Many of us could benefit from regular, routine meditation. The problem is integrating this into our hectic, overscheduled lives. Luckily, this is easy to make a habit with a mediation app at the ready in your pocket or purse.
There are a range of meditation apps available with features that target different meditating techniques, methods, and practices. Whether you are seeking mindfulness, stress relief, improved sleep, guided courses, personalization, music, or other unique features, you’ll be able to find a meditation app that fits your lifestyle.
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Our compilation of the best meditation apps will help you understand what meditation is, the different types of meditation, the essential benefits of meditation, unique features you can benefit from, and ultimately which resource is best for your lifestyle and meditation needs. Having an app at the ready will help you organize your life. Keep reading to learn:
- What is meditation?
- 10 different types of meditation
- 22 best meditation apps for embarking on a spiritual journey
- 6 best meditation websites to learn more about your practice
- 10 benefits of meditation
Before we break down what the best meditation apps are for your personal needs, let’s discuss what meditation is and briefly outline the common types of meditation.
What is meditation?
effects and purposes, including concentration, calming, religious prayer, and improvement of mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Overall, meditation is good for both the mind and body.
The earliest written records of meditation are, perhaps not surprisingly, from Ancient India around 1700-1500 BCE. The practice appears to have been a key part of an early form of Hinduism. From there, it spread into Buddhist traditions in India and Japan, and into the Taoist philosophy in China. Meditation spread to the west during the Middle Ages, but it didn’t become a topic of much interest in Europe or the Americas until the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Meditation used for non-religious purposes has been popular since around the mid-20th century.
10 different types of meditation
There are 10 common types of meditation, but there are many more that exist throughout the world. Meditation is a personal, intimate practice, so choose the meditation method that sounds the most appealing to you. You may want to try a few different kinds of meditation out first, and then decide which one(s) suits you, and even consider using elements from different types or styles.
The importance is finding inner peace, better well-being, and a feeling of fulfillment in your life. Here is some basic info to get you started so you can compare and consider what you may want to try first.
|Type of Meditation||Summary of Process||Intended Effects|
|Yoga Nidra (Sleep)|
22 best meditation apps for embarking on a spiritual journey
Choosing the right meditation app comes down to fitting your lifestyle. A simple breath timer and meditation clock may be enough for someone who simply wants to take 5 minutes with their thoughts or an expert who doesn’t need guidance. Others will need a step-by-step process that gives them the skills to meditate on their own, guided courses, and themed meditations to get more out of each experience. The best meditation app will ultimately come down to what you want out of it.
To help you find the app you’re looking for, we’ve sorted the best app in different categories, including beginners, sleep, guided, for anxiety, and for kids. We’ve included a number of others as well so that you can choose the one that suits you best. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or expert, there is something in this list for you!
Best meditation app for beginners: Smiling Mind
This totally free app, developed by Australian educators and psychologists, is designed to make mindfulness accessible to everyone. It includes programs for both kids and adults, and is aimed at improving user performance in both the classroom and the workplace.
Meditation Practice Focus: Stress reduction and improved mental health
Free Features: Everything!
- At School and At Work options allow for collective meditation and peer-groups to relate with
- Convenient and easy to use; simple to get started and will help beginners get into meditation
- Information and methods on various ways of improving lifestyle outside of just mindfulness, such as eating, learning, etc.
- This service is free, but because of this it only provides limited resources to the user
- No option to turn off background noise in-app
Best sleep meditation app : Calm
With a focus on sleep and relaxation, Calm is an ideal meditation app for those seeking to get just that – the calm they seek! Those looking to improve their sleep through meditation should definitely try this app, as it centers around sleep and relaxation, helping to improve overall health and wellness.
With guided meditations and a library of Sleep Stories, there is a selection of tools that you can use to help you learn how to meditate as well as enhance the meditation experience. Sleep Stories are ideal for improving your sleep and their collection serves as an ideal resource.
Meditation Practice Focus: Sleep and relaxation
Cost: $59.99 USD annually; $399.99 USD life-time
Free Features: 7-day free trial
- Has a collection of other meditation resources, including Mindfulness Living Calendars, Calm Intention Guidebooks, a Gratitude Toolkit, and more!
- Sleep Stories feature connects you with a list of audio stories that will help you sleep and meditate better
- Masterclass features come at an added price, despite adding more value
- There is a range of in-app purchases that you can get to upgrade the resources available to you
Best mindfulness meditation app: Headspace
Meeting at the intersection of ancient history and modern science, Headspace believes in promoting authentic meditation information, expertise, and guidance to help others practice a more mindful life. With clinical research to test their methods and its impact, Headspace endeavors to get people practicing mindfulness meditation on a regular basis, in their daily lives. The app helps you take a few minutes out of each day and develop a routine that works for you!
Mindfulness meditation is known to have an impact on sleep, weight loss, relationships, chronic disease, and pain. More specifically, Headspace has been proven to have a healthy impact on stress, focus, mood, compassion, aggression, self-compassion, work, clinical populations, anxiety, and depression.
Meditation Practice Focus: Improved stress, sleep, and focus
Cost: $12.99 USD/m ($7.99 USD/m paid annually); $19.99 USD/m Family Plan.
Free Features: Basics – learn the essentials of meditation and mindfulness
- Convenient, easy-to-access, and always within reach
- Clinical, third-party studies have and are still being conducted to prove the validity of their method
- Great resource for information on the topic of meditation, including their Meditation 101 guide
- Programs available for Work sign-ups to get the whole office meditating
- Requires monthly membership to access all features
- Poor customer support service – email and FAQ only; no call center
Best guided meditation app: Ten Percent Happier
As the marketing suggests, Ten Percent Happier is “a daily meditation coach in your pocket”, helping to guide you on your quest to mindfulness. With 350+ guided meditations, a unique daily meditation, personal coaching classes, and world-class teachers at your disposal, you have everything you need to help you along the way.
Personalized coaches help guide you throughout the process while world-class teachers design and provide courses and meditation tips to make sure you get the most out of your time meditating.
Meditation Practice Focus: Stylized as a meditation coach in your pocket, Ten Percent Happier aims to offer the most convenient, guided, and accessible app so you can use it effectively throughout your busy day.
Cost: $99 USD/year
Free Features: Learn the basics; stats and performance-tracking; and daily reminders
- Personal coaching and world-class teachers ensure a curated, guided experience where you can get the tools you need to get the most out of your time meditating
- Short courses and guides help make the content accessible and simple to work into your day
- Annual membership only; no monthly subscription options
Best meditation music app: Meditation Music – Relax, Yoga
As you’d expect, music is a core feature of this meditation, centering the experience. With soothing sounds and music clips, there is clear control over the volume, especially during your meditation process. Use the music and timers to customize the mediation experience for yourself so you get exactly what you want out of your meditation time.
Meditation Practice Focus: A music focused meditation app, enjoy soothing sounds to center your meditation and pass the time.
Cost: In app purchases of $0.99 USD for different sounds
Free Features: Basic meditation features, timer, music
- Dynamic music controls allow you to customize the mediation experience
- Simple, accessible design without all of the extra content that drags down the app; direct, to the point
- Does not have comprehensive features that other products have, such as coaching, teachers, and curated courses
Best meditation timer app: Insight Timer
As one of the most popular meditation apps, Insight Timer is a great tool for anyone looking to get into the practice of meditation, or simply to reduce stress and improve sleep, happiness, and overall wellness. With convenient, essential tools such as the free timer and guided meditations, Insight Timer provides the basics for free. Unlike some other apps, this product is fully usable (and enjoyable) without paying any money.
Meditation Practice Focus: Wellness for sleep, stress, love, gratitude, and self-compassion
Cost: $5.00 USD/m – unlocks Daily Insight, Night mode, and more!
Free Features: Free timer; 20,000 free guided meditations; free meditation course to start; sleep support; progress tracking and reports
- Over 20,000 free courses to learn at your own pace; Premium service also offers 10 and 30-day courses to keep you motivated and get you in a routine
- Largest free library and easiest to use free meditation timer
- Abundance of free resources in comparison to similar services
- More experienced meditators with specific goals in mind will likely need to pay for the subscription to get access to the courses they want
Best meditation app for anxiety: Happify
With meditation as a core feature, Happify seeks to help you break old patterns and form new habits for improved health and wellness. With a focus on your full health, this app is great for those seeking to decrease stress, anxiety, and improve sleep. With techniques developed by experts in psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy, this product is truly a health app.
Meditation Practice Focus: Centered around mental health and well-being, Happify is more than just a meditation app, attempting to improve your overall wellness by helping fight anxiety, positively motivate you, and increase productivity.
Cost: $14.95 USD/m; $6.95 USD/m on year subscription; $4.95 USD/m on two year subscription
Free Features: 10 basic courses are free
- Rooted in scientific research, the product is developed to improve overall health and well-being
- Stresses the need to develop positive habits and helps you learn these over time
- If you’re looking for meditation resources specifically, there are more tailored services
- Meditation is an essential component but the app is more about developing good habits that lead to improved health and well-being
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Best meditation app for kids: Stop, Breathe, and Think
The name “Stop, Breathe, and Think” captures their mission of getting people to practice mindful meditation in their daily lives. It simplifies the process and makes you take a step back and slow down, breathe, and contemplate in order to help you de-stress, improve thinking, and shift your perspective.
With an emphasis on providing resources for children, Stop, Breathe, and Think is ideally suited for helping kids get into meditation and develop a routine. By getting into this practice, kids can benefit by learning how to focus, think calmly, and sleep more soundly. Ideally, it will help develop skills and instill a routine of practicing mindfulness throughout their lives.
Meditation Practice Focus: Stress reduction and improved mental health
Cost: Free to sign up and use; premium features for $9.99 USD/m or $5.83 USD/m on an annual subscription
Free Features: Over 20 free activities
- Heavily focused on serving the childhood market, making meditation easy, accessible, and fun for kids!
- Slack integration helps make meditation at work easy to incorporate and access
- Aimed at youth market, so not ideal if you are part of the “over 25” crowd
Best meditation app in Hindi: U R Meditation
Learn what complete meditation is, discover the benefits you can gain, and receive guided support from Sirshree, your meditation teacher. With instructions, guided meditations, and advice from the teacher, U R Meditation provides an ideal experience that can be enjoyed in either English or Hindi.
Practice a short 20 minute complete meditation or do a 40 minute deep massage. Choose from a range of different meditation options that suit your life and schedule. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, Sirshree will help you on your journey to spiritual understanding and develop your ability to enjoy, experience, and live in the now.
Meditation Practice Focus: English and Hindi accessible with simple meditation courses
Cost: Free to sign up and use
Free Features: Everything!
- Directed at both English and Hindi market; easily choose between languages
- Sirshree teaches throughout, helping guide users through their experience and impart knowledge
- The user interference is slightly outdated looking and relatively plain
Best offline meditation app: Simple Habit
Designed for people with busy lives, Simple Habit tries to help you develop positive, healthy habits within your busy schedule. It helps you carve out just 5 minutes a day to make sure you meditate and maintain mindfulness.
With the recent update, content can be downloaded for offline use, allowing you to take your meditation on the go with you. You can access the courses and guides that you use most. If you’re going away for the weekend camping or something similar, you can choose themed meditations suited for that environment. Overall, you can use the new update to access content offline so you can always get five minutes of relaxation and peace.
Meditation Practice Focus: With offline capability, this app is great for taking your meditation practice with you on the go – whenever, wherever.
Cost: $3.99 USD/week; $11.99 USD/m; $99.99 USD/year
Free Features: Free trial with limited content access
- Targeted meditations let you focus on improving stress, sleep, anxiety, depression, and more
- Award winning features, with teachers that update courses regularly so content stays fresh and engaging
- No basic features offered for free
Completely free meditation apps
For a free experience, check out the meditation apps below. Some are fully free while others have a solid foundation of free content:
- Enso – With a sleek, minimalist design, Enso is essentially a simple-to-use and visually appealing meditation timer. Completely free to use, the only costs are purchasing unique bells and other sounds. Exclusively on iOS.
- Let’s Meditate: Guided Meditation – With a wide selection of free courses and features, this app is direct and easy to use, and highlights great content for guided meditations. You can download courses for offline use so that you can practice your favorite meditations on the go. They also believe that ads and sign ups agitate rather than relax users, so they keep the service ad-free.
- Breethe – If you struggle to work a full rest or de-stress into your day, Breethe is a great tool to use. With guided courses, breathing practices, and motivational talks, you’ll have all the basics for free without needing to pay for extra features.
- Sattva – With the core features of a timer, stat tracker, chant mantras, music, and guided meditations, Sattva has all you need to make meditating a part of your daily life. Better still, there is freedom to personalize the experience, as well as create collections and playlists for quick use.
- Buddhify – Featured as “meditation on the go,” Buddhify puts the tools you need to achieve mindfulness throughout your day in your pocket, so it’s always easy to access. Rooted in Buddhist meditation principles and practices, this app is there for you whether you need calm, sleep, or a chance to de-stress.
- Omvana – Helping you meditate, focus, relax, and sleep, Omvana is designed for everyone. It provides you with the meditation tools necessary when you need them on the go. Sift through a vast number of courses and customize meditations to fit your needs.
Other great top meditation apps
For an app that suits your particular lifestyle, check out the unique mediation apps below:
- Abide – This is a Christian meditation app, offering guides that are suited towards Christian users with curated messages and lessons. Go to sleep with a bedtime story from the Bible, and personalize the music that you can listen to while meditating.
- Transcendental Meditation – This transcendental meditation resource helps you understand the TM technique through personalized guidance. Over time, you’ll learn clarity of mind, deep relief from stress and anxiety, and healthier heart habits.
- Aura – If your motivation for using a meditation app is to decrease anxiety, stress, and depression and to improve your happiness, enjoyment, and overall wellness, Aura is the perfect fit. Working as more of an overall wellness app, Aura aims to gauge your mood and feelings when starting your meditations, and providing targeted courses to help you improve specific areas of health.
- YogaGlo – A combination of meditation and yoga, YogaGlo is both at your fingertips. It guides you through the process, selecting your starting point (Brand New, Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced) and leads you simply into your new wellness habits centered on yoga meditation.
- Rootd – Rootd focuses exclusively on meditations targeting panic attacks and anxiety, all of which are simple and convenient to access. If anxiety is a big reason for wanting to meditate, Rootd can be a great resource for managing stress and anxiety – there for you right when you need it.
- Sleepfulness – If trouble sleeping is your main problem, this app may be more suited for you. The app lets you choose music to play for various times of day, including going to bed, can’t sleep, waking up, or in the daytime. Using these four ‘time zones,’ you can track and manage your sleep, and use the resources in the app to help yourself sleep better.
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6 best meditation websites to learn more about your practice
On these meditation websites, you can find other useful info like how to meditate, different techniques for meditating, and different goals to work towards in your own life:
- The Chopra Center – This collection of guided meditations includes a series of calming and enlightening audio meditations with both music and coaching. Choose by category and listen for 5 to 25 minutes.
- Tara Brach – An in-person instructor, Tara Brach has a wide selection of online meditation resources, including guides for you to follow and various audio talks. As an active industry expert, she is constantly adding new meditations weekly.
- The Free Mindfulness Project – Along with some basics to help get you get introduced to mindfulness meditation, this is a collection of free resources for download, including lessons and apps to help enhance your experience.
- Meditation Oasis – The Meditation Oasis Podcast has a wide collection of meditation instructions, music for meditating, and guided meditations to give you all you’ll need.
- Fragrant Heart – Despite its slightly outdated appearance, Fragrant Heart is one of the best collections of free website meditation resources. They feature a wide selection of easily navigable material based on category, types of meditations, and more.
- Sip and Om: The Daily Meditation Podcast – If you need a small fix each day, this daily podcast is a great resource. Featuring short themed audio sessions, you get a 5 – 20 minute fix to guide you through each day.
10 benefits of meditation
There are a multitude of benefits you can get from meditation, no matter what type you choose to practice. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression; increase your mindfulness, awareness, and connectedness; or simply improve your mental and physical wellbeing, there is something you can gain from meditation.
Here are a range of benefits you can get from meditating:
- Reduced stress – taking a step back and practicing breathing will help you control your mood, attitude, and emotions
- Sense of peacefulness and tranquility – become calm, rejuvenate, and find some time for yourself
- Enlightenment – gain insight into not just how to meditate, but how to be one with yourself, one with the moment, and one with the universe around you
- Improved mental health – being able to take just 5 minutes out of your day, relax, and recenter yourself can make a huge impact on your mental well-being
- Relief of anxiety and depression – making sure to take more time for yourself and being able to contemplate without distractions can help change your mindset
- Increased motivation – feeling more focused and less stressed can help do this on its own, but the way you spend your time meditating can be greatly inspiring
- Feelings of positivity – feel better about yourself, more confident in your relationships with others, and sure of your place in the universe
- Can aid in recovery from addiction – having a positive routine can greatly help you kick bad habits
- Allows for personal time – having a hectic schedule can take its toll; being sure to take a small amount of time each day for yourself can make a significant difference in your mood
- Reflection on life and issues – continue to learn new lessons, what your missions and aspirations are, and contemplate ways to attain these objectives
Make it a habit and find your Zen
No matter what benefits you’re looking for, there is a meditation app that is geared towards providing the outcomes you are looking for. Gain stress relief, improve sleep, and increase your overall mental health by incorporating meditation into your daily routine. Use themed meditations to help positively motivate yourself, improve efficiency and productivity, and inspire creativity.
We hope these mobile apps will make integrating meditation into your busy schedule simple and convenient, letting you reap the benefits of a more centered, focused, balanced life!