You’ve tried Headspace and may have given Calm a crack…but for one reason or another it just didn’t quite stick. Now mindfulness meditation is fast approaching your F45 membership in the “shoulda/coulda/woulda” stakes. Instead of seeing it as a chore, try focusing on what it can do for you.
“You don’t need to be religious, mindfulness is simply that practice of reminding yourself to come back to the present moment,” says Danielle Hanrahan, a counsellor and mindfulness practitioner at The Indigo Project in Surry Hills. “It’s great for being able to cultivate our own sense of calm, no matter how noisy, disruptive, or stressful our environment is. And learning meditation helps with our understanding of our mind.”
Here are our top downloads to help get you in the habit of a regular meditation practice.
1. Happy not perfect (Free, premium subscription $14.49/month)
This app boosts your mood with gorgeous visuals and guided exercises that encourage relaxation, self-awareness, gratitude and compassion – scientifically proven to make you feel better.
Perfect for: Anyone who likes the idea of journaling and mindfulness but has struggled to find a practice that sticks. The sleek design of the app makes the seven-step daily exercise something you look forward to.
We love: The interactivity of this app makes mindfulness fun. We especially love journaling and then virtually “lighting” up the page (by swiping your finger back and forth) to release negative emotions.
2. Stop, Breathe and Think (20 free activities, $5.83/month for premium access)
Like having a mindfulness teacher in your pocket, this app kicks off each session with a check-in of your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and then recommends a bunch of different mindfulness exercises to help improve your mood.
Perfect for: Anyone who gets bored easily. It not only encourages you to check in with your emotions more often, but the tailored recommendations mean you can explore different kinds of mindfulness practices.
We love: The variation! Whether it’s a mindful walk, a body scan meditation or a short yoga session, it’s a great reminder that mindfulness isn’t only about sitting still on a cushion for 10 minutes.
3. Jiyo (free download)
Deepak Chopra is one of the most prolific authors and speakers on mindfulness, so where better to learn the how to pay attention to the present moment without judgement than on his official wellbeing platform Jiyo.
Perfect for: Anyone looking for an immersive introduction into mindfulness philosophies. Jiyo marries the foundations of gratitude, presence and compassion with the latest technology through thousands of videos, articles and guided meditations – it even syncs up to your smartwatch or fitness tracker.
We love: The community! Jiyo proves your mindfulness journey needn’t be solitary, with a strong online community within the app to share affirmations, pictures and musings.
4. Spirit Junkie ($2.99)
New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein brings her signature sass to the app world offering no-BS motivation to practice an attitude of gratitude on a daily basis.
Perfect for: Anyone who finds spiritual speak can get a little too “woo woo” (no judgement!). Spirit Junkie has both feet planted firmly in reality and dishes up inspiration in a fun, accessible way.
We love: The simplicity. This app simply offers a daily affirmation. Just wake up, take a peek and sit with it for a few minutes. There’s also a reminder which will ping throughout your day to bring you back to affirmation.
5. Insight Timer (free, in-app purchases available)
Don’t be fooled by its unassuming name, insight timer is like a megaplex of meditation with more than four millions users worldwide.
Perfect for: Anyone looking to manage specific problems with a regular mindfulness practice. There are literally thousands of different mindfulness meditations to try from the superstars of spirituality like Tara Brach and Thich Nhat Hanh.
We love: The personalisation power. You can search for new practices, lectures and even music to suit whatever you’re wanting to work on – from mindful parenting or eating to mindfulness for anxiety and depression.