As human beings alive in the 21st century, it’s probably no news to you that our rapid pace of life can be very stressful, filled with constant emails, non stop messages and phone calls, social media pressures and of course an inundation of news (mostly negative) from around the globe. We’re often living in anticipation of the next notification or Instagram update and forget to pay attention to what’s happening in the moment. Not only that, but 2020 has provided us with even more need to disconnect, re-centre and make well-being a priority. Here are 5 of the best apps to help you switch off, meditate and add some zen to your life.
Developed by the Center for Humane Technology, Calm is an award-winning mindfulness app aimed at those interested in meditation, wanting to relax and switch off and to help reduce anxiety and sleep better. The app has a series of programs from guided meditations (each varying between 3 and 25 minutes) to sleep stories, breathing programs, masterclasses, relaxing music and relaxation guides. Unlike other meditation apps, its free version has a fairly extensive catalogue of practices - and no ads!
Calm is available for both Android and iOS here.
Insight Timer is without a doubt, our favourite meditation app. TIME Magazine and Women’s Health ‘Apps of the Year’ winner, this app has more than a hundred guided practices totally free. It caters for everybody and if you’re more of a freelancer it offers numerous customisable features including a timer section to set how long you would like to meditate for, your preference of ambient sound, what sound you would like to mark both the beginning and end of your practice and more.
Headspace is the perfect meditation app for those who have no experience with meditation or really know what it is. Using simple and fun videos, it explains how your brain works and what effects mindfulness has on and teaches you to concentrate, breathe, and meditate to relieve all kinds of problems related to everyday stress, including insomnia, anxiety, lack of concentration, and more.
The app offers you the first ten sessions for free in the form of a training plan but after that, if you want to continue using it, you will have to pay. You can download Headspace for Android and iOS here.
ENSŌ is a good app for those who are familiar with meditation and already have some experience as it does not contain guided practices. The app which has a minimalist and elegant design, actually serves as a timer that will help you control your sessions and improve them, thanks to different visual and audio signals to keep you present during the exercise. You can then also record your progress.
ENSŌ is free and available for iOS.
This app is the ideal all rounder and even caters to children. Serenity: Meditation offers easy to follow guided mediations for mindfulness, sleep and relaxation. It aims to equip you a variety of mindfulness and mediation techniques to bring a sense of peace and calm to your everyday life. The application includes a free, 7 day audio course, sleep guides, mini meditation sessions for those short on time, kids meditations, basic sessions for regular practice and more. There is no log in or sign up required and although the app offers in-app purchases, it is free to download for Android and iOS.
Meditation & Relaxation aims to better your life by helping you to centre yourself, relax, focus easily and to sleep better. A hugely popular app in both the Google Play Store and the app store, it focuses on meditation programs lasting between 7 and 14 days. The sessions of varying length have different focuses including improving concentration and focus, better sleep, body scans, forgiveness, self-love and self-esteem.
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