Meditation takes practice before you can master it.
Luckily, you can use meditation apps to get the hang of meditation and make it a daily habit.
But here’s the problem:
There’s an overwhelming number of meditation apps to choose from, and it’s not easy to decide which app is best suited for your needs.
We hear you, and we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ve listed down 15 best meditation apps that you can use for your daily meditation practice.
We’ve highlighted their best features, their pricing, and what the free plan covers, so you can decide which app works best for you.
Let’s jump right in.
15 Best Meditation Apps
Let’s start with the most popular meditation app on the market — Headspace.
Founded by health advocate and former monk Andy Puddicombe in 2010, Headspace is a meditation and mindfulness app that provides a wide range of guided meditation sessions.
Puddicombe is a massive advocate of mindfulness meditation, and his TED Talk titled “All it Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes” has over 2 million views. It was also one of the first TED Talks to be featured on Netflix.
The best part about Headspace is that you’ll find guided meditation sessions for different problems you may be facing: anxiety, sleep, stress, focus, and work, to name just a few.
If you’re too busy for long meditation sessions, you’ll find super-short meditations that you can do anytime.
The Headspace app is well suited for seasoned meditators and beginners alike.
If you’ve never tried meditation before, you can try Headspace’s free 10-day beginner’s course called the Basics.
Image Credit: Headspace
Experienced meditators can skip the basic sessions and try advanced meditations to become even more proficient at meditation.
The app also has a slick user interface (UI) with beautiful illustrations and animations to make your meditation sessions even more delightful.
With the free Headspace plan, you can learn the basics of mindfulness meditation. But to reap the full benefits of meditation and to unlock different meditation techniques and lessons, you’ll need to opt for a paid subscription.
The monthly subscription fee is $12.99/mo. You can opt for the annual plan which costs $69.99/year and save 60% on your total bill amount.
Calm is a mindfulness app that offers guided meditation sessions and relaxation techniques for sleep. It was launched in 2012 by Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew.
With over 50 million downloads, it’s one of the most popular meditation apps on the market.
Tamara Levitt joined as the Head of Mindfulness in 2014 and is the app’s primary narrator.
Like Headspace, Calm includes a massive library of guided meditations.
In addition to featuring guided meditations on anxiety, stress, focus, sleep, and personal growth, Calm also includes “Sleep Stories,” which are a unique take on the classic bedtime stories.
These sleep stories are soothing tales that mix music, sound fx, and incredible voice talent from celebrities like Stephen Fry, Eva Green, Matthew McConaughey, and many more.
If you have trouble sleeping or suffer from insomnia, Calm is definitely the app you should go for.
Calm’s UI is not as impressive or immersive as Headspace, but it’s still quite good.
The free version allows you to learn the basics of mindfulness and you can even try a few breathing exercises.
To access Calm’s entire collection of 100+ guided meditations and sleep stories, you’ll need to unlock Calm premium.
Like Headspace, Calm has a free version with limited access to guided meditations.
To access all meditation sessions, you’ll need to go for a paid subscription which starts from $59.99/year.
Sattva is a Sanskrit word which means the quality of balance, harmony, and purity. One achieves a state of Sattva through meditation and mindfulness.
The guided meditations, chants, and mantras featured in the Sattva app are aimed towards helping people achieve Sattva and lead a life of harmony and peace.
The app is ideal for both meditation beginners and seasoned meditators.
Meditation newbies will find simple goal-based meditations starting from 6 minutes upwards, while experienced meditators will find hundreds of guided meditation sessions.
If you have a spiritual bent of mind, then you’ll find more value in Sattva than any other meditation app.
Sattva’s free version has a large collection of guided meditations, chants, and mantras. But you can unlock more meditation sessions, courses, and mantras by subscribing to Sattva’s premium version, which costs $12.99 a month or $49.99 a year.
You can also opt for Sattva’s lifetime membership, which costs $399.99. At the time of writing this post, Sattva is running an offer where you can get lifetime access to the app for just $199.
What if the music you listened to could enhance your focus, relaxation, meditation, and even sleep? That’s the purpose behind Brain.fm — a collaboration between scientists, musicians, and developers who each believe that the music you listen to should support your goals.
Brain.fm has several tracks to help you get more done, feel more relaxed, get better sleep, or meditate more effectively.
Brain.fm’s monthly subscription costs $6.99 while the annual subscription costs $49.99.
The first five sessions on Brain.fm are free. So before you subscribe, make sure you listen to a few tracks and see if it works for you.
Ten Percent Happier is a meditation app by Dan Harris, the ABC news anchor and New York Times bestselling author of the book 10% Happier.
While the app can be used by both experienced meditators and meditation beginners, the app is mainly designed keeping the skeptics in mind. As such, Ten Percent Happier includes a free introduction to meditation with a two-week course to meditation — which includes lessons from Dan Harris and vipassana teacher Joseph Goldstein.
Like Headspace and Calm, Ten Percent Happier features a few free basic meditation sessions to help you get started with your practice. To get more out of the app, you’ll need to be a member.
Ten Percent Happier Price
Membership to Ten Percent Happier costs $99/year and it unlocks 350+ guided meditations and features like built-in timer, personal coaching, and more.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial to test all the premium features and guided meditations.
Most apps on this list have a free version. But Insight Timer is the only meditation app that provides real value to its free users. The app features 60,000 free guided meditations, music tracks, talks, and courses.
It’s no wonder Insight Timer is rated as the top free meditation app on both iOS and Android.
If you’re a meditation beginner, Insight Timer is the app best suited for your needs.
In addition to guided meditations, meditation playlists, timer, and music, you’ll also find meditation courses.
These free meditation courses from the world’s best teachers can level up your meditation practice and help make mindfulness a daily habit.
Insight Timer Price
Although Insight Timer is free, with users having access to most meditations and courses within the app, there are a few premium features and courses that can be unlocked by paying $60 a year.
Rohan Gunatillake combined his deep experience in mindfulness education and technology to launch Buddhify, a meditation app with over 200 guided meditations for issues like stress, anxiety, sleep, and more.
Buddhify focuses on mobile or on-the-go meditation, which you can do anywhere at any time. As a result, it’s the best meditation app for busy individuals who don’t have time for meditation.
Although the app is innovative in its approach, Buddhify’s interface is quite messy. The meditation wheel can take forever to load and the app is also prone to crashing.
Buddhify membership costs $30 a year. Unlike other paid meditation apps on this list, Buddhify doesn’t offer a free trial.
8. Simple Habit
Used by over 5 million people and recommended by top mental health experts, Simple Habit is a popular meditation app that offers guided meditations, daily motivation, guided sleep sessions, and coaching, personalized to your liking.
The app features guided meditations by world-renowned experts, from mindfulness experts at Google to former monks.
Simple Mind’s free version provides limited access to guided meditation and sleep sessions. You can access the entire library of 2,000+ meditations by subscribing to the premium version.
The premium version of the app also allows you to access Simple Mind offline.
Simple Habit Price
Simple Habits offers 3 subscription options: monthly ($11.99), yearly ($89.99), and lifetime ($299.99).
With over 6 million users worldwide, Petit Bambou is one of the most popular meditation apps out there. The app features a wide range of meditation exercises to help you live in the present moment fully.
You’ll find guided meditation techniques on topics such as sleep, parenting, stress, anxiety, and more.
If you’re more of a visual learner, you’ll love the illustrations and animations used by Petit Bambou to explain the key principles of meditation and mindfulness.
Petit Bambou Price
Petit Bambou offers 8 free meditation sessions. To access all meditation programs, you’ll need to subscribe to the app.
The monthly subscription costs $8.49/month while the yearly subscription costs $71.99/year.
Aura is a meditation app that focuses mainly on emotional health and sleep. You can browse thousands of meditation and wellness tracks in the app to improve your wellbeing and sleep better.
Aura’s UI is not as impressive as some of the other apps on this list. The interface is a bit confusing and it takes some time to ease into the app.
To unlock guided meditations on Aura, you’ll need to subscribe to the app for $59.99/year. You can try Aura for free for 7 days before subscribing to the annual plan.
11. Smiling Mind
Smiling Mind is a free mindfulness app developed by a team of psychologists and educators to support your mental and emotional wellbeing.
The app offers meditation sessions for both adults and children. You’ll find meditation programs to help you sleep better, reduce your anxiety, improve your performance, and much more.
Smiling Mind Price
Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit organization and its mindfulness app is 100% free.
The goal of Oak meditation app is to transform your meditation practice from an experiment into a habit. To that end, you’ll find mindful, loving-kindness, and sleep meditations as well as breathing exercises, courses, and unguided meditations.
Oak also tracks your meditation progress and helps you make mindfulness meditation a daily habit.
The other noteworthy aspect of Oak is the minimalistic interface of the app. This no-nonsense approach to meditation makes your practice more enjoyable.
Oak is completely free.
Available on: App Store
Ensō is a meditation timer and bell app designed to enhance your meditation practice. The app includes progress indicators and soothing bells to help you stay focused while meditating.
Enso is entirely free.
Available on: App Store
The Inscape meditation app is an extension of the Inscape meditation studio in New York. The creators of this app have combined centuries of mindfulness research from around the world to develop an extensive library of guided meditations so you can deal with issues like stress and anxiety and find more joy in life through mindfulness.
Inscape features guided and unguided meditations, breathing exercises, music, and sounds. You can also personalize your sessions based on your goals and experience.
The premium version of Inscape costs $9.99 a month or $58.99 a year. You can try Inscape Premium for free for 7 days before subscribing.
Unplug is a drop-in meditation studio and their meditation app is an extension of their popular meditation studio. Unplug features guided meditations for any situation and ambient sounds for self-guided sessions.
The meditation sessions typically range from 1 to 45 minutes. Unplug also allows you to set daily meditation reminders, goals, and check your stats.
Unplug Meditation Price
You can subscribe to Unplug for $12.99 a month or $69.99 a year. Before subscribing, you can try it free for a week.
Final Thoughts on Meditation Apps
So these are the 15 meditation apps we’d recommend for your meditation practice. We suggest you pick a meditation app that best suits your goals and experience.
Meditation beginners can go with Headspace, Calm, or Ten Percent Happier.
More experienced meditators can try Sattva, Brain.fm, or simply enhance their meditation practice with a meditation timer like Ensō.
If you’re looking for a free meditation app, you can always find value in Insight Timer, Smiling Mind, or Oak.
Remember, these meditation apps can help you only if you make a commitment today to make meditation a daily habit.
While these apps feature a plethora of guided meditations and breathing exercises to kickstart your meditation habit, you need to have a disciplined approach towards meditation to use them to greater effect.
So set aside a few minutes every day for meditation and develop a daily habit that benefits you in the long run.
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Editor’s Note: This article was first published on 29 October 2020 and has been updated regularly since then for relevance and comprehensiveness.