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- Best overall meditation app: Insight Timer
- Best guided meditation apps: Breethe, Headspace, MyLife Meditation
- Best meditation apps for sleep: Calm, buddhify
- Best meditation apps for breathing: INSCAPE, iBreathe, Breathe+
- Best apps for quick meditation: Oak, Whil, Simple Habit
- Best meditation apps for spirituality: Mindfulness with Petit BamBou, Waking Up, Prana Breath
- Best meditation apps for a budget: The Mindfulness App, Sattva
- Best meditation apps for beginners: Meditation Studio, Let’s Meditate, Happy Not Perfect
Meditation is a simple way to reap big benefits. But where do you begin? And how do you know exactly what to do?
Good news — there’s an app for that!
A meditation practice uses techniques to focus your attention and awareness on yourself, a thought, an object, or an activity. Meditation has been practiced by many different cultures for thousands of years to increase spiritual awareness.
Over the years, some people have shifted to focus more on meditation’s physical and mental health benefits rather than the spiritual benefits. The techniques may provide both short- and long-term health benefits when you practice regularly. Still, it can be tricky to learn any new skill and overwhelming to get started.
Although there is no wrong way to practice meditation, having an online guide or app can take some of the stress out of learning how to meditate.
Practicing meditation has a number of benefits. These can include:
- Reducing stress. One of the most popular reasons that people meditate is to lower stress levels, and according to science, meditation does just that. According to a
2014 study, practicing meditation can lower levels of psychological stress and is helpful for overall well-being.
- Improving sleep. If you have insomnia, a small 2014 study shows that people who meditate are able to improve their sleep schedules.
- Helping with addictions. Since meditation typically requires a fair amount of self-awareness and discipline, a
2018 research reviewshows that the practice can help acknowledge and avoid triggers.
- Decreasing blood pressure. Meditation is very relaxing, and that relaxation may help to lower blood pressure, as seen in a
2015 study. This is because your body is not responding to stress during meditation as often as it usually would.
We chose these meditation apps as the year’s best because of their quality, reliability, and great reviews. Download one to start learning deep breathing techniques, following guided meditations, and enjoying the many benefits of mindfulness.
- $ = under $9 per month
- $$ = $9–$13 per month
- $$$ = over $13 per month
Best overall meditation app
The Insight Timer app offers over 45,000 free meditations, and adds 10 or more free guided meditations every day. Browse the thousands of meditations to begin building a daily habit, jump into discussion groups and community features, and use the music tracks and ambient sounds to help calm your mind and promote sleep.
In addition to their large collection of free content, they offer a member Plus option for about $60 per year. With the paid option, you’ll gain access to hundreds of courses lasting 7 to 10 days.
Insight Timer is best for people who don’t get easily overwhelmed by options and want to try a wide range of meditation styles. The paid option is best for people who would like to follow a more structured meditation program that flows together each day.
Best guided meditation apps
Learn how to de-stress and sleep better in just 5 minutes each day with a personal mindfulness coach. Breethe’s guided meditation series, inspirational talks, and master classes from mindfulness coach Lynne Goldberg can help you better navigate life’s challenges and enjoy improved peace of mind. The app’s sleep music playlists, nature sounds, and bedtime readings can teach you how to enjoy more restful sleep.
After a 14-day free trial, the Breethe app costs $12.99 per month. This app is best for people looking for support to sleep better and reduce stress, restlessness, and anxiety.
The guided meditation and mindfulness techniques for daytime use from Headspace can help you find calmness, wellness, and balance. Before bed, try any of their new meditations for sleep, including music, nature soundscapes, or storytelling sleepcasts. The app builds personalized plans based on a little input from you, so you can learn the essentials of meditation and build from there.
A 14-day free trial is available. After, it costs about $70 annually or $13 per month.
Previously known as Stop, Breathe & Think, this app makes meditation recommendations based on your emotions. Use the app to help identify how you’re feeling. Then, the short guided meditations, yoga videos, and acupressure videos can help you manage anxiety, reduce stress, breathe deeply, or sleep better. You can also track your mood and overall progress, and check in with yourself daily.
After a 7-day free trial, it costs about $10 per month or $60 per year.