Mindfulness is slowly becoming a popular exercise, and hundreds of thousands of people are exploring the practice to reduce stress and anxiety, become emotionally balanced, improve focus and concentration and become more peaceful and calm.
On the other hand, hundreds of mindfulness apps are being developed and launched every year which makes it quite difficult to know which app is going to address all your needs and desires in the best possible way.
Here is a narrowed-down list of the top free mindfulness apps with which mindfulness enthusiasts have had a wonderful experience on both Android and IOS platforms which you can also work with to benefit from the mindfulness practice.
1. UCLA Mindfulness
This is a mindfulness app that was created by the UCLA Mindfulness Research Center, a research center at the University of California, specifically at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
This app features numerous mindfulness-based meditation sessions which include breathing meditation, loving-kindness meditation, breath-sound-and-body meditation, meditation for working with difficult times, and many more.
The meditation sessions are in Spanish and English and have been crafted to improve your level of mindfulness as well as address various hectic health issues. There is a meditation timer with the options of 2, 5, and 10 minutes. However, you can also add the duration you want to work with in your meditation session using the custom timer feature.
The app also comes with videos explaining to you how you can begin your mindfulness journey with it, the best postures to use, and the whole concept of mindfulness.
2. Simple Habit
This is a sleep and wellness app that is loaded with guided mindfulness and meditation sessions, guided sleep sessions, and motivation talks from health experts such as Dr. Amer Khan and Catherine Cook-Cottone, among many others.
The meditation sessions have been categorized depending on the aspect of wellness you want to work on and they can be done in as little as 5 minutes, which works for someone with a busy schedule.
The sleep session not only offers guided sessions to help you sleep faster but also sleep stories that help you relax and calm your way to slumberland. There are also mindful movement exercises such as deep stretch yoga which can help you engage in mindfulness and fitness, and improve your health and wellness.
You can also track your progress with the inbuilt tracker and also set daily reminders to help you avoid missing your sessions.
Headspace is a meditation app that is aimed at helping users boost their level of mindfulness, build a meditation routine and work on other areas of their lives such as fears, stress, and others that they want to improve upon.
Headspace was founded in 2010 by Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson, who are great meditation enthusiasts.
The app comes with meditation courses that include a series of training and guides that last for about 10 to 20 minutes which can be used to learn to meditate as well as other areas of life. On top of that, there are one-off pieces of training called Singles which last for about 3 to 5 minutes. Moreover, there are even shorter sessions called Minis that take around 3 minutes to complete which can be used in the go.
There is a kids’ section with resources for kids to help them sleep, focus, and be calm in a fun and engaging way. Other features such as progress tracking, sessions timers, motivational reminders, and a community of like-minded people are available too.
Here is a detailed review of Headspace.
4. Smiling Mind
This is an app that was made by a non-profit organization called Smiling Minds which aims to provide free useful resources to help us work on self-development. The app features meditation sessions that have been categorized into Mindful Foundations, Stress Management, Digital Detox, and Sleep.
The sessions have different durations. If you are a beginner, you can use the 5 to 10 minutes option, the 45 minutes option if you’re an advanced meditator, or even the 3 to 5 minutes option if you have a busy schedule and still want to make use of the app.
Different progressive programs including Journaling Exercise, Where Did My Food Come From, and Go Offline within the app can be used to apply mindfulness in your daily activities and increase your moments of mindfulness.
This is an app that leverages Artificial Intelligence and uses it heavily to improve the overall experience of the users in working on mindfulness, sleep, meditation, and many other areas of their lives.
Some of the features you get in the app include meditation sessions (including live sessions with meditation experts), hypnosis sessions, meditation stories, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), breathwork, live coaching, nature sounds, and music that focus on a specific area which you can use to better yourself.
Meditation sessions last anywhere from 3 minutes to 1 hour and you get the option of using the shorter, medium, or longer versions based on the amount of time you want to allocate your sessions.
Upon downloading the app, you get to choose the topics you want to use the app for. The topics include beginner meditation, parenting, emotions, gratitude, mindfulness, love and relationships, and more. After that, you get to have recommendations for the resources that match the topics you’re interested in.
Other features such as a gratitude journal, mood tracker, a group of students and experts for interacting and advancing your knowledge of meditation and overcoming the roadblocks in your self-improvement journey are available.
6. Healthy Minds Program
This is an app that offers meditation and mindfulness sessions together with resources for other aspects of life through the podcast style and was made by Dr. David Richardson, a neuroscientist and other experts at the Center For Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin.
The podcast style approach involves offering the meditation sessions in a podcast-like manner and in different series which are progressive and designed to help the user improve upon the area of life they are interested in working on by listening to all the episodes or series of training in that area since each episode or series builds on top of the previous one.
You can use the app to better different areas including stress, anxiety, your workplace, family, and personal life.
When it comes to mindfulness, the app looks deep into the aspect by addressing it from different angles such as awareness, insight, connection, and purpose to help you have a comprehensive understanding of the practice.
The app is based on scientific research and there is also an assessment that helps you tell your current level of mental and emotional well-being and how it is fairing as you keep using the app.
7. Stop, Breath, Think
This is an app that was previously known as MyLife Meditation which has a reputation for being focused on user experience.
It is a mindfulness and meditation app that provides the user with personalized activities and daily check-ins that help them determine how they are feeling at a certain time and receive recommended sessions and activities to help better their current emotional situation.
There are sessions on mindfulness meditation, stress and anxiety relief, sleep and breathing and mindfulness exercises, and journaling activities which you get to immerse yourself into, from the beginning to the end, with the help of experts.
The daily check-ins help you know how you are really feeling at any given time and you get exercises, meditation sessions, and other practices you can use to handle the feelings if they are negative or amplify the positive feelings you may be experiencing.
8. Insight Timer
This is a meditation app that is packed with thousands of courses, live events, workshops, and mentoring to help you make a good entry into mindfulness and meditation as well as work on other areas including sleep, acceptance, visualization, wisdom, addiction, awakening, brainwave entrainment, clarity, consciousness, connection, creativity, depression, and so much more.
The resources have been created by popular meditation experts like Tara Brach, Sharon Salzberg, Jack Cornfield, and many others. There are live meditation sessions where you and thousands of other meditation enthusiasts can meditate all at once despite being in different corners of the world.
There is a timer to help you decide how long you want to meditate, a progress tracker that shows how you are coming along in your self-development journey, and the ability to save your favorite sessions and tracks, and even download them to your smartphone.
New meditation sessions are added daily and there is also a group of meditation enthusiasts you can join to help you feel accompanied by like-minded people throughout your entire journey.
This is another great app that provides breathing exercises, guided meditation sessions, and soothing and relaxing music to help you through any area you want to improve upon and become calmer, healthier, and happier. It is designed for beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners who are looking to take their practice to the next level.
The duration of the sessions ranges from 3 minutes to 25 minutes, and you can choose your preferred duration based on how busy you are and how much time you want to dedicate to self-improvement.
The app groups their sessions in collections that carry many sessions that handle a specific topic and the topics include wisdom, meditation, motivation, sleep, happiness, stress, anxiety, and focus, just to name a few. The sessions are led by well-known self-improvement figures such as Tara Brach, Jay Shetty, and others, as well as celebrities like Lebron James and Harry Styles.
Other features like progress-tracking and daily check-ins for your mood, sleep, and gratitude as well as daily calm reflection are included as well.
This is a science-based mindfulness app that offers sessions to help you improve your level of mindfulness, boost your productivity, enhance the quality of your sleep and reduce stress and anxiety.
There are classes which are short videos led by self-improvement experts and coaches who teach you neat tricks and tips to work with, courses which are longer videos that train you on a given area and help you get better at them, and breathing exercises created to help you relax and calm your mind.
The app checks to see how you are feeling and depending on your feedback, you get meditation sessions to help improve your current state and feel much better. The recommendations you get are as conveniently short as 3 minutes to help you use them even when you have a tight schedule and only have a few minutes to spare.
Other features which are available include progress tracking, scientific assessments using questionnaires, and informative mindfulness content.
In summary, these are apps that can help you build the habit of mindfulness and meditation and also help you solve the problems facing different aspects of your life.
The apps discussed offer free versions but some also include a premium version where you are required to pay for a subscription to access the entirety of the app. The free versions offer quite a lot of value and you can use them alone to build your practice and enhance your life.
However, if you want more resources, you can consider getting a subscription. It’s all up to you and your individual needs and desires.
We encourage you to look through the above options and see which app best fits you, download it, create your account, and begin working with it immediately. Good luck.
Which of the apps do you feel is your best match? What experiences have you had with any of the mentioned apps? Please let us know in the comments. 🙂