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16 Best Meditation Apps to Help Calm Your Mind

Christen Russo
ByChristen RussoJun 16, 2023 | 5 comments

As the world navigates new rhythms and routines from home, it's understandable that many of us are moving through emotions like concern, confusion, anxiety, and impatience. It's as important to let yourself recognize and respect those valid experiences as it is to release them and create a space of well-being. Science backs the idea that increased happiness, gratitude, and savoring can be achieved by introducing a regular practice of mindfulness and intention into one's life. This can look any number of ways, from yoga to meditation to chanting, to simply sitting quietly and letting yourself just "be." Whether you're new to these practices or are looking for a fresh outlet to accommodate the call for social distancing, there are a number of apps that can help guide you toward that renewed sense of balance, clarity, better sleep and inner calm.

Yes, our specialty is still physical subscription boxes, and we are working hard to keep you informed and equipped with delivery services that will be most useful to you during this time—but because we're all on this ride together, we want to share as many resources as we can! Discover the best meditation apps for your needs below.


The Best Free Meditation Apps + App Subscriptions

1. Journey Meditation — Live meditation classes and community

Group of experienced meditation teachers who conduct live sessions through the Journey Meditation app

Image via Journey.

About this app: Journey is the first app to conduct live group meditation sessions that can be streamed from your device. Start by heading to the Journey website for an introduction to all the world-renowned teachers on their team, as these are the experienced meditation and mindfulness experts who will be guiding you through your sessions. This mental wellness and stress management app emphasizes and fosters community (both online and offline) as you build a routine and bring yourself the gift of rejuvenating sleep, emotional ease, and greater happiness.

The Cost: Free 7-day trial. After your free trial, an annual subscription costs $95.99/year.

Available on: iOS.

2. Calm — Meditation and sleep stories

Photo of two iPhones showing options on the Calm meditation app.

Image via Calm.

About this app: Calm offers a number of outlets for encouraging peace and relaxation. Included in the free basic membership are guided meditations as short as 3 minutes and as long as 30 minutes, and sleep stories for adults and children with a variety of narrators, ranging from 12 to 45 minutes long. Who wouldn't want to listen to a bedtime story from Matthew McConaughey? Calm also offers masterclasses ranging from 10-15 minutes to 1 hour, and various nature scene still images with soothing audio to go along. In each of these categories, many selections are only able to be accessed by premium members—and, with a premium membership you may also enjoy their library of peaceful music across many genres.

The Cost: Free 7-day trial. After your free trial, Premium membership for the Calm app costs $5.83 per month (billed annually at $69.99 after 7-day free trial). Lifetime membership costs $399.99.

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop. A limited Calm experience can also be accessed via Apple TV, Google Home, Sonos, Apple Watch, and Android Wear.


3. Glo — Meditation, yoga, and mat pilates

Woman in her home doing yoga along with Glo app.

Image via Glo.

About this app: Whether you want to pop earbuds in and quietly calm your mind with a guided meditation session or roll out your mat and participate in a virtual yoga or pilates class, Glo’s 80 programs, 50 world-class teachers, 16 styles, and over 4,000 individual classes mean a lifestyle of wellness is readily accessible from your home. This app is great for all levels including beginners, and there are even advanced courses that can be used for the non-contact hours for Yoga Alliance teacher training! You’ll begin by answering a 3-question survey to tell about your intentions and goals so that Glo may better serve you the classes you’re looking for.

The Cost: Free 15-day trial. After your free trial, subscriptions are $18/month if downloaded from Glo.com or $22.99/month if downloaded from iTunes.

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop. Glo can also be accessed via Apple Watch, Apple TV, Roku, and Fire TV.


4. Headspace — Short guided meditation sessions

Cartoon finger using the Headspace meditation and mindfulness app.

Image via Headspace.

About this app: With the mission to improve health and happiness, Headspace offers guided meditations, themed meditation courses, and audio sleep aids of varying lengths and themes. They start by teaching you how to meditate and then support you with a library of meditations and mindfulness activities on themes like anxiety, anger, relaxation, focus, sports, mindful cooking, parenting, and much more. This app's approach combines an ancient historic practice with a modern scientific spin, which means the Headspace team stands by their promise of progress, ensuring that a daily meditation or practice will reduce your stress, improve focus, and increase happiness!

The Cost: Free 2-week trial when you sign up for the annual plan. After your free trial, an annual subscription costs $69.99/year (that's $5.83/month). Free 1-week trial when you sign up for the monthly plan. After your free trial, a monthly subscription costs $12.99/month. Student and family pricing available.

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop. Download via Amazon here (currently unavailable to new subscribers but check back!).


5. Breethe - Personal mindfulness coaches

Breethe. Your Life. Better.

Image via Google Play.

About this app: It's all about easing stress and sleeping more deeply with the Breethe app! Take whatever approach to relaxation and mindfulness works best for you—nature sounds, guided meditations, breathing exercises, bedtime readings and sleep music, hypnotherapy sessions—or tune into mindfulness coach Lynne Goldberg's inspirational talks and masterclasses. If you have a goal or intention, there are options that focus on reducing stress and anxiety, sharpening focus, bettering relationships, and more, all part of the library of over 1,000 tracks. There's even a program for kids and teens. With a Premium membership comes access to additional content.

The Cost: Free basic membership. Premium membership costs $12.95/month, $89.95/year, or $149.99 for a lifetime membership.

Available on: iOS and Android.


6. Insight Timer — Helps with sleep, anxiety, and stress

Image of smartphone showing a digital meditation bell with adjustable settings.

Image via Insight Timer.

About this app: Studies suggest meditating between 10 and 20 minutes per day, but Insight Timer has mindfulsness meditations available to accommodate anyone's needs, so you'll find options ranging from 45 seconds to 90 minutes available in their free library of 30,000 guided tracks. Their meditations cover a broad range of themes including sleep, stress & anxiety, recovery & healing, relationships, health & happiness, and many more, with numerous specific sub-categories to select from. Beyond that, they offer meditative resources for a variety of traditions and faiths, science approaches, and conceptual beliefs, as well as practices that involve sound, movement, self-observation, and more. There are also kid-friendly meditations and sleep tracks. The Premium membership includes more than 300 10-day and 30-day insight courses, offline listening, advanced player options, and higher quality audio.

The Cost: Free basic membership. Premium membership costs $59.99/year (or $9.99/month).

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop. Download via Amazon here.


7. Aura — Improves emotional health and restful sleep

Images of Aura meditation app via the Apple App Store.

Image via iOS App Store.

About this app: Each visit to Aura starts with a simple question: "How are you feeling?" From there, you'll be served suggestions for tracks that can help cater to your needs with 3-minute mindful meditation tracks. In addition to those soothing meditations, the Aura app shares empowering stories, nature sounds, a place to keep a gratitude journal, and sleep assistance. On top of all that, you can connect with a therapist or life coach through Aura. With the Premium membership, you can access longer meditations (up to one hour) and access them offline.

The Cost: Free basic membership, in-app purchases. Premium membership costs $94.99/year ($11.99/month). Lifetime membership costs $399.99.

Available on: iOS and Android.


8. Sattva — Guided meditations, chants, mantras, mudras, and more

Meditative Wisdom and more from the Sattva app.

Image via Sattva.

About this app: Sattva supplies you with the guided meditations (starting at 6 minutes long), the relaxation music playlists, and the meditation timer you're looking for, and comes along with a progress tracker so you can see your progress as you build a wellness habit. The resources in this app draw from Vedic principles of meditation and follow the teachings of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, many of which are available for listening and learning. You can also use this resource to learn about mudras, hand positions and gestures that facilitate energy flows, you can personalize your dashboard for quick access to your favorite tools, and you can connect with a mindful community to share playlists and more. With a paid lifetime membership comes more options for personalization and connection!

The Cost: Free basic membership, in-app purchases. Lifetime membership costs $399.99 (marked down to $108.99 at date of publication).

Available on: iOS and Android.


9. Ensō — Meditation timer and bell

Meditation timer and progress tracker from Enso app.

Image via Ensō.

About this app: This no-frills app gives you customization options for timing and tracking your meditation practice. It features unobtrusive progress indicators in the form of minimalist visuals and soothing bell sounds to indicate intervals and endings, letting you fully focus on your breath and calming your thoughts.

The Cost: Free with in-app purchases.

Available on: iOS.


10. Inscape — Modern practice of ancient techniques

Inscape app screenshots showing options for better sleep, reducing stress, and more.

Image via Inscape.

About this app: Those local to Manhattan might be familiar with the Inscape studio, or even attended their in-person guided meditation sessions; for those outside that area (and everyone right now), Inscape's resources are available via their app. Whether you take advantage of their mindfulness meditations, breathing exercises, music, or sounds, your sleep, health, and happiness will all be improved by setting time aside to journey within each day. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced level meditations are offered, ranging from 5 minutes to 85 minutes in length. Explore their themes or work toward a goal with their tracks meant to help with breathwork, improving focus, building acceptance, and more, including segments for kids.

The Cost: 1-week free trial. After your free trial, subscription costs $58.99/year or $9.99/month.

Available on: iOS.


11. buddhify — Short, on-the-go meditations for busy people

Hand holding iPhone with the buddhify app open.

Image via buddhify.

About this app: This meditation app is made with busy people who are immersed in that fast-paced, digital, urban lifestyle in mind—its tracks are meant to be listened to while walking, eating, traveling, or otherwise going about your normal life. The guided meditations range from 3 minutes to 40 minutes, and for those who are more experienced, there is a simple timer available. There is a range of seasoned teachers so you can find the voice that's most soothing to you (one of which is the voice of co-founder Lucy), and there are options for kids to partake.

Paid membership includes additional features such as the option to record mantras with your own voice and send them to friends, short formal meditation training courses, and video resources for deepening your practice.

The Cost: Free with in-app purchases. Paid membership is available for $30/year.

Available on: iOS and Android.


12. Smiling Mind — Mindfulness tools for young people and workplace

Woman sitting on her couch with earbuds in, listening to Smiling Mind guided meditations.

Image via Smiling Mind.

About this app: Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit company based in Australia, dedicated to providing meditation and mindfulness resources to youth and adults alike. With tools for kids ages 7 and up, plus a Mindfulness in the Classroom program, and those for adults, including a Mindfulness in the Workplace program, this app helps every individual deal with the pressure, stress, and challenges of daily life through 10 minutes of meditation every day. Smiling Mind also offers an indigenous languages program, making this mental wellness resource available to the Aboriginal people of the NPY region in Australia.

Good to know: The Smiling Mind team has also developed an app specifically for pregnant women, called Mind the Bump.

The Cost: Free

Available on: iOS, Android, and Google Home.


13. Simple Habit — Multi-day programs for working toward a goal

Examples of guided meditations for relaxation from Simple Habit.

Image via Simple Habit.

About this app: For general wellness and sleep therapy, for daily motivation, for decreasing stress, and so much more, Simple Habit supports your goals with guided meditations and coaching sessions from world-renowned experts. Resources start at 5-minute time commitments and go up from there, providing mindful insights and encouragement for your journey toward sharper focus, motivation, and easing anxieties. Track your progress and enjoy on-the-go features. With a premium membership, you'll have even more meditations to explore, and the ability to access them offline.

The Cost: Free basic membership. Premium membership costs $11.99/month, $95.99/year, or $299 for lifetime access.

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop.


14. 10% Happier — Guided meditations and practical teachings

Girl meditating with headphones on using the 10% Happier app.

Image via 10% Happier.

About this app: Have you read or listened to the book "10% Happier" by bestselling author Dan Harris? Its coordinating app is the best way to bring its concepts of overcoming the ego and incorporating meditation into your to life, through practical teachings and guided tracks. It's a great resource for beginners, providing instruction and explanation on how to use mindfulness tools to lower stress, create balance, achieve greater happiness, and sleep more restfully. This app includes 350+ meditations and features different tracks daily, offers sleep meditations, includes 1:1 coaching, and engaging talks to help you better understand the history and mindfulness practice of meditation.

The Cost: Free trial includes first 7 listens. After your free trial, a subscription costs $9.99/month or $79.99/year.

Available on: iOS and Android.


15. Stop, Breathe & Think — Inner check-ins for teens and adults

About this app: Adulthood can be overwhelming, but so too can every phase of life leading up. Stop, Breathe & Think is an app for teens and adults alike, providing a place to perform simple internal check-ins, short meditations for calming the mind, activities for learning more about mindfulness practices, and a progress tracker. Using these tools to promote a sense of peace, focus, and restful sleep is also suited for kids, and SBT has a special app for children ages 5-10 (see here). For the option to access these mindfulness exercises anywhere in your home, enable SBT on Alexa (via Amazon) for free!

The Cost: Free basic membership. Premium costs $5.83/month with an annual membership, or $9.99/month with a monthly membership.

Available on: iOS, Android, and Alexa. (Stop, Breathe & Think Kids available for iOS and desktop.)


16. Mindful by UCLA — Guided meditations in English and Spanish

Screenshot of the UCLA Mindful app from the Mindful Awareness Research Center.

Image via uclahealth.org.

About this app: From the Mindful Awareness Research Center at University of California, Los Angeles comes the Mindful app, a simple resource for learning about the basics, accessing guided meditations, wellness guides, and a 30-minute weekly podcast from UCLA's Hammer Museum. This guided meditation app includes videos that teach about postures and the science behind how meditation can improve happiness and well-being. It also features a timer so that as your practice advances, you can meditate on your own!

The Cost: Free.

Available on: iOS and Android.


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Do you maintain a meditation practice? Have any of the apps on this list worked well for you? Tell us in the comments.

Christen Russo
Christen Russo

Hi there, I'm Christen. I am all sorts of things:

🌳 a writer who loves to convey feeling

🌲 a mother who wants to have just as much fun as my kids do

🌳 an outdoors-lover who's achieved #1000hoursoutside with my family

🌲 a low-maintenance self-carer

🌳 a general hungry person with an unstoppable sweet tooth

You'll find me collecting stationery and squirreling away stickers, riding bikes and swimming with my family, creating outfits in colors and silhouettes that make me feel amazing, wearing big earrings, drinking beer and asking my husband to feed me harmonies to sing, taking my vitamins, living for dancing to live music, roping everyone into a craft, being human and vulnerable, and celebrating the phenomenon of being alive.

...and doing it all with energy, delight, and jokes along the way.

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I ❤️ my calm app.

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Christen Russo

Oh my gosh I started listening to Calm’s nature sounds as I was writing this post and have listened to them every day since. So good!

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I use HEADSPACE daily 😌

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Christen Russo

Honestly, even just their little peacefully smiling characters give me a little boost! I could see myself enjoying that one daily, too. <3

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Christen, check our the free week on Headspace.com