January 17th 2018
Mindfulness made easy. Exploring my top resources for a comfortable, peaceful, and mindful mediation practice.
So you want to invite more mindfulness into your life this year, but where do you start? You’ve heard about meditation and its benefits before but the whole prospect of sitting still in silence really makes your skin crawl and leaves you feeling really intimidated. I was there too when I first started.
Meditation is called a “practice” for a reason. You don’t just “master” it or wake up one morning and find that you’re “perfect” at it. I don’t believe there is even a way to be perfect at meditation. Meditation is not a competitive activity and if it were, the only person you are competing against is your past self.
Going back to what I was saying earlier, sitting in silence with your own thoughts can be really intimidating and even if there is music playing, a self-guided meditation isn’t always the best for beginners. So, I figured I would help anyone out that want to get into meditation, but doesn’t know how by offering up my list of top meditation apps to get you started.
Headspace is a free app that offers multiple different types of meditation tracks, all voiced by a calming man with a nice accent. They offer different sets of meditations for beginner basics, health, emotions and bravery, happiness, work, “pro” level, sports, students and more! Meditations range anywhere from 3 minutes to a half an hour so you have no excuse to not try it out. Who doesn’t have 3 minutes of their morning to just sit and breathe and reflect?
The app also offers a premium memberships for $7.91/month for an annual membership or $12.99/month if you pay monthly and you can cancel anytime. The premium membership helps you unlock all the meditations the app has to offer and if you find that this is something that really benefits you and you want to take it one step further, I would recommend it. However, I don’t have the membership and I am quite content with the service regardless.
2- Insight Timer
This app is really cool and has so so much to offer and is slowly becoming my favorite meditation app. If you are more spiritual, they have yogic meditation practices but also really casual ones. They even have guided meditations from popular teachers. The app is easy to navigate and you can even search for meditations based on how much time you have, so you never have to worry about not having time.
The app is also divided up by topic so you can pinpoint exactly what you need. I am pretty new to this app so I don’t know if there is a membership fee for any aspect in terms of what meditations you can listen to or how many, but it appears to be all inclusive from what I can see. The only subscription fee comes when you want to purchase an offline pack that lets you download meditations to use without data or wifi. It costs $2.99/month which is a pretty decent deal if you use it a lot on trips.
A cool little motivation feature is right when you open the app, it shows you a map of where people are meditating from and how many people are meditating in the current moment when you open the app! The app also offers talks and music to meditate to if you prefer self-guided meditating.
3- Stop, Breathe & Think
This is the first meditation app I started using quite a while back. One thing I love about this app is that it is incredibly personalized to you, your mood, and your needs. When you start, you do a bit of a check in. This check in allows you to say how you are feeling, mentally and physically, and allows you to pick a group of emotions you are feeling in order for the app to choose the best possible meditations for you.
This app doesn’t have a membership fee as far as I can tell but it does have in app purchases. I enjoy this app quite a bit but I find it is a little lacking in variety. The meditations themselves are pretty great, but the number of meditations offered is a little lacking. However, don’t count this app out because it is a really great app to start out with and helps you track growth and progress. This would be a great app to use alongside another app mentioned on this list.
I just downloaded the Calm app because I had heard about it on YouTube and from a friend. First of all, the look of this app is even relaxing. When you open to the home page it places nature sounds and shows a nice calm lake and there are tons of other page themes too. Super tranquil. There seems like a wide array of meditations, ambient noises, music, sleep tracks and more!
I am looking forward to diving into this app a bit more, but from what I can tell, it seems really beginner friendly. The app membership to unlock more meditations and themes is $12.99/month if you pay monthly, $4.99/month if you pay for one year, and $299 for an unlimited lifetime membership. Again, I am not going to pay for a membership and the meditations the app has to offer for free seem adequate.
I hope this post has given you a good place to start when beginning your mindfulness journey. If you are already experienced in meditation, what resources do you use? Feel free to share them below to help someone else out!