Looking for mental health apps to add a little mindfulness and meditation to your day? We’ve rounded up some of our favourites.
Life can be stressful at the best of times, but it’s been a surreal past two years to say the least – and this fifth wave really takes the cake. If you’ve found yourself looking for ways to build (and keep!) habits that help you focus on your mental health, a meditation app could be your new go-to. While we’re often told to unplug in order to recharge, these make it onto our exceptions-list.
We’ve rounded up 12 of the best apps not just for meditation but also for mindfulness and mental health. Whether you’re a complete beginner or meditation master, looking for ways to sleep better, overcome negative thinking or just feel happier, these mental health apps are here to help you find a little more peace and quiet in everyday life.
Read more: 5 Simple Meditation Practices To Try At Home
Best for: Stress heads
Learn how to cope with stress through the philosophy of stoicism which focuses on being less emotionally reactive. Complete with a mood tracker, gratitude journal, guided meditations, inspiring quotes and prompts for reflection, stoic will help you analyse your emotive influences, give you insight on how to build mental resilience and lead you towards a more peaceful and balanced life.
Cost: Basic version is free; premium version is free for one week, then $298 per year
Head here to download on iOS
Read more: 8 Habits To Improve Your Mental Health
Best for: Social butterflies
Like many mindfulness and mental health apps, Sanvello offers guided meditations and progress trackers. But what really makes this app stand out is its community aspect: users can share their own experiences and connect with others in safe and supportive chat groups, which are categorised by topics such as ‘Work Stress’, ‘COVID-19 Caregivers’, ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and many more. If chat groups aren’t your cup of tea, Sanvello also offers 1-on-1 or group messaging and video sessions with professional therapists to help cheer you on in your journey towards mental wellbeing.
Cost: Basic version is free; premium version is $426 per year
I am – Daily Affirmations
Best for: Over thinkers
How often do negative thoughts swirl around in your mind? Daily affirmations help rewire our brains, change negative thought patterns and build self esteem. Not convinced? Couldn’t hurt to try! Choose from a range of daily intentions – from gratitude and personal growth to specific affirmations for couples – and set reminders to be delivered to you throughout the day.
Cost: Basic version is free; premium version is free for one week, then $118 per year
Read more: Your Guide To Achieving Total Self-Love
Best for: Night Owls
Crowned the “world’s happiest app”, award-winning Calm aims to make the world a happier and healthier place. There are a huge variety of guided and unguided meditations available on the app, but what we really love is Calm’s commitment to helping us catch better zzz’s. Choose between sleep casts, nature sounds and ASMR content, or settle down to one of the many bedtime stories. There’s even one read to you by Matthew McConaughey – sweet dreams indeed!
Cost: Basic version is free; premium version is free for one week, then $548 per year
Tide – Meditation & Sleep
Best for: Nature lovers
Inspired by nature and travelling, Tide provides an extensive library of natural soundscapes and a series of relaxing breathing and meditation guides that aim to bring a moment of calm into your busy day. Suitable for anyone who struggles to focus in the day or fall asleep at night, the app features a focus timer, Sleep and Nap mode that allows for undisturbed rest and light wake-up alarms.
Cost: Basic version is free; premium version is free for one week, then $20 per month
Tide – Meditation & Sleep, tide.fm
Ten Percent Happier Meditation
Best for: Skeptics
Once named “Least Annoying Meditation App”, here’s an option that will help you sleep better, find relaxation and, well, be 10% happier. Based on the book by the same name, 10% Happier is perfect for the skeptic who isn’t sure about the life-changing power of meditation. Browse the library of over 500 guided sessions on topics ranging from anxiety and stress to sleep, and find out more about the science behind mindfulness through interviews with notable meditation practitioners.
Cost: Basic version is free; premium version is free for one week, then $778 per year
Ten Percent Happier Meditation, www.tenpercent.com
Headspace: Mindful Meditation
Best for: Beginners
Now with its own Netflix show, Headspace is one of the most well-known meditation apps out there. Between its soothing guided meditations, adorable animations and user-friendly interface, it’s a great option if you’re just starting your meditation journey. Headspace offers hundreds of guided sessions as well as short explanatory videos. There’s a meditation for everything, from managing loneliness and mental fitness to addressing a lack of motivation, insomnia and even a fear of flying. The free version includes a guided 10-day beginners course, and you can get a great feel for the app on their YouTube account.
Cost: Basic version is free; premium version is free for two weeks, then £49.99 per year
Headspace: Mindful Meditation, www.headspace.com
Moodfit: Mental Health Fitness
Best for: Journalers
The makers of Moodfit believe there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mental wellbeing, which is why they’ve developed an app that offers easily customisable tools and trackers. Ever wonder how work calls, walking the dog or meeting new people impacts your mood? Are you taking medication or going to therapy and want to keep track of how this is affecting you? Run your own experiments by tracking custom variables and keep a record of what works best for you. In addition, you’ll find gratitude practices, sleep exercises and breathing techniques as well as weekly reviews to help you recognise trends.
Head here to download on iOS
Moodfit: Mental Health Fitness, www.getmoodfit.com
Read more: How To Prioritise Your Wellbeing At Work
Mindshine: Mental Health Coach
Best for: (Mental) Fitness Fanatics
Mindshine promises short-term hacks for long-term, positive mind-set change. Commit to one of the month-long training plans to truly master your mental fitness. Whether your goal is to become more resilient, boost your confidence, spark your creativity or even become a better athlete, Mindshine’s science-based programmes take just 10 minutes every day and feature fun, simple science-based exercises that encourage you to dig a little deeper.
Aura: Meditation & Mindfulness
Best for: Individualists
Created by meditation teachers and therapists, Aura offers individualised content thanks to its clever AI-algorithm. The app begins by asking you how you’re feeling, and will suggest personalised content based on your answer. Meditations are just three, seven or 10-minutes long, which means you can find a little inner peace and harmony at any time, anywhere. With its incredible range of nature and sleep soundscapes, this app is worth enjoying with a good set of headphones!
Cost: Basic version is free; premium version is $94.99 USD per year
Simple Habit: Sleep, Meditation
Best for: Busy bees
Simple Habit is all about achieving quietude in as little as five minutes, which means it’s the perfect app for busy schedules. But short doesn’t always mean generalised: to get an idea of the sheer variety of meditation topics available on Simple Habit, just browse the website. Whether you’re going through a breakup, have a big event coming up or are looking to approach sex with a more mindful attitude, there’s a five-minute meditation for it.
Cost: Free for a month; premium version is free for one week, then $708 per year
Simple Habit: Sleep, Meditation, www.simplehabit.com
Happify: for Stress & Worry
Best for: Data-driven people
Happify is your science-backed fast-track to a good mood. Aiming to improve overall well-being and happiness, the makers of this app use innovative technology and science to empower us to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. Wondering how that works? From engaging games and activity suggestions to gratitude prompts and more, Happify encourages you to train your brain just like you would train any other muscle in your body. The best part? It’s free!
Editor’s Note: “12 Apps For Meditation, Mindfulness & Mental Health” was originally written by Melissa Albarus in May, 2020 and was most recently updated by Nicole Moraleda in March, 2022.