We've rounded up the 13 best meditation apps, so you can unwind during stressful times.

By Elizabeth Rhodes
April 11, 2020
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Now more than ever, we all need to take a deep breath and relax. That might be easier said than done because of the mounting stress and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but daily meditation can reduce your anxiety and help you achieve emotional balance. Plus, you don’t need any expensive equipment — just yourself and a few minutes. The following meditation apps provide top-rated guided meditations that are perfect for beginners or longtime practitioners looking for something new. Some of these apps are even offering free services for people impacted by COVID-19 as well as healthcare workers, so there’s never been a better time to start meditating.

Stop, Breathe & Think

Stop, Breathe & Think is the all-ages, personalized emotional wellness platform your family needs right now. With different programs for kids, teenagers, and young adults, this meditation app has over 100 mindfulness activities, like meditation, breathing, yoga, and acupressure. You can get the all ages plus kids premium membership for $11.99/month, $70.99/year, or $249 for a lifetime membership. There are also less expensive options if you want to purchase the kids or all-ages membership separately. For the next 60 days, the app is giving all users (even those without a paid subscription) access to premium content in the Calm Coronavirus Anxiety hub within the app, so you and your family can address your stresses in a healthy way during this uncertain time.

Get it on the App Store or the Google Play Store.

Headspace

As one of the most popular meditation apps, Headspace has millions of users in 190 countries. The app offers a number of guided meditations on its beautiful, easy-to-use app. You can try it for free, but annual subscriptions are $69.99/year or $12.99/month. Thankfully, Headspace is currently offering a free collection called Weathering the Storm, which is aimed at addressing stress and anxiety caused by the current global pandemic. Healthcare professionals currently working in public health settings can also get a free Headspace Plus subscription through the end of 2020. This week, they revealed a collection of free content specifically curated for New Yorkers — you can find it on the Headspace website.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Calm

Calm has a range of offerings on its app, including guided breathing exercises, unguided and guided meditations, and other options covering topics like sleep, anxiety, stress, self-care, inner peace, emotions, and personal growth. To help people cope with current events, Calm has also created a hub with free content, including sleep meditations, calming music, and more. While you can access some of the content for free, one year of Calm Premium costs $69.99.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Aura

Aura calls itself the “Spotify of mindfulness,” offering personalized meditations as short as three minutes per day, making it an easy addition to your daily routine. Aura has mindfulness meditations and life coaching to help users improve their emotional health. It is currently offering its premium subscription for free to anyone in need during the current crisis — just use the code FINDPEACE2020 on aurahealth.io/redeem.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Simple Habit

Recommended by therapists, downloaded by over five million users, and featured on the 2017 season of Shark Tank, Simple Habit has a lot to offer its users. The app is perfect for people with busy lives, offering meditations catered to life’s everyday problems and an on-the-go feature for instant relaxation. Access the entire premium library of content for $11.99/month, $89.99/year, or $299.99 for a lifetime membership. The app is currently free for anyone financially impacted by the coronavirus, plus they’re offering free COVID-19-related content to everyone, with meditations titled Parenting During Times of Crisis and Stress Less While Social Distancing.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Insight Timer

Insight Timer is one of the best free meditation apps, offering thousands of tracks that users can listen to without a subscription. For $60/year, you can unlock premium content like Insight Courses led by world-renowned teachers and offline listening.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Ten Percent Happier 

After a nationally televised panic attack, TV anchor Dan Harris wrote a book titled "Ten Percent Happier" about his experience with meditation, which in turn led to the Ten Percent Happier app and podcast. This app has a limited free offering, but the bulk of the benefits, like personal coaching, 350-plus meditations, and sleep meditations, come with the paid membership, which costs $99/year. Ten Percent Happier is also offering a Coronavirus Sanity Guide featuring podcast episodes, guided meditations, and more for free.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

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Breethe 

Whether you want to embark on a new mindfulness journey or simply find something to listen to before you go to sleep, Breethe has something for you. The app offers meditations for real-life situations, mindfulness options for kids and teens, and personalized coaching. You can access a lot of content for free in the app, but subscriptions with access to premium content are $12.95/month, $89.95/year, or $149.95 for a lifetime membership. Breethe is also giving all users access to a free content collection to manage coronavirus-related stress, including a meditation called Overcoming Coronavirus Anxiety.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Oak 

With a visually stunning interface and a wide range of meditations, Oak is another great meditation app, offering yogic breathing exercises, guided and unguided mediations, soothing background tracks, and more. While it doesn’t offer as many meditations as other apps, you can customize different aspects of your track, like the background sounds and gender of the teacher. The app is free, but you can purchase courses in-app — the 10-day Mantra Meditation course is $5.99.

Get it on the App Store.

Shine

This app describes itself as “your support system for daily stress and anxiety.” It includes meditations that cover topics like managing work frustrations, burnout, self-love, and self-care for online dating, touching on themes that you might not find on other meditation apps. Like other apps on this list, you can access limited content without a subscription, but paid subscriptions, priced at $11.99/month and $53.99/year, give you access to much more. You can also connect with the Shine community in the app.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Spotify 

Don’t want to download a new app or pay for another subscription? You might already have one of the best meditation apps on your phone. Spotify has a number of guided meditations, mindful music playlists, and more.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Inscape

Inscape is an aesthetically pleasing app from the NYC meditation studio of the same name. Meditations range from five to 85 minutes, making it ideal whether you have a few minutes or an hour to spare. Inscape offers a number of guided meditations, touching on topics like fear of flying and commuting — perfect for frequent travelers. You can get a free week-long trial, but after that, it’s $9.99 per month. You can also find more meditations on their Instagram page.

Get it on the App Store.

Smiling Mind

Rounding out our list of the best meditation apps is Smiling Mind, Australia’s number-one free meditation app, developed by educators and psychologists. Smiling Mind says you only need 10 minutes a day of meditation to start seeing the benefits. The app has programs tailored to sleep, classrooms, sports, work, and more.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.