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Best Guided Meditation Apps for Anxiety, Depression & Focus (Free Options Too)


Staff member
Jan 13, 2024
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Meditation is something that may seem funny to some, I know I thought it was odd before I started to learn more about it. However, we tried it in one of my counseling classes and I learned that it is something you need to practice on a daily basis, if not at least a weekly basis. This is because you are working on retraining your thoughts and teaching yourself to be present and mindful. Meditation can seem overwhelming that’s why I wrote this article to give you a list of the best-guided meditation apps and teach you how to get started!

What is Guided Meditation?​

Guided meditation can be done through an app or in person, even along with yoga instruction. Meditation can be used for many different topics including the following:

  • Motivation
  • Resentment
  • Anger
  • Sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Abundance
  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Gratitude
  • Children
  • Affirmations
  • Focus
  • Grief
  • Pain
  • Depression

The list goes on, but guided meditation is useful for so many things that anyone can use it.

How to Do Guided Meditation​

Youtube or guided meditation apps are a great way to start for free or at an affordable price. There are in-person guides that offer retreats and individual and group sessions. This is beneficial because the environment can be helpful if you are easily distracted or you don’t find yourself in a quiet, peaceful place often enough to meditate.

However, guided meditation apps typically have a free trial or they are free and then they offer meditation courses that teach you how to do your own meditation or to focus on a certain subject.

I find that the background of different meditation guides ranges from doctors to individuals who have practiced on their own for quite some time, some are even celebrities!

Benefits of Meditation​

There is a type of therapy called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and meditation is used along with therapy to help clients enjoy the present moment. It is commonly used for anxiety and depression, however, I have found that grief and resentment are topics that we can dive deeper into through meditation.

List of Guided Meditation Apps You Will Love​

1. Calm​

Calm Guided Meditation Apps

This one is pretty well-known thanks to Lebron James in their commercials, but this app is really a great resource. It has bedtime stories that are read by celebrities and other individuals, but they are for adults.

Another great feature is their courses and the insight they provide on subjects such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, how to break bad habits, enjoying your hobbies, creating peace and happiness, relationship tips, and gratitude.

When you open the app it is automatically playing peaceful music with waves crashing. So even if you have a hard time deciding what meditation you want to do today, you can lay or sit down in a comfortable position and listen to the sounds playing.

There are sleep stories for kids that are being added frequently and they are a great way to get your children excited about meditation and going to bed.

2. Mo​

Despite its unique name, Mo is a very simple app that sends me free daily reminders to live in the present and make time to focus on meditating. These notifications are free even if you do not have a LifeTime subscription with them.

Mo has courses on different topics that they require you to follow in order to help you stay focused and complete the whole thing instead of getting distracted and losing focus. This was the second meditation app that I tried and really enjoyed the variety of topics in the library in addition to the “emergency” situations when you need help calming down and 5 minutes is all you have.

3. Insight Timer​

Insight Timer is a unique name as well, but they have a timer that you can set to do breathing exercises once you have advanced through the guided meditation and you feel comfortable on your own.

The Insight Timer guided meditation app is free for most resources however you have the option to give a donation to the creators that took the time to lead you into a peaceful state.

There is a section for beginners if you have no idea what you’re doing and what is best for you. They have over 100,000 different meditations with topics that cover healing, grief, trauma, and more.

When you open up the app, the screen shows a positive quote every time you open it. It also keeps track of how many days you are meditating, and for how long and it gives you the option to report how you feel before and after meditating.

This is a feature I highly recommend because it is very beneficial to take note of your progress and see how far you have come in order to help keep you motivated to keep meditating and also prove to yourself that you can overcome hardship.

4. Headspace​

Headspace Guided Meditation App

I’ll be honest this app I am not as familiar with but I do see lots of fun options on there to get you started. Currently, they are offering fun meditations with Star Wars characters and they also have many topics such as mindfulness at work and even animations to watch.

The animations are combined with expert guidance to teach you how to utilize meditation throughout your daily lives and remember the significance it can have on your mindset and thus your health.

Headspace has a section discussing cultural diversity if that is something you find to be of great significance.

Comparing Guided Meditation Apps​

App NameBenefitsPricing
1. CalmCelebrities read stories, bedtime stories, music, guided meditations, meditation tips, and breathing exercises.Free 1 week trial then $69.99/Per Year
2. MoMeditation reminders and tips, brief meditations for “emergency situations”, meditation courses, and sleep and music meditations.$129.99 LifeTime
3. Insight TimerOver 100,000 free meditations, meditation courses, a breathing timer, yoga, sleep, and thousands of topics.Free Then Premium is $59.99
4. HeadspaceFun themes such as Star Wars MeditationsFree 1-week trial then $69.99/Per Year

In Summary​

I recommend trying each app using the free 1 week trials and see which one you like the best! There are so many benefits to meditation that you need to download the app right now and do not put it further down on your to-do list. I promise you will thank me when you feel like you have a better grip on your life because you can think clearly and prioritize better.

Originally posted 2022-05-11 19:04:21.
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