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The Best Meditation Apps to Improve Your Mindfulness

By Isny Dewi R

15 May 2020

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Research suggests that the benefits of meditation can include a reduction in stress levels, depression, anxiety and insomnia. And don't forget the physical benefits: Meditation can also reduce blood pressure and improve your heart rate variability. In addition, many studies show sleep meditation can calm your mind and help you get a more quality night's sleep.

For many people, finding the time or energy to commit to a regular practice is difficult. Especially in the middle of a pandemic like today, where we are asked to reduce activities outside the home. With a little help from good meditation apps, zen can also be found at home. Here are the best meditation apps to improve your mindfulness practice and relax your mind.

1. Calm

Calm app's wide range of guided meditations is mainly designed to assist people in relaxing and calming down in comparison to some other meditation apps that are designed to inspire deep thought or creativity.

Meditation length varies from 3- to 25-minute sessions. If you're keen on developing a daily meditation practice, try Daily Calm, the app's 10-minute program you can practice before the beginning or end of your day.

Calm also offers breathing exercises, bedtime stories and soothing background tracks to help you get a good night's sleep. The premium subscription includes all that and more, including Calm Body programs, monthly Calm Masterclasses and exclusive music. This is perhaps one of the best meditation apps for a newcomer looking to relax, reduce stress levels and get better sleep.

2. Simple Habit

The meditations on Simple Habit focus on daily stress relief, and the developers know you're busy, so they make it as easy as taking five quick minutes for meditation time. In fact, the app even offers a special playlist just for burnout symptoms, with topics like "stay calm with a busy schedule" and "relieving morning anxiety." There's even a guided meditation program just for commuting.

3. The Breathing App
As you might gather from its name, this app focuses just on breathing and the physiological benefits you get from slowing your breath down -- increased pulmonary function, decreased stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure and improved emotional balance, all of which are beneficial for overall health and sleep patterns.

Developed by Eddie Stern and author Deepak Chopra, The Breathing App is simple and perfect for those who want the benefits of mindfulness without delving too deep into spirituality. You can only modify two settings for the meditation program: length of practice and breath ratio.

4. Mindwell
Mindwell blends isochronic tones, solfeggio frequencies and spoken words to induce creativity and focus, which differs from the main goal of many other meditation apps that aim to relaxation.

The app offers meditations to help you recover from stressful or upsetting moments that occur throughout the day. For example, you experienced a client meeting at work that didn't go well -- you could use a Mindwell meditation specifically designed to dampen negative emotions and help you move forward with your day.

Mindwell also offers a feature called MoodShift, which maps your mood over time and allows you to track your mood and meditation progress.

5. Unplug Meditation
Released after the immersive Unplug Meditation Studio in Los Angeles became a massive hit, the Unplug Meditation app offers more than 700 mindfulness videos that range from as short as one minute to nearly an hour. You can filter meditations by mood, outcome, length or teacher. The app has a unique dashboard on which you can view your total days, hours, minutes and seconds spent meditating, as well as set goals and write in a gratitude journal.

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Unlike some guided meditation apps, all of the sessions on the Unplug Meditation are filmed at the Los Angeles studio, so it really feels like you're in an immersive class with an instructor. This app is great for people who need a lot of structure when it comes to meditation and enjoy visuals in addition to audio. If you prefer to meditate on your own, however, you can choose from Unplug's ambient sounds, including nature sounds, and set a timer.

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