The 7 Best Meditation Apps in 2023
Meditation may recently have gone mainstream, but humans have long reaped the benefits of this practice. Records of meditation date back as early as 5000 BCE and before. But how can you get started with meditation?
Sit, breathe, reflect. But it is not always so simple. You could also chant a mantra or try one of many other techniques.
Starting meditation can be overwhelming. Many people live in fast-paced societies, where it is hard to take a pause and detach from their thoughts for a while. There are different types of meditation to try, as not everyone finds the same meditation technique beneficial.
The good news is that there is plenty of meditation guidance out there now, including meditation apps. Meditation apps are a great way to practice meditation and dive deeper into the practice. Read on to learn about the best mindfulness apps to try.
Why Try Meditation Apps
There are many meditation apps available now. After all, around 85% of American adults own a smartphone, so apps are a great way to reach the masses. There are many reasons why meditation apps can be beneficial for you:
- Practice anywhere
- Learn different styles of meditation
- Establish a daily habit with reminders
- Affordable or try for free meditation apps
- Receive expert advice
The best meditation apps introduce you to meditation or help strengthen your practice. Many apps provide reminders and other tools to hold yourself accountable, so you will establish a daily routine before you know it.
You can see meditation apps as meditation tools, like meditation support blocks and mats. Apps are ways to aid your meditation routine and help you stick to it. Plus, you will receive invaluable advice from experts, who are often featured on apps.
The Best Mindfulness Apps
Mindfulness and meditation are often grouped together. They certainly have similarities, as both practices help you center. However, mindfulness is more of a quality. It helps you pay attention to the present moment, which is a meditation technique.
Meditation is one of many tools to improve mindfulness in your life. This list includes apps that also offer mindfulness exercises with meditation, so they are grouped under the 'best mindfulness apps.'
Not all meditation apps are the same or are created equal. The best meditation app will not be the same for everyone. You want to find the best meditation app for you so that you can reap the many benefits of meditation and mindfulness practice.
So, here is a list of the best mindfulness and meditation apps to explore.
1. Calm Meditation App
Calm is one of the most popular meditation apps for sleep and meditation. You can select your goal, such as improving focus or sleep quality, then follow tailored exercises.
There are also video lessons for mindful movement, masterclasses by mindfulness experts, and natural scenes to watch while you relax.
- Accessible for beginners
- Flexible app with different options
- Less structure
- Simple instructions
- Extra tools such as calming background nature sounds and music
- Stats recorded
- Not always easy to navigate
- Less organized
- Paid subscription ($70 a year)
While you can get a free trial of Calm, membership is currently $70 a year. However, it does come with many features and extra tools, such as the music section.
It also has an impressive catalog of different meditation exercises. This makes it perfect for beginners and those looking to expand their meditation practice. Meditations are easy to follow. However the app itself is not always intuitive to use, so it will take time to familiarize yourself with the app.
Thanks to its user-friendly platform and range of guided meditations, Headspace is often named the best app for meditation. There are various meditations offered, from sleep meditations to courses such as meditation for beginners.
You can easily track your progress and try other mindfulness exercises, such as breathing exercises.
- Easy to use
- Guided options for all levels
- Hundreds of meditations
- Different length meditations
- Specific situation meditations
- Monthly subscription ($69.99 a year or $12.99 a month)
- Focus on beginner meditation
Headspace has a fun, user-friendly interface that is easy to use. You can find hundreds of different meditations, even for specific situations such as writer's block and pre-interview nerves. You can also pick different length meditations. So you can still get guidance even if you only have five minutes.
Headspace also offers you a free trial, but there is an auto-renewal for the paid subscription, which is either monthly or yearly. Some more advanced meditators may find the beginner focus repetitive.
3. Healthy Minds Program
Healthy Minds Program is one of the best free meditation apps, which focuses on connection, awareness, insight, and purpose. You can take a baseline questionnaire and get a score for each of these main ideas, which you can then track over time. There are a couple of different meditation teachers to choose from.
- A free meditation app
- Concise and straightforward meditation plan
- No pressure to pay for service
- Evidence-based programs
- Different length meditations
- Still relatively new
- Less meditation teacher options
The Healthy Minds Program is fast becoming one of the most popular free meditation apps. The four core principles help focus your meditation practice, and the series is engaging to follow. If you are looking for a free meditation app, this is one of the best ones to pick.
4. Insight Timer
Insight Timer is another well-reviewed free meditation app and was one of the first apps to come on to the scene. There are over 45,000 free meditations offered. There is also an option for a premium membership, which works out at around $10 per month. There is also a community to connect with fellow meditators.
- Large variety of teachers
- Thousands of free meditations
- Filter content to need and time
- Easy to search
- Free community and intro course
- Sometimes there are technical glitches
- Choice can be overwhelming
- Fewer ways to track progress
Insight Timer has a wealth of free meditations on offer, which can be overwhelming for some, but for others, the perfect app. A free seven-day intro course is a great place to start with meditation. The free community can be a great source of support. It can be harder to track your progress, but you can also make notes in your own journal.
5. Ten Percent Happier
Ten Percent Happier has a free and premium option. Some of the world's top mindfulness experts are part of it, making it one of the best mindfulness apps. If you access the premium version of the app, there are hundreds of guided meditations and practical teachings.
- Some of the best meditation and mindfulness experts
- Linked to the book and podcasts
- Short and effective meditations
- Suitable for all levels
- Keep track of progress
- Need to pay for full benefits ($99.99 a year)
- Some people will want more variety
Ten Percent Happier offers bite-sized guidance from experts and directed meditations. This can help you kick-start your meditation practice or dive deeper. There is also a book and podcast to check out.
There is not a huge range of teachers, but the ones who are featured are renowned practitioners. However, the focus is on meditation, so for some, an app with music and other exercises may be more beneficial, especially if you want to opt for a paid membership.
6. The Mindfulness App
The Mindfulness app is a good choice for those who want to personalize their meditation practice. The app offers guided sessions but also the ability for silent meditation. Select your time frame and other features like background nature sounds or bells.
- Flexible meditation options
- Customize your practice
- Available offline
- Sync with your Health app
- Pay for full features ($60 for a year)
- Less guided sessions than other apps
Access experts from the mindfulness movement and complete courses on different areas of mindfulness. The free version of the app allows you to connect with the health app on your phone to track your meditation progress. While you need to pay to access the full features, the customizable options make it the perfect app for those who want to deepen their meditation habit.
7. Sattva Meditations & Mantras
Sattva features Vedic-style meditation with many mantras and chants. You can access sessions from several minutes to over one hour. There are many in-app playlists and collections to help aid your meditations.
- Mantra and mudra techniques offered
- Gradually increase session lengths
- Variety of audio collections
- Tracker and stats available
- Paid subscription ($199 lifetime, $12 monthly, $49 annually)
- Specific auditory or vocal meditation technique
Some beautiful auditory and vocal meditations are available on this app, but the style is not for everyone. Consider a monthly subscription before you commit to a longer subscription. You can personalize your meditation and access a community for extra support.
Try the Best Meditation Apps
As meditation grows in popularity, so does the number of meditation apps offered. This list of the best mindfulness apps is an excellent place to get started. Not all meditation apps will work for you, so explore different free trials and find one that best suits your practice.
Meditation requires a lot of patience. When you first start a meditation app, it is also important to give yourself time. It takes time to create a habit, so utilize the free trial of meditation apps to determine if the app could work long-term for you.
Do you need support to aid your meditation practice? We are here to help. Ungloo has a range of supportive meditation products on offer to help your practice.