This nicely designed UK-created app is aimed at busy urbanites. You tell it whether you’re at the gym, walking, commuting or home. You can then pick a track “flavour” or style of meditation and choose from male or female voices. There’s a two-player meditation mode so you can get someone else involved.
Breethe: Meditation and Sleep
According to the Great British Sleep Survey, over 51% of us find it hard to nod off. Stress and burnout expert Jayne Morris recommends this app to help. There’s a 25-minute guided meditation that combines soothing music with talking you through the relaxation process. The female voice is surprisingly calming – I was out for the count within 10 minutes.
Calm – Meditation and sleep:
This simple to use app presents the 7 Steps of Calm. There are seven guided sessions running from 2-20 minutes with a range of background scenes and sounds to choose from (think beaches, meadows and pouring rain). The voice on the guided sessions is a bit spacey but the music by Kip Mazuy – a big name in the music meditation world – is a cut above other offerings.
Adults aren’t the only ones who are stressed. Sometimes you need to think of the kids too. Smiling Mind was created in Australia and is aimed at helping young people de-stress and stay calm. There are tailored programmes for different age groups, all delivered in relaxing Aussie tones. There’s one for adults too so you don’t have to miss out.
Balance – Meditation and Sleep:
Good for beginners, this easy-to-use app talks you through the basic skills in sessions ranging from 5-20 minutes. Choose your sound preference –the likes of ocean, rain and stream – and sit back and relax. It comes loaded with meditation tips too.
Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe is a former Buddhist monk aiming to make meditation accessible. He delivers the directed 10-minute sessions in his relaxed style – no hippy talk here, he strips it down to basics and throws in the odd joke.
Do you spend all day desk-bound? Jayne Morris recommends this app for busy people who want to mediate when they can fit it in. There’s a choice of three short tracks, each with a different focus – ideal for a mindfulness fix on your lunch-break.
If you want to develop your meditation practice, this app provides a progressive 50-session introductory course that will introduce you to the basic principles of mindfulness meditation along with more advanced practices. There are daily meditations, short talks and a tracking system. Designed by Sam Harris, a neuroscientist and philosopher.
iBreathe – Relax and Breathe:
Nailing your breathing is key in helping you keep calm and switch off. This app can help anyone who has had problems meditating. There’s a step-by-step-guide to breathing techniques with music options to choose from too.
Want to learn the art of power napping but can’t switch off? This app can help. Choose from a library of relaxing tracks with different themes – Jane Morris’s favourite is ‘Celtic Ride’, “It takes me back to childhood memories of living in Scotland, surrounded by rolling green hills,” she says. There’s a timer and alarm function to stop the nap becoming a deeper sleep. There are also guided meditations, stories, breathing exercises