Daily meditation is an important part of your self-care regimen, whether you practice for 10 minutes or even five. Meditation apps make meditation easier to learn and practice, and they help you build positive mindfulness habits that contribute to better health, well-being and relationships—both personal and professional.
But can guided and unguided meditation help you alleviate the fear, depression and stress associated with anxiety? And, if so, what is the best meditation app for actually targeting anxiety as part of your wellness and self-care routine?
We found our favorite app specifically designed to overcome stress. But one of our runners-up might be yours!
Calm: Our Top Meditation App to Conquer Anxiety
Named “The Happiest App in the World” by the Center for Humane Technology, Calm offers everything you need for immediate and long-term anxiety reduction. Its “Breathe” animated interface easily helps you take control of breathing, reducing anxiety brought on by fear or stress. Other features specifically target anxiety through stress management and emotional release programs through both guided and unguided meditations. It even has one of the most popular sleep features available with Sleep Stories and exclusive soothing music. Plus, Calm is a great fit for beginners, intermediate users and long-time meditators alike.
Typically, the paid version of Calm runs $69.99 per year, but its abundance of anxiety-reducing features goes beyond the norm. If you remain uncertain, you’ll find the free version provides everything you need to start reducing stress and anxiety, allowing you to get on a path to better well-being.
Other Meditation Apps to Overcome Anxiety
Finding the right app for you depends in part on personal taste and lifestyle. Sometimes, just finding your favorite interface or meditation guide will impact your choice of meditation app. Here are seven self-care apps to consider. Each one of them can help you reduce anxiety and increase your happiness and well-being in just minutes each day.
One of the most popular self-care apps available today, Aura has been featured in publications such as the New York Times. It offers meditation programs for anxiety as well as breathing exercises and sleep programs. The app features some of the top coaches in the world, and you can easily customize it to suit your busy schedule.
Breethe currently offers more than 1,700 meditation tracks, and that number continues to grow. It provides many meditations you can complete in less than five minutes that are specially designed to help you take control of your anxiety. Fully customizable, you can set goals such as general anxiety, social anxiety or simply better dealing with stress. You will also find a mindfulness program designed specifically for teens.
Is a daily workout or other exercise part of your plan to deal with stress and anxiety? If so, Headspace may stand above the rest. It still offers the guided and unguided meditations and customizable regimen you expect from any top-notch meditation app. But Headspace also provides a video library that includes dance, yoga and body core exercises. With a 14-day free trial period, Headspace is definitely an app you should try.
Did someone mention free? Like Calm, Oak provides a breathing exercise interface to help you gain control of your body during intense anxiety and stress. Featured by Apple in its “New Apps We Love” category, Oak also offers guided and unguided meditations, a meditation timer and a sleep program with peaceful soundtracks. With all costs paid by in-app purchases, there’s no reason not to add Oak to your device even if you use other meditation and sleep apps.
Designed specifically for Black Americans, Liberate has been featured by Black Enterprise, AfroTech, The Washington Post and other major outlets. The meditation programs focus specifically on anxiety and stress while also paying particular attention to subjects such as microaggressions, internalized racism and ancestral healing. Many users experience added calm and anxiety reduction with meditations guided by soothing Black voices.
Insight Timer boasts the largest meditation library of any free version app with even more features in its paid version. Insight Timer’s programs include meditations and exercises geared specifically toward reducing stress and anxiety. Strong on the science of well-being, the app features some of the world’s foremost mindfulness experts, neuroscientists, psychologists and professors from major universities.
Featured on ABC’s Shark Tank as well as TechCrunch, Business Insider and others, Simple Habit may be the last mediation app on your list, but it may be the first you should try. That’s because it’s made for simplicity, appealing to on-the-go beginners. Easily get started on your self-care regimen with five-minute meditations designed to help you relieve anxiety and find calm and happiness. Like Oak, this app is free with in-app purchases offered.