Finding our zen: Student Body staff’s top meditation apps

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Life can be stressful. That’s why it’s key to carve out some time to unwind and refresh your mind after a long day. Meditation apps are a great way to channel that anxiety and negative energy, and find your zen:


When I sought out to find a good meditation app to try, I saw that Headspace was touted by Emma Watson and Jessica Alba. Superficially, I was really impressed by the simple, sleek and adorable graphics, too. Though the initial 10 days of the app are free, additional use and sessions require a subscription (ranging from $6.24/month to $419.95/forever). The basic free portion of the meditation app includes a Take10 program and animations. Andy Puddicombe, one of the co-founders, talks you through a simple 10 minute session, focused on breathing. His soothing British accent had me feeling quite relaxed and I nearly fell asleep each time I did the exercises. You can use the app on your desktop computer, link up with friends and track your progress. I felt inspired after a few sessions to look into a subscription and at least use my new breathing knowledge to lessen my stress. Available for Apple and Android devices; free trial. — Zoë Sessums


Omvana- Meditation for Everyone

I’m new to meditation and have only ever tried it at the end of yoga classes. With guided tracks ranging from two to sixty minutes, the Omvana app provides beginners like me with the help needed to meditate, focus, relax, or sleep. Upon opening the app, the user can listen to a six minute welcome track from Mindvalley Creations Inc. founder Vishen Lakhiani that explains the free features and tools. The really interesting thing about this application is that it lets you mix whatever track you listen to with different backgrounds. You can use adjust it so you can hear different sounds and volumes and select ambient and vocal levels. The first track I tried was The Vision Meditation, which was only 38 seconds but was so relaxing. This app is perfect for users who are new to meditation because it is easy to navigate and has a section with different categories so you can search for whatever kind of meditation you want. There is also an in-app store to purchase tracks that are not available for free. There is also a top tracks section to see which recordings are trending. Available for Apple devices; basic features free. — Ilana Sperling


Stop, Breathe & Think

I have never meditated before, and it never even really crossed my mind to try it before. But as I’m right in the middle of my busiest and most stressful semester to date, I think I could use some meditation in my life. I chose to try the app Stop, Breathe & Think. I think this app is great for first-time meditators because it offers a lot of helpful, yet brief, information about how to meditate and the purpose of meditating. Additionally, it lists all of the types of meditation offered through the app with a brief description of when that meditation might be most helpful. For example, the Body Scan meditation helps to relieve feelings of sadness, depression or fear. The feature of this app that I like the most, however, is that it allows you to consider your current mental and physical state before you begin meditating. When you click “begin” the app presents a series of questions and asks you to consider how you’re feeling, and then based on your answers, it suggests a specific meditation that you might find most helpful. I think this guidance is great for leading beginners to the right meditation. It also gives you a chance to reflect on how you’re truly feeling, which in itself can be therapeutic. While the app itself is free, certain meditations require a fee to access. The money goes to the non-profit organization Tools For Peace. Available for Apple and Android devices; basic features free. — Rebecca Moonitz


Insight Timer

Though I’ve been meditating regularly for over a decade, I first discovered Insight Timer more than a year ago, and I’ve been using it to meditate regularly ever since. The app contains guided meditations (in many different languages) and soothing music. When I find a meditation I like, I “favorite” it to do again later. There are a variety of meditations for healing, better breathing, consciousness, compassion, and mindfulness. The best part about this app is that it is very customizable and user-friendly. If you want to engage in your own practice, you can set a customizable timer for as long as you’d like to bliss out. There’s also a tracking mechanism that allows you to see the average duration of your meditation sessions and your longest session, as well as your progress and how many minutes per day you’ve been meditating. Available for Apple and Android devices; free. –Nicki Karimipour



To be completely honest, this was my first time ever trying a meditation app or just meditation in general. But with the increasing stress between school, exams and trying to keep up with some type of social life, I thought to myself, why not try something new? When searching the Internet for the “best meditation app,” I landed upon Calm. It is completely free and includes seven different “relaxation” sessions ranging in duration from just two minutes to a half hour. Along with this are various music tracks and nature scenes so you are free to pick the perfect background music that helps you relax. The first time I clicked on the app, a beach background was set up (AMAZING because I love/miss the beach) with a bubble that said to breathe in and breathe out. To be completely honest, I already felt better. After that, you can pick a scene and explore the app to choose what you want to do. I stayed with the beach scene and decided to try out a two minute calming body scan meditation. There is a voice that tells you different movements and breathing exercises to try out. You can do a full 7-day or 21-day course, or just choose different things to do on different days. Honestly, I felt a lot more relaxed after using it. I don’t know it was the soothing voice or the beach sounds, but I feel a lot better. Available for Apple devices; basic features free. — Hannah Colson

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