Are you calm and relaxed or stressed out? Is your job or life in general driving you crazy? These iPhone apps help you practise mindfulness and meditation to achieve a calmer state of mind.
Calm: Meditation to Relax, Focus & Sleep Better
Price: Free | By: Calm.com | Size: 122MB | iOS: 9.0 or later
Calm is an app designed to relax, meditate and reach a calmer stress-free state. most of the content requires a subscription and it costs $9.99 a month or an eye watering $399 for a lifetime membership. That’s a lot of money for some people.
Install it for free and you get access to a limited number of features, but it is still very useful and worthwhile putting on your iPhone.
There are three buttons at the bottom of the screen and Breath is useful for instant calming when you are feeling stressed. You breathe in time to a growing and shrinking circle on the screen. It might sound odd, but it works and slow, deep breathing is great for getting you to relax quickly when something has really stressed you out.
The Meditate button on the home screen provides access to dozens of guided meditation sessions, most of which must be unlocked by subscribing. However, there are some free modules, such as 7 Days of Calm, 7 Days of Managing Stress, Timed Meditation, Open-Ended Meditation, and Daily Calm Highlights.
7 Days of Calm for example, is a series of 10 minute guided meditations spread over a week. During a session a voice-over tells you how to relax and how to clear your mind.
There is a good collection of background sounds, such as a mountain lake, fireplace, thunderstorm, rain on leaves, foggy stream and many more. There is also a selection of calming music to relax to. All appear to be free.
The third button the home screen takes you to sleep stories. Four are free and there are dozens more available to subscribers. The stories I tried were 20 to 30 minutes and they stop automatically when they end. Hopefully you will be fast asleep before then.
Calm is a great app, but it isn’t cheap, so try the free content before handing over your money.
Price: Free | By: Simple Habit, Inc | Size: 141MB | iOS: 10.0 or later
Simple Habit is another subscription app, but it is free to download and it contains some free content for cheapskates like me to remove stress, worry and anxiety.
For example, free modules include Simple Habit Starter, Drift to Sleep, Deep Rest, Deep Sleep 1, Find Happiness, Morning Meditation in Bed, Learn to Meditate, Just Meditate, For Students, Simple Habit Podcast and Unguided Meditation.
Some of these are single sessions, such as 10 minutes, but others are seven day courses with sessions each day. There is enough free content to keep you busy for some time, but there is much more available to subscribers and there are many options and prices. To get everything though, you need a $95.99 annual subscription.
Simple Habit Starter is a seven day course that guides you through seven five minute mindful meditations. A voice over tells you how to sit, how to relax your body and calm your thoughts. I found five minutes a bit short, but it was good and it is useful if you don’t have a lot of time.
The On the go tab is interesting and it displays a wheel with various activities, such as After Work, Sleep, Walking, Tough Day and so on. Tap one of them and it displays a new wheel with items like Stressed, Depressed, Can’t Sleep, Taking a bath, and so on. Choose one of these and it guides you through a short meditation of around five minutes.
Your progress is tracked and there is a community section where you can add friends.
Simple Habit is another great mindfulness and meditation app for the iPhone. I loved the free stuff, but a subscription to access everything is quite expensive.
Relax Meditation: Mindfulness, Sleep Sounds, Noise
Price: Free | By: iLBSoft | Size: 160MB | iOS: 9.0 or later
The developer of this app has a whole bunch of almost identical apps, many with similar names. The difference seems to be in the bundle of sounds and music designed to relax you, so check out the other apps and see which suits you best.
At first sight, Relax Meditation looks as expensive as the others and a subscription is $9.99 a month. However, I was offered lifetime access for a one-off payment of UK £19.99 (about $26). This makes the app much more affordable and tempting to buy than the other two.
A subscription unlocks a huge amount of content as usual, but there are several modules that can be accessed for free. For example, there is the free meditation of the week, which is a 10 minute guided meditation designed to show you how to relax and clear you mind of stressful thoughts.
There is also a five day Introduction to Meditation Program with daily lessons, Basic Breathing Meditation, and a Better Sleep Program. There are dozens more for subscribers.
There is a useful collection of soothing sounds and relaxing melodies, and these can be played when you are meditating or as an aid to sleep. A collection of clocks and timers enable you to set an end time, such as after falling asleep, a meditation time reminder, and an alarm. There are also community melodies.
This is another good app for mindfulness and meditation, and if that cheap lifetime offer pops up, it is worth considering.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Published: 04 July 2017