As the mindfulness craze has swept over us the last couple years, meditation apps have become increasingly popular. What better way to reach a population glued to their screens then with an app that will allow them to “unplug”(term used loosely) for a few minutes and just breath? I’m a big fan of mediation apps. They introduce people who might not otherwise try mediation to the practice. And if you don’t have access to a teacher but still want to learn to meditate, these apps are gold. There are dozens of meditation and mindfulness apps online for your phone and tablet. While hardly an expert on the subject, I have several favorites that I’d like to share in this post.
Headspace was the first meditation app I ever used. If you’re very new to meditation this app is perfect. Developed in 2010 by Andy Puddicombe, an ordained Buddhist monk, Headspace is a very simple app that helps you develop mindfulness in just a few minutes a day. Each session is very short, 5-10 minutes, as Andy calmly explains how to train your brain to develop mindfulness. I highly recommend this app for beginners.
Buddhify is an awesome app for those of us who are super busy all the time but still want to meditate. I’m a college student, and I use this app constantly during a semester. Buddhify is divided into different sections: like doing chores, being outside taking a break at work, etc. Each section has several guided meditations, usually between 3-10 minutes. There’s also a timer that lets you meditate on your own.
Like I said, I use this app a lot during the school semester. It helps keep me mindful during times when I can’t really sit for formal practice. It’s a bit more in depth than Headspace, but still easy to use. I highly recommend it. You can find Buddhify on the Apple and Android store for $4.99.
Zanzen is the meditation app I use every day. It’s a simple, easy to use timer that allows you to sit without constantly wondering how long you’ve been there. My favorite thing about Zazen is that it not only allows you to set your time, but also allows you to set a second timer as a reminder. I usually set my timer for ten minutes, with a reminder to go off after nine minutes. After that first bell goes off, I know that I have one minute left. Simple, worry-free meditation. This app is definitely my favorite.
You can find Zazen on the Apple store(not certain about android). There are two versions: free and paid. Basically the only difference between the two is the paid version has different sounds. That’s it.
I hope that was helpful! If you have a favorite meditation app, feel free to tell me about it in the comments section.