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Top Meditation Apps Of 2023 For Self-Discovery & Personal Growth

Facing high stress and anxiety levels, people are seeking effective ways to relax, and one such way is through meditation.

This post will explore the top meditation apps of 2023, from beginner to advanced, and offer a comprehensive comparison of the most popular apps like Aura vs Calm vs Headspace.

Beyond these popular platforms, I’ll delve into other noteworthy apps, highlighting their features, pros, cons, and pricing. I’ll provide tips for selecting the best meditation app suited to your needs, providing a kick-start on your meditation journey. Whether you’re an experienced meditator or a beginner, stay tuned to discover the best meditation apps of 2023.

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Best for beginners: Headspace

Top meditation Apps - Headspace
  • Cost: Free 7 or 14-day trial – $12.99/month; $69.99/year – family plan for up to six users is $99.99/year
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Good to know: Meditations are more aimed at beginners

Headspace makes meditation accessible in so many ways; there are hundreds of guided meditations for all kinds of categories such as; better sleep, reduce stress, and exercising mindfully.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use interface and navigation
  • High-quality guided meditations with professional teachers
  • Comprehensive progress tracking and goal-setting features
  • Option to connect with friends and share progress

Cons:

  • Limited free content
  • High subscription costs compared to other apps
  • May not offer as much variety as other apps

The app offers a variety of guided meditations, ranging from brief sessions to longer, more in-depth guided meditation courses and practices.

Headspace also provides themed meditation packs, such as those focused on sleep, anxiety, and stress management. In addition to meditation, the app includes mindful movement exercises, breathing exercises, and sleep sounds.

The app features a user-friendly interface, making it easy to navigate and select the right meditation for your needs. It also includes tracking features, allowing users to monitor their progress and build a consistent meditation practice.

Headspace has gained popularity for its accessible approach to meditation, making the practice of mindfulness more approachable and convenient for users. Whether you’re new to meditation or an experienced practitioner practicing mindfulness alone, Headspace offers a wide range of resources to help you improve your own mental health and well-being.

Best for a variety of styles: Calm

top meditation apps - Calm
  • Cost: 7-day free trial – $69.99/year
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Good to know: You can choose background sounds or music

Calm is another popular meditation app that offers a range of guided meditations, as well as other features such as sleep stories, breathing exercises, and nature sounds.

Pros:

  • High-quality guided meditations with professional teachers
  • Wide range of content, including meditations for kids and specific topics like self-esteem and gratitude
  • Option to customize meditation sessions with different background scenes and sounds
  • Comprehensive progress tracking and goal-setting features

Cons:

  • Limited free content
  • Higher subscription costs compared to other apps

Calm is a meditation app that offers a variety of mindfulness practices, including guided meditations, sleep stories, deep breathing exercises, and more.

It is known for its user-friendly interface, soothing visual and audio elements, and customizable features that allow users to tailor their meditation experience to their individual needs.

Calm also offers a range of programs focused on specific topics such as stress reduction, anxiety management, and better sleep.

Best for an extensive library: Insight Timer

Top meditation apps - Insight Timer
  • Cost: Free – premium subscription is $60/year
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Good to know: Over 150,000 free meditations most read by celebrities

Insight Timer is a meditation app that offers a range of both guided meditation and unguided silent meditations, as well as other features such as music tracks and talks from meditation experts.

Pros:

  • Large library of guided and unguided meditations, including those from various spiritual traditions
  • Option to connect with friends and join meditation communities
  • Option to customize meditation sessions with different background sounds and interval bells
  • Comprehensive progress tracking and goal-setting features

Cons:

  • You may find the large library overwhelming
  • Limited features compared to other apps
  • You may prefer more structured and guided meditations

Insight Timer is a meditation app that offers a diverse collection of guided meditations, calming music tracks, and talks from a wide range of teachers and spiritual leaders.

It is known for its extensive library of over 150,000 free meditations in multiple languages, as well as its social features that allow users to connect with like-minded individuals and participate in group meditations.

Insight Timer also includes a timer feature for a silent meditation session and practice meditation and offers courses and challenges for users to deepen their meditation.

Best for mindfulness in everyday life: 10% Happier

  • Cost: Free 14-day trial – about $100/year
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Good to know: Great meditation courses, expert-led talks, and podcasts

10% Happier is a meditation app that focuses on teaching mindfulness and meditation, with a range of both guided sessions and unguided meditations from top mindfulness teachers.

Pros:

  • High-quality guided meditations from top mindfulness teachers
  • Focus on mindfulness meditation, which has been shown to have many benefits
  • Option to access talks and courses on meditation and mindfulness
  • Comprehensive progress tracking and goal-setting features

Cons:

  • Limited free content
  • Higher subscription costs compared to other apps
  • May not offer as much variety as other apps

10% Happier is a meditation app that focuses on mindfulness as a way to improve overall happiness and reduce stress. It offers a variety of guided meditations, talks, and courses led by meditation experts and teachers, and is known for its scientific approach to meditation. The app also includes features such as a personalized meditation coach, a daily reminder system, and a library of over 500 guided meditations to help users establish a consistent meditation practice. 10% Happier aims to provide practical tools for incorporating mindfulness into daily life.

Best for mood-based meditation: Aura

  • Cost: Free 7-day trial – $12.99/month; $59.99/year
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Good to know: Personalized meditations and tracking based on user feedback

Aura is a meditation app that offers a personalized meditation experience based on user feedback and preferences.

Pros:

  • Unique personalized meditation experience
  • Focus on mindfulness and self-care
  • Option to track mood and progress over time
  • Comprehensive progress tracking and goal-setting features

Cons:

  • Limited free content
  • May not offer as much variety as other apps

Aura is a meditation app that provides personalized mindfulness practices based on users’ moods and preferences. It offers a variety of guided meditations, stories, and music tracks, as well as a daily reminder feature and a gratitude journal.

The app also includes a feature called “Mindful Breather” which encourages users to take short mindful breaks throughout the day. Aura aims to help users reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and increase overall well-being through personalized mindfulness practices.

Best for kids: Smiling Mind

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Good to know: Focuses on making mindfulness a daily habit

This Australian-based company offers a premium quality app for the entire family and all of it is for free. I am a bit of a data lover and this has data galore.

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • Offers a variety of mindfulness programs for different age groups
  • Includes guided meditations, as well as tools for stress management and mindful breathing
  • Features a progress tracker and reminder system
  • Can be used offline
  • Suitable for beginners and experienced meditators alike

Cons:

  • The app may not offer as many features or customization options as some other meditation apps

Smiling Mind is a completely free meditation app that offers a variety of mindfulness exercises and programs designed for different age groups, from children to adults.

The app features guided meditations, as well as tools for stress management by practicing meditation and mindful breathing. It includes a progress tracker and reminder system and can be used offline.

It’s suitable for both beginners and experienced meditators.

Overall, Smiling Mind is a great option for those who want to try meditation without committing to a paid app or subscription.

Best for pre-sleep mindfulness: Breethe

Top meditation apps: Breeth
  • Cost: Free – premium subscription is $12.95/month; $89.95/year; $149.95/lifetime membership
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Good to know:: Playlists, readings & stories, guided meditations & masterclasses

Good app for when you want to reduce stress and relax, while some apps include meditation for focus and alertness, this mindfulness app is more for those looking to let go of problems.

Pros:

  • Provides a wide range of guided meditations, including specific ones for sleep, stress, anxiety, and more.
  • Offers a personalized meditation experience with the ability to customize meditation sessions based on the user’s needs.
  • Includes a “daily inspiration” feature with positive affirmations and quotes.
  • Offers a variety of soothing sounds and music to aid relaxation.
  • Provides a progress tracker to help users monitor their meditation practice.
  • Offers both free and paid options.

Cons:

  • Some users have said the app’s interface isn’t the easiest.
  • Certain features, such as personalized meditations and some of the more advanced guided meditations, are only available with a paid subscription.

Breethe is a popular meditation app that offers a wide range of guided meditations, personalized meditation sessions, and soothing sounds and music.

The app includes both a free version and paid options and provides users with a progress tracker to help monitor their meditation practice.

However, some users may find the app’s interface confusing, and certain features are only available with a paid subscription.

Best for on-the-go meditation: Buddhify

Top meditation apps - Buddhify
  • Cost: $4.99 for iOS users; $3.99 for Google Play users with in-app purchases
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Good to know: Has a Wheel of meditation

Being a Londoner, I’m happy to advocate this London-based app – for the right reasons. Anyone in a major city appreciates always being on the go, and this app caters to people like you.

Pros:

  • Offers a range of guided meditations for different situations, such as commuting, working, and sleeping.
  • Provides customizable meditation sessions based on the user’s time, mood, and location.
  • Includes a “check-in” feature that allows users to track their mental state before and after meditation.
  • Offers a clean, user-friendly interface.

Cons:

  • No desktop version
  • No free features
  • In-app purchases

Buddhify is a meditation app that provides a range of guided meditations for different situations, such as commuting, working, and sleeping.

The app offers customizable guided meditation sessions based on the user’s time, mood, and location and includes a “check-in” feature to track mental states.

The app provides both free and paid options, but some users may find its range of meditations limited compared to other apps.

Best for breathing techniques: Breathwrk

Top meditation apps: Breathwrk
  • Cost: Premium subscription for $9/month or $49/year with a seven-day free trial
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Features: Master different breathing techniques

I never knew there were so many ways to breathe or the power your breath had over your mind. This is a great app to get you well-versed in the ways of breathing.

Pros:

  • Provides a variety of breathing exercises for different purposes, such as reducing anxiety and improving focus.
  • Offers guided breathwork sessions that are led by certified teachers.
  • Includes a progress tracker to help users monitor their practice.
  • Provides both free and paid options.
  • Offers a clean, user-friendly interface.

Cons:

  • The app’s focus on breathwork may not be suitable for individuals who prefer other forms of meditation or mindfulness practices.
  • Some users may find the guided breathwork sessions too intense or challenging.
  • Certain features, such as personalized breathwork sessions, are only available with a paid subscription.

Breathwrk is a meditation app that focuses on breathwork exercises for reducing anxiety, improving focus, and more.

The app offers guided breathwork sessions led by certified teachers and includes a progress tracker to help users monitor their practice.

Best for quick meditations: Simple Habit

Top meditation apps - Simple Habit
  • Cost: Free; about $12/month, $90/year, or $300/lifetime for premium
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Good to know5-minute meditations

The recommended time needed to meditate is 10 – 15 minutes, but sometimes you need some help getting to those 10 minutes. 5 minutes is a great starting point.

Pros:

  • Offers a range of guided meditations from a variety of teachers.
  • Provides personalized recommendations based on the user’s goals and preferences.
  • Includes a progress tracker to help users monitor their meditation practice.
  • Offers a clean, user-friendly interface.
  • Provides both free and paid options.

Cons:

  • Certain features, such as personalized recommendations, are only available with a paid subscription.
  • Some users may find the app’s range of meditations limited compared to other apps.
  • The app may not be suitable for individuals who prefer a more traditional, unguided meditation practice.

Simple Habit is an app that offers a range of guided meditations from a variety of teachers.

The app provides personalized recommendations based on the user’s goals and preferences and includes a progress tracker to monitor their meditation practice.

Simple Habit provides both free and paid options, but certain features, such as personalized recommendations, are only available with a paid subscription. Some users may find the app’s range of meditations limited compared to other apps.

Compare the Top Meditation Apps

CompanyBest forCostPlatformsGood to know
HeadspaceBeginnersFree 7- or 14-day trial; $12.99/month; $69.99/year; family plan for up to six users is $99.99/yeariOS / AndroidMeditation practices are more aimed at beginners
CalmVariety of styles7-day free trial; $69.99/ year iOS / AndroidYou can choose background sounds or music
Insight TimerExtensive libraryFree – premium subscription is $60/yeariOS / AndroidOver 150,000 free meditations most read by celebrities
10% HappierMindfulness in everyday lifeFree 14-day trial – about $100/yeariOS / AndroidGreat meditation courses, expert-led talks, and podcasts
AuraMood based meditationFree 7-day trial – $12.99/month; $59.99/yeariOS / AndroidGreat meditation courses, expert-led talks, and podcasts
Smiling MindKidsFreeiOS / AndroidFocuses on making mindfulness a daily habit
BreethePre-sleep mindfulnessFree – premium subscription is $12.95/month; $89.95/year; $149.95/lifetime membershipiOS / AndroidPlaylists, readings & stories, guided meditations & masterclasses
BuddhifyOn-the-go meditation$4.99 for iOS users; $3.99 for Google Play users with in-app purchasesiOS / AndroidHas a Wheel of meditation
BreathwrkBreathing techniquesPremium subscription for $9/month or $49/year with a seven-day free trialiOS / AndroidMaster different breathing techniques
Simple HabitQuick meditationsFree; about $12/month, $90/year, or $300/lifetime for premiumiOS / AndroidFree; about $12/month, $90/year, or $300/lifetime for premium

What to Look For in a Meditation App

When it comes to choosing an app, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key things to keep in mind when looking for an app that fits your needs:

  • Accessibility: The first factor to consider when choosing an app is accessibility. Is the app available on both mobile and web platforms? Can you use the app on multiple devices? If you want to meditate on the go while you’re walking, it’s essential to choose an app that is easily accessible.
  • Personalized meditation plans: Many meditation apps offer personalized meditation plans that are tailored to your needs and goals. If you’re looking for an app that will help you create a consistent meditation practice, look for an app that offers personalized meditation plans.
  • Timer: A timer is an essential feature in any app. Look for an app that provides a timer that allows you to set a specific length of time for your meditation practice.
  • Reminders: If you’re someone who tends to forget to meditate, consider an app that offers reminders. Look for an app that allows you to set reminders to meditate at specific times of the day.
  • Progress tracker: A progress tracker can be a useful feature if you want to track your meditation practice over time. Look for an app that provides a progress tracker that allows you to see how many meditation sessions you’ve completed and how long you’ve meditated.
  • Integration with wearables or other apps: Some meditation apps can be integrated with wearables or other apps, such as fitness trackers or sleep monitors. If you already use these devices or apps, look for an app that can be integrated with them.
  • Community and social features: If you’re looking for an app that provides a sense of community, look for an app that offers social features. Some meditation apps have features that allow you to connect with other users, join groups, or share your progress on social media.
  • User reviews and ratings: One way to determine the quality of an app is to read user reviews and ratings. Look for an app with a high rating and positive reviews.
  • Subscription options and prices: If you’re willing to pay for an app, consider the subscription options and prices. Look for an app that offers a subscription plan that fits your budget and provides access to all of the app’s features.

The Takeaway

There are many meditation apps on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced meditator, there’s an app out there that can help you improve your practice.

FAQs

There are several apps that can help you with mindfulness practices, including Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer, and Ten Percent Happier. There’s no single best mindfulness app. Each app offers different features and benefits, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, all of these apps offer guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, and other resources to help you cultivate a more mindful life.

Both Calm and Headspace are popular meditation apps with a lot to offer. Calm is known for its soothing nature sounds, meditations for sleep, and daily calm sessions. Headspace, on the other hand, offers a wider range of content, including meditations for specific topics such as anxiety, stress, and self-esteem. Ultimately, the choice between these two apps will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Meditation apps typically offer guided meditation, mindfulness exercises, and other resources to help you cultivate regular meditation. They often have a library of audio and video content that you can access on-demand, and many also offer features such as progress tracking and reminders to help you stay consistent with your practice. Some also incorporate other tools, such as breathing exercises, yoga practices, and sleep meditations.

If you’re looking to develop a regular meditation practice, a app can be a useful tool to have in your arsenal. They offer guidance and support, which can be especially helpful if you’re new to. However, like any tool, the value of a app ultimately depends on how you use it. If you’re consistent with your practice and take advantage of the resources offered by the app, then it can be well worth the investment.

Yes, there are several free meditation apps available, including Insight Timer, Smiling Mind, and Stop, Breathe & Think. While these apps may have fewer features than their paid counterparts, they still offer a range of guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, and other resources to help you cultivate a regular meditation.

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