7 Meditation Apps to Try in 2021

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The 7 Best Meditation Apps of 2021

Best Overall : Calm

Calm

 Calm

What are you working through? Anxious thoughts? Lack of focus? A stressed-out psyche? Calm’s guided meditations have you covered. More than that, though, the app really focuses on teaching you a variety of tools and using different modalities to help you stay centered throughout the day-to-day.

Calm stands out from the crowd because of its well-being offerings beyond that of its already impressive meditation catalog. Their newest offering is Calm Body, which are 10-minute guided videos that teach gentle stretching to help you unwind. One of the best features is “Sleep Stories,” which feature bedtime stories read by the soothing voices of celebs (like Matthew McConaughey).

Looking for more ideas? Take a peek at our roundup of the best meditation books.

Best Budget : Insight Timer

Insight Timer

 Insight Timer

Insight Timer offers more than 45K free meditations—that’s a big deal, as one of the biggest complaints about other apps is their lack of free content. The library allows you to filter by need (e.g. stress, sleep, self-esteem), time (from five minutes to 30+ minutes), or specific benefit (e.g. relationships, spiritual, kids). If you’re just getting started, opt for the seven-day free course on how to meditate. You can also join the community of fellow mindful folks for free.

Best for Sleep : Headspace : Meditation & Sleep

Headspace

 Headspace

If you’re the type whose mind gets lost in worry (or flooded with to-do lists) the minute your head hits the pillow, then Headspace should be your go-to. This app provides breathing exercises, sleep meditations, and wind-down practices. The screen is dimmed, so there’s no blaring, headache-inducing bright light.

While the app is free, you’ll want to take advantage of the subscription to access the all-important sleepcasts to help get your mind ready for sleep.

Check out our reviews of the best books for anxiety.

Best for Beginners : Ten Percent Happier Meditation

10% Happier

 10% Happier

Based on ABC news anchor Dan Harris's popular book, this app will teach you the how-to behind meditating in a fun, easy, and accessible way. It's suited for anyone, but especially those who think they're "not the meditation type" and can't find the time to start a meditation practice.

You'll be lead through short on-the-go meditations designed to be listened to whenever you can fit them in (like during your commute). Try to see how many consecutive "Mindful Days" you rack up: with time, these moments of calm will come second nature.

Best Guided : Buddhify

buddhify

 buddhify

What’s going on with you now? Right now? Whether you’re grabbing a minute in between to-do’s at work, taking a walk, boarding a plane, or dealing with overwhelming feelings, this app has a targeted meditation (over 200 of them) waiting for you.

It's super easy to use—you can create your own “wheel” of meditation practices for quick access when you need them. Each one lasts four to 30 minutes, so you can find time to meditate no matter how swamped you are. As you advance in your skill, you can use their timer to meditate on your own without guidance.

Best For Focus : Unplug

Unplug

 Unplug

If you have five minutes, you have enough time to meditate. Unplug excels in guided meditations but also allows you to self-direct with unobtrusive timers and ambient sounds. Because just a few minutes are required, it’s great to use when you need to refocus and destress during the workday. Want to commit? Tackle their 30-day challenge to make meditation a daily habit for the long-haul.

Best Selection : Simple Habit

Simple Habit

 Simple Habit

No matter your meditation goal—to boost self-confidence, shake off anxiety, get over a breakup, or simply be present—Simple Habit has an extensive library of meditations, all cataloged and easy to find. You’ll love how each meditation is very specifically titled, making mindfulness something you can turn to for any occasion.

One of the big perks of their premium subscription is that you can use the app offline, which makes catching a few minutes of mindfulness even more accessible. It may even be necessary for your mental health, too. The app offers special meditations designed to help you overcome panic attacks or lessen stress.

How We Chose the Best Meditation Apps

Our writers spent hours researching the best meditation apps on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered more than 20 meditation apps, read over 150 reader reviews (both positive and negative), and used 4 of the meditation apps themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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