An old adage says, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day—unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” This maxim has never been more relevant than in frenetic times like these that tend to leave you anxious and mentally exhausted. Meditation gives you the ability to slow down your mind and allows you to focus on the present, physically as well as mentally. It also relieves stress, panic, anxiety, and improves your concentration. 

Whether you’re a homemaker with a hectic schedule, or a young urban professional just starting out in the corporate world, a student grappling with exams, a retiree all set to enjoy the second innings of life—meditation is a skill that disciplines and streamlines the brain. It increases your consciousness of the moment you’re in and teaches you how to best utilise that time.

But for someone who’s just starting out, the actual exercise of meditation can prove to be quite confusing and difficult. Here are some apps that can ease you into the process. Take a deep breath in, and read on. 

5 Free Meditation Apps To Help Ease Your Mind

1. Headspace

One of the most popular meditation applications, Headspace helps you develop a better sleep cycle as well as provides stress relief. It also has a free Basics course that can assist you with essential guidelines, if you are a first-time user. 

Headspace has a wide array of meditation courses that cover a range of requirements such as anxiety relief, personal growth, work and productivity to special courses for students. An interesting feature of this app is the option to turn on push notifications for the app which will periodically send you reminders to be present in the moment and breathe correctly.  

Google Play Rating: 3.5/5 (based on over 1,30,100 reviews)

App Store Rating: 4.8/5 (based on over 2,35,200 reviews)

Pricing: Free, with in-app purchases.

2. Calm

Picture Credit: Calm.com

This app provides guided meditation and mindfulness sessions that you can choose depending on the amount of time you are willing to spend. It also updates its collection with new sessions daily. You can choose from Sleep Stories (their most popular feature), soothing music, breathing programs as well as masterclasses. 

The body scan series has been particularly appreciated by users for releasing built-up tension in the body and for building an overall sensation of physical and mental relaxation. With diverse topics like happiness, gratitude, self-esteem, body scanning, loving-kindness, forgiveness and non-judgement, you’ll run out of excuses before you run out of content. 

Google Play Rating: 4.5 (based on over 2,46,200 ratings)

App Store Rating: 4.8/5 (based on over 8,54.300 ratings)

Pricing: Free, with in-app purchases. 

3. Aura

Created by meditation specialists and mental health professionals, this app employs machine learning to customise your journey of self-improvement to your personal goals and needs. It also gives the option to keep track of your moods to see the change that it brings to your mental health and levels of satisfaction. 

If you choose, you can also get notifications to remind you of correct breathing techniques as well as of new guided sessions, so that you don’t have to stop your meditation journey no matter where you are.

Google Play Rating: 4.3/5 (based on over 8470 reviews)

App Store Rating: 4.7/5 (based on over 19000 reviews)

Pricing: Free, with in-app purchases. 

4. Insight Timer

One of the best things about this app is that it can be used effectively by both beginners as well as experienced meditators. In fact, TIME magazine voted it as one of the best meditation apps of the previous year! It also has discussion groups and activities to foster a sense of community building. 

The app offers a wide range of mediation types from kundalini (the divine feminine) yoga, children’s meditations, MBSR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction) Zen meditation, meditation to be done while walking, breathing exercises, transcendental meditation, sleep meditation for people who suffer from insomnia, spiritual speeches, and vipassana sessions. The paid version even allows you to download sessions to listen to while offline, which is a great way to disconnect from the outside and connect to what’s inside.

Google Play Rating: 4.7/5 (based on over 58,370 reviews)

App Store Rating: 4.8, (based on over 28,700 reviews)

Pricing: Free, with in-app purchases. 

5. Smiling Mind

Picture Credit: Generationt.asia.com

Smiling Mind is a 100% not-for-profit organisation, which aims to make meditation more accessible to people. The app is especially helpful for children as it helps them to wind down and relax before going to sleep. The bedtime stories are a great bonding experience for parents and kids alike. 

Users have commended this app for the self-affirmation programs which help to boost confidence. Their latest update also includes a new category for health workers. The amount of content that is available for free on this platform sets it apart from other apps in the same genre. 

Google Play Rating: 4.1/5 (Based on over 2770 reviews)

App Store Rating: 4.0/5 (Based on over 2782 reviews)

Pricing: Free.

*Please note that all ratings and pricing details are relevant to the date of publication.*

Ayushi Astha
Ayushi Astha

An armchair philosopher, Ayushi likes writing and making an inordinate amount of mug cakes. In the event that she's not writing she can either be found watching baking shows on repeat or reading poetry.

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