Meditation 101

5 Absolutely Free Meditation Apps That Are Like an Exhale for Your Brain

Kells McPhillips

Photo: Getty Images/Goodboy Picture Company
Up until a few weeks ago, meditation and I were on yet another break because I "just didn't have enough time." Now that things are a little (read: a lot) different, I've returned once more to my practice. And since free meditation apps abound at this very moment, there's never been a better time to hop on your cushion and give mindfulness a chance.

Right now, meditation-teaching apps that would usually cost you a pretty penny are blessedly free. You'll find the TK best ones below to download onto your phone next time your thoughts start to feel like a tsunami.

The best free meditation apps you can download

1. Insight Timer


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The quieter you become, the more you can hear. #ramdass

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Insight Timer is an original key player in the meditation apps space, and they're still slaying the game in 2020. With meditation from a slew of traditions and teachers, you literally can't complain that this app "doesn't have enough content." There is a "MembersPlus" option that you can access through a paywall if you want to kick things up a notch, but TBH, you could probably meditate for the rest of your life and not run out of guided lessons on this particular app.

2. Headspace

Headspace's colorful interface is like a welcome mat for meditation newbies. Usually, a subscription fee is charged, but not right now. You can access a two-week free trial or a library of no-strings-attached content designed to help with the mental struggles that will likely crop up during COVID-19. (Pssst, New Yorkers: Headspace made some special on-the-house content for you.)

3. Aura


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Aura is free to use for one, customized three-minute meditation per day. And if you're just getting started, that tiny chunk of mindfulness might be just what you want and need.

4. MyLife

Stop, Breathe and Think is simple. You tell the app how you're feeling and it recommends a number of meditations to help you navigate your experience right here, right now. Most of these sessions are on the shorter side, so the nonpaid sections of this app are ideal for beginners.

5. Smiling Mind

I mean, who wouldn't want their mind to smile? An Australian non-profit determined to spread mindfulness near and far, Smiling Mind is also one of those companies you just feel good about supporting. And, in this case, that support comes for the low, low price of zero dollars. All of Smiling Mind's programs are completely free, and one in particular called "Thriving Inside" just got moved to the tip-top of my meditation playlist.  If you're an educator or a parent attempting to teach the practice to younglings, the app has tons of free content to help you do just that.

Compassion meditation is really great for your mind, too. And if you like to get moving, here's how to pace around your room mindfully

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