With thousands of meditation apps right at your fingertips, it can be hard to know where to start. Especially if you’re a meditation newbie. And to make matters worse, it seems like just about everyone has their own opinion on which app is truly “the best.” But don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve done our research and rounded up 6 of the best meditation apps for beginners. So even if it’s your very first time practicing, these apps will help you get the hang of it. Read on to figure out which one feels right for you.
When you first open the app, you’re prompted to answer whether you have “none” “a little” or “a lot” of experience meditating. From there, Headspace asks you additional questions like what you’re hoping to improve with meditation and when you’d like to meditate, so it can tailor 30-day meditation series to your exact goals and desires. After the 30 days, you’ll be given the option to subscribe for a monthly or annual fee to continue your meditation journey.
If you’re in the market for a free meditation app, this one’s for you. Insight Timer allows you to choose from over 15,000 free meditations of all different lengths and themes depending on your needs. The library includes meditations for anxiety, confidence, gratitude, and many other issues—so you’re not limited to the same old guided meditation track every day. Plus, it keeps track of how many days you meditate consecutively, and other milestones, so you can feel accomplished as you build your meditation practice.
One satisfied user describes Smiling Mind as “the perfect app for beginners” because, like Insight Timer, it’s completely free. To start, the app inquires about whether you’ve meditated before, your age, and what you’re interested in learning about through the app. Then, it suggests potential programs for you to try based on those preferences. For beginners, the app offers the “An Intro to Mindfulness” course, which includes introductory animations and short meditations to build your base knowledge of the subject.
This app makes being new to the whole mindfulness thing a breeze. First, it prompts you to stop and check in with yourself, a process that includes questions about how you’re doing physically, mentally, and emotionally. Then, Stop, Breathe & Think recommends a few meditation and breathing exercises based on your check-in. You can also choose from a library of meditations to address topics like focus and resilience (but just FYI––some of these require you to upgrade to the Premium paid membership). The app also allows you to track how many days in a row you practice meditation and check-ins, as well as how your body and mind are feeling over time.
A cool aspect of this app is its 10-day Starter Series for people who are new to meditation. The 10 sessions are entirely free and walk you through the process of beginning a meditation practice. If you’re hooked after those 10 sessions, you can opt into the premium program which requires a monthly or yearly fee in exchange for access to tons of courses like “Uncovering Happiness” and “Changing Habits,” as well as meditation collections focused on issues like compassion and life transitions.
If you’re one to get easily overwhelmed, Oak is a great option. It offers just three types of meditation: Mindfulness, Loving Kindness, and Unguided. Once you settle on a type, you can pick the duration, the instructor’s voice, and the background sound (if any). This simplistic approach ensures that you won’t get sucked into choosing from an extensive library of guided meditations, a process which can leave you more stressed than when you began. A bonus? The app also includes breathing exercises to help you relax and clear your mind.
Want to learn more about meditation? Check out what happened when I went to a meditation studio for the first time.
By: Kara Cuzzone