Top 4 Mindfulness Apps
After completing a 10 week course in mindfulness last fall, I have been trying out different apps to make sure I keep up with my practice. Mindfulness is just like working out: If you don't use it, you lose it so to speak. It's important to make a concerted effort to practice on a daily basis to reap the benefits. It doesn't have to be a huge chunk of time. I typically aim for at least 10 minutes a day and can tell a difference when I don't get it in.
Below is a quick review of the 4 most popular mindfulness apps out there:
- Calm: I use this one on a daily basis. They have a free series called the "7 Days of Calm". It is perfect for any beginner. I highly recommend trying the series. The narrator of the guided sessions, Tamara Levitt, has the most beautiful voice. Once you do the 7 days (and love it because I know you will), dabble in the other categories such as body scans, walking mediations or try the more topic-focused sessions like resilence, loving-kindness, forgiveness and anxiety. They also provide sleep stories which I love to listen to if I am feeling particularly stressed out before bed. I held off getting the subscription (which is $4.99/month) but quite honestly, I wish I had gotten it sooner because I use this app so often.
- 1 Giant Mind: This free mediation app was co-founded by Jonni Pollard, a master meditation teacher from Australia, and is a close second to Calm. It teaches you how to meditate using a mantra. I love having different meditation techniques in my tool belt and this app has really helped me hone in on some great ways to practice mindfulness. I really like this app because there isn't a lot of talking. It really only prompts you at the beginning and end of the session which allows you to let your mindfulness unfold in the middle with out interrupting it. I also like that it asks you how you feel before and after a mediation as well as provides (on some sessions) short videos that go more into detail on what you can learn from your practice.
- Insight Timer: I use this free app the least frequently but still understand its benefits. This app offers interval timing, ending bell sounds and calming background noise. I would say this app is great for those who have had a consistent practice in the past and want to try some unguided meditations. My favorite part about this app is that there is an online community around the world where you can see who else is meditating when you are. Makes you feel really connected!
- Headspace: Parents, get this app! This app has the most adorable animations that teach you how your brain works and why mindfulness is beneficial. I've shown Winter the animations a few times and she loves them. But above and beyond the animations, this app has a kids section where they break the sessions into age groups: Under 5, 6-8, and 9-12 years of age. The categories for kids include: sleep, calm, kindness, focus and wake up and are designed for you and your little one to do together. It is never to early to start teaching your kids how to take care of their minds. For adults, my favorite part of this app is called the "minis" which are 1 to 3 minute exersices that you can squeeze in throughout the day. When I am at work and have a particularly challenging hour, I often duck out into my office to do a mini session and immediately feel better. They offer a 10 day basic series which is wonderful for any beginner. This app costs money. To unlock the whole program, it will run you $12.99/month.
Follow my Mindfulness Pinterest Board for more tips & tricks, inspiration and more.
Do you know of any other good apps? Shoot me an email if so! I would love to hear about them.