As relaxing as it is to calm a busy mind, the (ironic) reality is that meditation can be stressful to master. From questioning whether we're dong it right to batting away intruding thoughts, it's no wonder zen masters take years to nail this popular practice. But for us mere mortals, there are plenty of helpful tools and meditation apps to help us on our way to a calmer self.
Meditation takes time and as a society that has become accustomed to always being switched on, slowing down takes practice. But the benefits are plentiful, as research has shown that regular meditation can reduce stress and anxiety, aid with pain relief, improve attention span and even boost your immune system.
So, take a seat, leave pressure and judgement at the door and let's begin by downloading these top meditation apps.
Free download, then optional subscription £9.99/month
As the most well-known among meditation apps, Headspace is a soothing blend of guided sessions ranging from the very beginner to the advanced. In its extensive catalogue, there are hundreds of meditation exercises with specific aims in mind, from aiding sleep, to social anxiety, to meditation to mini meditations for when we only have five minutes to spare, plus many more.
Free one week trial, then £28.99/year
Whether you have three minutes or 25 minutes to spare, Calm has a meditation practice for you. Alongside breathing exercises, nature audio and tools to help you master gratitude, Calm keeps things interesting with new meditations every day and progress trackers to keep you motivated.
Free to download, optional subscription £55.99/year
For those who don't want someone in their ear, this meditation app is perfect for just a little quiet time. Set the timer, take a seat and away you go. However, if you are looking for a little extra help, there's also the option to utilise their portfolio of wellness teachers, with over 30,000 guided meditations to help you drift off with confidence.
Free to download, optional subscription £38.99/year
Perfect for the busy and the stressed, Simple Habit offers quick and effective meditation sessions that really do calm the mind. Whether you're on the commute or in the bath, this simple app will help you float away to a soothing place. There's lots of space to find what works for you, as the guides' input is minimal.
Stop, Breathe & Think
Free download, optional subscription £9.99/month
This meditation app lets its name speak for itself, as it gives you a platform to check in and discover how you're really feeling. Prompting you to choose a mood, it then allows you to opt for a wellbeing activity that's bespoke to you. From yoga and breathing to “joy” sessions and guided meditation, it's the perfect excuse to breathe and reboot.
Willowberry is 'Nutritious Natural' skincare for grown-ups for your best skin. Launched in 2017, Willowberry is an award-winning independent British brand that has gained a cult following. Loved by top make-up artists, the streamlined, highly effective range protects skin’s natural barrier function to nourish and transform grown-up skin, with indulgent formulas that feed the skin and soul.