Free Meditation Apps to Cultivate Mindfulness
Meditation is an extremely useful tool for cultivating mindfulness in our everyday lives. I am proud to say that I have meditated consistently for over four months straight. I’ve been pushing myself to do it every morning in hopes that it will become so ingrained in my daily routine that I yearn for it when I haven’t done it. I think it’s finally beginning to become compulsory and the effect that it’s had on my level of mindfulness throughout the day has been incredible to witness. If you are curious about meditation but you don’t know where to start, using a mobile app is a great way to get into it. In many cases, technology is the temptation that hinders our ability to remain focused on a given task. Countless times throughout the day, we find ourselves with our noses buried in our screens as we mindlessly scroll through social media. On the flip side, technology can ironically be an extremely useful tool for cultivating mindfulness. The apps that I discuss in this post make meditation super accessible and efficient. Just carving out 10, 5, or even 3 minutes each day to go inward can yield incredible benefits including decreased stress levels, more effective decision-making, and greater empathy for the humans around you.
Here are four meditation apps that I have tried and would recommend. All are free with options for paid upgrades/increased options. Oh! And none of these apps have endorsed this post in any way. Just thought I’d share from my own experience.
This was the first meditation app that I ever used. I honestly haven’t used it in a while but that’s largely due to shifts in my personal meditation practice. It’s a great app for those who are new to meditation and would like more extensive guidance. It’s organized into levels so that you can slowly work your way into being more independent. The guiding voice is also that of a British man, which could be a pro or a con depending on your accentual preferences (pretty sure that’s not an actual term but I’m gonna roll with it. #2017). The downside to this app is that because it’s organized into levels, it doesn’t take long to work your way through those that are free. If you find this format useful and you’d like to continue developing your practice, however, paying for the more advanced levels might be worth the bucks.
This app is great if you’re pretty comfortable with sitting meditation without guidance and would just like an app for timing and soothing sounds. You simply set the timer and if you’d like, you can set it to play one of its ambient noise options. You can also customize it for timed intervals so that a sound alerts you for every X minutes that passes.
This is the app that I have been using the most as of late. It offers a range of meditation templates that are suited for people at all stages and moods. I use the “Calm” meditation most often, which is structured to verbally guide you in and out of the meditation, with silence in between. Each template is offered in a variety of time increments ranging from 3 to 30 minutes. There is also a great “breathe” function that you can use to assist you with breathwork.
The breathe app is unique in that it asks to complete a brief survey/questionnaire before and after each meditation. The pre-meditation questions prompt you to think about how you’re feeling in your mind and body. It then uses that information to recommend meditation programs that might be fitting for you in that moment. The post-mediation questionnaire lets you reflect on how to feel after having completed the program. This allows for a before/after comparison that enables you to see the immediate benefits of the practice.
Let me know if you use any of these! Are there any other apps that you’d recommend?