The 6 Best Meditation Apps for Reducing Anxiety and Sleeping Better
It's time to take a break. Check out. Fill your lungs with air and exhale it back out, slowly, calmly. In other words, it's time to do something besides think about social media, the news cycle, and whatever fresh hell we might be waking up to tomorrow morning. Relief isn't easy to find, but downloading a meditation app like these six could help. If you build healthy habits and stick to them, staying attuned to your mental state throughout the day, you could find yourself feeling less anxious and sleeping better. Mindfulness is trendy for a reason.
For beginners who need direction
Headspace asks you to take a few minutes each day to meditate, whether that's for focus, exercise, sleep, or more. It makes it easy to develop a routine, giving you the option of mini-meditations and "SOS" sessions if your anxiety is ramping up. It's chock full of instruction with an appealing interface, making it great for meditation beginners.
For a good night's sleep
Calm is a meditation app that offers extra sleep-related guidance through its Sleep Stories feature, playing calming music as you drift off. Calm's other features include breathing techniques, different settings like "self-esteem" and "relationships," and different session lengths to fit easily into your day. But really, sleep is the most important.
For instruction from the best
10% Happier culls the best meditation experts, bringing together respected instructors, specialists, and scientists to create courses that teach you the basics. And it positions itself as an app perfect for skeptics. If you're at all dubious about the benefits of mindfulness, give this one a shot.
For meditation on the cheap
Aura asks you how you're feeling and then suggests a three-minute guided meditation session to specifically cater to your attitude—you get one a day. Other features include life coaching, storytelling, and music. You can track your mood and set reminders for yourself to remember to breathe fully. There's an Aura community of users and teachers for groups support, if you want it. And it's all free. (A premium membership gives you access to meditations all day long.)
Stop, Breathe & Think Kids
For your kids
Get the whole family involved. While you're meditating, the kids can get in some mindful exercises too. Through this app's missions and games, they learn how to gauge their own emotions, value calm, and focus on breathing. It's like meditation, but fun. Stop, Breathe & Think also makes a great meditation app for adults that encourages journaling, gives daily inspiration, and talks back to you in a messaging format.
For goal setters
If you need clear goals, backed up by metrics and schedules, download Mindfulness Daily. Each day includes a morning intention, and midday pause, and a nightly mindful reflection, making a daily routine easy to stick with. Set yourself reminders and timers to stay on track, too. (Android is in Beta testing mode.)
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.