How to Be More Present
Struggling with living in the moment? We’ve got you covered.
Think of meditation as a lunch break for your mind. Even just a few minutes of it can help you unwind and relax. But doing it all on your own? That can be a bit of a challenge. Thankfully there are tons of apps out there to help guide you through. To help you figure out the one best suited to your needs, we’ve curated a list of the best meditation apps and are highlighting what makes them unique. But first, learn a bit more about meditation.
A little background: Meditation is the act of clearing the mind, and is often accompanied by controlled breathing. It’s a centuries-old practice that taps into the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which helps both the mind and body find a state of relaxation. Meditation can last anywhere from a few minutes to hours.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of meditation can include anxiety and stress relief, increased awareness of the mind and body, better sleep quality, increased focus, and more. But the best news? Anyone can meditate—no prior experience required.
Ready to kick off your meditation journey? These apps will help you get started.
One of the most popular apps for meditation, Calm has become synonymous with the practice of meditation. In addition to their guided meditations designed for anxiety, focus, and headaches, they also have soundscapes for when you just need to tune out the noise. Plus, they offer meditations for kids, as well as their famous Sleep Stories—often read aloud by celebs—to help you drift off at night. There’s a free version that gives a sneak preview of the app’s resources, but the subscription unlocks full access (and trust us, it’s worth it).
If you have a tendency to get stressed out, Headspace can help. Their app offers breathing exercises, meditations and wind-down practices aimed at reducing anxiety. The screen also dims as soon as you open the app, automatically inducing a chiller state of being. The app is free, but to unlock their premium content (like their sleep meditations) requires a subscription.
Along with yoga, pilates, and other workout classes, YogaGlo also has a full library of meditations and sound baths. Whether you’re looking for introduction classes, quick meditations. They even offer life sessions, so you can meditate with an instructor in real time.
Think of Shine as a supportive friend that checks in on you every morning. Through push notifications, you can allow this app to ping you when it’s time for your daily practice. Once you log in, you’ll be welcomed with the opportunity to listen to the daily guided meditation. Or, you can go right to the check-in screen to log your mood and feelings. Also available to you? A library of meditations that are organized into categories like stress, resilience, confidence, and productivity.
Although Breethe has a full library of meditations (including very specific ones, like “Tax Season” and “Adulting Is Hard”), it’s the sleep offerings that make it worth the download. Between the bedtime meditations, soundscapes, music, and hypnotherapy(!), there are seemingly endless ways to find your best sleep ever.
The brainchild of former fashion editor Suze Yalof Schwartz, Unplug is a meditation studio in Los Angeles. But if you can’t get there in person, the Unplug app is a fantastic substitute. With over 100 teachers and 1,000 videos ranging from sleep to happiness to stress and anxiety, you’ll always find the right meditation you need, at the exact moment you need it.