

Developed in 2012, Calm is one of the most well-known meditation apps. People love it so much because Calm’s meditations focus on improved sleep and mindfulness.

Calm includes hundreds of calming relaxation exercises and sleep stories. The sleep stories are one of the most interesting features, read by celebrities such as Bob Ross and Matthew McConaughey.

Calm does have a free version, but many of the best features are in the paid subscription.

Key Features of Calm’s Free Version 

  • Daily meditations
  • Library of sleep stories
  • Selection of guided meditations
  • Breathing exercises
  • Mood tracker

Calm’s paid subscription costs $69.99 per year or $14.99 per month. If you choose to pay for the subscription, the yearly price is a good deal, averaging out to just under $6 per month.

With the paid subscription you gain access to:

  • Calm’s full library of over 100 meditations
  • More sleep stories
  • Expert-led mindfulness courses

Meditation Apps Can Simplify Daily Mindfulness

Life can be hectic and overwhelming at times. That’s why using one of the smartphone meditation apps we’ve talked about can help you squeeze meditation sessions into your routine for a calmer, happier you.