meditation

Best Meditation Apps 2021

Meditation is a helpful method for reducing negative emotions like stress and anxiety. It can be used to realign your mind towards more positive thought patterns, improving your mood, self-perception, and overall wellbeing. To help you relax and find some inner peace, we’ve compiled a list of the best meditation apps available in 2021. 

Headspace

Apple

Android 

Free, with in-app purchases

Subscription to access all content

£9.99 monthly

Subscription to access all content

£49.99 annually 

Headspace is one of the most popular meditation apps on the market. With hundreds of guided sessions on offer, you can choose to focus on a number of different topics, like exercise, sleep, anxiety, and concentration. 

  • Sleep by Headspace: helps you drift off at night if you’re having difficulty falling asleep
  • Everyday Headspace: offers daily meditations with a new focus each day
  • The Wake Up: morning meditations designed to help you start your day with a positive and productive mindset
  • Move Mode: meditation that includes more movement and cardio to help your body as well as your mind
  • Mindful Moments: to keep you grounded throughout the day
  • 2 - 3 Minis: for quick mental resets that won’t take up too much time or energy 
  • SOS Sessions: for when you’re experiencing heightened moments of panic or stress

Within these categories, you can pick sub-categories, like “Sleep hygiene”, “How to wake up”, and “Social anxiety”. You can track your progress and share with friends, as well as keep a personal record on your Apple Health App (or Android equivalent). 

 

Calm

Apple

Android

Free, with in-app purchases

Subscription to access all content

£11.51 monthly

Subscription to access all content

£53.74 annually 

Another very popular meditation app, Calm focuses more on promoting sleep and relaxation. Suited to all levels, Calm features a long list of 3 - 25 minute guided sessions that can easily fit into your daily schedule. 

  • Loads of mindfulness topics to choose from: calming anxiety, relationships, breaking habits, body scan, forgiveness, self-esteem, and non-judgement
  • Sleep Stories: bedtime stories that you can listen to before falling asleep, designed to help you drift off calmly and wake feeling refreshed
  • Audio soundscapes: soundscapes like the sea, campfire, and raining outside help you escape from current stressful situations

You can track your progress using Mindful Minutes in the Health App. 

 

Balance

Apple

Android

Free, with in-app purchases

Subscription to access all content

£9.22 monthly

Subscription to access all content

£38.43 annually 

Balance is a personalised meditation app that customises its experience based on your actions. When you sign up, the app will ask you questions about your life, meditation experience, personal feelings, and goals you want to work towards so it can offer you the best exercises. After each meditation, you can rate how relieved you feel so the app knows if that exercise was effective in reducing your anxiety. 

  • Pick goals: exercises are offered based on your personal goals e.g. to feel less anxious, to concentrate better, or to get a better night’s sleep
  • 10 day plans: you’re offered 10-day plans to teach you the fundamental skills of meditation, like Breath Focus, Body Scan, Labelling, and Spotlighting 
  • Singles: select a topic of your choosing to play, such as “Anxiety”, “Breathing Habits”, “Commute”, “Couples”, “Eating”, “Grief”, “Gratitude”, and “Kids”
  • Sleep: offers a few sub-topics focused on aiding peaceful sleep

 

The Mindfulness App

Apple

Android

Free, with in-app purchases

Subscription to access all content

£7.68 monthly

Subscription to access all content

£46.12 annually 

Suitable for newbies to meditation gurus, The Mindfulness App is available in 130 countries. The style allows you to personalise your meditations to fit your needs and daily schedule.

  • Five day practice: five-day guided practice to introduce you to meditation
  • Timed sessions: sessions between 3 - 30 minutes depending on how much time you have during the day
  • Set reminders: set reminders on the app which will ensure you practice mindfulness throughout the day, such as when you wake up, during your lunch break, or after a long day in the office 

With the premium membership subscription, you can listen to meditations offline (so you don’t need to be connected to the internet), and explore over 200 guided sessions. 

 

Aura

Apple

Android

Free, with in-app purchases

Subscription to access all content

£9.22 monthly

Subscription to access all content

£73.03 annually 

The Aura app is designed for people who want to learn how to meditate, but don’t always have enough time to dedicate in their day.

  • Bite-sized exercises - offers three-minute exercises every day based on your current mood
  • Set goals: set daily goals so the app can personalise meditative exercises for you
  • Integrate with Google calendar: so you can easily plan them into your busy schedule
  • Track emotions: track your mood in Apple Health to learn about your emotional patterns, and participate in mindful activities like daily reflections to remind yourself to feel grateful and positive 

 

Insight Timer

Apple

Android

Free, with in-app purchases

Subscription to access all content

£7.06 monthly

Subscription to access all content

£42.39 annually 

For people on a budget, the Insight Timer app gives you access to one of the largest libraries of free meditative content. With over 80 added each day, this app is great for beginners and professionals alike.

  • Different styles: practice loads of different meditation types to suit you, like Secular Mindfulness, Buddhist Mindfulness, Zen, MBSR, Breathing Meditation, Kundalini Yoga, Metta, and more 
  • Timed sessions: explore thousands of free sessions, focusing on popular topics such as “Sleep deeply”, “Getting through recovery and addictions”, “Self-love and compassion”, “Leadership” and “Better relationships”
  • Audio: access loads of music tracks and ambient soundscapes
  • Community: get involved in discussion groups and communities around the UK

Most of the content on the app is free for all, but if you pay for the subscription, you’ll also be able to play meditations offline, and have more audio features like repeat, fast-forward, and rewind. 

 

Ten Percent Happier 

Apple

Android

Free, with in-app purchases

Subscription to access all content

£69.91 annually 

Based on a book by Dan Harris, the Ten Percent Happier app was designed for people who don’t think they’re the ‘meditation type’, with a focus on quick and easy mindful minutes that can be listened to while commuting. 

  • Guided meditations: access a library of more than 500 meditations (with video content included) on a multitude of topics from anxiety to parenting to concentration
  • Sleep meditations: to relax you into sleep
  • Bite-size stories: listen to small stories and nuggets of wisdom while travelling or during short breaks when you don’t feel like meditating, but still want to practice mindfulness

If you’re interested, the founder of the app and author of the 10% Happier book also has a podcast about mindfulness. 

 

Sattva

Apple

Android

Free, with in-app purchases

Subscription to access all content

£9.17 monthly

Subscription to access all content

£35.30 annually 

Subscription to access all content

£282.44 one-off for lifetime access

For those interested in rooting their meditation practices in the history of the art, Sattva is a unique app that combines mindfulness with ancient Vedic principles which incorporate sacred sounds and mantras by Sanskrit scholars. 

  • Guided meditations: access over 100 meditations according to your mood or time of day
  • Meditative Wisdom: includes soothing and calming music tracks with topic-based wisdom overlayed 
  • Sacred sounds: experience sacred sounds, like chants and mantras, delivered by renowned spiritual teachers 
  • Playlists: personalised, handpicked playlists you can choose according to your current feelings
  • Heart rate monitor and mood tracker: measures your physical and mental wellbeing pre and post-meditation so you can see how the exercise affected you
  • Statistics: see all the locations you’ve meditated on a map, set milestones to continue challenging yourself, unlock stages, and track your overall progress
  • Community: join a community of like-minded people

 

Smiling Mind

Apple

Android

Free

Smiling Mind was developed with all ages in mind, and can be used collaboratively in schools and at work as well as individually at home. Designed by a psychologist, the app ensures it promotes good mental health, reduces anxiety, creates a sense of calmness, teaches how to regulate emotions, aids sleep, and increases productivity through its range of programmes. 

  • Exercises for all ages: programmes are specialised for different age groups - “Kids (3 - 12)”, “Youth (13 - 18)”, and “Adults (19+)” so everyone has the most relevant and helpful meditations for their current stage of development 
  • Location-based: meditations can be picked based on location -  classrooms, workspaces, sporting clubs, and bedtimes
  • Sleep programmes: access different speed programmes based on age category - Adults, Kids, Teens - to drift off to sleep 
  • Indigenous Australian languages: some meditations are in indigenous Australian languages, like Kriol, Ngaanyatjarra, and Pitjantjatjara 

You can integrate the app with your Google Home hub to verbally begin meditations throughout the day. The same company also offers a Mindfulness Meditation App for expecting parents to help their mental and emotional wellbeing whilst preparing for the baby’s arrival. 

In difficult times, meditation is a useful technique to learn - it can help us to understand our own behaviours, as well as control and prevent negativity. 

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