Meditation apps (which I’ve used)
There are so many meditation apps out there and trying to find the right one can be daunting. In this article, I aim to make this process a little easier by sharing my experience with the only three meditation apps I have used and my experience with them.
Let’s cut to the chase!
Balance: approx. £50
Calm: £52 or £28.99 (£17.39 with special offer)
Insight Timer: FREE!!!!!!!
Note: I have used the paid subscription for Calm and Balance only because I caught the offers. I highly recommend checking available offers before paying outright, especially if you are a student, or financially restricted in some way. Otherwise, Insight Timer is the go-to, no funny business, free meditation (AND YOGA) app.
I am currently using Balance’s full subscription, an app that a friend recommended last year, but I only started using it in the past month due to the free trial for the year. After that, it’s $69.99 (about £50.42)/year and $11.99 (£8.64)/month.
I am currently in love with the app for these reasons:
- Simple and easy.
- Provides a personalised experience and continues to do so throughout your use of the app by asking you questions which helps the service tailor to your needs.
- Suitable for all levels and abilities – great for beginners to start learning techniques and great for experienced meditators to build on their knowledge and techniques.
- You can choose the length of the meditation sessions.
- The choice between a male or a female voice.
- There are a variety of 10-day plans and one-off meditations available for different purposes such as anxiety, sleep, and relaxation.
- It’s a diverse service without overwhelming choice.
In the month I have been using the full service, I’ve been learning new techniques and strengthening those I have practised before. This has been a massive support in growing my meditation practice since picking it back up regularly in June 2021. I love the 10-day plans as it provides me with a goal which I can achieve at my own pace.
This was the first-ever meditation app I fully subscribed to. The full service currently charges at £52.99/ annual on google play, however, online (when I looked up the service on my laptop) apparently, it’s £28.99 (you will need to make a free account to access any available offers). I think Calm does offers which can bring the cost right down so, I’d advise you to keep your eyes pealed for whatever deal you can get. So, if you are interested, check both on the app and online before purchase to ensure the best deal for your pocket! There is always a possibility of a discount for new users.
The reason I was in love with the Calm when I had it are as follows:
- I loved the sleek and immersive interface. It has customisable features such as the background themes that changed from day to night in real-time along with nature sounds. Its smooth gliding feel was so satisfying and calming when opening the app.
- It has a huge variety of guided meditations for all aspects of life from anxiety and stress to self-care, focus and inner peace. Not to mention that sleep has a whole section with a multitude of meditations, stories, soundscapes, and music. On top of that, stories are narrated by a variety of famous names such as Mary Berry, Harry Styles, and Mathew McConaughey.
- It also has many different series under different themes which you could follow daily and complete.
- In the “more” section of the app, it has a bunch of other useful programs and interactive specs. One of my favourite aspects of this spec was the Breathing exercises with the breath bubble. The app now has 6 different breathing exercises with the “Relax” extended exhale available on the free app and “Balance”, “Restore”, “Focus”, “Energize”, and “Unwind” on the subscription. When I still had the app, I utilised this part of the service as it was a great way to connect with the breath and practice these extremely useful techniques.
What was great about this at the time was that I got a lot of bang for my buck! Originally paying £28.99/year for the entire service was fantastic value for money. Hence why I urge you to check online and on your app store before you pay for the subscription if you do consider this app. This was also where I began my journey in learning different meditation techniques (to which I have been building on with Balance since the change).
Now, I’m going to be completely honest with you, I’ve had the app for a while but originally downloaded it for the timer and still only use it for its timer. So, what I will say now is that a more in-depth review for this app is definitely due which I will aim towards. In the time being, here are some key points about why this app is a absolute gem!
- It is “The Largest Library of Free Guided Meditations and Music Tracks on Earth” – Insight Timer.
- They do yoga too!
- They host live events for free on the app.
- They have all sorts like “Essential Listening” and “Insightful Talks” which means you can listen and learn on the go without having to pay a penny!
- The meditation timer! This feature allows you to set a timer for your desired time. You have the option to include a starting bell and/or an ending bell depending on your preference you have a choice out of 9 different sounding meditation bells. Additionally, you can include interval bells which has supported me and my growing practice HUGELY! I started integrating new exercises and this feature has helped me time the duration of each exercise with calm bell sounds as opposed to offensive alarm timers on our phones.
As I mentioned before, this meditation app deserves a much more in-depth review. This does not do it justice. However, it’s ultimate selling point is that, not only is it free but, it is packed full of goodness and a great place to start if you don’t want to spend any money. This is genuinely such a great free service!
All in all, all these meditation apps are great. It just depends on your preferences.
- Balance is pretty straightforward and easy to get started on and follow.
- Calm has huge variety.
- Insight Time is free and abundant.