Mindfulness is a helpful tool to use when experiencing anxious thoughts, low mood, stress, or grief. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, including mindful eating, gardening, creating art, or walking a labyrinth. While these practices are wonderful and highly successful, it is important to note that a green walkable forest or a canvas and paint are not always accessible when mindfulness is needed. Thankfully, our society has developed a solution to this issue: mindfulness apps!
Mindfulness apps are accessible, customizable, and ultimately created to hold you accountable in your mindfulness journey. There is an overwhelming amount of apps out there that could help with your practice, so I wanted to share a few of my favorites with y’all!
Calm: This app is a solid choice, as it includes a plethora of exercises for deep breathing, gratitude, and sleep. The Calm app stands out from others in their collection of sleep stories. Sleep stories involve a soothing story to help you fall asleep, narrated by familiar voices ranging from Harry Styles to Moana to Matthew McConaughey! Like most other apps, Calm has a free membership and a “premium” membership for $6.67 per month. The free membership allows access to many breathing exercises and sleeping techniques, so it is a wonderful tool without the premium membership.
Insight Timer: This app includes specialized content for stress and anxiety, sleep, morning routines, relationships, parenting, affirmations, and religion. This app will ask you to choose a few topics to focus on and will create an individualized page of resources to help you begin your journey. The main attraction of this app is its customizable mediation timer. This timer creates bell tones to signify the beginning and end of time spent mediating. While this is not quite a guided mediation, it does allow you to follow a structure in your practice. This app has a free membership, or a “plus” membership for $5 each month that unlocks more specialized resources. With the free membership, you have access to plenty of mindfulness practices including guided practices of different durations and videos lead by a variety of teachers.
Headspace: In my opinion, this app is the most comprehensive in terms of educational resources, guided practice, and accountability alongside its extremely aesthetic design. This app stands out in its courses taught by teachers from all over the world and thus its inclusion of many mindfulness needs. However, without purchasing a subscription ($70/ year or $13/month), the resources are very limited. Without any purchase, you have access to a few guided mediations and psychoeducational resources, but a purchase is required to follow a more specialized plan. To learn more about Headspace, check out their documentary on Netflix called “Headspace Guide to Meditation”.
Again, this is not a fully comprehensive list of all helpful mindfulness apps out there, but rather a few that I have enjoyed using!