20 best mindfulness apps to try in these trying times

In today’s erratic world, it has become very difficult to be mindful in our lives which has resulted in absence of peace in mind. We are so busy in our daily lives, that hardly we even know that we aren’t mindful.

But, we can see that we and the whole world around us are in chaos. But, then what to do about it? At first, let's see what mindfulness is, and accordingly we can work on it.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a basic quality that we, as humans already possess. It’s the quality to be in the present completely when the mind doesn’t wander.

When we are completely aware of what’s happening around us and the mind is focused on what we are doing, not being too reactive or affected by the incidents happening around us, it is called mindfulness. Simply, the answer to what is mindfulness is to be in a meditative state.

But now, given the time we live in, we are having to force ourselves to be mindful.

Why aren’t we mindful?

We either dwell in our past or anxious about our future and that makes our mind wander, thus losing peace of mind.

According to the NHS website, paying more attention to the present moment’s thoughts and feelings, and the world around us can help to improve mental wellbeing, help people to enjoy life, and understand themselves better too.

The incidents occurring in our lives make us realize that we live in an uncertain world and that causes insecurity in the heart. For example, the recent Pandemic has unleashed a wave of uncertainty, tensions, and fear around the world.

People are getting depressed due to the new change we are facing at the face of pandemics, and the most persistent is fear of death as we can see the unstoppable rise in the death toll. Uncertainty is ripping through our lives. This could explain why aren't we mindful more than ever. 

From all the issues occurring, we can see that our hearts can’t remain at ease, we can’t be mindful. It is indeed very hard to tame the human heart and it is like taming wild animals. So how can we do that?  How can we be mindful?

External efforts are required very diligently to bring some inner change and so is to regain mindfulness. Yes, everything can’t be done externally but external things can help to get connected with the inner self. It’s just that we need to learn how to make it happen.

What can help us to be mindful?

While the long-lasting and genuine mindfulness comes with time and practice, there's professional help available if you want to fast-track the process. 

One of the ways we can get is by using professionally-designed and highly-effective smartphone app available on Apple's app store and Google's Play Store. Nowadays, we have an app for almost everything, so is for being mindful. 

People often ask questions like: Is there a mindfulness app? The answer is yes. There are a number of mindfulness apps that can help us to be calm, free from anxiety, restlessness, get better sleep, and more. Now the question is: what or which one will be a good mindfulness app?

There are thousands of such apps available in the market. But we'll be sharing a few mindfulness apps, based on the great reviews, quality, and reliability. These mindfulness or meditation apps are for beginners as well.

Let's look at the 20 best mindfulness apps and how they help you.

1. Calm

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 4.5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchase

Calm is an award-winning app that can help you to be joyful in your daily life, have peace of mind and a sense of clarity. This app consists of breathing techniques to keep you relaxed, calming exercises, and also contains a Calm Kids section for kids between 3 and 17 years with meditations applicable to them.

The Sleep Stories section features a wonderful mixture of voice talent — where you may recognize actors like Matthew McConaughey or Jerome Flynn lending their voices to help you calm down.

This is a great meditation app for sleep also. There are brand-new mindful walking meditation, breathing exercises, and calming exercises which allow you to increase your concentration and be mindful in daily activities.

This app also includes few short meditations that are really helpful for a busy day. A lot of people agree that the app Calm can do wonders and allow our lives to turn in a positive way. According to the users, it’s great for mindfulness and meditation, in short, it’s a great mindfulness daily app.    

People often are curious and ask: Is there is a free app like calm?  And the answer to it is yes, there are few free apps but it’s always better to take suggestions from the professionals. The apps created by professionals or experts can help us to get guided according to our needs or our symptoms.

"Personally speaking, this app has helped with calming me down whenever necessary. It's a great app to have if you suffer from anxiety or just need a few calm minutes out of the day Updated: To access anything on this app you need to pay. It might as well have been a paid app," a Calm user wrote on the Google Play store.

2. Buddhify

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 4 stars

Price: $4.99 for iPhone, $2.99 for Android

There are more than 200 meditations in the Buddhify app through which you can learn to reduce stress and anxiety, sleep difficulty, and also manage difficult emotions.

It is a widely recognized app created by experts who are great leaders and teachers. They constantly are making improvements to this unique mindfulness app.  

The creator of the app, Rohan Gunatillake is himself a meditation enthusiast and began working on the app after realizing the magic meditation and mindfulness can have on busy city life.

He worked in a big tech firm in London and gradually immersed himself in several meditative techniques. 

"Seeing that there wasn’t anything available on the app store that mindfulness in a way that was beautiful, accessible, and effective, he decided to make it and Buddhify was born.

And because of his love for on-the-go meditation, right from the beginning, Buddhify was all about meditation for wherever you are and whatever you’re doing," according to the company's website. 

The mindfulness exercises in this high-quality app to be practiced according to our daily activities like- waking up, eating, at work, traveling, and also when we’re online.

It’s a great mindfulness or meditation app for beginners and also for practitioners who are experienced, as the sessions range from 3-40 minutes.

Some people have complained about the app's User Experience and said that the app can be buggy at times, but when it comes to mindfulness, the content is what really matters. We can expect the company to fix the bugs. 

"Brilliant, well designed, simple and straightforward guided meditation app. They have tons of guides for every possible situation. Very nice! Kudos!," goes a review of the app on Play Store. 

3. The Mindfulness App

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 4.5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchase

Two yoga and mindfulness professionals who had the mission of letting the general people know about the benefits of mindfulness began The Mindfulness App. They had the urge to recreate the world into a healthier, friendlier, and lovable place to live in.  

It is also a wonderful mindfulness app for beginners and gurus which contains a lot of options. The Mindfulness App is very helpful for beginners as there are a guided 5-day practice and introduction to mindfulness which can help the beginners to start off with an enthusiasm.

There are meditation tracks with and without narrators ranging from 3-30 minutes which helps in our busy lifestyle. The app has personalized options with reminders to keep yourselves mindful all-day-long and is a really helpful one.  

"This App has taught me to how to meditate, which has greatly improved the quality of my life. I am able to control negative feelings and can now deal with stressful situations more effectively because I know I can meditate afterward and regain a feeling of control and calm," a user review on Play Store goes. 

4. Headspace

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 3.5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Headspace app offers its users spoken-word exercises which can be used for around 10 minutes a day, starting with a free 10-session pack with an initial download.

One thing users will notice as soon as they launch the app is the incredible, calm, and soothing UI of the app. It uses pastel color palets that are not too gaudy, and have very elegant typefaces and a material design-like feel on its UI. Personally, I truly enjoy using this app, along with its content. 

One of the best things about this app is that you can try it before you decide to buy it. And the best thing about the Headspace app is that through the guided mindfulness techniques, we can be calm with our inner self, find wellbeing and bring balance to our lives.

It’s also a good meditation app for sleep. Before going to bed, we can try new meditations for sleep which include music, storytelling sleep casts also.  

5. Insight Timer

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 5 stars

Price: Free, with optional in-app purchases

On Insight Timer there are 10 or more free, guided meditations added every day. The app provides exercises by top meditation and mindfulness experts, neuroscientists, psychologists, and teachers from Stanford, Harvard, the University of Oxford, and more.

These experts help with topics like nature, stress, self-compassion also includes talks and podcasts. You can also browse thousands of meditations to build simple daily habits.

The music tracks, ambient sounds can be used to calm the mind and promote sleep, hence it is another great meditation app for sleep. This app focuses upon meditation as a privilege and not a product.

We are prompted to meditate through this app according to our need or wish, once we become a member of Insight Timer, without any fees.

We will only know that how long it needs to be played so that we can get benefit out of it, so accordingly we can play the meditation tracks.    

6. Sattva

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 4 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Sattva is a one-of-a-kind app that will help you to reconnect with yourselves, with its inspiring daily meditations. It has features like pre-loaded guided Vedas-inspired meditations, timers, chants, and mantras delivered by Sanskrit scholars. Users can slowly set their goals to elongate their practice starting from 6-minutes in length.

You can also meditate with your friends by using Sattva or can also join a group of unknown people to try to learn something new. Sattva allows you to chat with other users and share your experiences as well.

"Amazing app. Absolutely life changer. The only flaw I found in it is when we set a timer and sit the sound stops within 30 seconds. The bug has to be fixed. Rest its top class. I've purchased membership too," a Sattva user says on Google Play Store review. 

7. MyLife Meditation

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Previously, the MyLife Meditation app was known as Stop, Breathe & Think. The recommendations of meditation on this app will be based on your emotions.

To know or identify how you're feeling you've got to use this app, then accordingly can tame your anxiety, reduce stress, breathe deeply, or sleep peacefully with the short, guided meditations, acupressure videos, and yoga videos.

Your mood can also be tracked through the Mylife Meditation app and the overall progress, accordingly, will help you know how to handle yourself or help to overcome any situations in a better way.

MyLife users on Google Play Store shared their experience with the app: "This app has helped me tremendously whenever I need some calm in my life.

It helped me remain focused on all I can control - my breath. I enjoy the paid version, it seemed silly at first to buy an app to help meditate, but truthfully I have benefitted so much from it.

I love the people's voices, they are very comforting. And I also enjoy that they have some yoga moves and mini breathing exercises for something different. Stick with your practice!"

8. Breethe

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 4 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

We are most of the time under some other pressures. Breethe will let you learn how to overcome stress and sleep better in just 5 minutes of meditation with a personal mindfulness coach.

This app’s guided meditation series, inspirational talks, and masterclasses from mindfulness coach Lynne Goldberg can help us to navigate life’s challenges, overcoming pressure and hence can recover the lost peace of mind so that we regain the feeling of love for everything. Breethe’s sleep music playlists, bedtime readings, and nature sounds teach us how to enjoy a more restful sleep.

Here's what a Breethe user has to say: "I've been using the app for 2 years and enjoy it very much but the support is terrible. I'm having an issue with the app and the tech support keeps denying a problem exists.

I'm likely switching to a different product. Update: a satisfactory resolution from the customer care team . I'll be looking forward to resuming my meditations once the technical problem is resolved."

9. INSCAPE

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

In different scenarios where we may just want to stop and breathe, which you may need every day, Inscape can help. Thus, this iOS-only app is known as an all-purpose meditation app.

Through Inscape’s meditation features you can help yourself to calm down by controlling mood-swings and re-center your mind.

The app also has feature sessions focused on fear of flying, improving sleep, reducing anxiety, boosting happiness, building acceptance, and building creativity plus many more. 

Whether you feel stressed, anxious, can’t sleep, or angry, this app can help us to learn to reflect upon the mood and act accordingly.

"Honestly, this app changed my life. So many people talk about the benefits of meditation, but this is the only app/youtube/playlist that I could get into, says an Inscape user in a public review.

"The series teaches you not just about the different types of meditation but also what they're for. There are also quick breathers (3-5 min) that have helped me avoid panic attacks.

Of course, the whole thing isn't free, but after doing the free trial, I went for premium, and my mental health thanks me."

10. Simple Habit

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

At times, meditations can be a big task for us. But, through voice-guided meditations and relaxing sounds of nature, Simple Habit can help you to get into the habit of meditation without feeling it to be a huge task. 

The Editor's Choice app has to be on the market for a long time and has evolved into a fantastic offering.  According to the makers, this wellness & sleep app is recommended by top psychologists, therapists, and mental health experts. 

With step-by-step guidance, Simply being becomes very easy and relaxing for beginners. Professionals also use this app. This app urges its users to relax deeply and experience the present moment which is lacking these days.

Simply also offering a huge range of 5-minute interesting exercises to help you to do regular meditation to be mindful of what you are doing.

"Nice way to start the day. The sessions are not too long, easy to follow, and with a calm and easy voice guiding the session. Nicely personalized with daily motivation message, says a Simple Habit user. 

11. Meditation Studio

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Meditation Studio has various collections of meditation courses prepared by meditation teachers. You will be able to choose from over 200 meditations with various teachers.

The app has a collection that is based upon your need or creates a custom meditation plan if you want a little bit of everything.

Some of the topics found in meditation are:

  • Discovering our highest potential and developing self-love (Be Awesome)
  • Attaining mental and physical health (Be Healthy)
  • Exploring different meditation styles (Be Curious)

A Simple Habits user rated the app with: "I'm really enjoying the meditation files so far and feel much more relaxed in myself. You can add a backing track of something you enjoy like bird sounds or chimes.

There are just two things I think could improve it up to 5*. Being able to choose the backing sound once in the settings and having it apply to all tracks so you don't have to do it every time would be nice, and having the next session autoplay would be great because I'm finding the relaxation undoing when I have to manually change." 

12. Waking UP 

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

New York Times best-selling author and public intellectual, Sam Harris who has covered topics related to body, mind, and spirituality, has started with meditation courses with collected science-backed meditations and other resources that can help you to remain mindful. The app also includes additional educational tools about philosophy, selfhood.

These days, in this chaotic world, we seldom can sit back and make discoveries of our minds. Waking up will actually help us to get ourselves to wake up and re-discover our minds. Through this app, we can master mindfulness with the guidance of Sam Harris.

If you're wondering how good the app is, here's a review from a user on the Play Store: 

"I've tried Headspace and Calm, and they were both useful as an introduction (for over a hundred hours!) but ultimately felt shallow. I feel this app is far ahead in both theory and practice. The insights are deeper and more meaningful. On a personal level, the meditations are more challenging for me. One moment that comes to mind is being asked to recall something I deeply regret or feel sad about, then experience it and watch it pass. A fantastic, growth-filled experience. Thank you, Sam."

13. Oak

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Oak contains various quick exercises to calm yourselves, sleep well, or feel peaceful. It’s really a quick way to meditate. The app also tracks how many sessions we’ve taken, how long each session lasts, how many breaths we’ve taken and it continues.

"It's really a productive app. I am a satisfied user of this product. It's clean & user-friendly. I just love it," wrote a user in the review of the app. 

14. Let’s Meditate

Android rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

With Lets Meditate you will be able to find and download different courses for reducing anxiety, relieving stress, sleeping better, etc. Let’s meditate has got options for a 45-minute meditation session to relax from a long, hard, and tiring day.  

"I love this app! I originally downloaded it because online school is stressful and I couldn't focus, then I found this on my recommended play store. It's very relaxing and peaceful, and as a student that can't afford classes of meditation, this is a big help in my self-growth and time management. I will make sure to recommend this app to friends and family whoever stress out and need time to recollect. 10/10 great app!," a user of this app says. 

15. Prana Breath

Android rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

To increase meditation practice over time by a number of minutes or by the goal we have to reach, Prana Breath, an advanced training app, offers plenty of easy-to-use options.

The app also features routines of meditations to quit the smoke and tackle emotional eating.

"The app is really on point on all the aspects. Easy to use, default settings are good enough but can be customized greatly. The guru version is well worth the price! Thanks!," says one app user. 

16. Mindfulness with Petit BamBou

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Whether you're are a mother with young children into your golden years, or just a person seeking some mindfulness help, this app is for everyone.

It features lots of guided meditation courses from 3–50 minutes long in different languages, such as Spanish, English, and German, and has courses based on mindfulness, the science of positive psychology, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

The guided meditations are organized by themes that consist of 330 sessions which also includes 8 free sessions in the Discovery program.

The meditations also cover important topics of sleep, benevolent parenting, stress management. The sessions can also be downloaded to meditate offline. 

One of this app's users explained the experience as: "Love this app. I find it so helpful for my anxiety and sleep. Or simply to relax and play in the background. I use it for white noise (wind in the trees). I live in a busy city and it can be loud any time of day. So the water and rain especially Vancouver Coast just take me out of the busy day and into a peaceful moment. It also helps my cat relax. :) Loud sounds startle her. I play birds and she dozes off peacefully. Thank you so much to the creator(s), for this thoughtful app."

17. Breathe+ Simple Breath Trainer

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Breathing during meditation isn’t the same as regular breathing. Some practice is required before we can feel in full control of our breaths and get the results.

To get complete benefit from meditative breathing, Breathe+ helps us with its designed process to breathe in a “proper” way, which also includes holding our breath for up to 30 seconds and inhaling or exhaling for a short period of time.

"I've tried a lot of guided breathing apps, but always end up choosing Breathe+. It has a simple interface, but it lets you customize everything you might want to customize like lengths for different parts of breaths. And the waves to follow with your breathing are the best and most relaxing breathing visual I've come across!," writes one app user on App Store. 

 

18. Whil

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

If you're too busy to meditate, then this app is ideal for us. This app features meditation courses that last as few as 5 minutes and guess what, these sessions can actually help reduce stress, anxiety, tension.

This app is also designed to help teens and young adults learn about how pressure and stress, affect their physical and emotional health, and this kind of app is quite rare. Whil offers tools that teens and everyone can use throughout their lives to continue to live a “mindful” life.

"The Whil app is a great way to build and maintain a meditation practice. Clear guidance in bite-sized sessions makes it easy to get started. Thank you!," a Whil user said in the app review. 

19. Happy, Not Perfect

iPhone rating: 5 stars

Android rating: 5 stars

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Sometimes we may not know that what keeps us stressed, anxious, or feel pressured. Happy not Perfect will let you get connected with your current mood and give you specific meditation tips that will help to keep yourselves centered in all kinds of situations.

The app has a very appealing concept which is its very name -- Happy, not perfect. In life it is impossible is attain perfection. No one can be perfectly happy. Nature is imperfect. hence finding happiness in the rut is the best way. This app works that way. 

It also features courses to get yourself free from cycles of negativity and develop a positive mindset. This can further result in confidence to handle life’s unexpected causes of disturbances, anxiety, and stress in a calm way.

"Using research into positive psychology, neuroscience, and meditation and with the help of developers, creatives and our incredible guides we started to create our app and our product range,' the app's developers say on its website. 

20. 10% Happier - Meditation & Sleep

This app is presented by a meditation advocate and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller book, 10% Happier, Dan Harris who also happens to be an ABC News anchor.

In the book, Harris explores how his on-air panic attack in 2004 prompted him to search for a way to defang the voice in his head.

This app’s content is based on neuroscience. It is fit for those who are skeptical about meditation and the results of meditation.

It is very good for beginners also who may have never understood the point of meditation. The users who have experienced this app’s courses could feel themselves be calm and relaxed.  The users have also noticed that the programs help them to know themselves better and become mindful in daily life.

"Beyond worth it,: according to one of this app's users. "There are a ton of free meditations to get you going, and after you purchase a membership you get access to everything, but direct access to a meditation teacher and the courses are the most invaluable part for me. Sure you can look up a free meditation on youtube, but you would be missing out on the lessons and the structured format of the courses. This app is far better than all the other meditation apps out there."

If you want and give efforts then, of course, you can change into a better version of yourself. Mindfulness apps can be great friends only when we acknowledge the friendship. Let's try with these apps and you can always give your valuable feedback in the comments below. 

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