If your stress hormones have spiking lately, here are 3 meditation apps we’ve personally tried that can really help you reclaim your thoughts and cultivate a sense of calm and well-being. Because doesn’t that sound great right now?
Stop, Breathe & Think
Our editor Kristen recommended this one on a Today show segment about the best apps for keeping your New Year’s resolutions, and I can totally see why. Stop, Breathe & Think begins with a very brief check-in, asking you how you’re feeling physically and emotionally. Based on your answers, it’ll recommend three or four short guided meditations to help cultivate gratitude, engage your senses, etc. I liked that this app didn’t overwhelm me with choice and that it’s helpful even if you can’t commit to using it every day. (Free, with in-app purchases, iOS and Google Play)
This app offers an á la carte approach to meditation for those of us who want to skip the intro and zero in on exactly what we’re looking for. A guided meditation to help you sleep? They’ve got that. A five-minute audio file of a waterfall? Yep, got that too. Or you can just set a timer that rings a bell when you’re done with your silent meditation. Basically Insight Timer lets you pick whatever form of meditation chills you out the most, whenever you want it. (Free, iOS and Google Play)
Headspace is more directive than the other two apps, which is great if you’re looking to really dig in and learn the practice. It starts with a 10-session intro, meant to be listened to over a 10-day period to help you get into the habit of meditating regularly. Most include a short educational animation on basic mindfulness principles, followed by a guided meditation. After you’ve finished the free intro, you can subscribe to the app to get access to a host of guided practices on different topics, including a few designed specifically for kids. Plus, the many are guided by a sultry-voiced British man who I found very easy to listen to. (Free, with subscription required after a number of uses + in-app purchases, iOS and Google Play)