Many people could use a little more calmness in their lives. Mindfulness apps can help users defuse stress, lower cortisol levels and reduce systolic blood pressure reactivity, among other benefits.
While these mindfulness apps can be useful for anyone, there are a few things to keep in mind before downloading.
Ten Percent Happier
Whether you’re already a mindfulness meditation practicer, or an eager skeptic, Ten Percent Happier is a great app to explore. The app offers a diverse and accessible library of meditation sessions, with an emphasis on self-care and gratitude. It also has interesting additional features, such as podcasts and a community section. However, it does not offer a live coach service and has a higher annual cost than its competitors.
After creating an account, users are greeted with a video message from co-founder Dan Harris and expert meditation teacher Joesph Goldstein. The app then asks why you want to meditate and helps guide you through the basics. You can then choose between a seven-session course or a subscription that provides full access to the app. The premium subscription also includes a podcast hub and meditation singles.
The Ten Percent Happier podcast series features experts, researchers, and celebrities on happiness, calm, and compassion. The podcasts are short and often feature a guest speaker who can be quite entertaining.
The podcasts are a unique and engaging way to learn about the benefits of mindfulness, while still staying connected to daily life. The app also includes a sleep meditation hub that is separate from the rest of the content, offering a variety of guided meditations to help you fall asleep. While the sleep meditations are not as robust as those offered by Headspace, they are a good alternative for those looking to try something new.
The Healthy Minds Program
The Healthy Minds Program is an app that helps users manage stress, improve mental health and increase well-being. It offers a variety of practices including meditation, yoga and qigong and is designed to be easy to use. It is free to download and does not contain any ads or product placements. The app is a great alternative to traditional self-care and can help with anxiety, depression, addiction and other mental health issues.
Life as a student can be very stressful. Students are often balancing school, part-time jobs and other activities while also dealing with personal relationships and family responsibilities. Mental health problems can be difficult to treat and can lead to serious consequences for individuals and their families.
The Healthy Minds Program app was developed by the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Healthy Minds. The app features podcast-style lessons and both seated and active meditations that teach the science of well-being. The Healthy Minds Program is designed to fit into your daily life and is available for UVA employees and their spouses on the UPG health plan. It is part of a wider effort to develop digital therapeutics that can address the mental health needs of students and other people in need. It has been shown to reduce levels of depression, anxiety and stress and may be a viable alternative to costly therapy sessions.
Headspace is one of the most popular mindfulness apps available. It offers scientifically backed meditation and mindfulness tools that help users plant the seeds of healthy habit formation. Users can find a variety of guided meditations, breathing exercises and other mindfulness tools. The app’s content is straightforward, without religious or spiritual discourse and includes brief contemporary animations to illustrate concepts in guided meditation sessions. The main home screen features a daily schedule of recommended videos for the morning, afternoon and night. These can range from a short breathing exercise to a guided moment of mindfulness and even a workout video.
The main menu also features courses and single programs, with each offering a series of guided meditations centered around specific topics, like finding focus, dealing with grief or conquering pre-flight anxiety. Each session can be customized, with users able to choose a male or female narrator and select a time of 3 to 20 minutes. The app also tracks and shares a user’s “minutes meditated” streak.
Users can also access a library of music, including a selection of focus jazz curated by John Legend and an exercise motivation podcast from comedian Kevin Hart. A free trial offers a 10-day course to learn basic meditation techniques, after which a subscription is required to unlock the full library. The app’s content is available offline, which can be a helpful feature for people catching long haul flights or travelling around locations with limited reception.
Breethe is a meditation app with an expansive library of content. You can access inspirational talks and master classes from mindfulness coaches like Lynne Goldberg, as well as personal growth experts. You can also find music and calming sounds to help you relax and sleep better. It’s a great choice for people who need to reduce stress at work or home. It’s also useful for people who want to improve their relationships and focus on self-development.
The app includes an all-in-one feature to build a daily routine, which helps beginners build a consistent practice. It also has a variety of meditations and other relaxation tools, including sleep music playlists, bedtime stories, and nature sounds. The app offers a free trial and is available on iOS, Android, and Apple Watch devices.
Its features include guided meditations for real-life situations, sleep tracks and hypnotherapy sessions, music for every mood, and personalized recommendations. It also has a twelve-week “learn to meditate” program for beginners, which is ideal for people who are new to the world of meditation. The app has a high rating on the App Store and many positive reviews, but some users have complained that the sessions are too short or repetitive. A monthly subscription to the app starts at around $10. Other options to consider are Insight Timer and Meditation and Relaxation Pro, which offer a comparable amount of content for a lower price.