The Foodie Dietitian Blog

Mindful Monday: The Top 3 Meditation Apps You Need to Download

The Top 3 meditation apps you need to download: a review of the pros and cons of my favorite apps for meditation.

Happy Monday!

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.

Mindful Monday: The Top 3 Meditation Apps You Need to Download | The Foodie Dietitian @karalydon #mindfulmonday

Headspace

The Top 3 Meditation Apps You Need to Download | The Foodie Dietitian @karalydon

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

The Top 3 Meditation Apps | The Foodie Dietitian @karalydon

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

The Top Meditation Apps | The Foodie Dietitian @karalydon

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?

I'm a nutrition coach and yoga teacher helping people to learn to love food again. I love cooking, taking pictures of my food and traveling around the world. Follow my blog for delicious, seasonal vegetarian recipes and simple strategies to bring more yoga and mindfulness into your life. And check out my e-book to learn how to improve your health through nutrition and yoga. Show me what deliciousness you make! Tag me @karalydonRD on Instagram.

Comments

  1. Hi Kara, great selection! You also might want to check out zenfriend.com (Disclosure: I’m the Co-Founder). It is used by Loic Le Meur, Joi Ito (Director MIT Media Lab) and thousands of others. We have a solid 5 star rating and some of our users say it’s the best meditation app they have ever used. It’s a beautiful timer, tracker and community. We are currently in the process of building the Android version. The basic version is free, and you may upgrade to get all features (it’s a “Pay what you can” model based on the donation model of most meditation groups – you can choose between three pricing points). Would love to hear what you think of our app. We have no marketing budget, so we totally rely on word-of-mouth. Take care, Remo

  2. I was JUST thinking about finding some apps to help. I’d like to commit to 20 minutes of meditation per day, but I’m somewhat new to it and need a little extra push. Well..maybe not new..but have given up every time I’ve tried in the past haha. Thanks for sharing!

    • Great timing, Danielle! If you’re new to it, I’d suggest starting with maybe 5 minutes/day and then building up to 20. That was definitely helpful to me. And I change it up to – some days I’ll sit for 5, 10, 15, 20, or even 30 minutes. Depends on the day and how much time I have. I think for me the key is flexibility and adaptability so that I don’t give up if I can’t meet that specific minute mark each and every day.

  3. Thanks for sharing these – I really need to start a meditation program as I find myself getting more anxious as the years go by (mainly related to raising a kid with special needs but also never really having good coping skills for my anxiety.)

    • It’s hard to build good coping skills for anxiety. But so important, right? Try starting small – maybe 3-5 minutes every other day. See how it feels and then build from there. Definitely check out those apps though – they’re super helpful when you’re just getting started.

  4. I started with Stop Breathe Think because who doesn’t love free, but once I tried 10 days of Headspace I knew I had to go all the way. I just bought a years membership to Headspace and I’m excited to start to dive into the more specific series (hello creativity, relationship building and stress management!). Andy’s program is so comprehensive–i love it!!

    Great post lady!

    • That’s awesome!! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the different series once you dive in. I was tempted to go all the way too – it is that good.

  5. Liz - Meal Makeover Mom

    Okay. I should have gone to yoga today! Thanks for sharing links to so many helpful apps. It’s funny how it seems like a hard thing when in fact, it only takes a few minutes a day. Time to prioritize 🙂

    • Well you always have a yoga partner if you ever want to venture into the city for some yoga :). Just like any exercise or practice, often the hardest part is just getting there! Personally, I’ve found that I must do it first thing in the morning otherwise a million other things get in the way and it doesn’t happen. You got it – prioritizing is key 🙂

  6. Love these tips, thank you!! I’ve never given meditation a shot but I think it’s a great way to get in tune with your self.

    • You’re so welcome, Alanna! I’d definitely recommend Headspace if you’re brand new to meditation and interested in giving it a shot 🙂

  7. When I did do meditation last year, I just set my phones timer for 5 to 10 minutes, nothing special, but it gave me a starting and end point!

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