Sleepless and Anxious? These Meditation Apps Will Help

Whether you have two minutes or 20, these mindfulness apps are useful, say users.

Shraddha Varma

Meditation can be a simple way to decrease stress, improve focus, lower blood pressure, identify pain, reduce symptoms of anxiety and help you get a good night’s sleep. There are different ways to meditate – from guided meditation to mindfulness exercises and calming sleep stories -- but the aim of each technique is to still the mind. If you’re game for this, we suggest you begin with a meditation app and put your phone to good use. 

With the wide selection of meditation apps available online, how do you know which one is the best for your needs and routine? To help you decide, we’ve outlined five of the best ones based on user reviews. 

Headspace 

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Great for beginners, this is an application to turn to when your mind is flooded with worries. Mumbai-based telecommunications professional Jyotsna Surendran, who has used Headspace for a year, recommends it for beginners. “I’ve used a couple of apps and Headspace has been the easiest to navigate. The guided meditation programs are based on themes, mindfulness workouts and sleepcasts (audio stories narrated in soothing voices) that help you learn the basics of meditation and mindfulness,” she shares. This application is free with optional in-app purchases. It has a paid version called Headspace Plus that features more material and sessions on stress, anxiety, personal growth and, even, physical health.   

Available on: Android and iOS 

Sattva

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Featuring chants, mantras and guided meditations by experts, Sattva draws from Vedic principles of meditation. Here, you can curate playlists of soundtracks for different purposes, check daily recommendations, and even track your progress and time of your meditation. A self-proclaimed overthinker, Vapi-based Vishakha Agrawal has been using this app since early 2020 to meditate and stay calm. “A friend introduced me to Sattva because I tend to stress a lot even for the smallest of things. It has worked for me, especially during the thick of this ongoing pandemic,” shares the media professional, who religiously meditates for 15-20 mins before going to sleep every day. 
Sattva is free to download but comes with in-app purchases that are optional.   

Available on: Android and iOS 

Calm 

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Calm’s guided meditation is designed to assist people in relaxing. It has calming exercises, easy-to-follow breathing techniques and walking meditation, a practice in which walking is combined with mindfulness - so you're performing this physical activity but also focusing on listening to and directing the movements of your body. Its USP, however, is the kids' section that boasts of meditation for those between three and 17 years of age. Mother to a seven-year-old boy, Swati* has been using the Calm app to improve her child’s concentration. “With so many digital distractions (TV, iPad, games, etc.), it had become difficult for my son to concentrate on one thing. Simple example: online classes. The focus sessions at Calm have helped immensely. Their bedtime tales with soothing music and words work well to calm my son. There are several times when I’ve dozed off with the little one while listening to them,” she laughs.   

Available on: Android and iOS  

Petit Bambou 

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New to India, this mindfulness and meditation app from France is popular among adults and children alike due to its striking animations, guided sessions to declutter thoughts and increase awareness, and sounds that promise tranquility. For author and food stylist Swayampurna Mishra, known for her blog La Petit Chef, this app has become a way of life. As she tried to adjust to the ‘new normal’, Mishra noticed that her mind was in turmoil and she lacked focus. That’s when she starting using Petit Bambou. “I realized mindfulness is something I needed to practice and it starts with understanding oneself,” she wrote in a post on her Instagram account. “It’s helped me to live in the moment, renew my energy and focus on the truly important tasks at hand without losing my sense of calm, which I feel is of utmost importance as a mom of two,” mentioned Mishra, while talking about how the app has helped her.  

Available on: Android and iOS

Mindhouse

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Kanchan Shah, a 26-year-old banking professional, recently started exploring meditation. Her motive was to keep her mind off all the negative news around, which was causing anxiety. "I had used a couple of mindfulness and meditation apps before deciding to stick to Mindhouse. I chose it initially due to its user-friendly interface and then stuck to it because of the short voice-led sessions that helped relax my mind. A few other reasons I prefer the app over others is that it is accessible anytime and anywhere, it doesn't take much time, it understands my reason to meditate and helps me achieve my goal," says Kanchan. "It took me around 10 days to get used to the app and achieve my goal - a calm mind. Now, I have completed two weeks of free access and am planning to invest in regular subscription," she adds.

Available on: Android and IOS

Photo: Shutterstock and featured apps

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