Meditation is a great way to escape the noise and stress in everyday life and connect with your mind and body. So, it’s counterproductive to use technology, an ever-present source of noise in our lives today, to help us get centered, right?
Wrong. Tuning out daily distractions is hard, and meditation takes patience and practice. But meditation apps can help guide you through the experience, whether you are just curious to give it a try or are an expert looking to incorporate a variety of meditation techniques into your life.
Take A Break
The app is as straightforward as its name. Choose whether you want a simple 7-minute break or a 13-minute “stress relief” guided meditation session. You control the type of background noise (music, ocean, street or rain) and the volume of the recording. There is an option to let the background noise linger for up to 20 minutes. Anyone curious if meditation is for them should start here. Free, In-App Purchases Available meditationoasis.com
Stop, Breathe & Think
Stop, Breathe & Think creates a personalized meditation for you every day by asking a simple question: how are you? After deciding if you are mentally and physically “great” or feeling more on the “meh” side, you pick up to five emotions from an extensive list to describe your mood. Based on the information provided, the app chooses the guided meditation that would be most helpful to you that day. There are 15 free options starting with a simple “Mindful Breathing” exercise to one titled “Commonality of Suffering” to help put the tough days into perspective. The “My Progress” feature keeps track of your total meditation time, weekly mood and top 10 emotions so it’s easy to view your progress at a glance. Beginners can read the “Learn How To Meditate” section to learn basic principles of meditation before jumping in. There is a self-timer for experienced users. Free, In-App Purchases Available stopbreathethink.org
The Mindfulness App II
The Mindfulness App II provides a variety of guided meditation exercises including Walking Meditation, Lake Meditation and Mountain Meditation. It also includes inspiring quotes and instructions on how to practice being more aware every day. There is a silent meditation option, a scheduling tool for both beginners and advanced users and a section that tracks history and progress. $1.99 mindapps.se
Relax (with Andrew Johnson)
Andrew Johnson has a series of apps aimed to guide people toward specific goals through meditation. Relax is the basic meditation track, but other options include Deep Sleep or Don’t Panic to help with anxiety. The apps are user-friendly and straightforward, consisting of a track player that allows you to play, pause and stop the recording as you wish. It’s that simple. The free version of Relax is a 15-minute guided meditation. Purchasing the app allows you to customize the length of the recording and your end goal (sleep or wakefulness). This one is great for those seeking a basic guided experience without having to consider a mood or goal. Free, Full versions start at $2.99 withandrewjohnson.com
Buddhify 2 includes 80+ guided meditations based on your activity. You can meditate any time of day, whether you are working online or on a nature walk. You choose your activity and decide the length of the session. The app keeps track of your progress in a “Stats” section, and there is a self-timer for those who prefer unguided meditation. The “Tips & Tricks” section provides the user with information about how to increase mindfulness. $4.99 buddhify.com
Omvana is a guided-meditation library that offers an extensive collection of recordings from experts around the world, allowing you to purchase tracks aimed at achieving specific goals. There are selections for people looking for help falling asleep, those who want to focus on improving relationships and much more. Advanced users can purchase music for independent meditation, and tracks can be layered over one another with the Mixer tool. There is also a feature that allows you to sync Omvana with iPhone’s Health App. While the variety of meditation recordings offered is impressive, I do not recommend it for beginners. You are provided with a few recordings to start but most are purchased. Other apps discussed in this article provide a more individualized meditation experience at no cost, and are less overwhelming to navigate. Free to download, Recording costs vary omvana.com