There are so many meditation apps available that it difficult to choose the right app. Below are some guidelines and tips for choosing an app. After all, practicing mindfulness, even if only for a few minutes each day, can help to relieve stress, boost immunity, balance our emotions, and help us stay focused.
Do you really need an app?
This is probably the first question you should ask yourself. Many people around the world do meditation without the support of an app. So, the answer is, it really depends on you. Apps can provide structure (something almost all of us need), background music, and guided instructions. I also find that having an app and interacting with the app daily provides more incentive to continue each day.
If you are just starting to meditate, there are tons of free resources available on the web. Just type “how to meditate” into your browser and you will see a wide range of articles and videos available.
When is the best time to meditate?
Scheduling just 5-10 minutes each morning after waking is the best time to meditate. If that is not feasible or if you are like me and love to sleep, you can also try scheduling time after work. I would avoid long meditations just before bed since you will probably doze off. That may not be a bad thing especially if you have trouble falling asleep.
If you really want to reap the benefits of meditation, set aside a few minutes each and every day. What is great about some of these apps is they have sessions that can be completed in just 3-5 minutes or less. One of the apps, Calm, has something called “Sleep Stories” that can help lure you to sleep. We will talk more about Sleep Stories below.
Choosing an app
If you open the Android or iOS app store and search for meditation apps, you will no doubt see an overwhelming number of apps available. Choosing an app depends on what features are most important to you and what you are willing to pay. Below is a review of 4 popular apps.
Search the internet for meditation apps and this one consistently comes up as being “one of the best,” and we can see why.
This is a very basic app for those who want a great no-frills meditation experience without all the bells and whistles.
This app has garnished lots of attention from the media, and deservingly so.
Introduced in 2016, this app is considered the new kid on the block.
All the apps mentioned above, with the exception of Simply Being, require a subscription service to unlock premium content. You may find that the free content offered by all the subscription-based apps, along with the one-time purchase of Simple Being, is all you need.
If you find it hard to motivate yourself to meditate daily and prefer a large selection of different meditations, then a paid subscription is probably the way to go. All three of the subscription apps (Calm, Headspace, and Simple Habit) regularly add new and interesting content to their apps. You can find meditations for walking, anxiety, self-esteem, sleep, etc.
If you are going to pay for a subscription service, which one should you choose? The best solution is to try each of the apps mentioned above and see which one fits you best.