Are you feeling more anxious than usual? You’re definitely not alone, as many people are struggling with stress and uncertainty during this pandemic. Luckily, meditation apps can be super effective self-care tools. They’ll encourage you to take deep breaths, focus on the present moment, and let your body relax, so you start feeling calmer in no time. Even better: Once you’ve developed a mindfulness practice, you can use it to deal with any other sources of stress that may pop up in your life, such as studying for finals or hunting for a job. Ready to get started? Download and subscribe to one (or more!) of these apps right away.
If you’re new to this whole mindfulness thing, Headspace is a great place to start. It gives you three introductory courses to help you understand the meditation process and learn how to do it. Then you can choose other courses on topics such as dealing with loneliness, letting go of stress, and eating mindfully. And on top of guided meditations, Headspace also offers soundscapes and stories to help you fall asleep at night. More ZZZs will help you feel better in the morning, we promise.
Calm is similar to Headspace but may work better for people with a little more meditation experience. The app offers guided sessions that are three to 20 minutes long, taking on topics such as letting go of stress and getting through challenging times. And it’s even got nature sounds and music designed to help you relax, from Ellie Goulding’s latest release to piano renditions of beloved Disney songs. Falling asleep to the Aladdin soundtrack? Yes please.
If you’re a more seasoned meditator, Insight Timer will let you delve in deeper to your practice. With over 50,000 free guided meditations, the app is practically guaranteed to have a program that works for you. There are tons of experts and a variety of techniques—such as visualization, body scanning, and reflection—to choose from. And they’ve even got courses on fighting racism and injustice, so you can stay civic-minded and learn to make a difference while you heal.
Tell Aura how you’re feeling (sad? anxious? motivated?) and the app will recommend the perfect meditation session for your needs. Some are as quick as three minutes, making them ideal for anyone short on time. You can also track your moods to keep an eye on patterns—and if need be, the app will help you connect with a life coach or therapist.
If you’re interested in the history of meditation, Sattva is the app for you. It walks you through the practice’s ancient roots and offers chants and mantras from leading yoga and meditation experts. Whether you’re a newbie or an expert, there are guided meditations—some as short as six minutes—to help you find peace and build a grounded, authentic practice.
Super busy all the time? Buddhify’s meditations are designed for hectic modern schedules, so you can use the app whether you’re at work, traveling, or eating out. That’s right, even those who are always on the go can fit meditation into their daily lives now. No more excuses!
JanSport is dedicated to helping young people manage their mental health. Learn more about our #LightentheLoad initiative.
By: Mandy Carr