If you’re in the winter doldrums right about now—the time has changed, but not the weather—we hear you. Or maybe you are looking for a year-round way to feel more centered and less stressed. Just as there’s been a surge of interest in mindfulness and meditation in real life, there’s also been a spate of apps that promise to bring you calm whenever, wherever you need it.
Meditate When You Want, Where You Want
Grab your earbuds, plug in, and tune in! Here are three options (free, but most have additional in-app programs for a fee) for iOS and Android that get great reviews.
Just as there’s been a surge of interest in meditation in real life, there’s also been a spate of apps that promise to bring you calm whenever, wherever you need it.
- Stop, Breathe & Think is a great option for beginners. There’s a “Learn to Meditate” section that will teach you about mindfulness and why it’s good for you, and when you use the app, it asks you to rate your state from “rough” to “great” and identify the emotions you are feeling. It then recommends meditations (say, “Forgiving yourself”) based on that insight. You get 34 free sessions—most of them 15 minutes or less—and the app helps you track how you are feeling over time, hopefully improving with the use of the app.
- Insight Timer has gotten a lot of buzz and for good reason: It has a community of five million meditators around the globe! The app offers an amazing array of almost 13,000 guided meditations from over 2,600 teachers. Subjects include stress, creativity, relationships, and more. The app has a nice sense of community, too. It tells you how many members are meditating at a given time and lets you know after a session how many others were ohm-ing along, too.
- Calm is a very cool offering that brings you tranquility from a few different angles—and it won a “Best of 2018 Award” from Apple. Opt out of the subscription option for now, and try the “7 Days of Calm” program, which is a week-long training for beginners, as well as 25 free meditation sessions ranging from a few minutes to a half-hour and designed to target issues like sleep problems (check out the “Sleep Stories”) and anxiety. The app also greets you with soothing sounds (pick rainfall, chirping birds, or other options) when you open it, and it has a library of 100-plus music tracks for you to melt into.