In Balanced Achievement’s ‘iThrive’ series, we aim to present you with a variety of useful iOS and Android Apps that are designed to accelerate personal growth and improve one’s quality of life. In this article, we look at the 25 best mindfulness & meditation apps which you can utilize to nurture and enrich your spiritual practice.
Over the past 20 years, the ancient practice of meditation has taken on a digital flair and what once was reserved for monks in the Himalayas and sadhus on the banks of the Ganges is now widely available to spiritual seekers throughout the world. As technological advancements have given rise to powerful personal devices such as the iPhone and iPad, each and everyone of us has gained an ever-expanding opportunity to learn from iconic meditation teachers, track our meditative progress and connect with a worldwide community of likeminded seekers.
Today, there are a seemingly endless number of compelling meditation apps available to us and we’ve aimed to illuminate the best of the best here while remaining cognizant of the fact that practitioners of different experience levels may desire dissimilar app features. We’ve separated our list of the 25 best mindfulness & meditation apps into two sections below, with a top 10 featuring in-depth app analysis and a secondary section with 15 shorter app reviews, with hopes of presenting various programs that can bolster the practices of beginner and advanced meditators.
Balanced Achievement’s Top 10 Meditation Apps:
When compiling our list, we additionally sought to limit our focus to empowering meditation apps that come at a reasonable price and are easy to use. This means that although enriching practice tools such as the Muse: Brain Sensing Headband and other spirituality related services such as Gaia: Streaming Consciousness TV and Thrive for Alexa are accompanied with their own apps, we’ve left them off our list because of their cost and the additional accessories they require. With that being said, let’s now turn our attention to examining Balanced Achievement’s top 10 mindfulness and meditation apps:
10.) One-Moment Meditation:
Based upon Martin Boroson’s 2009 best-selling book One-Moment Meditation: Stillness for People on the Go, the One-Moment Meditation App is simplistically built around a single meditative practice that helps users reduce stress, improve focus and experience peace in just one minute. There’s good reason why major corporations and healthcare providers are teaching the One-Moment Meditation practice to employees and that’s because it been shown to help individuals develop resilience, boost mindfulness, improve time management skills and increase productivity. For those of you who struggle to find the time to practice or are looking for a transformative technique that you can quickly call upon whenever you find yourself in stressful situations, the One-Moment Meditation App, which comes equipped with a five-minute instructional video, meditation timer, practice reminders and additional meditative exercises, may be just what you’re looking for.
9.) Simple Habit – Meditation:
Ever since the former investment banker turned Simple Habit Meditation founder Yunha Kim introduced the world to this life-affirming app on the 2017 season premiere of the popular entrepreneurial show Shark Tank, it’s quickly risen to #83 on Apple’s list of best health & fitness apps. Developed specifically for busy professionals who want to attain the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, the Simple Habit Meditation App, which costs $11.99/month or $95.99/year, offers over 1,000 expertly guided meditations for specific emotional states and various life situations, such as after waking up, commuting and taking a break at work. If the hectic nature of everyday life makes it impossible for you to maintain a regular practice, the Simple Habit Meditation App, which is designed to help users stress less, achieve more and live better with just five minutes each day, may be the app you’re looking for.
8.) Stop, Breathe & Think:
Born out of a non-profit organization called Tools for Peace, which is dedicated to teaching the skills of mindfulness and meditation to inner-city teens, and dubbed as the emotional wellness platform for the ‘under 25’ generation, the Stop, Breathe & Think App offers a unique approach to emotional wellness. Undoubtedly, one of the app’s most enticing features is that, after prompting users to evaluate their current emotional state, it recommends specific practices that best match the moods of individuals. In addition to suggesting exercises based upon how they feel, users also have the ability to choose from a diverse selection of themed-based practices relating to topics such as stress, anxiety and sleep. To date, the Stop, Breathe & Think App, which assuredly can foster a greater sense of self-awareness in both kids and adults, has been downloaded over 3.5 million times, accumulated over 11 million emotional check-ins and ranks #167 on Apple’s list of best health & fitness apps. If you’re interested in giving this inspiriting app a try, you can access over 30 exercises free-of-charge but will need a subscription, which costs $9.99/month or $58.99/year, to unlock the entire meditation library.
7.) 10% Percent Happier: Meditation:
Coming from Dan Harris, the ABC News corespondent who wrote the #1 New York Times bestseller 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works, is this life-affirming app which offers a clear and simple approach for anyone who doubts the life-transforming power of meditation or their own practice abilities. Based upon scientifically based research, the 10% Happier App offers a variety of daily videos and guided meditations, for the fidgety skeptics of the world, from some of the most respected teachers in the world. In addition to learning meditation from the likes of Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein and Judson Brewer, users are also given precise instructions for how to apply mindfulness to different facets of life including their relationships, diet, work and political stress. If you’re looking for a practical meditation app that was designed for everyday individuals, the 10% Happier App, which costs $9.99/month or $99.99/year, may be the app for you.
6.) Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety:
For anyone suffering with a stress-related mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression, there may not be a more useful app in comparison to Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety. The effectiveness of Pacifica, which ranks #186 on Apple’s list of best health & fitness apps, becomes evident when considering the fact that nearly two million individuals rely upon it to help them manage their mental and emotional state. While the vast majority of other apps featured in this article are built solely around meditative practices, the Pacifica App seamlessly fuses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) activities with Mindfulness Meditation and other relaxation exercises. With innovative psychologist-designed tools such as a mood tracker, thoughts record, self-monitoring journal and more, the price of only $8.99/month or $53.99/year makes Pacifica a must have for anyone dealing with the debilitating symptoms that come from stress.
5.) Meditation Studio:
There’s good reason why the Meditation Studio App has been featured on the best apps list of globally acclaimed companies such as Apple, Forbes and Time within the past two years, and we needn’t look further than it’s sleek design, dynamic versatility and impressive collection of 30 renowned teachers, who offer instructions on an assortment of meditative and yoga practices, to understand why the app has something to entice all users. In addition to an array of guided meditation collections, which are taught by the likes of Elisha Goldstein, Chrissy Carter, Lodro Rinzler and Michael Apollo, the app also offers users the ability to create their own unguided meditation sessions with start, interval and end sounds. Better yet still, the app allows users to collect their favorite guided activities, relating to topics such as health, happiness, compassion and habit change, and unguided practices to create their own personalized meditation studio collection. With a price-tag of only $7.99/month, $17.99/quarter or $49.99/year, there’s few apps that can match the package the Meditation Studio App offers.
4.) Headspace: Meditation:
It was after spending ten years living as a Buddhist monk in the Himalayas, in 2004, when a young English man named Andy Puddicombe returned to his home country with the goal of making meditation accessible to as many people as possible. Although it would be another eight years before Puddicombe, who gained international recognition for his 2012 Ted Talk All it Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes, and his business partner Rich Pierson launched Headspace, it’s safe to say they’ve accomplished the goal as their app has since become one of the world’s most acclaimed. With an animated interface that keep individuals motivated to practice, hundreds of themed meditation sessions focusing on everything from sleep to anxiety, and a variety of other practical exercises and useful tools, all of which are based upon science, Headspace has amassed over six million users and rose to #9 on Apple’s list of best health & fitness apps. While the app offers an introductory course free-of-charge, to gain full access to the app’s meditation library, you’ll have to pay for a subscription at a cost of $12.99/month or $94.99/year.
3.) Sattva Meditations and Mantras:
While most of the apps featured in this article offer instructions from a western perspective, Sattva Meditations and Mantras teaches meditation as it’s historically been taught in India for thousands of years. With a wide variety of guided meditations rooted in ancient Vedic wisdom, which are taught by Sanskrit scholars and distinguished spiritual masters such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, users get an authentically rich meditative experience that other apps struggle to match. In addition to the mystical meditations, chants and mantras, Sattva also has a number of other features designed to keep users enthusiastic about their practice. For example, the app tracks user statistics, arranges group sittings, awards trophies for completed challenges, hosts live events and offers a fully interactive meditation community. At a cost of just $12.99/month or $49.99/year, Sattva Meditations and Mantras is the perfect app for anyone interested in the ancient roots of meditation.
As Apple’s 2017 App of the Year, and the #5 ranked app on Apple’s list of best health & fitness apps, there may not currently be a more popular meditation App than Calm. Assuredly, the Calm App has been able to rise to the highly distinguished position it finds itself in thanks to a beautiful app interface, first-class operational functionality and a bountiful collection of innovative features designed to keep users practicing. Activities such as Breathe Bubbles, Sleep Stories and Daily Calm are just three of the many ways the app allows users to bring meditation with them into their daily life. Additionally, the monthly Calm Masterclass, which is taught by world-renowned meditation experts, and highly customizable guided meditations add to Calm’s wide variety of life-affirming offering. For a cost of $12.99/Month or $59.99/Year, there’s good reason why many consider Calm to be the best mindfulness app on the market today.
1.) Insight Timer – Meditation App:
Despite the fact that the Insight Timer App lacks the aesthetic allure of many other apps featured on Balanced Achievement’s list of the top 10 meditation apps, it more than makes up for this single shortcoming in other ways. So much so, in fact, that we believe Insight Timer to be the single best meditation app available in today’s digital age. For example, with over 10,000 free guided meditations, music tracks, talks and courses rooted in a range of different schools of thought, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Vedic and Non-Duality, there’s endless opportunities for individuals to expand their spiritual practice. Additionally, with guided meditations from over 2,000 of the world’s best teachers, including Tara Brach, Mooji, Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield and Sadhguru, the app offers the rare chance to be instructed by some of the greatest spiritual minds alive today. On top of this unmatched collection of meditations and teachers, Insight Timer, which is entirely free to use unless you want to pay $2.99/month for access to the guided practices while you’re offline, features a fully interactive meditation community which brings together nearly five million meditators.
15 Additionally Inspiriting Mindfulness & Meditation Apps:
While all of Balanced Achievement’s Top 10 Meditation Apps can assuredly help you take your practice to the next level, they only scratch the surface of the seemingly endless number of empowering mindfulness apps that are available today. Depending upon where you find yourself in life, what your meditation experience level is and why you’re ultimately interested in nurturing your practice with an app, there may be one that’s better suits your needs. For this reason, we’ve included 15 additionally inspiriting meditation apps below, presented in alphabetical order, all of which can enrich your practice in their own unique way:
Aura: Calm Anxiety & Sleep: Ranked #32 on Apple’s list of the best health & fitness apps, the Aura App, which fully utilizes the power of artificial intelligence, can help you reduce stress and improve sleep quality in as little as three minutes each day.
bNirvana: Guided Meditations: The bNirvana App offers a sleek design, highly customizable features and expertly guided instructions for a wide variety of meditation and yoga practices.
Bodhi Mind Meditations: From the founder of the Buddhist organization Wildmind and acclaimed spiritual teacher Bodhipaksa comes this empowering app which houses over 100 meditations, guided by the master himself, on a variety of different topics related to life.
Breethe – Meditation & Music: As the #71 ranked Health & Fitness app, Breethe can help you bring more calm, peace and happiness into your life with a diverse collection of ten minute guided meditations.
Brightmind: Guided Meditation: In this inspiriting app, you have the chance to be guided through an extensive and life-affirming meditation system directly from the iconic spiritual teacher, Shinzen Young, who developed it.
buddhify: meditation on the go: The Buddhify App ranks #40 on Apple’s list of best health & fitness apps and differentiates itself from the crowd by offering a wide variety of meditation practices, both for when you’re on-the-go and when you have time to sit formally, at a fraction of the price of many other meditation apps.
Chill Outz: For any parent struggling to discipline their children with traditional timeouts, the Chill Outz App may be the alternative they’re looking for as it houses a collection of animated stories that teach kids how to stay mindful and relaxed.
Happify: for Stress & Worry: With techniques developed by experts in the fields of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Meditation and Positive Psychology, the Happify App can be a powerful tool for anyone wanting to gain better control of their emotional well-being.
Mindbliss – Guided Meditation: With an impressive collection of guided meditations, highly acclaimed teachers and numerous practice tools, such as 3D nature soundscapes and advanced brain entrainment technology, the Mindbliss App can assuredly help you increase your levels of subjective well-being.
Mindfulness Daily: This innovative App is designed to systematically help users build mindfulness into their daily routine with a number of practice tools and gentle reminders for short daily exercises.
Reflectly – Journal / Diary: While all of the apps we’ve discussed throughout this article can help you better manage your emotions and live more fully in the present-moment, the Reflectly personal journal and diary, which is driven by artificial intelligence and utilizes various activities from Positive Psychology, Mindfulness Meditation and CBT, can more specifically improve your self-awareness and enhance your capabilities to transform negative thoughts into positive alternatives.
Shine – Daily Self-Care: The Shine Daily Self-Care App offers a unique personal development approach and includes app features such as inspirational text messages, gratitude check-ins, mindful moments and motivational audio talks.
Simply Being – Guided Meditation: For anyone looking for a simple and inexpensive app that’s still got a bit of elegance and a lot of empowering practices, the New York Times recommended Simply Being App, which offers a range of customizable features, may be what you’re looking for.
Smiling Mind: If you’re interested in teaching your children meditation, there are few options that can match the Smiling Mind App, which was designed by psychologists and educators, as it offers mindfulness programs specifically designed for kids aged between 7-18 years old.
The Mindfulness App: With over 200 guided meditations and courses, user statistics and an array of customizable options, The Mindfulness App, which is used by millions of meditators in over 130 countries, can help you cultivate a more relaxed and healthier state of mind.