6 OF THE BEST FREE MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION APPS
To celebrate National Stress Awareness Day we got our team together, all of us relatively new to meditation, to review the best free mindfulness and meditation apps currently on offer, and see what all the fuss is about!
Leo’s rating: 9/10
After the 7 days of headspace I enjoyed the experience overall. I definitely feel like it could be helpful long-term. I found the Headspace app really easy to use and loved that the focus was on training the brain in a practical way. Each session was about taking just ten minutes to actually notice how you were feeling, taking time to be quiet and focus on what was happening then and there. I also loved the colourful design of the app, and the use of animations to explain a technique. It made mindfulness feel accessible and simple rather than something for a zen master with a lot of time on their hands. It’s definitely something I will continue and feel like it could be really beneficial in creating and overall sense of calm long term.
Hannah’s rating: 9/10
I really enjoyed using the app! It’s so easy to use and really does help to create a relaxed atmosphere. The guided meditation was great and I feel like I learned a lot about stress, too. The only thing I could think of is that the voice of the narrator of pretty much all of the meditations and courses could possibly get on someone’s nerves if they listened to her too much!
Aisling’s rating: 7/10
I feel like I got a deeper insight into meditation and the different types of it. I take away from it how meditation is perfect whenever I have a free moment, as this prevents me from getting over stressed during a busy/anxious period. One critique would be that it didn’t separate free meditations from meditations that needed to be paid for. Often I would click into a meditation I wanted to do only to find out later that I had to be a paying member to do it. Overall I found the app really pleasant and relaxing.
App: Insight Timer
Neil’s rating: 10/10
I started with the 7 day taster course to get you into meditation, and it gives you one 10 minute session every day of guided (and very simple) meditation. It's not even anything like what I used to think meditation was. It's basically trying to help you be more in tune with your thoughts, more conscious of your feelings and actions and encouraging you to find a calm moment in a hectic day. I have continued using Insight Timer, admittedly not every day, but I am using it certainly several times a week. I am learning more about meditation as a result of being introduced to the app and I think it will eventually help me along my own personal journey. In short, I highly, highly recommended.
Alice’s rating: 5/10
I have pretty mixed feelings about the Omvana app. I definitely found it hard to use and even after the 7 days I still hadn’t figured out how to properly utilise key selling features of the app such as having background noise with the meditation tracks. The beginner tracks were extremely helpful, however, they should have been suggested in the introduction. Overall I think the tracks I listened to were great but the app itself needs more refining and updating. I feel as though having an app that is difficult to navigate contradicts the calming benefits of meditation.
Théa’s rating: 6/10
A simple and well designed app with loads of nice little features, such as tailoring your meditation based around your mood. However the app is generally let down by the fact that the free version only allows you to do 3 minute meditations, which for me just wasn’t enough time to fully give in and concentrate. I feel I would have benefited much more from a longer meditation. Each time it ended I felt as if I was just starting to focus!