“Which mindfulness apps work?”

You already have all the internal tools you need to practice mindfulness, but apps can be helpful in starting or sustaining your practice.

Here’s an overview of some of our favorites.

Mindbell (Android app)
Free

A super simple app that delivers the gentle sound of a mindfulness bell at your chosen intervals or at random.

Or, you can set the reminder to vibrate and show the bell image with no audible bell. There’s plenty of ways to use this. At each bell, remind yourself of an intention you set, focus on your breath, stretch, walk – anything that brings you into the moment. Pro tip: kids enjoy participating too!



Chill 
(Apple/Android app)
Free with a paid option to remove ads

A well-designed app with scheduled or random daily reminders to chill.

Buddhist, zen and philosophical quotes and affirmations are shown with each reminder. An added perk is that these images can easily be shared on social media.



Calm 
(website and Apple/Android app)
Free and paid premium versions

A library of relaxing soundscapes, guided breathing and meditations – the most options for free.

Choose to listen to 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30-minute recordings of:

  • a program called 7 days of calm
  • guided meditations for body scan, forgiveness, loving-kindness, and calm light
  • two relaxation techniques
  • two sleep programs (one for kids!)

Unlock more options with the paid version.

There is also a personal dashboard that tracks days and hours you have used the app.



The Mindfulness App 
(Apple/Android app – available in several languages)
Purchase for $1.99

A simple and effective app that includes:

  • Guided and silent timed sessions from 3 to 30 minutes
  • Reminders
  • A no-frills dashboard showing minutes and number of listens for guided meditations.


Headspace
 (website and Apple/Android app)
Free ten-day trial for ten minutes a day

A game-like app with straightforward, guided meditations on a variety of topics.

Like Whil, this website/app features a personal dashboard that shows your activity and promotes consistent practice by recognizing daily streaks. You can also connect with friends. Complete the initial series called Foundation, which is designed to build a basic skill set in meditation, and then you can pick and choose mediations based on topic and time available.

Listen to a former Buddhist monk deliver 2, 10, or 20-minute guided meditations on:

  • Health topics such as depression, self-esteem, stress, anxiety and sleep.
  • Relationship topics such as patience, kindness, generosity, change, appreciation and acceptance.
  • Performance topics such as creativity, focus, happiness and balance.

There’s also Headspace Pro options which are heavy on the meditation, light on the guided.



Whil
 
(new website and app)
Available soon, but you can request early access!

A robust, all-in-one meditation and yoga app with an emphasis on the workplace.

It offers more than 1,000 sessions backed by the latest neuroscience and positive psychology research. And best of all, it’s up to you how to progress through the sessions. Complete sequenced programs, or go with the flow and choose a 1, 5, 10 or 15-minute session on a topic or skill that calls to you in the moment. It also makes recommendations based on your activity and shows a personal dashboard with motivational features and insights into your practice.

More than 200 programs in three areas:

  • Lead
    Improve leadership skills with Google’s Search Inside Yourself™ program and mind training on emotional intelligence and teamwork.
  • Thrive
    Learn how to meditate with programs on resiliency, focus and sleep training
  • Move
    Make the mind-body connection with a variety of yoga videos for different scenarios such as office yoga.


Spire
 (wearable and Apple/Android app)

A wearable devices that calls your attention to tense breathing by vibrating. Consider this a Fitbit for mindfulness. The app features a:

  • guided meditation library
  • dashboard showing calm minutes, focus minutes, tense minutes, breathing, steps, sedentary minutes and calories.

 

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