The Best Meditation Online Resources I Personally Use
Any post that starts with ‘The best’ and is about meditation online is usually a patchwork of affiliate links selling you the top-paying courses, apps, and sites. But you’ll be glad to hear that’s not the case here.
There are thousands of places to practice and learn about meditation online, and sifting through the good and the bad can be a very time-consuming process.
So to help you save time (and leave you more time to actually meditate), I’ve put together a list of online sites, courses, and apps that I’ve personally used and that have helped me learn the most and helped me enjoy meditation.
There are now thousands of online options available – and that’s no surprise. In a 2018 survey, they found the number of US residents who practice meditation had tripled between 2012 and 2017 – from 4.1% to 14.2% and it’s still growing.
Can you learn meditation online?
The pandemic was a real turning point for distance learning courses and online meditation.
Not only were people forced to use video conferencing and online videos to practice meditation, but people who hadn’t practiced before were now looking for ways to deal with the stress caused by the sudden change in their circumstances.
Fortunately, most people who want to share their experiences with meditation are well-intentioned and generous people, so there is a lot of valuable information online.
I do not recommend restricting your learning to online resources as other mediums of information have different perspectives. Make sure you also consider:
- Meditation books
- Local meditation classes
- Wellness magazines
Best free online meditation resources
From guided meditations, and online courses, to meditation apps, the following list is my personal recommendation of the best meditation online resources that are all free.
Best online meditation for sleep – Michale Sealy (YouTube)
While sleep is as much about what you do throughout the day, feeling calm and relaxed before bed is key to falling asleep.
Stress, anxiety, and an overactive mind can make it almost impossible to fall asleep, and the silence of night only makes the thoughts in your head more disruptive.
As someone who has suffered from clinical insomnia, I struggled to find a sleep meditation that didn’t irritate me more than I already was…that was until I heard these words:
“Do not listen to this recording whilst driving or whilst operating machinery. Only listen when you can safely relax and bring your full awareness to your own complete comfort.”
I don’t remember when I started listening, but the introduction alone is enough to start you on your journey to slumber land.
The YouTube channel of Michael Sealy is filled with high-quality guided sleep meditation videos. Sealy refers to them as sleep hypnosis, but this is an alternative name for guided meditation.
The sound production is high quality, his scripts are well thought out, and that voice sounds like it belongs to the sandman himself.
Visit Michael’s YouTube channel Here
Best workplace-related meditation resource – Twello
Most people use LinkedIn just for business news, insights, and career opportunities, but I recently found a wealth of information related to meditation specifically for work.
The quality of the posts is also usually of a high standard as people on this platform are usually less tolerant of ‘fluff’.
Whilst searching for the subject or hashtag of meditation can bring you a stream of work-related meditation posts one company that consistently shares high-quality workplace information in Twello.
Twello (previously Peak Wellness) is a Canadian company based in Ontario. They provide corporate learning on wellness and meditation courses for organizations. The company is the brainchild of Kayla Kozan “a burned-out professional looking for a better way to manage the overwhelming stress and Sunday night anxiety brought on by her hectic financial district lifestyle.”
What I like is their posts are straightforward and concise, and have a real understanding of the pressures of work, especially in corporate life.
Visit the Twello LinkedIn page here
Best meditation blog & podcast – Ten Percent Happier
The fact that I’m not promoting my own blog here just goes to show this is an unbiased review (but thanks for visiting…and tell all your friends – ED). Ever since reading his book, 10% Happier, Dan Harris has won my heart as the once meditation cynic turned meditation evangelist who publicly had a nervous breakdown on live tv.
What I love about Harris’ blog Is how the posts are down-to-earth with great writing from prestigious authors like Sharon Salzberg.
Whilst the site also offers a paid app, there is also a great podcast to listen to that offers the occasional bonus meditation from the guests.
Visit the Ten Percent Happier blog here
Best Yoga meditation resource – Yoga with Adriene
I love Adriene from Yoga with Adriene. There I said it. But not in the NetFlix special stalker kind of way. Adriene has been a part of my and my wife’s life even before we met.
I love the intro music that pleasingly stays with you through the day, and her natural way of talking to you as if you’re in the room with her makes you feel welcome and at ease.
Together with her side-kick Benji the dog, she offers accessible Yoga and constantly reminds the viewer of the mind and body connection.
She occasionally does a meditation-only video and I think they are some of the best available online.
It’s no surprise that Yoga with Adriene is one of the top ten subscribed to channels on YouTube. So if you’re looking to enjoy both the benefits of meditation and Yoga, definitely check Adriene out.
Visit the Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel here
Best free app for meditation – InsightTimer
There are only a handful of apps that a “free”. Most have a free trial period, but there’s only one that truly offers free meditation of high quality, and that is InsightTimer.
InsightTimer has hundreds of thousands of meditations including celebrities such as Russell Brand and Gisele Bündchen.
What’s great about their app is that it offers a range of meditation courses, talks, and live events, from many of the top meditation teachers such as Jack Cornfield, Davidji, and Matthieu Ricard.
What’s also great is the range of meditation classifications ranging from spiritual to medically focused meditation practices.
Download the InsightTimer app here
Best paid online resources
They say you get what you pay for. But is the price you pay for some features worth it? In my opinion, not always. But here are a few that are worth the investment.
Best paid app for meditation – Ten Percent Happier App
When you say meditation app, there are always two that people talk about – Calm and Headspace. And looking at most online meditation reviews, most vote for the Calm app as the best. But I don’t and here’s why. I think it’s neither.
I know this is the second time I am mentioning them, but a promise I’m not getting paid for saying this (but call me Dan Harris if you’re willing to make an offer – ED).
The Ten Percent Happier app is focused on meditation practice, while the other two offer other categories such as sleep stories and sounds. In an app, this just makes searching for what you need just a little more complicated when you’re trying to relax.
Before each of the meditation videos, you are given a little introduction from the founder Dan Harris that tells you a little about the meditation.
There are some great teachers with easy-to-use navigation and each of the meditation courses is all in one ‘hubs’. The guided meditations are mindfulness-based and each area is easy to access and great for beginners. Like all apps, there is a space to track your daily meditation with little awarded to keep you motivated.
What’s a really nice touch is that the founder Dan Harris talks to the instructor before the meditation courses so you learn a little about the meditation. And there are also some interviews with real people talking about what they are going through.
Best paid mindfulness meditation courses – Jon Kabat-Zinn MasterClass
Having a structured course is a great way to start meditating. But there are so many meditation courses available right now that finding the right teacher can actually cause you some anxiety. I’ve tried a handful but one that I found really resonated with me could only come from the father of Western mindfulness meditation.
MasterClass – Jon Kabat-Zinn Teaches Mindfulness and Meditation
Jon Kabat-Zinn is famous for his scientific research into meditation and for creating the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine. He also introduced Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) which is now used in clinics and hospitals.
This course was one of the first that I invested in as a beginner and it’s been hard to beat. You get the usual high-quality video production from the online courses at MasterClass, but you also get the most revered instructor for mindfulness meditation sitting in your room talking to you and sharing all his thoughts on mindfulness meditation.
What I loved about this course is how accessible Kabat-Zinn made mindfulness meditation. It feels like you are having a chat with a teacher about a topic you both love. He occasionally waves his hand at you and tells you not to worry about something, and tells you to just focus on breathing.
The course is broken into the different foundations of mindfulness meditation, at the end of each section, there is a guided meditation with the instructor so you can practice and learn the meditation.
Visit the Jon Kabat-Zinn MasterClass here
Things to be careful of when using online meditation resources
Meditation is an intimate form of mental exercise for your well-being. Whether you are choosing online guides for physical or mental exercise, you should practice care when choosing which provider you follow. Here are some points to consider:
It might not be right for you
It might be your best friend recommending a website or a meditation course for you, but that doesn’t mean you should follow it blindly.
Not everyone responds to the same meditations in the same way. You can be in a different stage of your mental health from others, so make sure it feels right for you at this time.
It sounds too good to be true
Some courses offer life-transforming benefits in exchange for money. And some do indeed help with improving your life using a structured plan.
But unfortunately, there are those willing to take advantage of people to make a quick buck. Here are a few tips to use before handing your hard-earned cash over:
- Pressure to buy – Be careful of sellers forcing you to buy right away. It’s normal for sellers to offer an early bird discount. But if you feel like you’re not being given a choice – step away.
- Don’t put your trust in on-page reviews – You’ll sometimes see ratings or customer testimonials on the same page offering a course or guide. Make sure to complete a separate search from trusted sites such as trust pilot.
- Doesn’t fit with the rest of the website – There are some sites set up purely to make money without any expertise on the topic. You can spot them as they have very different topics on the site or very few other pages.
Most people that have been a victim of fraud, when asked after the crime always say that with hindsight they had a bad feeling. So if in doubt, don’t pay out.
Meditation can be done without any outside assistance, by simply sitting down and focusing on your breath. But with so much valuable experience and insight online, it’s work taking advantage of this wealth of knowledge.
But before you go!
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This is my list of the best meditation resources. Is there any that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments.