Mindfulness & Meditation Apps For IOS and Android

“every once in a while. take off your life. and rest.” — Nayyirah Waheed

Life can get overwhelming, plain and simple. Living in such a fast paced, high-tech world, we become consumed with the need to keep up. Along with all the pressures constantly shoved in our faces, our attention spans are literally nonexistent. It becomes nearly impossible to sit still and not feel the urge to text, tweet, or check your Instagram feed. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of this, and it definitely needs to stop. It’s weird because at times so much of our attention is put into molding our “digital world” while our real life is easily interrupted by distractions. With anything in life, I believe in a healthy balance. When things become unbalanced, our emotions and thoughts can easily turn into stress, anxiety, worry, unhappiness and ultimately illness. This fall season, I made a choice to focus more on mindfulness while detoxing both my mental and physical spaces. Meditation was always an interest of mine yet I struggled with understanding the concept and knowing where to start. I’m a person that lives in my head a lot of the time. Although, that may be great on a creative level, the downside becomes my mind constantly being in overdrive. Our minds like our bodies must be challenged and molded in a healthy way to alleviate certain stressors in life. Ultimately, my goal with meditation is to build a realistic habit that fits my lifestyle and to eventually reach of level of consciousness where I am not easily attached to my thoughts.

Don’t get me wrong; technology is amazing, however, I do think it is important to unplug every now and then. Being mindful, that we do live in a digital world, why not make our smartphones/gadgets work best in our favor. For those of you who may be looking to practice more mindfulness into your daily lifestyle or are unsure about where to start, below are my top 4 recommendations of free iPhone/Android apps that can help you along that journey.

1. 7s Meditation: Daily Mindfulness Reminder

I love this app. It’s like getting a text from a good friend or close family member to remind you how amazing you are. It allows you to set a time during the day when you most need a boost. For me, I set my reminder toward the end of a long workday. The message takes just a few seconds to read and helps you to breathe, be present and focus on what is really important in life. It’s simple, effective and uplifting for us beginners who are practicing more mindfulness. Below is a screenshot of one of my messages

2. Unique Daily Affirmations

This is probably the simplest of all apps and one of my favorites. You receive a different statement to help jumpstart each day with a positive outlook. There is not much of a design when it comes to the interface. The background has a solid color with a green button that when pressed and held, the affirmation of the day will slowly appear. Once you let go of the button the message slowly fades away. The affirmations are short and easy to remember. You also have an option to save the messages you like in your favorites list to read at your own will. I tend to read my affirmation when I wake up in the morning. Instead of looking at my Instagram feed or any other social media platform for that matter, I take a moment to set my intention for the day ahead. This app is perfect for when you are on the go and may not have much time to spare.

3. Relax Melodies: Oriental Meditation

When it comes to sleeplessness and the need to relax the mind, Relax Melodies is great. Instead of a voice guiding you through mindfulness, this app offers meditation through soothing sounds of nature. Isn’t it cool to be able to fall asleep to the sound of a waterfall? My current favorites are the wave splashes and the Chinese flute. You can create your own personalized mixes with whatever sounds of nature that connect with your mood. I love the variety of options to play around with. I don’t use this app every day, however, in those moments where I feel anxious or restless, this app definitely helps me to sleep, relax, and refocus my energy elsewhere.

4. Headspace

Last, but not least is Headspace, the newest app that I downloaded to my phone. I came across Headspace after a reading a blog post about top apps for guided meditation. Its animated introduction alone makes me highly recommend you to give it a try. Headspace provides simple and easy-guided mediation sessions and mindfulness trainings. The founders Rich Pierson and Andy Puddicombe wanted to transform the way people think about meditation into a more practical way. Often times, we have this fairytale idea of what it is and how it should be done. You start off with a free starter course that is broken up into 10 lessons that are 10 minutes each, where you are guided through each practice by the sound of Andy’s voice. I just finished lesson one and I love the quality of the content. If you wish to advance into their other trainings there is a monthly fee. I read the best review that perfectly describes this app, “It’s like a gym membership for your mind.” The co-founder, Andy also has TED talk about his journey into mindfulness and the power of being in the present. Check it out here.

“Meditation is not just for relaxation; it’s primary purpose is to develop the capacity to respond skillfully and gracefully to life’s difficulties as well as it’s joys.”

What are some ways that you are incorporating mindfulness into your own life? Feel free to share in the comments section below.