15 Best Meditation and Mindfulness Apps for 2021
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But how do you know which one is right for you, or the difference between the apps that have been designed by professionals in the field as opposed to those who are made up by someone who is new to the practice themselves?
To help you find the best mindfulness and meditation apps for your specific needs, we have compiled a list of our top 15 mindfulness app options, and noted why each app might be the right one for you.
What You Will Learn
- 1. Aura
- 2. Breethe
- 3. Buddhify
- 4. Calm
- 5. Headspace
- 6. Meditation Studio
- 7. Insight Timer
- 8. Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris (of 10% Happier)
- 9. Mindfulness Daily
- 10. Omvana
- 11. Sattva
- 12. Simply Being
- 13. Smiling Mind
- 14. Stop, Breathe, & Think
- 15. The Mindfulness App
- Final Thoughts on These Mindfulness and Meditation Apps
This mindfulness app provides the user with daily micro-meditations that last only three minutes apiece. Aura helps users relieve stress and anxiety with a technologically advanced, simple, and effective meditation platform. It was created by some of the best and most sought-after meditation teachers and therapists, and personalized by AI.
Aura allows users the option to keep a gratitude journal, track moods throughout the day, and listen to the sounds of nature. It even makes meditation into a game, as it allows you to level up as you learn and participate in daily challenges. This may be the right app for you if you have limited time throughout the day to practice your meditation.
Users love the simplicity of this app, and its ability to help create a sense of peace and well-being within one's mind. Some people do not like the fact that you cannot replay meditation clips as many times as you want without purchasing the full app, but overall people have found the free version to be very helpful.
Breethe is a free app that follows users throughout the day, from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep. It provides them with supportive tools and guidance to help them stay on track with their meditation practices throughout the day. It offers five-minute meditations, along with tips for overcoming pressure, feeling love, and living with intention and inner peace. It is fully customizable, making it a user-friendly app to help support your practice.
This app includes a new “My Place” feature that puts all the app’s content at the user's fingertips, allowing the user to set favorites, explore any new or popular features, and get relevant recommendations.
With this mindfulness app, meditation sessions are organized by theme according to where you are in your day. It is widely known to be one of the best apps for anxiety, and is personalized depending on what you’re up to, from waking up, commuting or taking a quick break at work to dealing with stress or having trouble falling asleep.
It comes with over 80 custom meditations for you to explore that have been created by experts in the field. Buddhify is great for people in the modern working world who tend to be on the go.
Some users have had this app for over three years and still consider it to be their favorite. The options within the app are high in quality, and the professionals who run the app are great teachers and leaders, constantly continuing to make improvements to the mindfulness app.
This app brings joy, peace, and a sense of clarity to your everyday life. Millions of people agree that this app is great for meditation, mindfulness, and changing your life in a positive way.
Calm provides the relaxing sound of falling rain automatically in the background, but you can also choose to be greeted by a crackling fireplace, crickets, or something called “celestial white noise.” Calm also includes some short meditations that you can use during a busy day. (Side note: If you're looking for a white noise machine, we have rated the five best ones here.)
Users of this app say it is well worth the money. It gives you the desire to stay consistent with your meditation practice, and allows people to increase their focus during their everyday lives. People have found this app to have amazing results during these tumultuous times.
Headspace provides the user with spoken-word exercises that are designed to be used for around 10 minutes a day, beginning with a 10-session pack that comes free with the initial download. It includes short meditations for people who are on the go and even SOS meditations that are useful during times of crisis. One of the best things about this app is that you can try it out before buying it. It really teaches users how to incorporate meditation into their own lives so that it works for them.
Headspace brands itself as being a gym membership for the mind. People note that they can feel the hard-to-quantify benefits from Headspace that have to do with their attention span, equanimity, sense of alertness, and the ability to deal with stressors in daily life. One user even claimed that this app cured his anxiety, even after using prescription drugs failed to do so.
The Headspace app has 350 hours of guided meditation lessons that are delivered by Puddicombe. While one can easily research the basics of mindfulness meditation, Puddicombe associates meditation with driving a car. He believes that it is helpful to sit next to someone while you are learning to drive so they can tell you what to do as you go along. Using noise-cancelling headphones with the Headspace app creates an intimate experience that is similar to having someone sitting next to you and directing your moves.
Each session is started with a “checking-in” routine, allowing the user to get settled in and ready to meditate. After taking some deep breaths, the user is then urged to become aware of various physical sensations surrounding them, such as their body weight and the feeling of their chair or clothes touching their skin. Attention is then drawn to the breath, which is counted with each inhalation. Puddicombe believes in savoring the breath and teaching that practice to his students.
The main draw of Meditation Studio is their diverse collection of meditation courses with a carefully curated roster of meditation teachers.
You can choose from over 200 meditations with different teachers from different professional backgrounds.
Whether you need a moment of calm before a difficult conversation or you’re a busy mom who needs a few minutes to recharge, the app’s collection has what you need.
Some of the topics found in the meditation collection include:
- Attaining physical and mental health (Be Healthy)
- Discovering your highest potential and developing self-love (Be Awesome)
- Exploring different meditation styles (Be Curious)
In Meditation Studio, some of the courses will focus on topics such as finding happiness, developing new habits, and the essentials of meditation.
The small download size of each meditation makes it easier to store in your device and play them even when you’re not online.
A one-time payment grants you access to all of the app’s meditation features.
The app features over 4,000 guided meditations from over 1,000 teachers, on topics such as self-compassion, nature, and stress, in addition to talks and podcasts. If you prefer a quieter meditation, you can always set a timer and meditate to intermittent bells or calming ambient noise.
This free app has developed into a community that can provide the user with daily meditation, and focuses on the fact that meditation is a privilege, not a product.
Once you became a member of Insight Timer, you are prompted to meditate for as long as you feel is necessary. With no fees or commitments, this is an app that you can use as you wish, whenever you feel like it can benefit you.
This mindfulness app provides training for people who are skeptical of meditation, and is presented by Dan Harris, a meditation advocate and author of the book 10% Happier. The content is firmly based on neuroscience and omits the spiritual components that are present in many other apps. If you are new to meditation or have never really understood the point of it, this app might be a good fit for you.
Users of this meditation app have noted that they are able to feel calmer and relaxed throughout the day after using it. While many had their reservations before downloading it, they are surprised at the positive results they were able to experience.
People who use this app appreciate that it allows people from any religion or background to begin learning about mindfulness. They note that the program really allows them to get to know themselves better. With an approachable space, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics takes philosophical ideas and applies them in practical, everyday language, allowing the user to become more aware overall.
This is another mindfulness app that will only take a few minutes of your time each day and provide you with invaluable benefits. The app supports quick, effective guided practices to reduce stress and anxiety, improve performance, and enhance sleep (along with the growing list of other evidence-based benefits of mindfulness, like pain management).
The team behind this app collaborates with some of the world's most sought-after scientists, physicians, researchers, trainers, and coaches to create their a format that works great on mobile devices. This allows the users to fully integrate the method into their lives in just a few minutes each day.
People who use this app especially love its ability to reduce stress and promote sleep. The extended body scan promotes a sense of relaxation that allows you to set aside your worries from the day and get a good night's sleep.
Omvana provides its users with over 500 of the world’s most effective transformational audio tracks to help improve every area of your life. Some of the most popular categories include body, mind, productivity, lifestyle, relationships, and hypnosis. The “6 Phase Meditation” guides you through different practices over the course of 20 minutes, including forgiveness, gratitude, and connection.
You can get started with this mindfulness app for free to see if it is the right one for you. Its versatility is attractive to most users, as well as its ability to provide motivation for the everyday person.
Users say that Omvana is a brilliant idea that allows people to transform the way they meditate in order to make their practice more effective. Some claim that even just the first few sessions are very effective. This app allows the user to create new meditation sequences depending on what works best for them.
Along with the standard components of pre-loaded guided meditations and chants, timers, and mood trackers, Sattva also allows users to check their heart rates and receive “trophies” for taking on new challenges. Sattva will help you find the best version of you with its inspiring daily meditations.
You can link up with your friends using Sattva so you can meditate with people you already know, or you can join a group of people who you don't know and try to learn something new. This app even allows you to create events where you can chat with other users and share your experiences.
Competition is a great way to keep people motivated to keep up with a habit or routine. This app allows people to look forward to meditating because it makes it a game where you can interact with your friends while playing. This might be a great app for you if you love social media and like to communicate with people in different ways.
12. Simply Being
Simply Being is a solid, affordable app that features voice-guided meditations as well as relaxing nature sounds. Used by both beginners and professionals, this app allows you to meditate easily with step-by-step guidance. You can decide how much time you want to dedicate to your meditation session, from 5 to 30 minutes, and choose to listen to music, nature sounds, or silence. Simply Being urges users to deeply relax and experience the present moment.
Sattva on iO
Sattva on Android
Users love this mindfulness app because it is truly free. Once it is downloaded, you can pick your background sound and the length of your meditation. Even the five-minute meditation is extremely helpful. The voice is calming and forgiving if your mind begins to trail off. The voice even wakes you up after the meditation is over, so you will be re-energized and ready to continue on with your day.
13. Smiling Mind
Smiling Mind's programs are divided by age, starting at 7-11 years. If you have children who are struggling with their emotions, this app may be a helpful addition to the current methods you and they are using. The company behind this app is 100% not-for-profit. They are seeking to create a positive change in the world for every generation.
Using the proven benefits of mindfulness meditation, this free app incorporates a fun and easy program for both children and adults. It is used by over two million people worldwide, with thousands of those being teachers who use the app during school programs to teach their students.
They have also provided teachers with additional intensive professional development so they can increase their skills and incorporate mindfulness into their classrooms more often.
Stop, Breathe & Think might be the best app for you if you need more structure and motivation to jump start your meditation habit. Using short activities, this app is great for children who are being newly introduced to the concept of meditation and mindfulness, but equally as effective for adults who have been putting off learning about the practice for a long time.
This app can be connected to an Alexa device to allow you to get reminders and help you meditate while you are away from your phone.
The Mindfulness App was started by two yoga and mindfulness professionals and enthusiasts who had the goal of sharing the benefits of mindfulness with the general population. They wanted to make the world a friendlier, healthier, and more lovable place to be.
The Mindfulness App is one of the most accessible apps, offering a decent catalog of meditation tracks with and without narrators. These tracks range from 3 to 30 minutes and can be personalized to your individual needs.
If you try an app and it doesn't seem right for you, don't be afraid to jump ship and choose another. This is a trial-and-error process that will benefit you in the end when you find the app that works for you. You may even want to download a few apps to have on hand so you can switch up your routine a bit throughout the week. The important thing is that you are able to find a system that works for you so you will stick with it.
Final Thoughts on These Mindfulness and Meditation Apps
Building a mindfulness and/or meditation practice is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, relax yourself, and live in the present moment. Even if you do it for just a few minutes a day, you'll find yourself calmer and better equipped to handle the daily challenges of modern living.
To get started, I recommend checking out one or two of the apps that we listed on this page and then use it to build a regular practice.
Next, if you'd like to learn more about mindfulness and meditation, then we have a wide selection of resources on this page. Specifically, here a number of blog posts that you might find interesting:
- How to Practice Mindfulness (a Step-by-Step Guide)
- What is the Difference Between Mindfulness vs. Meditation?
- 71 Mindfulness Exercises to Live in the Present Moment
- 17 Mindfulness and Meditation Podcasts
- 20 Top Mindfulness Books
- 14 Tips to Quiet Your “Monkey Mind”
- How to Create a Mindfulness Jar (for Children)
- 7 Ways to Practice Mindful Listening
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