Meditation 101

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

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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 may have sprung up or been exacerbated during the pandemic.

3. Aura

 

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🌲🌲

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Aura is free to use for one, new three-minute meditation every two hours daily. And if you're just getting started, that tiny chunk of mindfulness might be just what you want and need. You can also upgrade to a premium subscription and get unlimited access to content like stories, music, hypnosis, and more.

4. Stop, Breathe and Think

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.

6. Exhale

 

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Exhale is an emotional well-being app specifically created by BIWOC for BIWOC. You can find meditations, guided visualizations, breath work, coaching talks, and affirmations. The topics are curated with the BIWOC community in mind, with topics around embodiment, microaggression, soul medicine, ascending, and more. A subset of the features are free, or you can upgrade to an optional paid subscription.

7. The Mindfulness App

If you need a daily reminder to take a beat and meditate, The Mindfulness App will do it for you. You can set reminders depending on time and place to make sure you're dedicating yourself to a few minutes of being present each day. The free version includes a five-day introductory meditation program, guided meditations from 3-30 minutes, reminders, statistics, background sounds, and more.

8. Meditation Studio

Meditation Studio is an app with over 70 experts that provide meditations for specific goals around stress, sleep, deep sleep, work, gratitude, parents, entrepreneurs, and more. The app is free on iOS and the free version includes a dozen of the most popular meditations, an unguided meditation timer, and more. The Android app is $3.99.

9. UCLA Mindful App

ucla mindful app

 

If you appreciate some educational backing with your mindfulness, this is the app for you. Not only is it free, but the UCLA Mindful App also lets you access guidance from UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center even if you're not physically in Southern California. You can find basic meditations, wellness meditations, videos, a timer, and weekly podcasts from UCLA's Hammer Museum

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