The Best Mindfulness Apps for Even the Busiest Meditators
“If 5 to 10 minutes sounds hard, I think one minute most days can really make a difference.”
– Dan Harris, in an Interview for Considerable.
Meditation, one of the world’s longest continuing practices, has gotten an upgrade in the last decade or so, primarily in the form of apps. It’s easier now than ever to get your mindfulness on wherever you are and be coached by some of the best teachers around at a (sometimes) fairly low cost.
Here are some of our favorite free and not-so-free meditation apps for even the busiest of meditators.
10/10 | Free | Timer + Guided Meditations + Talks
Will a meditation app ever be as diverse, customizable, and useful as Insight Timer? Probably not. And that’s why we love it so much. The app is completely free with 25,000 (!!!) free guided meditations and talks, as well as a fully customizable meditation timer.
7/10 | Free with a Premium Subscription Options Starting at $70/yr | Timer + Guided Meditations
Headspace is the OG of meditation apps. It’s minimalistic design and playful characters help make just opening the app feel relaxing. It has a variety of content for beginners all the way to professional meditators lead by some of the best and brightest meditation teachers out there.
However, the free version is very restrictive and it’s sometimes difficult to find the type of meditation you’re looking for without splurging on the premium subscription.
7/10 | $69.99/yr | Timer + Guided Meditations + Sleep Stories
The Calm interface isn’t quite at the level or Insight Time or Headspace but it does have a sleep story from Matthew McConaughey, so maybe it evens out.
Calm is a little different. The app creators specialize in sleep stories, meditations, and calming music rather than just meditation. So, if you’re looking for something more well-rounded than your average mindfulness app, this is the place to go.
8/10 | $95.99/yr + Free Version Available | Timer + Guided Meditations
Simple Habit is the most user-friendly meditation app on this list. It has a wide variety of content, most of which are meditations between 5 and 10 minutes. It’s truly the app for the busiest meditators.
We also love that it offers monthly challenges that really help you keep your practice on track.
But, just like Headspace, if you don’t have the premium version, you have very very limited access.
9/10 | $95.99/yr | Timer + Guided Meditations + Expert Help + Talks
This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention 10% Happier by one of our favorite author and spokespeople: Dan Harris. The app offers the usual meditations with a wide variety of lengths and topics by some of the best teachers in the world.
But, it also offers something nothing else on this list does: a direct line to meditation experts. Although the communication is purely through text and the replies aren’t instant (a day or less in most cases), the insights that these teachers offer are second to none. They are especially helpful if you don’t have regular access to a coach.
Unplug: 7/10 | $59.99 | Playlists + Guided Meditations + Journal
Activity: 7/10 | Free with Apple Watch | 1 Minute Guided Breathing on Demand
Oak: 8/10 | Free | Meditations + Some Courses ($)