The Top 3 meditation apps you need to download: a review of the pros and cons of my favorite apps for meditation.
I know I promised these apps last Monday but the truth is I was practicing a bit of mindfulness myself by not posting. Last week, I was on the road for 7 days straight from Washington to Buffalo and then got back to Boston late Sunday night. Completely exhausted from the traveling and being in the wedding, I decided to listen to my tired body and didn’t force myself to stay up late or wake up extra early to write. Sometimes you gotta just listen to what your body is telling you to do. Dig?
This last weekend was more traveling and more weddings but I didn’t want to leave you hanging any longer. So, I sit here in my PJs snuggled up in a blanket (our heat isn’t working – eek!) writing for you this morning.
Headspace boasts it’s like personal training for your mind. Great for beginners or someone looking to refine their meditation practice, and all you need is just 10 minutes per day. Their Take 10 program is free and includes 10 modules/meditations sessions that help you learn more about the practice and what you can expect out of it. Their approach to meditation combines both calming and insight forms of meditation. This app is perfect for the meditator who is seeking some education and guidance on meditation.
Pros: User-friendly, informative modules
Cons: Fee for continuing on past Take 10 program
Fee: First 10 days is free. Monthly memberships start at $6.24
Stop, Breathe & Think
SBT is designed to help guide people of all ages and backgrounds through meditation for mindfulness and compassion. SBT suggests a meditation for you based on your current mood and state of mind and helps you track your progress. To encourage engagement and help track your progress, you receive badges to reflect accomplishment along the way. I love that SBT forces you to check-in with yourself (emotional and physical state) before you start your meditation. Checking-in is really what it’s all about!
Pros: User-friendly, tailored meditations based on mood
Cons: Only so many meditations in their arsenal (repeats are common)
Fee: Free but accepts donations for Tools for Peace (which allows them the ability to offer the app for free and to bring meditation to thousands of teens through school and camp programs)
Insight Timer is a bare-bones meditation timer app – designed for those who already have an established practice and just need a timer to keep them on track. Programmed with the sounds of Tibetan singing bowls, Insight Timer is a beautiful way to mark the start and end of your practice. It’s also a nice way to join a dynamic community of meditators. You can see who else is meditating when you are and join discussions as you wish. An upgrade gets you additional features like the choice of more sounds and ability to set intervals so you can practice a couple different forms of meditation during your practice.
Pros: Useful for the experienced meditator who just needs a tool, not education
Cons: No educational modules, not designed for the beginner, fees for upgrades & additional features.
Fee: Basic is free. Deluxe is $2.99
Tell me, what meditation apps have you tried? Which are your favorites?