This isn’t surprising, but downloads of meditation apps have increased greatly over the past several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I can certainly understand why. People are looking for ways to calm down in the comfort of their own homes, and meditation apps are designed to do exactly that with guided meditations and mindfulness practises that can help us reduce our stress and anxiety in a time of severe uncertainty. During this period of social distancing, meditation apps are one of the most effective ways to help you look after your mental wellbeing remotely. Here’s some of my favourites.
With millions of global members, Headspace prides itself on its ease of use: with delightful visuals, clear explanations and the ability to grow your meditation plans, Headspace is one of the best-known meditation apps around. It’s 10-part Basics course gives users all of the mindfulness essentials you need to start your practise, while its ever-expanding “free” offering exercises designed to give us the tools to navigate all of the uncertainty we all currently face.
With a massive hub of meditation and mindfulness content to choose from, Calm also goes one step further with soothing musical tracks and exercises designed specifically for children. If you are struggling with sleep (which is understandable in these times), Calm’s Sleep Stories feature narrators like Matthew McConaughey and Stephen Fry. Meditation sessions can also range from three to 25 minutes depending on how inspired you feel to keep going.
Stop, Breathe & Think
The whole premise of Stope, Breath & Think is that it encourages a user to pause for a moment, check in with how you’re feeling and explore mindfulness. With reminder features and flexible sessions, if you’re finding it challenging to commit to meditation this app will gently help you to find the time and the headspace to do it. You can choose from meditation or yoga and exercises are updated constantly depending on how you’re feeling in that moment of time (they assess this through a quick “mood survey” you can take each time you log into the app).
(Find on the App Store)
Offering an enormous amount of free content, Serenity is immediately accessible to users with easy-to-follow tutorials and 10-minute sessions that you can add into your schedule on your own time. I love the idea of the app asking you to acknowledge three things that you’re grateful for at the end of each session, which reminds us of the positive things still happening in our lives, plus the audio courses that guide you into a state of relaxation and enhanced mindfulness.
A membership-based program, Buddhify identifies itself as “meditation done differently” with instructive, soothing and beautiful graphics all categorized by what you’re doing or how you’re feeling. You’ll find guided meditations for walking, stress and difficult emotion, work, going to sleep and waking up. Written and voiced by a range of teachers, the sessions last from 4 minutes to 30 minutes, plus their “karaoke-style feature” allows users to lead others in guided meditations by reading along with prompts on the app. Love that!