After talking to meditation experts from the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center and the UMass Center for Mindfulness, researching a dozen apps, and testing five, we think that Hepace offers the best experience, with excellent guided courses and great short meditations for people on the go. This app offers the widest variety of meditations, with the best guided sessions for beginners, as well as less-structured programming for pros.
Its easy-to-use interface was also the most streamlined. We think its more structured courses—which give you the experience of taking an in-person class, but one that you can do anywhere—will get beginning meditators started and help them maintain the habit.
The app also offers short meditations for emergencies or the occasional random quiet moment. It also offers bonus perks, like ambient music.
Along with guided sessions, it offers more individual exercises, like a breathing visualization, more-flexible meditation timers and a dedicated section offering an array of ambient music. Note: In addition to its usual week-long free trial, Calm is also offering special free features for de-stressing during these difficult times.
10 apps to become more mindful and stress-free
about these below. Calming an overactive mind takes work, and meditation can help. Apps are good tools for people who are total beginners looking for somewhere to start, but they can also be helpful for experienced meditators who need a refresher or are returning to meditation after a break. These programs offer guided meditations, daily reminders, and even soothing music, all of which can help you establish an ongoing practice. Or, for the cost of a yearlong subscription to a paid meditation app, you could take a few classes at a local meditation center. An app that you carry with you everywhere can be one convenient way to do this.
Meditation apps advertise that their services are useful for everything from reducing stress and pain, to improving sleep, and even increasing your capacity for compassion. Although studies suggest that keeping up a practice can be useful in improving your mind and health, the field is young. Winston noted that even compared with other small actions you can take to improve health, fewer studies have been conducted about meditation. Both Brewer and Winston told me there is little evidence regarding the power of meditation app programs themselves.
There are hundreds of meditation apps, many of them making big Mindspace meditation app about reducing stress and even pain. We focused specifically on mindfulness meditation apps, which focus largely on paying attention to breath and being in the moment. Mindfulness Mindspace meditation app among the best-studied and most popular options though the term is somewhat of an all-encompassing way to package meditation for secular Western society.
After finding 12 apps that fit these criteria, we narrowed our list to six options that we tested, based on a cursory look at their popularity, offerings, and customer reviews. We downloaded all of the apps onto both an iPhone and Android phone to determine if the app worked well. After that, we set up s in each app to figure out how many courses we could access for free before running into subscription paywalls. After using the free trials we paid to unlock all of the content on our top two picks.
Finally, we used each app to meditate, doing a few different sessions in each over the course of Mindspace meditation app week. Plus, Hepace has a nicer de than its competitors, with a free trial, functionality across a of devices, and good perks.
The beginner-level meditations Hepace offers are more useful than those in any other app we considered. This is the best educational-style curriculum we found in a meditation app.
Most others felt like a disparate collection of meditations with little guidance as to where a user should begin. You could use Hepace like a class with very specific levels to graduate from for months. But Hepace serves more than just beginners. In addition to guided meditations, Hepace offers free-form meditations in its Pro packs.
These features provide a wider variety of options for the experienced meditator than any of the other apps we considered. By contrast, Calm has only longer meditations 10 minutes and up. Competing apps had a similar feature, but the adjustable timing on meditations is something we found unique to Hepace. The de of this app was far superior to that of competitors.
The best meditation apps
Its Discover is helpfully organized by topic, and the grid is color coordinated, so we could easily tell what was what. Hepace makes it easy to curate exactly the meditations you want to see and use. We also think the warm colors and cute illustrations bring a welcoming feeling to the app, making it more pleasant to use. Many other apps were visually confusing with too many Mindspace meditation app images or poor topic organization.
We think Hepace has some great perks too. You can toggle to download full packs for offline use, a great feature for vacations. Despite its hand-holding, Hepace has long-term users, too.
A friend of mine has stuck with it for six years. My friend told me she likes the app because it is easy to mix and match what type of meditations she wants to do each day.
Although she no longer needs to master the fundamentals, Hepace grows with users by adding fewer and fewer vocal cues in their courses as they progress. It has 4. When we first tested Hepace it only offered one male narrator, and we found that his strong British accent could be distracting. The app has since added a female-voice option for some meditations. We found the Hepace trial somewhat limited, too. This is similar to the Mindspace meditation app trials in other apps we tried, and we really wish all of them offered more extensive free trials.
Like Hepace, it has a lot of meditation options, but fewer courses geared toward beginners and fewer courses overall, with less compelling sequencing. It also has a breathing-bubble visualization that you can customize to a selection of breath counts.
Calm also offers sleep storieswhich may appeal to you if you like to fall asleep to the sound of a soothing voice. This is something we saw lots of reviewers complaining about as well.
Like Hepace, Calm offers many of the same perks, such as options to download meditations for offline streaming. Calm has 4. During the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Calm is making freely available a range of offerings via its website though not the app itself. This includes meditations including for kidsstretching videos, journal printouts, music, and sleep stories, all of which the company Mindspace meditation app will be regularly updated.
Goyal, Singh, et. Our pick. Hepace The best meditation app This app offers the widest variety of meditations, with the best guided sessions for beginners, as well as less-structured programming for pros. Buying Options Buy from Hepace. Buy from Apple App Store. Buy from Google Play. Also great.
Buy from Calm. Everything we recommend. Who should get this What science says about meditation How we picked and tested Our pick: Hepace Flaws but not dealbreakers Also great: Calm The competition Sources. Who should get this. What science says about meditation. How we picked and tested. Wide range of meditation options: We looked for apps that had features to suit a variety of needs, from those of a novice who wants guided work to those of a more seasoned meditator.
A great app should include guided meditations, but also hands-off options like timers. Bonus perk: varying meditation lengths, including shorter classes for on-the-go needs or options to go for longer than 20 Mindspace meditation app.
Learn more about meditation
Beginner courses: A good curriculum that provides structured daily meditations for beginners can mean the difference between establishing a habit or falling off after a few days of use. Free trial: Most paid apps offer a trial period or Mindspace meditation app few meditations for free before your card is charged. Works on different kinds of devices: The app should be available for download on both iOS and Android systems, including iP, tablets, and other devices.
Extra features: Some meditation apps come with other methods for relaxing, such as music and yoga instruction. Although these can be a bonus, our primary goal was finding an app for mindfulness meditation.
Hepace vs. calm: how do these meditation apps compare?
We also gave extra points to apps that allow you to download meditations for offline use. Our pick: Hepace.
Flaws but not dealbreakers. Also great: Calm. The competition.
Its de was far less engaging than that of Hepace or Calm. Full disclosure: I practice yoga with Eddie Stern, the creator of this app.
The Breathing App is no-frills, with a couple of different visual and audio components paired with meditation timers. It is deed to be customizable for duration and breath count. Simple Habit has a clean, functional de that was a joy to interact with. But we found its meditations were a bit scattered and we had a hard time figuring out where to start.