Best for: Meditation Newcomers
Created by former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, the Headspace app channels his years of experience into a programme that feels reassuringly achievable – even for the least meditation-savvy of users. Beginners might like to embark on their meditation from scratch course, or you can dip into their situation-specific exercises when the need arises – like tackling FOMO or dealing with burnout. We love the app’s trademark (and completely charming) animations, which also help to cultivate a feeling of overall serenity.
Best for: A Little Escapism
Open the Portal app and instantly be transported far, far away – from the verdant depths of California’s Redwood National Park, to the banks of the tranquil Lake Kawaguchi in Japan, and much more. You select whether you want to focus, sleep, or escape, and the app provides the perfect soundscape from your chosen corner of the planet. A great option if you find white noise helps relieve stress at the end of a long day, or if you’re just after some wanderlust (without the jetlag).
Best for: Meditating For Free
The creators of Medito ardently believe that getting people meditating will make the world a better place, and are strong advocates for making the practice accessible for all. And so they are committed to keeping Medito 100% free – a surprisingly rare phenomenon in the meditation app space nowadays. Happily, it’s just as visually slick as its more expensive counterparts, and – most importantly – the courses are also excellent. We’d particularly recommend the 30 day challenge to firmly cement meditation into your daily routine.
Best for: Meditating With Friends
If you’re the type of person who can only muster up the motivation to head to the gym if your friend comes with you, this might be the meditation app for you. Insight Timer harnesses the power of community to help you build – and stick to – your new meditation habit. Add friends to keep you accountable, see who is meditating nearby, and join local groups to ask for guidance to navigate any difficulties you might encounter.
Best for: Fun Celebrity Cameos
Fancy drifting off to sleep to Stephen Fry reciting a soothing bedtime story, or hearing LeBron James’ tried-and-tested advice on cultivating mental fitness? The Calm app provides a wealth of mindfulness offerings, but its star-studded library is what really sets it apart (Harry Styles, Matthew McConaughey, and Dame Mary Berry make an appearance as well). Be sure to also listen to The Daily Jay, the app’s podcast series with Jay Shetty, for a regular dose of inspiration.