The zen and wellness lifestyle has been growing in Australia for years now. Aussies have loved the soothing complement of meditation and mindfulness programs to their lifestyle. And with the setbacks experienced from the pandemic, mental health has never been as prioritized by various age groups.
But even though it seems as if this is just a trend, the art of mindfulness and meditation has been around for millennia. With the advent of technology and social media, it just so happens that these practices now have a platform to share their teachings, and it is something anyone can do anytime, anywhere.
With more and more meditation apps popping up in the Apple Store for iPhone and Google Play Store for Android, it’s easier than ever to escape our busy lifestyles and take a break for a moment to be mindful.
But which are the best meditation apps for you? Which apps can give you what you’re looking for this 2022?
The Smiling Mind App offers free guided meditations. It’s a 100% not-for-profit app to equip young people with the integral skills they need to thrive.
The whole theme is actually cute. Kids start with a fun meditation called ‘The Bubble Journey,’ while adults start with a basic body scan.
This app promises that we can “stop being at the mercy of emotions or crazy thoughts.” Mindfulness meditation are categorized into sleep, stress, relationships, and mindful eating to battle mental illness.
Smiling Mind also offers schools and workplaces award-winning programs to spread mindfulness’s joys, making it useful for educators. Available for free in the app store!
This app takes you on an experience from the moment you open it. It starts by asking you for several of your main meditation goals – sleep, focus, happiness, self-esteem, gratitude, stress and anxiety reduction, and learning to meditate.
The app allows you to customise the experience even further with more than 100 guided meditations, a Sleep Stories library, meditative music tracks, and a Calm Masterclass headed by meditation coaches.
Want to reduce your stress levels? It also offers relaxing soundscapes – nature sounds, waterfalls, heavy rain, city streets, and crackling campfires.
However, the app doesn’t offer free features past the 7-day trial period. After that, you’ll need to pay an annual subscription fee to access all of Calm’s amazing features. Is it worth it? If you’re willing to spend a little, Calm offers a great ad-free meditation experience.
Headspace speaks to you like a friend. With its conversational tone, the app allows you to personalise the journey and choose one focus from several options at the beginning.
Like Calm, Headspace focuses on stress and anxiety or sleep and waking but also has a few different options that set it apart – goals of personal growth, work and productivity, movement and sport, physical health, or a more student-focused practice. The app allows you to track your meditation journey from the very beginning.
Headspace does offer the basic meditation features for free; however, you will need to upgrade to Headspace Plus to get full access to the app’s library with either their annual or monthly subscription options.
After signing up, Simple Habit takes you to its wide selection of curated playlists for anxiety, stress, focus, happiness, motivation, sleep, physical health, relaxation, and many more. It also has a selection of lessons from different experts on meditative practices.
One unique Simple Habit feature is its “On the Go” tab. Choose where you are mentally and physically during the day – commuting, at work, taking a break, having a tough day, etc. – and the app gives you a daily dose of just what you need to be more mindful in your daily life.
And what’s even better about all this? You get access to a lot of their library for free! However, if you upgrade to Premium, you get unlimited access to their library selection, join their community, access to the app from your phone to your computer, and support for Simple Habit’s teachers for all their work.
No need to sign up. This app takes you straight to a library of meditation exercises for beginners or those who choose to take the journey with less guidance. It has breathing exercises, body scans for muscle relaxation, meditation sessions for visualisation, and a selection of soundscapes.
Though it doesn’t have as wide a selection to choose from and isn’t completely customisable, the app’s advantage is that it is completely free! There may be the occasional ad banner, but if you aren’t bothered by them, Deep Meditation may be just the app you need to get you started on your mediation journey.
If you’re looking for a different meditative experience than these other apps, check out Plum Village. Though not as customisable as the other apps on this list, Plum Village offers a more Eastern spiritual experience for your meditation.
The app is guided by the teachings of Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. Plum Village provides recorded resources, practices, and chants that help you focus better any time of the day. It also has a selection of recordings from the master answering commonly asked questions from “how do I love myself?” to “can you ever respond to violence with violence?”.
Plum Village’s unique feature is the Bell of Mindfulness. We all need to breathe every now and then with our hectic schedules. The Bell of Mindfulness helps us do just that. With a set timer, the bell dings and signals you to be aware and enjoy three breaths at regular intervals throughout the day, integrating the app into your daily journey and teaching you to be more mindful no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Every app here has its pros and cons, but at the end of the day, it all depends on what you’re looking for in your meditation app – and how much you’re willing to invest in it.
We recommend trying them out before bed to help you feel more relaxed at the end of the day. Pair that with a comfortable set of silk pillowcases and a great mattress, and you might fall into a more restful sleep than ever.
So breathe, download a mindfulness app, and start your daily meditation journey this new year.
According to Science
Science has proven that meditation plays a role in mental and physical health benefits. It has positively affected patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Other studies have shown that meditation potentially alleviates high blood pressure and aids in stopping nicotine dependence from smoking.
Whether it’s sleep meditations you benefit and experience from a free app, or any other popular meditation guide that will surely serve you well, know that Ecosa cares enough to share this for your well-being.