My Meditation App Review
I've tried what feels like every meditation app under the sun so I'm sharing my findings with you in case you're thinking of starting or shifting your meditation practice! I am no expert, and in fact find meditation quite difficult. But I value any amount of time I can sit in quiet and breath - even if I'm scratching my knee the entire time. First, let's take a step back...
What is meditation? A practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. (source: Wikipedia)
What are the benefits? Reduces stress, improves concentration, encourages a healthy lifestyle, increases happiness, slows aging, can lower blood pressure (source: Huffington Post)
What's the best way to meditate? Find a comfortable position, meditate around the same time everyday, start small, be kind to yourself, keep practicing, just breath, journal your experience after. (source: Mind Body Green)
This is a great app for beginners. It is a guided experience, which builds the user up to increased amounts of silence. I like this app for its consistency and the variety of meditation packs it offers to all levels. If I'm being honest, I found the narrorator's voice irritating after a while and I was craving more inspiring content. The beginner meditation pack is free, after that it's $12.99 for a month or $96 for the year (they're offering 40% off the year long membership right now!!).
This app is a bit more advanced but offers a wide range of options. My favorite feature is personally selected sound which you can add interval bells to. Set the bells to when you'd like to hear interval reminders, select the amount of time you'd like to meditate for, and go. Another feature - meditation teachers around the world upload their content here so you can try out tons of different styles. Best part - it's FREE!
Deepak and Oprah 21 Day Meditation Challenge
This is by far my favorite app. I love Deepak's insightful lessons, Oprah's witty and useful advice, and the time for quiet in each episode. The app also prompts journal questions after each sessons and has space to write as an option. Great news, the next FREE 21 day challenge starts July 23rd!!
As I've said before, this is a great app for skeptics. I love the guided meditations by one of my very favorite meditation teachers, Joseph Goldstein. His approach is extremely scientific and fact based, but also hugely insightful and spiritual. Goldstein's an expert on Buddhism and shares in the most digestible way. But once I ran out of his content, I didn't fancy any of the other teachers there. The first 7 days are free and after they offer a monthly ($9.99), 3 months ($34.99) or annual membership ($79).
This is the app I have currently landed on. I love the narrator's soothing voice, background noise, and beautiful display screen (when I have my eyes open). Similar to Headspace, you can select meditation packs based on what you're working on. Everything from anxiety and sleep to mindfulness at work and managing stress are available. The first week is free and after that it is a $59 annual fee, but I feel I am well worth the investment.