Meditation has long been praised for its positive effect on our health and wellness. It helps us relax, deal with stress and anxiety and sleep better. On top of this, a recent study in the Netherlands has shown that it even has a similar effect on people as having a holiday! They found that just 15 minutes of meditation let to similar emotional states such as lower levels of negative emotions like irritation and higher levels of positive emotions like gratitude. These were similar effects to people who had just been on holiday.
With all these benefits, it seems we should all be trying out meditation, and it’s easier than ever to try it at home. We have researched some of the best meditation apps to help you get started.
The Mindfulness App
The mindfulness app has a five day guided practice and introduction to mindfulness to kick you off. You can set a timer for guided or silent meditation that fits however busy you are from 3 – 30 minutes. You can also track your meditation and reminders to keep you mindful in the day.
One of the most well-known apps, Headspace has hundreds of guided meditations, mini-meditations, SOS meditations and even ones for kids. It explains things easily with helpful animations. They also have sleep music tracks and nature sounds to help you drift off to sleep to help with stress and anxiety.
Designed especially for sceptics of mediation, it teaches you meditation techniques in a simple way. It has a range of content to hope you help with different types of stress – it even has one specifically for political stress for those getting stressed out by the news! It’s great for people who are not sure about whether they should try meditation, and is updated regularly with new content.
Insight timer has very experienced mindfulness teachers. You can choose based on how long you have to practice, and what style of meditation you like. You can also set a timer and just meditate without guidance once you are well practised. There is also a big community with discussion groups to talk to fellow users. Meditation experts cite it as one of the best meditation apps around.
Calm has exercises in meditation and breathing techniques. You can even try out a different range of voices including actors Matthew McConaughy and Jerome Flynn! It provides guided sessions from 3 – 25 minutes long, and covers everything from calming anxiety, meditations covering gratitude and mindfulness at work. They regularly update with different meditations. It also has a 7-day or 21-day programmes for beginners and a tracker so that you can keep an eye on your progress.
Stop, Breathe & Think
The great thing about this app is that is based around your emotions. It helps you identify how you’re feeling, then use meditation to work through those emotions. This includes anxiety, stress and problems with sleep. The app has guided meditations, yoga videos and acupressure videos, and helps you track your mood over the days.
For the Yogi’s among us, the YogaGlo app has a variety of guided meditations with well-respected teachers. It’s great for both new and experienced meditators and gives you access to teacher-led yoga classes. You can customise your workout depending on the length, teacher, or skill level. You can also choose from a variety of topics to help focus on your needs.