5 Free Meditation Apps to Boost Your Zen

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We all get caught up in our own heads; overthinking, over-exaggerating the bad stuff and stressing on the small stuff.

So, we found five amazing FREE meditation apps which can easily slot into a hectic lifestyle and leave you feeling that little bit lighter.

Grab your phone, put on a meditation and take a moment for yourself – you deserve it.

OAK

Oak’s endearing touch is that the home screen is a tree that grows the more you meditate (I feel like that cute cartoon tree may be the main motivation for me to go back for more).

The app is divided into three sections: ‘meditations’, ‘breathing’ and ‘wisdom.’ The breathing tutorials provide exercises that can help with calming you down or boosting your energy, and the wisdom tab provides short podcasts on certain mindfulness issues.  The meditations give duration options from 10-30 minutes, and you also choose from a list of background sounds, so Oak definitely gets bonus points for personalisation.

STOP BREATHE & THINK

This app feels like a friend from the outset. The first thing it asks you to do is dim your phone screen and just take a few deep breaths. It then asks you to ‘check in’ by ranking your physical and mental wellbeing and logging your emotions. From your ‘check-in’ it recommends beneficial meditations based on how you’re feeling.

Stop Breathe & Think offers specific sets of meditation playlists designed to assist with sleep, stress, anxiety, and finding focus and calm. There are also specific meditations for pregnant women, college students and teens.

The app also offers some nifty demonstration videos on yoga and acupressure.

INSIGHT TIMER

Insight timer is the all-you-can-eat buffet of meditation apps – perfect for the picky meditator.

If you often find the voice-overs on guided meditations off-putting there are hundreds of teachers to choose from so you can find one that suits you. Alternatively, there are hundreds of musical tracks in varying length, offering genres from chanting and mantras to binaural beats or classical music. Or, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, just go to the ‘Popular’ playlist and the app can do the choosing for you.

A super cute addition to Insight Timer is that it tells you how many people are meditating with you on the app.

HEADSPACE

Headspace is perfect if you’ve never done the meditation thing before, offering beginners 3, 5 or 10-minute sessions and gradually building up to longer and more complex meditations as you’re ready.

The app also has sessions designed for specific goals, such as getting better sleep, reducing stress, maximising focus, and managing anxiety, but one negative about Headspace is that the free download only gets you a 10-session starter pack – to access these extras means dishing out some $$$.

SMILING MIND

My favourite feature of ‘Smiling Mind’ is its collection of ‘Daily Commute and Digital Detox’ meditations. The Daily Commute series provides meditation sessions for use on public transport, while out walking, during a flight, and the Digital Detox series encourages you to switch off both your mind and your devices (which we all need to do more often).

Smiling Mind also offers sports-specific and workplace-specific meditations, designed to bring mindfulness throughout your daily routines.

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Sarah Carroll

CONTRIBUTOR

Sarah is a journalism student navigating health and fitness alongside a sinful sweet tooth and a uni student's budget. With a love for yoga, animals, chocolate and musical theatre, Sarah can often be found tearing up over a video of a baby panda, or exploring one of Sydney's infinite venues, eateries or outdoor escapes.

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