Creating Mindfulness with the Help of Technology

Headphone meditation

Highlights of various apps that help you achieve your goals.

By Sarah Primeau*

Technology has helped us become more efficient in daily life.

Fast, convenient, and accessible have become the normal standards and expectations, and there is no shortage of products related to mindful living. Whether you want to learn how to meditate, learn visualization, develop deep breathing skills, improve memory and focus, or instill better sleep habits—there’s an app for it. Here are a handful of the highest rated apps that may be a great resource for both you and your patients. All listed apps are available for iOS and Android.

Insight Timer

Insight Timer

Free or $4.99/insight course

With over 15,000 free guided meditations and over 3,000 meditation teachers, this robust app offers topics ranging from beginning a new meditation practice to stress management, breathing practice, depression, and anxiety coping skills. The opening screen shows how many practitioners are utilizing the app at that moment, which enhances the feeling of community. Beyond the free courses, there are also $4.99 insight courses, which offer more in-depth discussions pertaining to all things mindfulness.

The Mindfulness App

The Mindfulness App

One-month free trial/$59.99 premium library or $0.99 each individual meditation session

With sessions ranging from 3 to 30 minutes, this app helps the practitioner become more consistent in their meditation practice. The app includes a reminder function that can be activated at specific times and places, as well as statistics to help gauge the practitioner’s progress. The app even offers “mindful notices,” which help you stay centered and grounded throughout your day (for example, a cue to become aware of your breathing popping up on your phone at midday). With courses ranging from relationships, to sleep, to body awareness, the over 200 premium guided meditations have something to offer for everyone.

Headspace

Headspace

10-day free trial/$94.99 annual subscription

One of the most popular meditation apps, Headspace offers three-, five-, or 10-minute meditation sessions. The sessions are kept simple and easy, encouraging the practitioner to pay attention to breathing, body awareness, and simple cues to better center oneself. This app offers a more simplistic and streamlined approach for beginning a meditation practice, offering sessions focused on sleep, stress management, and deep breathing.

Calm

Calm

Free with in-app purchase/$59.99 annual subscription

Rated the 2017 App of the Year by Apple, Calm offers free meditations ranging from 3 to 30 minutes. The app offers lessons related to centering, anchoring the mind, beginners’ meditation, and healthy sleep habits. The “sleep stories” feature includes stories at bedtime to help adults transition into sleep. Beyond the offerings, the app provides gentle sounds, beautiful photos, and multiple meditations to help the practitioner learn how to meditate.

10% Happier

10% Happier

Free 7-day trial/$99.99 annual subscription

The homepage of 10% Happier’s website invites fidgety skeptics to try it. This app is geared toward the individual who wants to learn how to meditate without any bells or whistles. In other words, 10% Happier provides meditation that leans toward creating and maintaining brain health in chaotic modern times. The host for 10% Happier is news anchor Dan Harris who personally had an on-screen panic attack and began to use meditation as a way to calm his own anxiety. If you are skeptical about meditations that address anything along the lines of spirituality, 10% Happier might be the more appropriate app for you.

Relax Melodies

Relax Melodies

Free/$49.99 annual subscription for premium

This app is tailored to those individuals seeking improved sleep habits at bedtime. The app offers layers of relaxing sounds ranging from white noise to nature sounds and even lullabies. Meditations can be layered over a plentiful selection of soothing sounds to encourage a peaceful drift off to sleep. Brainwave beats can be added and tailored for dreams, pre-sleep, focus, and deep meditation (to name a few). The various sound options can also be used for studying, meditation, deep breathing, and stress relief.

Colorfy

Colorfy

7-day free trial, upgrades ranging from $0.99 to $99.99

Coloring for adults has been shown to reduce anxiety and create focus, and many apps are being offered to follow suit. One of the most popular coloring apps with over 25 million users, Colorfy offers a multitude of digital designs. From mandalas, florals, animals to famous paintings, the app provides over a thousand pictures to paint. Different brush types can be selected to change the coloring experience, and new designs are offered weekly.

Glo

Glo

$18/month

What’s a mindfulness list without a yoga app mention? Although there is a plethora of yoga apps to choose from, Glo (formerly known as YogaGlo) stands out from the rest in offering over 3,500 classes ranging from five minutes to two hours long. The most impressive feature involves a simple filter, which enables even the beginning yogi to narrow down the appropriate class style and length of time. Classes include a variety of yoga styles, as well as meditation for sleep, anxiety, parenting, and even anger management. Touting world-renowned yoga teachers, the practitioner will gain an abundance of yoga exposure which otherwise might require a trot around the globe.


Sarah Primeau

Sarah Primeau, is a certified E-RYT 500 yoga teacher, STOTT Pilates instructor, and health coach. She can be reached at balanceinyoga@gmail.com.

*The author has a professional affiliation with this subject.