Which is the best meditation app?

by Rob Duke | May 05, 2020
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There are so many apps to choose from when it comes to relaxation and meditation, but which ones stand out above the rest?* Find out below…

The Breathing App (Free) (Android / iOS)

If you’re looking for something free, easy, and simple, you can’t go far wrong with The Breathing App. Sure, it only allows you to set timers and in-and-out-breath counters, but for many people, that’s all that’s needed for meditation practice.

It doesn’t have any built-in reminder features, so you’ll need to set an external alert if you need a daily nudge – but that’s a tiny oversight in an app that’s brilliant thanks to its simplicity. Check out this handy guide video to find out how to use it. 

Headspace (£9.99 a month / £74.99 a year) (Android / iOS)

Headspace is one of the most popular meditation apps out there, and for good reason. It’s fun to use, it’s great for beginners, and it’s very well structured. You can enable a bunch of automated reminders including push notifications and e-mails to help you maintain your routine.

It offers guided meditation videos that replicate real-life sessions too, which is great if you’re missing your usual meet-ups during the lockdown. Tracking your progress is easy, thanks to the intuitive stats page in the app.

Headspace definitely gets a big thumbs up from us, but you may want to check out some cheaper options or use the 14-day trial before you commit to a year-long subscription.

Calm (£7.99 a month / £29.99 a year) (Android / iOS)

Calm isn’t as easy to use as Headspace, but it offers many similar features, and a yearly subscription is less than half the price – so it could be a good option if you don’t want to splash out. The timings are less rigid for meditations too, so you can select the exact length of the session, rather than having to increase or decrease in 5-minute increments.

There’s not a huge amount of variety with the guided content, and setting up a schedule isn’t as simple as it is with other paid apps, but Calm is still one of the best options out there.

Insight Timer (Free – with in-app purchases) (Android / iOS)

All of the most important features in the Insight Timer app are available for free (including its epic library of guided meditations), and it has a wider range of functions than The Breathing App, including discussion groups and community building activities. However, if you want to listen to meditations when you’re not connected to the internet, or skip through certain parts, you’ll need to pay for a premium account.

For some, the free version will be fine, but for people who might not be able to meditate uninterrupted for long periods of time, it could be a bit irritating. For me, the pros definitely outweighed the cons.

And the rest…

Aside from our top 4 picks, there are plenty of other apps worth a look, including Aura (similar to Calm, and with some additional features like short-story readings and a self-reward scheme), Buddhify (which provides meditations based on what you’re currently doing, like commuting or getting ready for bed), and Beeja (which takes your experience level into account when generating detailed meditation plans). 

Also, if you’re looking for something practical to support your practice, Yale University is currently offering its ‘Science of Well-Being’ course for free within the Coursera app. It’s comprehensive and spans over multiple weeks, with videos, reading, and quizzes – so if you’re stuck for something to do during the lockdown, it could help you find out a bit more about what makes you tick. 

You might also like…

- Gadget insurance with Protect Your Bubble: get your devices covered now**

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- Huawei P40: The best smartphone of 2020? 

*All apps were found through independent desk research and prices were correct at the time of writing. We do not earn any commission through these external links. Prices are subject to change.

**Underwriter Assurant General Insurance Limited. Gadget age restrictions, T&C’s & excesses apply. Customer 18+.

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