If you ever considered using an app to learn meditation then you might find yourself in quite a predicament when trying to find a good one from the ocean of choices that are currently available in different app stores. Here are some features that you might want to consider: an introductory program for beginners, duration, variety, voices, free content, paid content, additional features, the subscription cost. I’ve seen quite a few questions about choosing the right mediation app that I decided to test a few of them myself and make a list for anyone who is interested in trying them out to jumpstart their meditation practice.
When you download Breethe (formerly OMG. I Can Meditate!), it will prompt you to take free 7-Day Meditation Challenge for beginners.
Each session is 12 to 18 minutes long. The longer duration will offer you more periods of silence.
You also get 1 free meditation from the premium category Life Situations:
- Wake Up with Intention
- 5-Minute Meditation
- Balance Breath
- Blanket of Love
- Dealing with Pressure
- Sweet Dreams
What sets this app apart is 25 free meditations for kids. They are broken up into 4 categories: Kids 6-9, Tweens 10-13, Teens 14-17, and Family.
You should try this app if you like to meditate for longer periods of time (up to 18 minutes) and would like to teach your kids to do the same.
For the curious: how losing mother, child, and husband helped Lynn Goldberg, the founder of the app, to discover the power of meditation.
Watch her interview with HuffPost on YouTube. Interesting moments: 02:18, 14:55, 27:20, 32:35
Download for free on iTunes, premium $12.5/month.
Calm will guide you through a free 7-Day beginner program that will teach you the basics of meditation. Each session is 10 minutes long, non-adjustable.
You also get 1 free meditation from premium categories such as
What sets this app apart is Sleep Stories. Yes, the stories for adults. When you download the app you have access to 4 of them: Blue Gold narrated by Stephen Fry, The Lavender Valley, The Secret Lagoon, and The Waterfall.
This app is perfect for those who are comfortable with meditating for 10 minutes straight and have trouble falling asleep.
Download for free on iTunes, premium $12.99/month.
Headspace is one of the most popular meditation apps out there. It has free 10-Day Basics program designed to help total beginners start meditating from day one. You also get great flexibility in terms of meditation duration: each session is 3, 5, or 10 minutes long.
When done with the Basics program, you can try 1 free meditation from the following categories:
The notable feature of this app is funny animations between sessions that explain different aspects of meditation.
This app is perfect for all beginners.
For the curious: How Andy Puddicombe became a Buddhist monk and founded the Headspace app. Watch his famous TED talk about meditation on YouTube.
Download for free on iTunes, premium $12.99/month.
#4 The Mindfulness App
The first thing you need to do is go through free 5-day Get Started program. All sessions are 5-minute long and give you meditation tips and instructions on how to use the app optimally.
After that, you can play around with
- Timed Meditations
- 5-Minute Body Scan
- Personalized meditation.
What sets this app apart is the flexibility of a Personalized Meditation Timer which allows you to set duration (1-95 minutes) and intervals of bells, turn on the guided intro and background music.
Please note that you might find the voice in the 5-day program a bit distracting, but it gets better in Timed Meditation.
Download for free on iTunes, premium $9.99/month.
#5 Smiling Mind
The basic 3-part program will provide you with a short and informative introduction to mindfulness meditation.
Created by Australian non-profit organization Smiling Mind is completely free and you can listen to all of their meditation programs in these categories:
Smiling Mind has partnered with psychologists and health professionals to make the app accessible to everyone, regardless of their location. They also aim to see mindfulness on the Australian National Curriculum by 2020.
Smiling Mind is a totally free app that can be used by everyone.
Download for free on iTunes.
#6 10% Happier
This app has free 8-Day Beginner course called One Minute Counts. Each session can be adjusted to be 1, 5, 10 long. Each day you listen to a new teacher who has a unique way of guiding you through meditation.
Once you’re done with the basic course you can listen to 1 free meditation from the premium content:
- Open Awareness
- Seeing Thoughts Clearly
- Getting Out of Your Head
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Attending to Awareness with Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Working with Anxiety
- Falling Asleep
- Walking with Awareness
The notable feature of the app is a personal meditation coach who can answer your questions in a special chat room inside the app. Pretty cool!
This app is perfect for super busy people who have very little time to meditate during the day.
For the curious: learn how Dan Harris of Good Morning America discovered the power of meditation after he had a panic attack on national television. Watch his story on YouTube.
Download for free in iTunes, premium $9.99 month.
Choose Your Meditation App
Now that you know more about these great meditation apps, choose the one you like and try it out yourself.
Still not sure? Then download my app comparison chart below, it shows you all of the features on one page so you can compare all 6 apps and make a better decision.