May 12, 2023

best meditation apps

I researched the best meditation apps by examining various sources, including expert reviews, user opinions, and Reddit/TikTok discussions. I found consensus among these sources on some of the top meditation apps, such as Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer. The sources I reviewed were relatively recent, with most of them focusing on the best meditation apps for 2022 or 2023. Based on my research, I have a moderate degree of certainty in the recommendations provided.




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Headspace is consistently recommended as one of the best meditation apps, especially for beginners, on health websites, the NY Times, Reddit, and TikTok. It offers hundreds of guided meditation sessions promoting mindfulness, better sleep, reduced stress, and more for beginners to experts. The app provides a user-friendly interface and a well-organized library of meditations. Headspace offers a free trial, with membership options ranging from $12.99 a month to $69.99 a year.


Calm is another highly recommended meditation app, known for promoting relaxation and sleep. It features soothing background sounds, to-the-point meditations, sleep stories read by celebrities, and meditations for kids. Calm offers a free 7-day trial and costs $69.99 per year. While it has a dedicated section for kids, it is less organized and more difficult to navigate than Headspace.
Insight Timer

Insight Timer

Insight Timer is praised for its large library of free meditations, making it the best budget meditation app. It offers over 150,000 free meditations and a 7-day intro course on how to meditate. Users can access a premium subscription for $60 per year. Insight Timer is also recommended by Reddit users for its variety of free content and teachers.

Ten Percent Happier Meditation

Ten Percent Happier Meditation is specifically recommended for beginners. The app offers easy-to-follow guided meditations and shorter sessions that can be increased over time. It is good for sleep and stress and costs about $100 per year.


Buddhify is noted for its targeted meditations, offering over 200 options for various mental health issues. The app features a unique wheel of meditation to help users choose the meditation they need and costs $4.99 for iOS users and $3.99 for Google Play users, with additional in-app purchases.

Other Recommendations

Other meditation apps mentioned in various sources include Breethe, Simple Habit, Yoga Wake Up, and Waking Up. These apps offer a range of features, from personalized meditation plans to yoga and meditation sessions for specific times of day.

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  • Meditation apps contain guided meditation sessions that can make meditation easier and more intuitive.
  • The webpage provides a list of the best meditation apps of 2023 based on criteria like evidence-based design, expert involvement, practitioner level, ease of navigation, variety of meditations offered, and cost.
  • The list includes:
    • Best Overall: Headspace
      • Offers hundreds of guided meditation sessions promoting mindfulness, better sleep, reduced stress, and more for beginners to experts.
      • Offers a free 7- to 14-day trial depending on the subscription level (monthly or annual).
      • A membership runs $12.99 a month or $69.99 a year.
    • Best for Beginners: Ten Percent Happier Meditation
      • Offers easy-to-follow guided meditations and shorter sessions that can be increased over time.
      • Good for sleep and stress.
      • Costs about $100/year.
    • Best for Sleep: Calm
      • Promotes relaxation and sleep thanks to its soothing background sounds and to-the-point meditations.
      • Also offers several meditations to help reduce stress and improve mindfulness and self-compassion.
      • Offers a 7-day free trial; $69.99/year.
    • Best Budget: Insight Timer
      • Offers over 150,000 free meditations that are easy to search and filter.
      • Offers a free 7-day intro course on how to meditate.
      • Offers a premium subscription for $60/year.
    • Best Guided: Buddhify
    • Offers over 200 targeted meditations for many mental health issues.
    • Features an easy-to-use wheel of meditation that helps users choose the meditation they need.
    • Costs $4.99 for iOS users and $3.99 for Google Play users; in-app purchases.
    • Best for Focus: Unplug
      • Offers short, powerful meditations led by world-renowned teachers that help address anxiety and stress through calming, easy-to-follow, expert-guided meditation.
      • Includes expert guides to tackle mental health issues.
      • Offers a 7-day free trial; $12.99/month or $69.99/year.
    • Best Selection: Simple Habit
      • Offers hundreds of meditations that are intuitively cataloged and easy to find.
      • Provides meditations specifically geared to helping users get through difficult life events, emotions, and experiences.
      • Offers a subscription for about $12/month, $90/year, or $300/lifetime

"What are the best meditation apps? How do you practice?"

  • Post asking for recommendations for meditation apps in r/Meditation.
  • User recommends Waking Up and Insight Timer apps.
  • Another user thinks highly of Waking Up and enjoys Sam Harris’ teachings.
  • Calm app is also recommended because of its series, one-offs, and sleep stories.
  • User suggests that different apps have something good to offer but depend on where the user is on their meditation journey. Headspace and Tara Brach’s podcast are also recommended.
  • One user does not think apps are necessary and suggests a simple breathing exercise.
  • Dharma Seed is a website resource dedicated to making Buddhist teachings of Insight Meditation and associated practices available to all.
  • Audio Dharma is an archive of Dharma talks from Insight Meditation Center and aims to guide listeners towards the end of suffering and the attainment of freedom.
  • Insight Timer app is recommended as a timer to track meditation sessions.
  • User enjoys the Balance app, which has a daily meditation course and the option to choose single meditations for different situations. Downside - some features are available only with a paid subscription.
  • MyLife and Let’s Meditate are two of the user’s favorite free guided meditation apps on Android.
  • Enso app is also highly regarded by one user.
  • User asks if there is no love for Headspace app.
  • Brightmind app giveaway free memberships, and Calm app has an amazing 30-day course called How to Meditate by Jeff Warren.
  • 10% Happier app has an amazing selection of teachers, great teaching videos, and a lot of fun and engaging content
  • User created a meditation course and put it on YouTube - available upon request.
  • Another user recommends Joseph Goldstein’s courses on 10 Percent app.

Overall, the post provides multiple app recommendations and alternative meditation practices. It also highlights how different apps may cater to different users and their meditation journey. Many users recommend Insight Timer, Waking Up, and Calm apps, while others suggest free resources like Dharma Seed and Audio Dharma. Other apps like Headspace, Balance, MyLife, Let’s Meditate, Enso, Brightmind, and 10% Happier are also recommended for users to check out.

"Some time ago I tested most of the known mindfulness/meditation apps for android. Here is a selection that includes 18 apps and comments about my favorite apps at the end of the post."

  • An individual with an interest in mindfulness and meditation tested and compiled a list of 18 mindfulness/meditation apps intended for Android users.
  • The list of apps listed includes: Aura: Meditations, Breethe, buddhify, Calm, Calm Sleep, Headspace, Let’s Meditate, Medito, Meditopia, Mindfulness, Mindfulness Coach, Plum Village, Relax Melodies, Sattva, Serenity, Smiling Mind, UCLA Mindful, and Waking Up.
  • The user provides comments for each app regarding free or paid versions, subscription models, and specific features or benefits each app provides.
  • The user suggests users start with the free options as there is a plethora of content available in those apps.
  • The user suggests those who are financially capable should consider purchasing a subscription or a lifetime version of the apps as it helps developers provide updates and new content.
  • The user mentions that some of the developers of the apps were unsure of how much of the apps’ content was related to mindfulness.
  • The user lists honorable mentions, including “Smiling Mind,” “Mindfulness,” “Relax Melodies,” and “Waking Up.”
  • The user recommends “Calm” as their favorite paid app due to its focus on mindfulness and calming voice of the narrator.
  • The user recommends “Smiling Mind” as their favorite free app and highlights its specificity towards mindfulness.
  • The user suggests “Headspace” as another popular mindfulness app with a focus on guided meditation and sleep stories.
  • The user notes that “Plum Village” offers a free option and has a focus on bringing peace and calm through guided meditations and practices.
  • The user mentions “buddhify” as a useful app for its specific expert-led mindfulness meditations.
  • The user notes that “Waking Up” is geared more towards those who are experienced in meditation or mindfulness practices.
  • The user mentions that “Relax Melodies” is useful for creating relaxation soundtracks with melodies, nature sounds, and other sounds.
  • The user suggests that users who are interested in trying out the apps should look for free trials or trial versions of paid apps.
  • The user advises checking out popular apps and reading user reviews before making a purchase.
  • The user provides a caveat for some of the apps that may surprise users with changing narrators or a lack of continuity between content.
  • In the comments section, another user suggests “Insight Timer” as a mindful app worth exploring.
  • The same user recommends


  • Meditation is a mind-body practice where individuals focus their attention on something to reduce stressful or distracting thoughts or feelings.
  • Forbes Health created a list of the best meditation apps of 2023 based on data from over 35 apps, considering metrics such as cost, types of meditations, and added features.
  • W provides brief instructions on how to meditate, recommending a quiet, distraction-free location and a comfortable position.
  • The article describes several benefits of meditation.
  • The NCCIH reports that the practice can increase calmness and psychological balance, and it can improve physical relaxation, coping with certain illnesses, and overall wellness.
  • Through consistent meditation, individuals may experience structural and functional brain changes, improved memory, lower heart rates, and reduced blood pressure.
  • The article reviews ten of the best meditation apps for 2023:
    • Insight Timer: Offers a free trial, cost for one-month premium subscription is $9.99, cost for annual premium subscription is $59.99.
    • Calm: Offers a free trial, cost for one-month subscription is $14.99, cost for annual subscription is $69.99.
    • Meditation Studio: Offers a free trial, cost for one-month premium subscription is $7.99, cost for annual premium subscription is $49.99.
    • The Mindfulness App: Offers a free trial, cost for one-month premium subscription is $9.99, cost for annual premium subscription is $59.99.
    • Mindfulness With Petit BamBou: Offers a free trial, cost for one-month subscription is $8.49, cost for annual subscription is $77.98.
    • Balance: Meditation & Sleep: Offers a free trial, cost for annual subscription is $69.99.
    • Breethe: Offers a free trial, cost for one-month premium subscription is $12.99, cost for annual subscription is $89.99.
    • Waking Up: Offers a free trial, cost for an annual subscription is $129.99.
    • Ten Percent Happier Meditation: Offers a free trial, cost for an annual subscription is $99.99.
    • Meditopia: Offers a free trial, the cost for one-month subscription is $9.99, and the cost for annual subscription is $59.99.
  • For each app, a brief description of benefits and features is provided, including added features and types of meditation offered.
  • All apps are available for iOS and Android devices.


  • The article provides a comprehensive guide to the best meditation apps based on the evaluation of three experts, research on 21 apps, and testing 18 of them.
  • The focus is on mindfulness meditation, a widely studied and popular approach to meditation.
  • The criteria for selecting a good meditation app include beginner courses, a wide range of meditation options, user-friendly design, reasonable trial periods, compatibility with a range of devices, and extra features.
  • The article recommends three meditation apps:
    • Headspace (iOS, Android, $70 per year): provides the largest variety of meditations, with guided sessions for beginners and less-structured programming for pros. The interface has an appealingly cohesive design, and the rich library of meditations is well-organized and easy to navigate. Courses are clearly labeled and structured, and they advance gradually over multiple sessions. Some of the courses give tools to improve the practice, while others provide solution-driven meditations that focus on anxiety, patience, self-esteem, grief, among other topics.
    • Calm (iOS, Android, $70 per year): offers guided sessions and more free-form exercises and flexible meditation timers compared to Headspace, plus a dedicated music section. Not only does Calm record stats such as the number of sessions completed, but it also allows tracking of mood over time more frequently than Headspace. While it has a robust section for kids, it is less organized and more difficult to navigate than Headspace.
    • Healthy Minds Program (iOS, Android): a free, no-frills app that centers on four key ideas: Awareness, Connection, Insight, and Purpose. Its content is more user-friendly and goal-driven than that of other free apps. It prompts the user, on first use, to take a survey that gives a score for each of the four pillars—a baseline from which improvement can be tracked over time. Users can choose from two teachers, adjust their course length in five-minute increments, and track their progress as they go along.
  • Paid apps that had limited content, were available only on iOS devices, or didn’t offer a free trial period were eliminated from the evaluation.
  • The beginner’s courses of every app were tried, looking for clear sequencing and direction.
  • Apps with extra features, in addition to their core content, for building good meditation practices were preferred.
  • A good meditation app should have a user-friendly design that’s easy to navigate and pleasant to look at.
  • The researched apps included Android and iOS apps, with full cross-device support including tablets like iP


  • Meditation is a self-care activity that helps to improve focus and memory, reduce stress, increase creativity, and lift overall mood.
  • The article provides a list of the 5 best meditation apps of 2022 that will help people meditate and improve mental health: Simple Habit, Calm, Headspace, Yoga Wake Up, and Insight Timer.
  • Simple Habit is suitable for newbies and daily meditators, and has a wide range of meditation topics to choose from. The majority of the app is free to use, but to get access to more advanced features, you’ll have to pay $11.99 per month.
  • Calm is a great option for those who have meditated before and want to expand their practice. Besides guided meditation, it also offers music, sleep stories, and a feature called The Daily Calm. Calm requires a subscription, with the most expensive at $69.99 per year.
  • Headspace is suitable for beginners who want to learn how to meditate. The app offers educational content about the basics of meditation, and offers breathwork and mindfulness sessions for more advanced users. Headspace is free for one week, and then the cost is $12.99 per month for most of the content.
  • Yoga Wake Up offers over 300 audio-guided yoga and meditation sessions suited for wake-up routines, midday breaks, and nighttime relaxation. It also offers an alarm clock feature, which makes it easy to incorporate meditation into one’s daily routine. You need to subscribe to Yoga Wake Up for $10.99 per month to access its content.
  • Insight Timer offers over 130,000 guided meditations that can be accessed by anyone for free, and includes breathing and mindfulness sessions. You can filter by location to find meditation teachers, groups, and events near you, and this app also offers live workshops and virtual events. Some workshops require payment, starting at $20 per session.
  • According to the article, Insight Timer is the best free meditation app, and Simple Habit is the best overall meditation app.
  • The article explains that there is no right or wrong way to meditate, and different people may prefer different methods, including guided meditation, mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, visualization, and sound bath.
  • The article provides tips for finding the right meditation app, based on experience level, desired features, and budget.
  • The article notes that meditation can have significant benefits for mental health, including managing stress better, reducing negativity, increasing patience, lowering resting heart rate and blood pressure, improving


  • W provides a comprehensive list of meditation apps for people with varying meditation needs such as beginners, those on a budget, spirituality, breathing and those who want a quick meditation fix, for better sleep, and general mindfulness.
  • The list includes twelve meditation apps consisting of two general meditation apps and ten specific meditation apps based on the above categories.
  • The following are the general meditation apps:
    • Breethe: A personalized meditation and mindfulness app with guided meditation series, talks, and bedtime readings to help reduce stress and enhance sleep quality. Best for goal tracking and costs $12.99 per month.
    • Headspace: Provides guided meditation and mindfulness techniques suitable for daytime and sleep. It builds a personalized meditation plan for users based on their input. Headspace costs about $70 annually or $13 per month.
  • The following specific meditation apps are categorized based on their particular approach:
    • Calm: Award-winning app featuring calming exercises, breathing techniques, sleep stories read by celebrities, meditations for kids, mindful exercise for watch users, etc. Calm offers a free 7-day trial period and costs $15 per month or $70 per year.
    • Buddhify: This app features over 200 meditations for reducing anxiety and stress, promoting sleep, and managing difficult emotions. It also has mindfulness exercises suitable for activities such as working, eating, or traveling. Buddhify costs $5 with other in-app purchases available.
    • iBreathe: This app offers breathing exercises that have presets and customizable meditation sessions, suitable for beginners or anyone who requires a short break for relaxation. The app is entirely free, and users can remove ads for a one-time payment of $1.99.
    • Breathe+: This app features simple breathing techniques after some practice to help you learn to breathe “properly” as necessary for full benefits from meditative breathing. Breathe+ offers some free features, and users can remove ads and unlock all features for about $1 per month, $5 per year, or $9 for lifetime access.
    • Simple Habit: Offers a growing database of meditations for any time of day, personal situation, and personal goals. The app has a range of 5-minute exercises to help cultivate a habit of consistent meditation. Simple Habit is free, but premium access costs about $12 per month, $90 per year, or $300 for lifetime access.
    • Mindfulness with Petit BamBou: Features guided meditation courses from three to 50 minutes in multiple languages,

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💭  Looking into

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