Meditation has made a huge comeback in the past few years. And no wonder! It reduces stress, boosts creativity, and increases self-awareness, helping you feel more comfortable in your own body.
The thing is, sometimes we’re too busy to meditate. Or else meditation classes may not even be available in our area (and if they are, they can be prohibitively expensive).
But did you know? You can meditate with free apps on your phone in just 5 to 10 minutes. Meditating daily doesn’t take as much time as you would think.
To help you incorporate some meditation time into your day, we’ve scoured the App Store and Google Play Store to bring you the best meditation apps that are available for free.
Top Free Meditation Apps
Calm is definitely calming, alright. When you open the app you’re greeted with the relaxing sound of falling rain! You can choose different noises that will play upon launch: crickets, a crackling fireplace, or “celestial white noise”. They all sound heavenly but I personally like the gentle sound of a brook or stream.
There are 16 free meditation sequences available on the app, some lasting only 3 minutes and others lasting up to half an hour. You can begin with their 7-day beginner program, or try a singular session like Forgiveness or Loving-Kindness. Like many other applications, Calm includes a timer so that you can meditate in total silence or to the intermittent sound of bells.
Another interesting option the app offers are “sleep stories”, which are basically bedtime stories for adults. There are four that are available for free. There is a premium subscription plan available on the app, and if you pay for a year that cost ends up being about $4.99 per month.
I’ve been using the free app and haven’t needed to upgrade so far. It’s a great way to end an exercise routine in the morning (or evening).
This video appeared in one of my social media timelines and as a longtime user of the app, I have to say it’s very on point. It illustrates the benefits of meditation and the app in under 2 minutes.
The Aura app is a little bit different from other meditation apps out there. Every day, you get a new three-minute meditation called a “Mindful Moment”.
With Aura, you’ll always get a new, personalized meditation because teachers are always recording new sessions. The app will ask you your age and about how you’re feeling. If you enjoy the meditation of the day, you can save it to your library to use in the future.
One of their other handy features is their “Mindful Breather” exercise, where you synchronize your breathing with a circle that expands in and out.
3. Stop, Breathe, & Think
This app is unique in that it provides a guided tutorial so that you can really understand just what meditation is (and how it’ll benefit you). It focuses on compassion, sleep, depression, and anxiety.
Stop, Breathe, & Think offers a ton of free sessions (ranging from 11 minutes to entire themes), or you can set a timer and meditate in silence. A progress page holds you accountable and tracks your daily meditation streak. For collectors, you’ll also be able to collect adorable stickers which provide a small incentive for you to stay on track.
4. Insight Timer
Insight Timer offers over 4,000 guided meditations from many, many teachers. There are different topics for you to focus on, such as compassion, stress, nature, and self-compassion.
For podcast fans, Insight Timer also offers talk shows and podcasts! Thousands of people use this app each month, and it shows on their home page: you’ll be able to see how many people are meditating in real time so you get a feeling of community.
Insight Timer doesn’t offer any themed meditation courses to follow. Instead, it’s like a smorgasbord of meditation: you get to pick and choose which one feels best for you at that given moment in time.
Investing 5 or 10 minutes of your day in meditation makes a huge difference. You will feel more calm and much more ready to face the challenges of the day. In contrast, whenever I miss a day of meditation, I can feel the difference in that I am out of sync with myself, my thoughts, and the world around me.
Try out one of these apps and see if they make a difference in your health and wellness.
Author: Mary Lou
In the Before Times, Maru spent vacations traveling and making stops at showrooms to test the latest massage chair models. Nowadays, she’s hunkered down in her small sunlit home dotted with her ever-growing collection of fiddle fig trees, indoor plants, and Himalayan salt lamps. Find her at LinkedIn.