Finding peace of mind has not been easy lately. There’s the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, months of social unrest, and the constant changes to our daily lives. For many of us, stress and negative emotions have been building up as we get less social interactions. Luckily, technology allows us to get some help at the tap of a finger.
Meditation’s popularity is exploding. It’s accessible and only takes as little as 5 minutes a day. If you feel a bit overwhelmed or just want to try it out, here are 6 apps we recommend for finding zen right where you are!
What is meditation?
Meditation has been a historical practice that has been implemented from as early as 1500BCE. It is a mental exercise that focuses on training the mind to be aware and present, in order to achieve a sense of calmness and relaxation. There are a wide variety of ways to practice meditation. If you want to know more, check out is our Beginner’s guide to Meditation, with tips to start, benefits of practicing as well as several classes locally available in Hong Kong:
6 great meditation apps
Headspace is one of the most well-known choices amongst apps for meditation. Founded by Andy Puddicombe, this was one of the apps that initiated a flux of new apps for mindfulness practices, such as meditation and many more. Headspace is also the app that was referred to as one that turned Bill Gates “from sceptic to believer”. Headspace involves a fun, illustrated interface sectioned by meditation, sleep, move and focus, each with a different collection of audios made for the different activities. A large proportion of the guided meditations are voiced by Andy Puddicombe himself, and he talks through topics ranging from specific situations such as anxiety toward flying to areas in life such as handling sadness and finding focus. The majority of the contents are available for subscription service, for which there is a free 2-week trial available at the moment.
Another popular choice, Calm is known for the variety of choices available when it comes to meditation audios; there are guided meditations voiced by a wide range of professionals, as well as audios of calming sounds from nature that can set your mood for your mediation session. Other than that, there are also sleep stories read out by people, including names such as Matthew McConaughey and Harry Styles, to help you drift off to sleep. In comparison to Headspace, Calm has more free options available. Try it and see what you think.
Insight Timer is like a community-based meditation media platform. With over 25,000 guided meditations available from over 3,000 teachers, you can follow teachers you enjoyed meditating with to keep up with their latest contents. From the app, you are able to access live meditation sessions that are mostly ongoing almost 24/7. There are reviews and comment sections to each session, in which you can see how others got on in that session before choosing to go into it yourself. Much of the contents on the app is free, with exceptions of joining courses as well as a selective few that require subscription. There are also videos available for browsers if you are wanting to get a glimpse before downloading the app. Check out this 8 minute session of guided meditation to stay calm during COVID-19.
If you prefer a simpler interface but still with extensive contents, Tide could be a good option for you. This app consists of a library of meditations categorised by focus, sleep, nap and breath. In each section, there are also fast access sessions that bring you into guided meditation without needing to pick and choose a topic specific enough to your situation, you can also set the length of time that you want to be meditating for. The app also gives notes and quotes of mindfulness at the end of each session, which is a nice bonus.
For a more interactive experience, this app is for you. Formerly known as “Stop, Breathe & Think”, MyLife Meditation is a meditation app that tries to give deeper insight into the practice of meditation. Other than explaining the benefits, it also presents some of the neuroscience and physiology behind meditating. The app also makes use of interaction by asking you to rate how you are feeling each day you open the app, this encourages us to check-in with ourselves, so to be more mindful of our feelings in the present.
This is an app for those who are more advanced in your meditation journey. Ensō is an app that serves a simple function of keeping you present during a meditation session. You are able to set an overall length of time in which you are to meditate and set an interval time at which a bell chime will ring. The bell chime is customisable and can be set for every 1 minute up to every hour. There are no other sounds throughout the sessions. The simple interface makes using the app very straightforward, and it also allows you to keep track of your meditation progress.
All of these Apps have free content available and are offering free 7-day trials for access to the advanced and premium content available in their collections.
We hope you find one that suits your needs, and helps you relax and enjoy some peace of mind.
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