If you search Google for the best mindfulness apps, you'll likely see the same four or five apps on each one. And while Headspace and Calm are definitely at the top of our list too (we've written a few articles on them), sometimes you want a little variety.
So rather than give you the same list as every other site, we've decided to put together a list of lesser known mindfulness apps to help you meditate, practice yoga and reach that zen (and mellow) state of mind we're all striving for.
If you could use a little mental relaxation, here's a list of the best mindfulness apps that you haven't already heard of, as well as what to look for when choosing the right app for you.
How to Buy the Best Mindfulness Apps
There are a few important factors that you will want to look at when choosing a mindfulness app. Here's a closer look at those factors to help you make the right decision and live a more fulfilling life.
There are lots of types of meditation and mindfulness exercises out there. Each technique is unique and tends to focus on one of four key areas. You should think about what you hope to achieve from your mindfulness training and choose a mindfulness app that ticks those boxes.
Here's a look at four different types of meditation:
This type of meditation empowers people to enhance their feelings of compassion for others. This is the perfect focus if you feel as though you have grown apart from others over the course of your life.
We all carry different types of tension within our bodies. We often do this without realizing and that tension can become a source of constant stress and unhappiness. This type of training helps people to focus on their body to identify and release tension.
Breathing has a very large impact on the way that a person feels and the way their body functions. Mastering breathing techniques can help you to circulate oxygen effectively throughout your body to get immediate relief in times of stress.
Modern life makes it all too easy to get caught up in trivial matters. Those little worries can snowball into bigger and bigger issues until they occupy all of our thoughts and block our enjoyment of the present. Mindfulness training helps you to focus your thoughts and attention onto the present.
You will want to find a mindfulness app that meets your needs through its set of features. There are lots of different features out there, so you should carefully examine the applications out there before making your leap.
Here's a closer look at some of the key features that you will want to look out for when choosing a mindfulness app:
It is very important that your chosen application is able to send you push notifications if you want them. These notifications can give you a gentle reminder that it's time to practice. You should be able to configure the time of those reminders, too, so that it fits with your schedule.
You will also want to choose an app that offers you the guided sessions that you want. There are lots of different guided courses out there and you should try to get a good idea of what you can expect in terms of focus and content. It's also important that you try to find a voice that you like.
The best mindfulness apps offer you progress tracking so that you can see how often you have studied in the past. This can be a big motivator and help you to build up streaks to keep on top of your mindfulness training. Many people find that this feature helps them to build a sense of commitment towards their training.
Lots of applications offer users the ability to adjust their programs according to their needs. This level of customization helps users to make sure that they are studying according to their preferences. This creates a greater sense of interest and inspires users to continue working.
It is also very important that you find an application that fits with your device and its specifications. You will want to make sure that your chosen app is compatible with your phone, for example, whether that's an iOS or Android device.
Top 7 Mindfulness Apps
Now that we have a better idea of what to look out for, let's take a closer look at some of the best mindfulness apps on the market.
1. Zen TV
Zen TV is a video that provides HD video and audio of relaxing settings to help you focus on whatever you are doing. You will find a huge range of beautiful settings including beaches, campfires, oceans, and more.
Some of those videos also feature soothing music, too, helping you to get into the scene and really unwind. The app provides those videos but does not offer guided meditation - it relaxes your mind so that you can let your thoughts drift and your body calm itself.
2. Mindfulness Meditation for Self-Healing
Glenn Harrold is a big name in the world of mindfulness and meditation. In this application, he brings together a range of his acclaimed meditation techniques that are complemented by relaxing music from Russ Davey.
This application offers an ear-to-ear stereo range, too, to create a really relaxing feel. The vocal techniques will guide you through a meditation session so that you can really relax both your mind and your body.
The meditation and mindfulness techniques are proven and help people to limit the amount of anxiety, fear, and pain in their lives.
3. Simply Being Guided Meditation
This mindfulness app offers voice-guided meditation to help people unwind and enhance the results that they get from their sessions. The app offers meditation lengths of 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes so that people can fit mindfulness training into their routine with ease.
The application also offers a range of ambient sounds and music that are optional. This means that people can cater the experience to their needs and enjoy a unique experience with each listen. The volumes are adjustable, too, so you do not have to worry about drowning out the relaxing voice.
The high-quality guided meditations help people to achieve deep relaxation and put themselves entirely in the present moment. This helps people to relieve themselves of anxiety and stress.
4. iSleep Easy - Meditations for Restful Sleep
Many people struggle to achieve deep and fulfilling sleep that they need to function over the course of the day. This is often due to ruminating thoughts that go around and around, robbing them of the sleep that they need.
Those thoughts can cause mental distress and the cycle repeats itself - people find it impossible to fall asleep. This app focuses on helping people to tackle their sleep issues to achieve the sleep that they need.
The app offers a range of guided meditations that help people to tackle their specific issue around sleep. The "putting away the day" meditation, for example, helps people to put the stress and action of the day behind them so that they can focus on sleeping.
5. Relax and Rest Meditations
This app helps people to achieve a state of deep relaxation without any previous meditation experience. The step-by-step guided meditations make it simple for people to enjoy the benefits of meditation.
The application features optional music, too, which offers a customizable experience for variety. The programs in this app are very focused, too, helping people to find the program that they need. This includes guided breathing, body relaxation, and a deep rest meditation.
The app is very simple to use and it has a pleasant design that helps people to feel calm immediately.
6. Get Relaxed! Deep Relaxation by Hypnosis
This application features a 25-minute professional hypnosis session that uses a blend of hypnosis and relaxation techniques. This experience is appropriate for both beginners and veterans alike.
The voiceover is provided by Cathy Weber who creates a sense of relaxation with her voice. The recording is very impressive in terms of quality and many people find that they appreciate the voiceover.
The background music is also professionally composed. These factors all come together to help people achieve their goal of living a relaxed and stress-free life. The app focuses on hypnosis and as such, it helps people to achieve a sense of calm and rest.
7. Chakra Meditation
If you are interested in Eastern Philosophy and the concept of chakras, you might want to explore this app in more detail. The app walks you through the seven different chakras that are found within the body.
The app includes visuals and sounds so that you are able to better focus on your meditation and work your way through the seven chakras - all the way from the base of your spine up to the crown.
The app has some really great 3D animations on offer and the authentic audio is easy to follow. The audio helps you to focus on the chakra that is being discussed and if you prefer, there's the custom option to train specific chakras.
The Best Mindfulness App
We hope that this exploration of the best mindfulness apps has been useful to you. As you can see, there are lots of different options on the market and the various niches are covered.
If you are looking for a particular type of mindfulness training app, we are confident that you will be able to find it!
In terms of the best all-round app, though, we have to go with "iSleep Easy". We know that the majority of people want to meditate while they are in bed in order to achieve better sleep and put the worries of the day behind them.
From that perspective, this app really is the best. We love the quality that it offers and the fact that it helps people to tackle a range of specific issues. You might find, for example, that you struggle with your breathing while trying to sleep - the app has you covered.
The user interface is considerate, too, and helps you to really focus on getting the most from the app without having to tap through lots of different menus.
We are confident that you will like the app and it comes at a very reasonable price! If you want to achieve better sleep so that you are more energized and mindful, you can't really go wrong with this quality option.