Meditation is often viewed as a lengthy session of sitting silently, legs crossed, eyes closed with arms and hands extended, but more often than not, it is emotional and dynamic.

To meditate, as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “to engage in contemplation or reflection” or “to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.”

Meditation practice has been proven to help reduce anxiety and stress, improve focus and mood, and help with sleep problems. If you are not sure how to meditate or are just curious about how to get started, there are many apps available for smartphones that can help guide you.


Free with a subscription service for additional content. Apple and Android.

Mindfulness is great for beginners, as it offers five beginner specific sessions to help you get the most out of your meditation or mindfulness sessions. Beyond that, there is an option to customize daily sessions by length, soothing background noises, and optional voice guidance.

The app offers a premium option for additional content, which includes longer guided meditations for sleep, traveling, relationships, and extra foundational sessions for beginners. You can set daily meditation reminders and the app will track your progress.


Free with a subscription service for additional content. Apple and Android.

Headspace is really user-friendly and offers support for beginners to keep you on track with your daily meditation. To start, you are given ten 10-minute guided meditation sessions that can be repeated as frequently as you’d like. The app has a feature that sends you a reminder to meditate at a time of your choosing. You can also set up mindfulness tips to alert you throughout your day to have a mindful moment or practice deep breathing. This app includes short videos to help you visualize the meditation topic or instruction before starting the guided audio portion, which is a very different offering than other meditation apps. You can also set meditation goals, and the app will track your progress along the way.

If you decide to purchase a subscription to the app, you gain access to specific guided meditations to help with more targeted conditions or topics such as anxiety, stress, sleep, pain management, pregnancy, self-esteem, relationships, productivity, motivation, and more.

3.Smiling Mind

Free. Apple and Android.

Smiling Mind is a free app packed with content for beginners, teachers, and employers. The app offers basic guided meditation sessions, along with age-specific sessions for children ages 7 to 18, so parents and children can share sessions together. Educators have their own section on the app, offering programs for student’s ages 7 to 18, including in class sessions, lesson plans, and take home activities based around meditation and mindfulness.

An extra premium benefit of this app is a workplace program that allows registered employers to utilize work specific sessions into their day. The app also ties into their website, which includes further information and resources, at


4.Simple Habit

Free with a subscription service for additional content. Apple and Android.

If you want to start meditation but feel that a lengthy session might not fit into your daily routine, Simple Habit is the app to try. The free app offers a handful of quick five minute sessions around specific guided meditation topics that can be used at any time of day. The app allows you to quickly personalize your experience, by selecting categories based on what you’d like to accomplish with your meditation. These categories include boosting energy, reducing stress, calming anxiety, learning to meditate, sleeping better, and improving focus. The app offers free, basic meditation to start, with the premium option covering the additional content. This app does offer a 30 day premium trial to sample these added programs. Simple Habit also allows you to add community contacts through Facebook, so you can share your progress and create meditation challenges between friends to keep you on track.


Free with a subscription service for additional content. Apple and Android.

Calm allows you to personalize your meditation experience, by setting a top goal for your sessions. These categories differ slightly from the others listed above and includes sessions such as building self-esteem, increasing happiness, and developing gratitude. Another difference found in Calm is a visually guided breathing tool, which includes a bubble that grows with a deep breath, and shrinks with the exhale of that breath. This allows you to visualize your breathing, and understand different breathing techniques to utilize during meditation sessions. The app also includes a section specifically for sleep, including narrated sleep stories, and calming audio clips to fall asleep to.

Meditation isn’t always easy, but it has truly amazing benefits, and with these apps, you can start today, and continue to practice the techniques for the rest of your life.

In good health,


* This listing of apps is for informational purposes only. Boston Heart does not endorse or promote the use of any app listed.