Meditation is having a moment. Once it was a spiritual tradition more commonly recognized as a ‘hippy’ practice, but now public transport is awash with closed-eye commuters finding their zen, whilst celebs line our Insta feeds in lotus pose. What Indie Mag has described as “an antidote to 21st-century anxiety,” could perhaps be deemed true; especially as a NYT article has unleashed stats proving millennials are in fact the most stressed generation our world has ever seen.
Yet one thing that can’t be denied is the power of meditation and mindfulness apps at dispelling various habitual stresses, from crowded places to job interviews. The aim of meditation is to reach a state of mental clarity and awareness, and, thanks to the boom in popularity, these apps are helping to do just that. With the ability to enjoy them alone or as a buddy-up, the app technology is allowing for millennials to benefit from free, versatile practice.
In 2018 Virgin revealed that “64 per cent of people aged 16 to 35 said they practiced activities to achieve mindfulness, such as yoga, journaling, or using apps,” a number that can only be assumed to have risen due to the meditation craze we find ourselves immersed in.
So, if you’re ready to join the get app downloading and “Omm” your way to equilibrium, read on…
Mindfi app is akin to carrying that post-yoga feeling around in your pocket. The app, designed to aid “busy” people, reveals that the mind wanders almost 47% of the time and thus uses mindfulness and meditation to draw you back to the present. Championed by publications including Forbes and Men’s Health, Mindfi subverts meditation norms by introducing a newfangled technique termed as open-eye meditation.
Situation based sessions that include how to deal with looming deadlines or stay calm in a queue aid tremendously with breathing, complemented by calming background music with highlights of tweeting birds and fire crackling. Plus, if you stray, the app will tell you to put your phone back down until meditation is over – so make sure you behave yourself whilst honing your practice!
Headspace is a highly straightforward app to use, meandering between help with anxiety to sessions on how to increase productivity. The app bills itself as “your very own personal trainer, here to help you train your mind,” and after using it, this certainly proves true. Daily pings will alert you that it’s “time to get some headspace,” allowing you to take ten minutes out to focus on you, before the ebbs and flows of the day begin. You can make use of a tracking page to view your progress, alongside a buddy system to help you motivate your pals. Actress Emma Watson has coined it a “kind of genius,” and we can’t help but to agree.
Plonk yourself on any form of public transport and the likelihood is someone will have Headspace fired up on their device. The hugely popular meditation app from Andy Puddicome now boasts an annual revenue north of $50 million following its unwavering success; unsurprising as users are lulled into a cotton wool world with help from Andy’s upbeat yet comforting voice.
This calming and meditative app comes from the hand of the author of five New York Times bestsellers – yes five! Sam Harris created Waking Up, the guided meditation app, in order to help potential meditators to fully immerse themselves in the practice. Alongside being a dab hand at writing, Harris is also a Philosopher and Neuroscientist – safe to say he knows what he’s talking about – and Waking Up is also a book that sought to aid people’s anxiety.
The app comes equipped with a very simple layout and provides a refreshing functionality and cleanness. The first 20 days, which are numbered by the day, are the ones Harris bids you to follow consecutively deeming them the most important, but after that you’re free to dip in and out at your pleasing. Perhaps one of the highlights of the app is Sam’s colloquial tone and chatter that appeals because it gives it a more in-person training vibe. Lessons include practical observations and teachings and there’s a validity that they’re legitimate due to the powerful mind of the man who created the app. Waking Up has never been easier with this app, it provides an easy way to meditate and drift away from your anxiety whilst completing your everyday tasks.
Perhaps one of the most user-friendly apps going, Buddhify lives up to its namesake allowing all of us to discover our inner calm. The app allows for users to experience a plethora of scenarios from a typical day, inclusive of “feeling stressed,” “difficult emotions,” and “walking in the city,” which, let’s face it, can be a rather a stressful affair at rush hour!
The intelligent app is sculptured around the everyday, and to begin you simply select what you’re doing at present. The app then curates a meditation session based on your current situation, for example if you’re scrolling through social media – as we so often do – the app will remain by your side, whilst asking thought-provoking questions along the way. Life is buddha dream with this pocket rocket app.
Billing itself as “meditation for fidgety sceptics,” 10% Happier is an ideal way to begin your meditation journey. The app boasts a wholly relaxed nature, seen through a simple interface and short video lessons – in essence, if you want something uncomplex that does just what it says on the tin then this is the app for you.
The app has surfaced on various magazine listicles, from Cosmopolitan to Glamour and The Independent who unsurprisingly rave about its existence. You can set reminders in order to never miss a session and Premium allows for more than 350 guided meditations that include “tooth brushing” and “in the shower,” again promoting calm during everyday activities.
Designed by TV news anchor and author of the book 10% Happier, the app has been designed to allow for a 5-to-10-minute meditation every day. Yet, perhaps one of the most promising aspects of this app is the ability to chat to a real, human coach at any point if you’re struggling with your meditation practice.