. The 6 Best Meditation Apps for Stress Relief and Mindfulness | Northstar Meetings Group

The 6 Best Meditation Apps for Stress Relief and Mindfulness

Take a deep breath and use these free meditation phone apps to unwind and relax during every stage of the event planning process. 

mindfulness-phone-app-meditation

It doesn't really matter what kind of mindfulness phone app you're looking for -- for guided meditation, sleep meditation, a mantra for wellbeing, or something even more tailored to your specific situation -- the iTunes and Android stores are chock-full of options. 

There are actually hundreds of these types of wellbeing apps available, promising to help users cultivate mindfulness, get better sleep, quell their stress hormones, manage their weigh, and more. But how do you know which one is right for you? Especially as an event planner -- always on the run and keeping a number of fires from flaring up at any given moment -- how can you decipher between the apps that have been designed truly to help you as opposed to those made more for "fun"? 

To help you find the best mindful practice and meditation apps for your specific needs, we have compiled a list of our top six mindfulness options and why each may be a perfect fit for you. You can even try out two of our choices, Calm and Headspace, on your next flight.  

6 Phone Apps For Meditation and Mindfulness

Insight Timer
  • Available for iPhone iOS and Android
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases ($5 per course)

The Insight Timer app features a ton of content, including more than 4,000 guided meditations from 1,000+ teachers on topics such as self-compassion, nature and stress (welcome to the meeting planner life!), in addition to talks and podcasts.

Once you find a teacher you enjoy -- like Jon Kabat-Zinn or Tara Brach -- you can follow them to make sure you don’t miss any new content. If you prefer a quieter meditation, users also have the option of meditating to intermittent bells or a calming ambient noise.

This free meditation app offers a membership with in-app purchase availability. Once you became a member, you are prompted to meditate for as long as you feel is necessary. 

Aura
  • Available for iOS and Android
  • Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Provides users with three-minute, daily micro-meditations. Aura helps users relieve stress and anxiety with a technologically advanced, simple and effective meditation platform. It was created by some of the best and most sought-after meditation teachers and therapists, and personalized by artificial intelligence.

Aura gives users the option of keeping a gratitude journal and tracks moods throughout the day. It even makes meditation into a game, allowing users to level up as they participate in daily challenges.

Aura might be the right app for you if you're a planner with limited time to practice meditation. 

Calm
  • Available for iOS and Android
  • Price: Free, with in-app purchases ($59.99 annual subscription)

Calm provides the relaxing sound of falling rain automatically in the background, but you can also choose to be greeted by a crackling fireplace, crickets or something called “celestial white noise” when you're trying to relax in a hotel or meeting venue. Calm also includes some short meditations that you can use during your busy day.

Users of this app say it gives you the desire to stay consistent with your meditation practice, and allows people to increase their focus via body scans and mindful thinking during their everyday lives. Users can begin with a week of Calm, a beginners’ series that includes practices for cultivating awareness, returning to the breath when the mind wanders and training for how to bounce back when the brain switches into “autopilot mode.”

Headspace

 

 

  • Available for iOS and Android
  • Price: Initial package free, with in-app purchases ($95.88 annual subscription)

Headspace provides exercises that are designed to be used for around 10-minutes a day, beginning with a session pack that comes free with the phone app download. It includes short meditations for people who are on the go and even SOS meditations that are useful during times of crisis. 

The app is broken down into meditations by category -- including those for work, kids, sleep and stress. Each session starts with a “check-in” routine. After taking some deep breaths, the user is then urged to become aware of various physical sensations surrounding them, such as their body weight and the feeling of their chair or clothes touching their skin. 

Buddify
  • Available for iOS and Android
  • Price: Initial package free, with in-app purchases 

The meditation sessions offered through Buddify are organized by theme according to where a person is throughout their day. It is widely known to be especially helpful in managing anxiety, and is personalized depending on what the user is up to, from waking up, commuting or taking a quick break between appointments to dealing with stress or having trouble falling asleep while traveling. 

Buddify comes with more than 80 custom meditations created by experts in the field. Buddify is great for the modern meeting planner on the go. 

10% Happier
  • Available for iOS and Android 
  • Price: Free 7-day series, $99.99 annual fee

The tagline for 10% Happier tells you what you need to know about the app:  It’s “meditation for fidgety skeptics.”

There are sparse free offerings on 10% Happier, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in accessibility and authority. What’s free is The Basics series, a one-week orientation to mindfulness. Each day features an introductory video by Dan Harris -- a news anchor who famously had a panic attack on television -- and a meditation by Joseph Goldstein