Your goal: To start a meditation practice. If only it was as easy as that, right?
It took me years to really hone in on the right meditation technique to get myself in the zone. That’s why I was thrilled to discover the below meditation apps. Each one offers it’s own niche approach to getting yourself in the proper mindset. Whether that’s through a concentrated breathing regimen or simply moving around, there’s something for every preference here, which means that adopting a meditation habit is finally within reach.
If You’re Not Sold on Meditation, But Can Get Down with Breathing
Try: State: Breathing (Free; Subscription required)
About the app: This app relies on your stress response to create custom breathing exercises to help you achieve very specific (and sought-after) physiological states. How? The app uses technology called “fingerprinting” that allows it to act dynamically and tailor the exercises to your own physical and emotional needs from the very minute you download and start using the app. It also continually adapts and evolves the more you use it. Visuals and sound that help you focus (or defocus) instantly are included, too. As for the impact, each exercise helps you achieve the following states: feeling alert, being present, feeling calm, falling asleep.
Why I love it: Breathing matters. You’d be amazed what you can achieve simply by altering the depth and pacing of your breath throughout the day.
If Moving Around Helps You Get in the Zone
Try: Pause: Interactive Meditation ($1.99)
About the app: This app—based on the ancient principles of Tai Chi—uses an interactive tool to help you regain focus and attention and quickly release stress. Here’s how it works: By slowly and continuously moving your finger across the screen, this app triggers your “rest and digest” response—in other words, the calming audiovisual cues help you improve your attention so that it is more focused in the present moment, something helps you let go of stress in minutes. It’s worth noting, this app has been validated by EEG technology—i.e. a test that tracks and records brain wave patterns.
Why I love it: I love the you can use this anytime, anywhere. I’m never hesitant to pull it up in moments I need it most—like waiting in a particularly long Trader Joes line,
If You Need to Connect the Dots
Try: Stop, Breathe & Think (Free)
About the app: Perfect for beginners or experienced meditators, but also teens, tweens and adults, this app makes meditation incredibly accessible through a series of guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos, all designed to target how you feel. Using the app, you can track daily streaks, emotions felt throughout the week and the total time spent meditating—a progress report with a serious wellness pay-off.
Why I love it: The “stop, breathe and think” feature is my favorite since it allows you to give yourself an emotional gut check followed up with recommendations for short, guided activities you can do in the moment. I also love that this app is accessible to teens and tweens since I know first-hand that they’re not immune to heaps of stress and anxiety, too.
If You’re a Meditation Skeptic
Try: 10 Percent Happier (Free)
About the app: Tuck some of the world’s most renowned meditation experts in your back pocket thanks to this app, designed to help you incorporate a meditation ritual into your daily routine no matter how much of a novice you are. A companion to the book 10% Happier by ABC news anchor Dan Harris, this app will help you reduce stress, improve happiness and get better sleep through a series of guided meditations and more.
Why I love it: I love the interface of this app, but also how clearly it breaks down the principles of meditation so it doesn’t feel out there or like something I can’t tap into for myself.