Our brain is a muscle; a very advanced and fascinating one. Just like any other muscle in our body, our brain and 'mind’ needs to be well-kept, exercised, cleansed, and re-aligned daily. There are many ways we can tend to our minds for what we need to do to improve function, conduct damage control, evoke renewal, and enhance our lives all together. In our society today, Mindfulness is applauded and has become a very trending anecdote for stress, anxiety, frustration, etc.
I’ve never been one to meditate, or put forth effort into Mindfulness including Yoga. I saw it as pointless. My mind is always going, and so am I. For me to stay still takes painful effort, and my anxiety gets anxiety, so you guessed it—relaxation doesn’t come easy. I always wondered how meditation could possibly be a productive option. Well, finally, being, the curious woman I am, I decided to see what all the hype was about and try out an app to start. Plus, if one of these or a few worked for my type of personality then I figured they would deserve recognition and assuredly work for others out there.
Since I found countless apps to choose from and rather than asking Google, I conducted my own research. I tested twelve different apps all categorized for Mindfulness. Five out of the twelve tested, I found to be exceptional. They are amazing from color, format, interfaces, options, personalization’s to the mere voices used to guide you. To my surprise these five apps worked well on me, and they too, are all rated with 4.5 to 5 stars, so you can trust they are well worth a shot and not only just because I say so, yet, I am a very tough critic.
Free download iOS and Android
The moment you open this one, you feel an ease breezing by. The colors chosen are that calming and the features you see listed before you are top-notch. It has a well-engineered layout and interface. It is user friendly too. It has a meditation class for beginners, and many meditations to choose from that are all great at taking you into your moment. The, ‘Wake up with Intention’, meditation is soothing, and refreshing. You can adjust the voice volume and music volume to your liking. It has a serene look, and tranquil sound. You hear a calming voice say, “Feel the benefit of your nights sleep, allowing your body to slowly awaken from its nights rest.” A wonderful way to start the day is that meditation right there. Many features are available in this app such as bedtime stories. You can choose to have stories read to you in one of the most calming voices I have ever heard in my life. They have Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, Rapunzel, Alice in Wonderland, and many more. You can favorite meditations to build a library of the ones that best work for you. Many apps have a music library but this one is fanciful. It guides you to breathe while you hear tranquility in the background sending you off into a realm of quietness and empowerment. That realigns the mind, and body so well, and I enjoyed being still within the music library, and the app in its entirety. The contents in this Mindfulness app are powerful. It is among one of the highest rated apps, and it is excellent for us who have a more tough time meditating and letting loose.
Free download (optional premium subscription £35.99 per year)
Upon opening this app you instantly hear soft ocean waves rising to a shore with birds subtly in the background. I call it, The Serenity NOW, app. The meditations are categorised by intentions. What you need to meditate over or on is listed for you in an easy to use and clean interface.
I enjoy that the entire layout of this application is smooth. The music library is also categorized by intentions, or certain words of action or feelings. Therefore, the music highly resonates with your spiritual, and quiet side well. There is a masterclass which are lessons with different doctors for knowledge and information regarding various subjects all linking to mindfulness. The sleep portion of this app I found to be exceptional by how it is set-up. You can choose a story to be read, music, sounds of nature, etc. This app has features that allow you to personalize or quickly find the proper meditation. I highly recommend this Calm especially for the busy, busy, busy.
Free download (optional subscription £7.99 per month)
The first thing you see when you open Aura is a question. “How are you feeling?” You are given various choices to answer, you do and the rest of the journey through this application is tailored according to that current mood. It helps keep you focused on why your tending to your mind as it is. The voices used in AURA are all soothing. Most apps of this kind have soothing voices as guides but there are a few that do not and I found this to be a critical component for meditation, and mindfulness. Every meditation offered is exceptional, you can journal your thoughts before and after and keep logs of your activity. What an effective way to see your progress, and something to look back on when you may find it necessary. Unlike many other apps there is a community option offered to share your insights and issues with others on this app who are like-minded people, all seeking the same thing at one time or another. I found that to be a very comforting factor linked into this application. The music is organized in a way it bases off your mood and there are many other features that are well put together, and just extraordinary. AURA is an all-around desirable choice for that perfect app.
Free download (optional £9.99 subscription)
This app is especially great for beginners. It starts out by guiding you and showing you how to meditate and helps you to better understand it and practice. The melodies are the best part in my opinion as you can make them if you wish. You can have a background melody, then you can add in thunder, rain, birds, waves, wind, and so much more. The way you can personalize your music for meditation is brilliant. You’re able to save the melodies you create, so what works for you can always be with you. Personalization is vital to meditation and mindfulness and not one of us are the same so this one stood out more. The more you can personalize and in a quick fashion, the better the experience overall. This easy to use app which includes a brainwaves option, is nothing short of stellar and will get you to the confident zone your mind needs to be.
Free download (optional £3.91 subscription)
This app is brilliant. Everything about it I found to be very impressive. Press the icon and you see the words, “Take a deep breath.”, come upon the screen which then says, “and smile.” It starts you off right straight away. The home screen is soft and has a new quote showing daily. A smile, then inspiration? You’re good to go already. M3mindfulness is great for on the go or for a lengthier time with wonderful meditations, sounds, and features. I especially enjoyed that you can set three reminders a day at a time you decide. The app will then send you a reminder to be in the moment, to go outside, to dance, to breathe, etc. I know notifications tend to get annoying, but I found these to be stimulating and calming. They were helpful especially when lost in a busy day or chaos is running it's course. These reminders get you out of your own mind and I think that’s spectacular. The interface is user friendly and clean. This app and all it has to offer deserves a try. You will not be disappointed especially if your days are often hectic.
Free to download (£4.99 to unlock)
An app completely dedicated to gratitude, to being grateful and remembering to be. Thankfulness is a critical part of a healthy soul, and internal life. This app offers random mantras that get you thinking and inspired. They remind you of all you have to be grateful for and to be grateful for it in pure heart and spirit. The home screen has a marquee like thing going on within statements of gratitude to speak aloud. The reminder settings you customise and throughout the day you will get a reminder to be grateful. I think we all need this daily. During the hustle and busting of asses in life we do tend to forget what matters, what we must smile over and be happy about. This app will keep your mind, heart and soul inline and inline with gratitude and nothing can destroy gratitude. Gratitude is key to a calm mind and healthy soul. I say everyone should have this app running. Period. Counting our blessings brings about happiness and kindness. Kindness spreads just as fast as influenza!
These are the apps I found to be exceptional so far and to add there is Memorado which has excellent brain exercises. There are many other apps that are amazing and well put together like Mindfulness, Mindful, Yoga, 10% Happier, and the list goes on, but these five stood out. May they be of help to you during your craziest of days and nights.